Saturday, 27 July 2013

Allen's Funfair Thrills Jelly Beans

The new range of Allen's jelly beans includes two new packs: Funfair Thrills and Sour Rush. The Funfair Thrills pack, with the bright orange jelly bean on the front is the one under review today.

Personally I find the characters on the front of the Allen's jelly lollies a bit creepy (the original or normal flavour range packet has a jelly bean with one eye and one tooth). But, the Allen's designers have done a good job with ensuring continuity between the packets; the jelly bean on this bag is wearing a top hat, presumably to tie in with the whole funfair/circus theme.

The rear of the packet shows nine new flavours, inspired by the theme: fairy floss, zesty lemonade, fizzy cola, bubblegum bang, tutti fruitti, buttered popcorn, chocolate milkshake, toffee apple and cool candy banana. Some of the flavours are a tenuous connection to the theme (zesty lemonade) while others fit right in (tutti fruitti).

The colours used in this range are not exactly inspiring, although they do mostly relate to the flavours. The dyes used are artificial as well. (I don't have an issue with artificial dyes, but I know some people can be sensitive.) They are not as bright or colourful as the standard range, and I had trouble telling a few of the colours apart as the guide on the back of the pack is a bit off on a couple. I took initial photos of this range and then had to redo them as I realised I had managed to miss one of the colours because it was so similar to another. This can make it difficult to identify them - especially if you aren't in bright light.

I recruited my housemate into the tasting process, so the views below are combined. The flavours run in clockwise order from purple at the centre top.

12 o'clock position: Bubblegum (purple)
This had definite notes of grape, not the generic bubblegum flavour I was expecting. It's a fairly strong flavour too.

Cool Candy Banana (yellow)
I was surprised to find that this flavour got much of the flavour right. It is really similar to a lolly banana, minus that fabulous chalky texture. It's strong and bold and not as sweet as a lolly banana, but still very nice.

Toffee Apple (red)
This was quite a strong flavour, with strong apple juice notes and a very tart flavour. It was very accurate to the flavour of a red apple. I really enjoyed these and would eat a whole bag of them.

Buttered Popcorn (white)
Another accurate flavour.  This is an inspired version of cinema popcorn; the beginning is a surprise and a little salty but then strongly notes of burnt sugar kick in. The scent was quite buttery though, and was strong enough to contaminate some of the other beans in the bag.

Fizzy Cola (grey)
The colour on this bean was quite strange. It definitely wasn't the dark brown, almost black colour of most colour drinks. It's more of a weird brown--tinged grey. The flavour is sweet, along the lines of a cola-flavoured Chupa Chup. The tartness at the start is quite close to resembling that sharp fizz of a fresh can of coke, but it quickly subsides into flat soft drink territory. Nice but nothing special.

Fairy Floss (pink)
This was the easiest of the bunch to identify the flavour. It's quite sugary as expected, and has a true fairy floss flavour of generic mild 'pink'.

Tutti Fruiti (orange)
 While this isn't the tutti fruitti I think of when someone mentions the flavour, it's nice all the same. It's more artificial and citrus-inspired, and is quite a bold flavour. It's also got a little 'fruit tingles' flavour behind it too.

Chocolate Milkshake (dark brown)
Ugh. This was quite an unappetizing flavour. In all honestly, it tastes like extremely watered down hot chocolate. It's similar to the chocolate flavour of the Milk Bottle Mania range, and if I remember correctly, I didn't really like that one either.

Lemonade (pale yellow)
This was quite nice. It's lemonade inspired by the water+sugar+lemon juice formula, not the carbonated soft drink. It's along the lines of sweet lemon tea - there's sugar but there's also a little bit of tartness as well. I found this pleasing and refreshing.

The bag is great as a novelty, but due to the wide range of flavours, I don't know that it would work as a product that could be eaten without looking (for example, at the movies) and certainly not in a handful. Some flavours really crash when eaten together (buttered popcorn and anything ), while some compliment each other nicely (lemonade and tutti fruitti).

Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Allen's Funfair Thrills Jelly Beans are made in Australia. They contain wheat,  malt and barley, and are made on equipment that processes products containing milk powder. A serving size is 20g.

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