This is an ongoing archive and blog of reviews and commentary by W.L. Swarts!
Saturday, December 20, 2014
An Ambitious Attempt, Jelly Belly Bubbly (Champagne) Jelly Beans Miss Their Mark!
To get the Bubbly (Champagne) Jelly Belly jelly beans
directly from Jelly Belly, click here!
The Good: Good ingredients, Does not taste bad
The Bad: Lousy representation of champagne, (Currently) Environmentally irresponsible packaging
The Basics: The new Bubbly Jelly Belly jelly beans are a bit disappointing, not quite reaching the heights of what a champagne jelly bean ought to be.
When it comes to my reviews, there are very few companies with which I have an enduring relationship. One of the things that seems to kill relationships with most companies is a negative review. The longest relationship I have had with any company that actually provides me with products is Jelly Belly. Jelly Belly has a pretty awesome staff and their response to products they’ve provided me that have not landed with me has been a goodnatured “different people have different tastes, no problem.” Some of their flavors are very much for acquired or specific tastes. I actually like that view; it allows me to retain my impartiality with my reviews, even when Jelly Belly provides me with their new products.
Unfortunately for Jelly Belly, their new Bubbly – Champagne – Jelly Belly is one of the few in their line I find myself panning. Champagne is a dry wine that is heavily carbonated. Jelly Belly has the ability to make fizzy jelly beans that taste like they are carbonated. Unfortunately, Bubbly does not employ that ingredient set/technique. Moreover, Bubbly is nowhere near as dry as champagne. The result is a bean that, at best, should have been called “white grape juice.”
For those who might never have had Jelly Belly jelly beans, these are easily the best jelly beans on the planet, packing a lot of flavor into a very small size. Unlike most jelly beans which are only vaguely flavored and are more based on colors, Jelly Belly jelly beans have a wide variety of actual flavors, like candy cane, Plum, Snapple Ice Teas or their signature flavor Buttered Popcorn.
The Bubbly Jelly Bellys are creeping into the market in smaller packages (the ones sent to us from the factory were .5 oz. bags), but if these are successful they will no doubt create their usual ten pound bulk boxes.
Bubbly is a new flavor of Jelly Belly jelly beans, a premium jelly bean, and this flavor is one kept out of the standard 50 flavor assortment. Jelly Belly jelly beans are approximately one half inch long by one quarter inch wide and they are roughly bean-shaped. These little candies are marketed to taste precisely like champagne, but alas, they fall short.
Bubbly flavored Jelly Bellys are easy to recognize in the pantheon of Jelly Belly jelly beans. The Bubbly is very coolly colored with an iridescent (shiny!) white color that looks distinctly different from other Jelly Belly jelly beans. The pearlescent color is different from every other Jelly Belly jelly bean, which is nice.
Ease of Preparation
These are jelly beans, not popping open a bottle of Bubbly and managing to keep the bulk of it from disappearing in foam and spray. In the case of the small bag, simply open and pull out the beans and enjoy!
Opening the package of Bubbly Jelly Bellys, one is instantly surprised by the fact that there is no aroma to the beans. These Jelly Belly jelly beans have no scent to them, which was a red flag for me for their flavor.
On the tongue, the Bubbly Jelly Belly jelly beans are sweet and vaguely fruity. This type of jelly bean does not have the sugary coating that would make the Bubbly Champagne fizz like some of the soda or beer flavored Jelly Belly jelly beans. These beans do not taste much like champagne or even wine. Instead, these are a very sweet – not dry – white grape flavor that degenerates fast into a vaguely sugary taste. This flavor is more like diluted white wine, chased with pure sugar.
The Bubbly Jelly Bellys have a strongly sweet, powerfully sugary aftertaste that lingers on the tongue for about five minutes after the last one is consumed.
Again, these are jelly beans, so anyone looking to them for nutrition needs to understand that they do not have any of the nutritional benefits (or detractions, for those watching their sodium or caloric intake) of actual Bubbly. Jelly beans, even Jelly Belly jelly beans, are not a legitimate source of nutrition. These are a snack food, a dessert, and are in no way an adequate substitute for a real meal. A .5 oz. serving is approximately fifteen beans, with each Jelly Belly jelly bean having approximately four calories (there are 50 calories in the .5 oz. pack). The 13 grams of carbohydrates represents 4% of the RDA of carbs.
Jelly Belly jelly beans are not as bad as they could be in the nutrition area. They have no fat and no protein and these are Vegan compliant (except to the most militant vegans who won’t consume beeswax) because they contain no gelatin! They have no significant sodium and they are gluten and alcohol free! The main ingredients are sugar, corn syrup and modified food starch, so it's not like this is an all-natural food, but they could be far, far worse. Bubbly Jelly Belly jelly beans are made in a peanut free factory!
Jelly Belly jelly beans have a shelf life of approximately two years and I have yet to run across a stale Jelly Belly. The batch I just received direct from the factory did not have an expiration date, so how long it might take them to go bad shall likely remain a mystery! They remain freshest when they are kept in an airtight container and they ought to be kept in a cool or lukewarm environment. Storing them in hot places is likely to make the beans stick together and be gross. Kept in a cool, dry place, the beans retain their flavor perfectly.
As for cleanup, unless one allows the Jelly Belly to get hot to the point that the waxy coating on the bean melts, the dyes on these do not bleed or denature, so there is usually no cleanup necessary, but you should wash your hands before eating them anyway (you might want to wash them afterward as well). I've never had Bubbly Jelly Bellys stain anything.
Bubbly Jelly Belly jelly beans are an unfortunately underwhelming version of what one might expect from champagne Jelly Belly jelly beans; the result is a premium bean one has to go out of the way to find, but is not quite worth the effort to do so.
For other Jelly Belly jelly bean flavors reviewed by me, please check out:
For other Jelly Belly Jelly Bean reviews, please visit my Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
Purchase 10 Pounds Of Bubbly (Champagne)
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Posted by W.L. Swarts at 11:33 PM
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