REVIEW: Burt’s – Guinness Rich Chili Hand Cooked Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips (lip-smacking)

Burt's - Guinness Rich ChiliWhat better chips to review on St. Patrick’s Day than Burt’s Rich Chili Guinness flavored thick cut hand cooked potato chips, right?!  Wait, hold on, what’s that now?  Oh, it’s not St. Patty’s day?   Huh, well…we already used this same opening in our review for Burt’s Original Guinness flavored chips, so…let’s go with: What better chips to review on the cusp of Summer than Guinness Rich Chili flavored chips!  Yeah, that works!!

Burt’s, from what we have tasted, and what we can tell via the world wide web, is a really great potato chip company out of the southwest corner of the United Kingdom.

We tried Burt’s original Guinness flavored chips a few years back, when our friend Josh over at Crisp Nation was kind enough to send us a bag from across the big blue.  We liked the originals quite a bit, so we were more excited when we spotted this new “chili enhanced” version on our local World Market shelves.

What we weren’t prepared for was just how delicious, and at the same time, weird, these were going to taste.  If there is one thing we want you to take away from this review it is that these chips are savory.  SUPER-DUPER SAVORY.  Say it with us now “SAVORY”.  All at once malty, yeasty, roast-y, a little sour, plenty bitter, certainly rich and yes, of course, savory.

Honestly, before we started crunching into these we were thinking that these rich chili chips were meant to be Guinness blended with everyone’s favorite winter warming bean “stew” sort of chili.  But, as it turns out, according to the description on the back of the bag, Burt’s was actually “continuing our mission to take taste buds to new extremes, we’ve taken fresh jalapeño chilies and infused the world’s most iconic stout to create Guinness Rich Chili Burts Chips.”  Jalapeño and Guinness does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  That being said, we didn’t really taste very much actual jalapeño flavor, it sort of got lost in all of the SAVORINESS!  We did get some real nice heat in the backs of our throats after a few handfuls, and it mingled very well with the rich stout flavors.  

Burt’s potato chips are of great quality.  Medium-thick cut, hand cooked, solidly crispy, with a neutral potato flavor.

All in all, we get the feeling that these chips would not be for everyone.  BUT, if you are looking for something really unique, or if you simply love SAVORY! than these chips are probably right up your alley.

As always we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree.  Let us know.

Chips discovered at World Market; Oakbrook, Illinois

Burt’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©©notable

©©©©lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

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REVIEW: Brew Foods – Salsa Verde Corn Tortilla Chips

Rating: ©©©©-1/2 chips  (lip-smacking)

Brew Foods - Salsa VerdeA few weeks back we reviewed Brew Foods’ Chipotle BBQ Corn Tortilla Chips, and we thought that they were some very tasty chips.

We told you how Brew Foods is a new tortilla chip company focusing their efforts on the beer drinking masses, in other words, the vast majority of us!  We also told you how we paired those chipotle bbq tortilla chips chips with a Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin India Pale Ale, and how the combination of the two did in fact work quite well.

Well, this time around we are here to tell you to throw all of that other stuff out the window!  Brew Foods’ Salsa Verde Corn Tortilla Chips may in fact pair very well with an ice cold brew, but we cannot deny or confirm that with you because we tried one chip, and the rest was history.  We devoured the entire delicious chip bag before we even had a chance to crack open any bottle of beer!  Who needs beer with chips this fantastic!?!

First, lets get one thing out of the way before we do anything else.  These salsa verde tortilla chips are not quite as delicious as as our most favorite salsa verdes of all time – Doritos!  But, Brew Foods’ Salsa Verde Corn Tortilla Chips are fantastically delicious in their own different sort of salsa verde flavored way!

We say sort of salsa verde flavored because more than anything else these chips make us think of – ONION RINGS!!  Yep, that’s right, bar food staple, beer battered onion ring flavored corn tortilla chips.  Seriously, unanimous among all of the reviewers, these chips trigger thoughts of onion rings!  But, not just any onion rings, slightly spicy, very vegetal and tangy flavored onion rings….aka, our new favorite kind of onion rings!

The chips do have many of those typical salsa verde ingredients like tomato, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, but we can’t help but notice that onion powder is the very first flavored ingredient on that list.  In other words, these chips exude sweet and fragrant onion-ness, and if you are not a fan we suggest you stay the heck away!  But, if you are like us, and love onion rings and corn tortilla chips, you will be in for a treat with these unique chips!

Brew Foods’ crunchy corn tortilla chips are thinner cut, small batch, with loads and loads of corn flavor.  The chips are light, and yet deliver a substantial toothsome chew.  Think more like fried tortillas, than tortilla chips with lots of air pockets.  Any which way we describe them, just think tasty and unique salsa verde corn tortilla chips.

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree, let us know.

