Friday, October 25, 2013

Review: CLIF Builder's MAX Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bar

Pardon the horrible attempt at humor here, but I think that since CLIF has two versions of Builder's bars, one of which is called MAX, the other should have a name change to MINIMUM or something like that.  Don't you think?  Yeah, that's probably not going to happen and that is a ridiculous observation on my part.  Anyway, with today's review, I'll be diving into another review of one of the MAX bars with this review of the CLIF Builder's MAX Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bar that I picked up at Kroger for $1.50.  This bar definitely does push the maximum as it is a behemoth of a bar clocking in at 3.4 ounces with 380 calories and thirty grams of protein.  Yep, this is the one you eat when you want to build some solid and hardcore muscle.

When I took this out of the wrapper, I've got to say that I was completely surprised by the appearance of this one.  I was just expecting a big, bulky block of a bar that was encased in chocolate.  Instead, I got what you see above.  Sure, the chocolate was there as a base of the bar and also as a swirl on top, but the primary component of the bar was a mixture that looked and smelled distinctly like cookie dough.  It had a strong brown sugar smell and honestly, if your eyes were closed and you took a whiff of this, you could be duped into thinking this was a tube of cookie dough that someone had picked up at the store.  As most gluttons do, I love the smell of cookie dough, so the fact that this bar had that wonderful brown sugar-ish cookie dough smell was wonderful.  Within that cookie dough mix were morsels of chocolate chips and also the standard soy crisps that you'll find in a lot of these bars.

Another surprise came after I took my first bite.  Having eaten a lot of these protein bars, I expected the bar itself to be kind of tough to chewy and almost gummy.  This bar was not that, for the most part.  Most of the bar was soft and chewy, just like a tube of cookie dough would be.  There was some gumminess at the very base of the bar just above the chocolate from the protein mix, but for the most part, this bar was surprisingly soft.  The cookie dough portion had a strong brown sugar-ish taste (like the smell) and the chocolate on the top and bottom melted right over the cookie dough mix to make a decadent combination.  The chips were almost undetectable, but they did provide tiny pops of solid crunch.  The soy crisps also provided tiny pops of airy crunch so while the bar itself was chewy, it was not all the same texture as the chips and crisps kind of broke that up as I was making my way though, which was very much appreciated.  All in all, while this wasn't truly cookie dough, it was a pretty darn reasonable approximation of it.

Buy It or Fly By It?  I've tested out a lot of massive protein bars in the history of this blog and there have been a lot of abysmal failures, but this bar was not one of them.  In fact, I would consider this to be one of the best testing and biggest success compared to other protein bars I've reviewed, so I give it a BUY IT rating.  While I didn't finish the entire bar (it was just too much bar), I absolutely enjoyed the portion of the bar that I did eat and would recommend it to others if you want to bulk up some muscles or just enjoy some cookie dough-esque flavor disguised as a "healthy" food.


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