Saturday, October 5, 2013

Review: Clif Builder's Max Caramel Peanut Bar

It’s been a while since I had a BIG protein bar. As in, the 30-gram kind. Needless to say, I’ve been more into sweet things lately. But at some point recently, I noticed that Clif’s Builder’s Bars have been supersized.

I chose the Caramel Peanut Builder’s Max. Now the original Builder’s Bar is pretty big for a typical 20-gram protein bar to begin with, and this one is just a little larger in volume but very, very dense. And oh, look at that awesome caramel on top!

This thing smells soooo good. Like chocolate and caramel and just overall like it’s going to oversweeten your taste buds. It isn’t quite the overload you’d expect, but it’s definitely up there as far as decadent protein bars go. The chocolate is pretty typical, good quality milk chocolate, and the way it sandwiches the base with the caramel almost reminds me of a s’more...if s’mores were made with caramel and chocolate instead of graham crackers...

The caramel is predictably the best part. It’s not gooey per se, but it’s chewy and sticky and yum. No, it’s not quite like caramel you find in candies or ice cream swirls, but come on people, this is a protein bar. It’s not supposed to be your favorite food. (I hope.)

The base is just kind of there, masked by the other layers. Until the end, when the other layers are gone from your mouth and the base is left. It has a slightly off taste, which would be the protein, and leaves a little “chalk” in your teeth. That said, the texture is very enjoyable, being chewy enough to take some effort but not too tough that it becomes a chore. There are also crisps in the base, adding extra depth and variety. The chopped peanuts are actually (or maybe unsurprisingly) hard to feel. Only occasionally do you get a hard thud from those little guys. They get lost in the caramel chew and the crispiness.

Anyway, I like these new Builder’s Bars. They taste more protein-y than the normal ones, but I’d expect that given that there are 10 more grams crammed in here. Clif made a good decision to expand the line, and they did it with good execution.

Taste: 8--the base is a bit funny, but the sweet caramel and milk chocolate make up for it.
Texture: 9--the base is a bit chalky, but I love the chewy, sticky caramel and creamy chocolate.
Eat Again? Yes.

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