Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: CLIF Sierra Trail Mix Bar

I make no secret of the fact that I love to sign up for free samples online and the source of today's review is one of those instances.  In this case, I saw a source for another CLIF review being given away via CLIF's Facebook page.  Like the reliability of death and taxes, this CLIF Sierra Trail Mix Bar checks in at the standard CLIF weight of 2.4 ounces.  It also comes in with 250 calories and ten grams of protein.  This is a new product offering to their standard line of bars and CLIF is obviously trying to get the word out via a freebie giveaway on this one, so I'd be remiss if I did not oblige them (and my hunger) with this review.

As you can see on the packaging of this bar, the focal point of their trail mix in this bar is peanuts, chocolate and raisins.  What you don't see on the packaging, but is very prominent on the bar's product webpage is that seeds are a major part of this equation as well.  In this case, those seeds are pumpkin and sunflower seeds.  As for the rest of the bar, the chocolate is present in the form of chips, the raisins are their typical selves and the peanuts are there in both hard nut form and also in the form of peanut butter that is mixed in with the standard oat and soy mix of the bar.  When I took a whiff of this one, it also had a strong and delightful mix of peanut and chocolate smell, so that was at least a good harbinger of things to come.

One thing that is not a surprise about any CLIF bar is that they all have the same sort of texture and mouthfeel...meaning that they are chewy.  They also have an oat taste since oats are always the primary component of the mix.  Where they all differ though (obviously) is in the add-ins and the performance the add-ins within this bar was outstanding.  Leading off, there was a wonderful peanut crunch and then taste that was only amplified more by the peanut butter.  It was hearty peanut butter with little-to-no sweetness, but that was fine because while the raisins were not individually distinguishable, they at least brought some nice sweetness to the peanut flavoring.  What didn't bring any sweetness, but brought initial crunch and then melting decadence to each bite were the chocolate chips.  Their melting quality coated each peanut butter bite and made for the perfect mix of that overrated, yet still very delicious, combination of chocolate and peanut butter.  What was unexpected, but somewhat nice in the grand scheme of things was the presence of some hidden soy crisps within the mix of the bar.  They weren't large or amply spread, but they did provide an additional airy and cracker-like crunch to the bites that contained them.

Buy It or Fly By It?  I'm just going to come out and say it...this bar was absolutely delicious.  Frankly, this might be my favorite CLIF bar that I've ever tried, so it absolutely gets a BUY IT rating.  My only regret after eating this bar was that I didn't have another one to devour immediately because all this did was leave me wanting more and more and more.  It's not often that I'm as overcome with love for a bar as I was with this one, so CLIF clearly did an outstanding job with this new product offering.


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