Chips provided to Chip Review by Brew Foods for review

Brew Foods Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Brew Foods – Chipotle BBQ Corn Tortilla Chips

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips  (lip-smacking)

Brew Foods - Chipotle BBQHey dudes!  Brew Foods!!

Probably needless to say, it is fairly easy to identify who the target audience for these chips are right?  Beer drinkers… in other words, just about everyone everywhere!

According to the back of the brewski colored bag, these tortilla chip are “best paired with hoppy, fruity Pale Ales or malty, crisp Pilsners.”  Now, you must remember that our field of self proclaimed expertise is chips, not brews (although we have, and do, consume our fair share of beer, we do not claim to know very much about it).  So, we took a look at what we had in the old Chip Review ice box and pulled out a bottle of Ballast Point’s Pineapple Sculpin (described as an India Pale Ale with natural pineapple flavor).  Sort of sounds like it falls perfectly into the “hoppy, fruity Pale Ale” category right?

We’ve said it before but we will mention it again, within the past decade or so, Chipotle has become a fairly common household name, and ingredient, among the majority of us here in the United States.  Many of you may automatically conjure up visions of a football sized burrito, but the chipotles we are talking about vine ripened jalapeño chiles, that have been smoked and dried.  In other words they deliver a decent amount of heat, along with a deep smoky flavor.  And, for one reason or another, there are still many people out there pronouncing these chilis as ch-pull-tee!  Come’on people!  Say it with us now Chee-pote-ley!!

Let’s get back to the chips themselves.  Well, these corn tortilla chips are pretty darn delightfully flavorful, especially for being brand-newcomers on the market.  We devoured this entire bag in no time flat.  We may have even had to crack open another Sculpin to quench our chip induced thirst.  The seasoning blend starts out by teasing you into believing that you are tasting some good old sweeter, tomato-ful bbq chips, but then……wowsers, layers of smoky, spicy chipotle chili peppers join the party! Seriously, we don’t usually taste this much spicy heat from chipotle flavored chips, but these most certainly do bring some substantially impressive heat.

The crunchy corn tortilla chips are thinner cut, small batch, with loads of corn flavor.  The chips are light, and yet deliver a substantial toothsome chew.  Think more like fried tortillas, than tortilla chips with lots of air pockets.  Any which way we describe them, just think tasty.

In the end we can confirm that the pairing of these two delicacies (chips and beer) was a fine choice.  And, we certainly can agree that the “select savory and sweet ingredients….compliment the hop….flavors in the beer” very well!  Well done Brew Foods!!

*Disclaimer: We can also concur that the chips do not go very well with red boxed wine…..but really, how could any food compete with boxed wine….we kid.

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree, let us know.

Chips provided to Chip Review by Brew Foods for review

Brew Foods Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

25 Chips to Christmas….

#1

Fire Corn – Jalapeño -&- White Cheddar Jalapeño Popcorn – AND – Chef’s Shoppe – Sriracha -&- Beer Popcorn

Fire Corn - Jalapeno PopcornChef's Shoppe - Sriracha PopcornFire Corn - White Cheddar Jalapeno PopcornChef's Shoppe

Original Reviews Here and Here and Here and……Here

OK, hold on, wait a second.  Before you start calling us names like “cheaters” for choosing four different bags of popcorn, from two different companies, as the number 1 “chip” (sorry chips – but popcorn rules this year!!) on our list this year, just hear us out.  This year we reviewed an unprecedented number of different brands, and flavors, and types of popcorn – somewhere in the realm of 40 or so.  That’s about a third of all of our reviews from 2015.  Among those 40, there were four bags that stood so far apart from the rest of the popcorn (and chip) field that we new without any doubt that we were crunching on pure popcorn perfection!  But the thing was, or is, we can’t seem to choose any one of these above the rest.  They are all perfect in their own ways, and to call one better than any of the other four would just be wrong.  In fact, we can’t wait for the day when we take one bag of each of these different flavors of popcorn and mix them all together in a bowl to make the ULTIMATE SUPER POPCORN!!

And that wraps things up for us here at Chip Review.  We hope you have enjoyed counting down through this year’s best with us, as much as we have enjoyed reflecting back upon it.  We hop you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!  We will be back at it with all new deliciously crunchy reviews in 2016 – stay tuned!

BIJOU-REVIEW: Keogh’s – Roast Beef & Irish Stout Potato Crisps

Rating: ©©©© chips (lip-smacking)

Keogh's - Roast Beef& Irish StoutFIELD: Abbeyville

VARIETY: Lady Claire

COOKED BY: Gregor

Let’s just cut to the chase, Keogh’s knows how to make some fantastic tasting potato chips!! Sorry, we mean crisps!

Thinner cut, hearty or rustic, skin on potato crisps with some very real potato flavor!

That being said, as much as we love their crisps (these included), everyone who tasted this flavor agrees that they don’t really evoke deep thoughts of Roast Beef & Irish Stout.

