Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: CLIF Chocolate Brownie Bar

CLIF has a wide variety of products and flavors blah, blah, blah...I feel like I've written that intro a million times, so I'll spare the rest of the niceties and just get on to writing another CLIF review, this time involving the Chocolate Brownie Bar.  Chocolate and brownies are two wonderful things, so I kept my hopes high that this would pan out and be delicious.  The bar, as with most CLIF bars, is 2.4 ounces, has 240 calories and 9 grams of protein.  It's made with CLIF's oats, rice crisp and soybean mix, in addition to whatever the chosen flavor of the day is.  I picked this up at Meijer for $1.09, by the way.

As you can see, this looks pretty much like a standard CLIF Bar in its composition.  The only difference being that the standard CLIF Pro mix of oats, soybeans, etc. is a darker brown color this time since chocolate and "brownie" is in the equation.  As always, the dried oat pieces are large and prevalent and within the mix are a smattering of chocolate chips to bring some additional flavor to the "brownie."  Those chips bring a strong chocolate smell as well, so CLIF is delivering on what they promised, at least visually.  Outside of that, if you've seen one CLIF Bar, you've pretty much seen them all, so let's get down to the taste.

After my first bite, I could definitely taste the chocolate but there was something that was a little bit off about it.  It wasn't really sweet chocolate or dark chocolate, but instead it was a chocolate with a weird, almost stale taste.  Very strange.  What made it even more odd was that the chocolate flavoring had a slightly acidic taste to it and I don't know about you, but I don't like mixing acid with my chocolate.  Another thing about the chocolate was that it hit you right at the beginning but then quickly lost its flavor as you chewed through the soft texture of the bar.  In fact, I would say that the flavor of this bar was primarily oats followed by a hint of chocolate.  Being that then name of this bar was not Oat Chocolate Brownie Bar, I'm not so sure that is what CLIF intended when they put this one together.  Outside of that, I didn't really notice the chocolate chips in any way other than that they added to the weird chocolate flavor.  They were soft enough that they didn't really bring any crunch to the CLIF Pro mix and instead melted in the heat of my mouth.  The only thing that brought any crunch to this bar were the rice crisps in the CLIF Pro mix and that was nice as it broke up the soft and boring mouthfeel as I made my way through.

Buy It or Fly By It?  I'd like to classify this bar as boring, but since the chocolate had such a weird taste, I can't even do that.  Instead, I'll classify this as a below average bar and give it a FLY BY IT rating.  Once again, I'm left decidedly underwhelmed by a CLIF Bar product.  There are some good ones, but for the most part, these bars are exceptionally boring and I don't get how they are so desired and/or successful.  It's mind boggling to me, but good for them for finding a niche in the market that allows them to be successful.  They are a very environmentally friendly company, so I suppose it is nice to see them succeed because of that, but their product don't help them in a lot of the instances that I've reviewed.



  1. I agree with you on this one. It's just very flat and lackluster in the flavor department.

  2. I actually quite enjoyed this bar. Maybe it's the dark chocolate taste you don't like?

    1. That could be it. In general, I am not a fan of dark chocolate.


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