I've mentioned on this blog before that I'm not the world's biggest fan of the chocolate and mint flavor combination. In fact, Mint Chip ice cream is one of my lest favorite ice creams of all time. That said, I have had some luck with chocolate and mint combinations in previous reviews. So, with my biases intact, I begrudgingly was ready to take a look at another CLIF bar review with this review of the CLIF Builder's Chocolate Mint Protein Bar. I picked this one up at Meijer with a coupon that put its price in the $2.00 range. It came in at the CLIF standard 2.4 ounces with 270 calories and since this is marketed as a protein bar, it had twenty grams of protein. It's entirely all natural, so that is nice if you are in to that type of thing. Via this blog, I've proven that I don't necessarily care what kinds of science products I put into my body, so that doesn't make a huge difference to me.
The biggest difference between this bar and a typical CLIF bar is that the base of this bar is more of a rice crisp/protein mix as opposed to the normal oat/soybean mix of your classic CLIF bar. Within the rice crisp mix of this bar was some chocolate flavoring that gave it a darker brown hue (read: chocolate). On top of the chocolate layer was a thin layer of almost marshmallow like texture. I can't really describe it, but it was quite odd looking, but I would assume this to be the "mint" layer, but I have no idea. The whole bar was then covered with a thick layer of chocolate. One thing to note is that the bar carried a very strong mint smell and when mixed with the chocolate, it reminded me of Andes candy. Andes is one of the few chocolate/mint combinations that I can stand (in moderation), so that put this bar off to a good start in my mind.
As I bit into this my first impression that the rice crisp provided a really nice crunch. Not too hard, not too soft, but just right (I feel like the three bears). As with the smell, the mint provided the strongest flavor in the bar and in fact, it completely overpowered the chocolate. All the chocolate really brought to this bar was a thick and hearty texture to break up the crunchy rice crisp mix. It was not sweet or anything else like that. Well, it might have been but since the mint was so strong, I had no way of detecting it. That said, the mint wasn't so overpowering that it was unpleasant. In fact, much like the smell of Andes, this tasted like Andes with a slight crunch factor added in. Since I previously said I find Andes to be pretty solid, I would say the same thing about this bar as well.
Buy It or Fly By It? Based on taste alone, I would say BUY IT. But, taste isn't always a factor and that's where I run into problems with this bar. I had a coupon and this bar was still in the $2.00 range. At full price, it was at least fifty cents to a dollar more (can't remember) and when you are only getting twenty grams of protein out of this, you really are paying a premium for the CLIF name like you would a Sony television or something of the like. If you were making your choices based on price and protein allotment, you could get a Pure Protein bar for roughly half the price and get the same amount of protein. That's your call as a consumer though.