To us these sort of taste like some deliciously weird sweet, salty, and savory vinegar flavored crisps; with just a touch of malty-yeasty stout notes.  Maybe, just maybe, if we strain our palettes and imagine that we are tasting slowly roasted beef do we get some of those rich and savory notes.

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think. Agree or disagree, let us know.

Crisps provided to Chip Review by Keogh’s for review

Keogh’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©©notable

©©©©lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Chef’s Shoppe – Beer Popcorn

Rating: ©©©©© chips  (“A” list)

** Updated 11/10/15 – upon further review (aka more delicious sampling) of this impeccable product, we felt it our duty to change the beer popcorn’s rating to “A” list!

Chef's ShoppeWe often wonder how many deliciously different salty snacks there are out there that the majority of us will never ever get the chance to try?  Those smaller local companies that only distribute in the surrounding area, or the little mom and pop stores that specialize in one specific type of snack, and unless you happen to travel to this specific town or region of the country you may never ever know of the delicacies that await you there.  Luckily for Chip Review we have a lot of friends and family out there that are always on the lookout for local snacks wherever they may be visiting.  Seriously, we cannot begin to tell you how many different pictures we receive each day from one person or another asking us “hey, have you ever tried these ones?” or, “hey, we’ve never seen these, have you reviewed these?”, or “hey, we’re in Ohio have you ever heard of Grippo’s??”  More often than not we have already tasted and reviewed whatever snack may be on the photo, but every once in a while that person or people come through and we strike it snack rich!!  “Grab one or two of every flavor they’ve got!!”  we yell over the phone or texting machine.

The most recent example of this type of scenario just took place a week or two ago.  One of us from Chip Review walked into the office one morning and there sitting on our desk is a small collection of a variety of different flavored popcorn from some company called Chef’s Shoppe.  The flavors ranged from dill pickle to pizza to bacon cheddar, but the one that really caught our attention, and in the end the one that we ended up liking the most was the beer flavor!

But first let’s back track to this Chef’s Shoppe.  After a little investigative work, and explanation from the giver of the popcorn, we learned that the Chef’s Shoppe is a Gourmet Kitchen Store (aka specialty cooking and food store) located in Edwardsville, Illinois.  And, Edwardsville is the third oldest city in the state of Illinois.  Although technically a city in southwestern Illinois, Edwardsville is considered a part of the greater metro area of St. Louis.  So, we’re not sure if Edwardsville citizens cheer for the Blackhawks or the Blues!  We can only imagine that it is a heated debate in those parts!!  Sorry, back on track.  Obviously the Chef’s Shoppe sells more than specialty kitchen tools and foods and such.  They also offer more than seventy different popcorn flavors.  According to the Chef Shoppe’s webite:

In May 2012 the Chef’s Shoppe expanded again, taking over the 2,500 square foot space adjacent to the existing business and adding popcorn.  But they didn’t start small – offering over 70 flavors of popcorn every day, the Chef’s Shoppe entered the popcorn scene in a big way. Scott, having officially retired after 32 years with AT&T the year before, is the head “popologist”.  With the help of his merry band of popping and coating specialists they turn out hundreds of gallons of popcorn every week.  ALL are made fresh in house – ALL are available to taste before you buy – ALL are so delicious that picking just one is nearly impossible.

Well, the Chef’s Shoppe seems like our sort of place, and we hope the fine people of Edwardsville, and even St. Louis, continue to embrace and support it for a very long time to come.  Chef’s Shoppe popcorn is on the larger end of the popcorn spectrum, with very round, and softer kernels.  We would describe them as having a lot of popcorn meat, or body to them, that provides a great toothsome popcorn chew.  As for the beer flavoring – WOW!  This stuff is pretty awesome!  Certainly some of the most unique flavored popcorn we have ever tried.  Visually, no one would ever assume that they were about to eat beer flavored popcorn, it pretty much just looks like a cheddar cheese popcorn.  However, a couple kernels in the mouth, and one quickly realizes that they are enjoying something a bit unusual, something they can’t quite pinpoint, and something DELICIOUS!!  We were surprised to discover that the base of the popcorn seasoning was actually spicy cheese.  Nowhere on the packaging does it indicate that the popcorn is anything but beer flavored?  However, it is immediately apparent that this popcorn also includes a slightly spicy and creamy cheese layer in addition to beer (quick glance to the Chef Shoppe website confirms our findings).  What really sets this popcorn apart, and what makes us love the flavoring is the decisively yeasty beer flavoring.  The spicy-cheesy-beer-y combination works amazingly well with popcorn.  We were beyond impressed to say the least!!

So, if you ever find yourself traveling to, or through, Edwardsville Illinois, do yourself a favor and go try a couple, or fifty, different popcorn flavors from the Chef Shoppe.  Just make sure that one of those flavors is the BEER!!

As always, these are our thoughts. Agree or disagree, make sure to let us know.

Popcorn provided to Chip Review by J & V for review

Chef’s Shoppe Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list