Chip Review’s 25 Chips to Christmas – 2013

Well Chip Review readers, that wraps things up for another great year of chip reviewing!

We would like to say that it has been a true pleasure sharing our thoughts with all of you as we chomped our way through hundreds of bags, and countless calories this past year 🙂  Thanks to all of you who follow us each and every day.  We appreciate it, and we wouldn’t be here without each and everyone of you!!  Also, a very special thanks to those snack companies who graciously provided their products for us to review.  It’s a tough job (especially for our waistlines), but someone has got to do it.

Below is our list of the Top 25 Chips we reviewed this year.  Agree or disagree, we’d love to hear it!!

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#1 Lay’s – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Chicken & Waffle Potato Chips

#2 Yamayoshi – Spicy Chili Sour Plum Potato Chips

#3 Ziggy’s Kettle Corn – Sweet & Salty and Happenin’ Jalapeno with Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

#4 Paqui Tortilla Chips – Grilled Habanero and Limited Edition Haunted Ghost Pepper

#5 Simply 7 – Jalapeno Lentil Chips

#6 Tyrrell’s – Sweet Chili & Red Pepper Hand Cooked Potato Crisps

#7 Palo Popcorn – White Cheddar Cheese

#8 Gibble’s – Red Hot Home Style Potato Chips

#9 The Original Saratoga Chips – Rosemary Garlic Potato Chips

#10 Angie’s – Sweetly White Cheddar Kettle Corn

#11 Herr’s – Sweet Onion Potato Chips

#12 Lundberg Multigrain Chips – Mojave Jalapeno

#13 Deep River Snacks – Aged Cheddar & Horseradish Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

#14 Mackie’s of Scotland – Scotch Bonnet Chili Pepper Flavor Potato Crisps

#15 Chio Flips – Classic Peanut

#16 Lay’s Wavy – Roasted Garlic & Sea Salt Potato Chips

#17 Monster Munch – Flamin’ Hot

#18 Herr’s Kettle Cooked – Russet Potatoes Dark Potato Chips

#19 Yamayoshi – Wasabeef Potato Chips

#20 De-lish-us – Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips

#21 Simply 7 – Creamy Dill Lentil Chips

#22 Barrel O’ Fun – Gardy’s Signature Flavors – Cheddar & Horseradish Potato Chips

#23 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish – Buffalo Wing Puffs

#24 Maebo’s – One-Ton Chips

#25 Lay’s – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Cheesy Garlic Bread Potato Chips

2013 Honorable Mentions

**Chip Review’s Top 25 list of the Year consists of chips that we tasted and reviewed during the 2013 calendar year for the first time.  The chips are not necessarily new to the industry, but they were new to Chip Review in 2013!

Chip Review’s 25 Chips to Christmas…

#14

Mackie’s of Scotland – Scotch Bonnet Chili Pepper Flavor Potato Crisps

Mackie's of Scotland - Scotch Bonnet

Original Review Here

Sit down, buckle your seat belts and get ready to hold on as you are taken on an amazing roller coaster ride of flavors!

Chip Review’s Honorable Mentions

25 Chips to Christmas Honorable Mentions

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(honorable mentions, in no particular order)

Brown Bag Crisps - Oak Smoked Chili

Brown Bag Crisps – Oak Smoked Chilli Potato Crisps

“We can get behind a crisp that exudes a bit of class….Or as our friend at Crisp Nation would refer to them, “…crisps for the crisp connoisseur.”

Whale Tails -

Whale Tails – “Alaea” Hawaiian Sea Salt Tortilla Chips

“It is not very often that we are really wowed by some “plain” salted tortilla chips.  Usually we are reviewing, and raving about, the latest extra spicy this, or cheesy-bbq-ranch that, but we can’t be happier than when we discover some amazingly simple, and perfectly executed tortilla chips.”

Crave Canyon Popcorn - Cane Juice & Sea Salt Kettle Corn kissed with Anise

Crave Canyon – Cane Juice & Sea Salt Kettle Corn Kissed With Anise

“It is not very often that we stumble upon something completely new in the industry that we love; but when we do cross paths with a wonderful discovery, we welcome it with open minds, and open mouths!”

Larry The Cable Guy - Tater Salad Tater Chips

Larry The Cable Guy – Tater Salad Potato Chips

“With the release of these brand new Tater Salad chips, along with his Pass The Darn Ketchup flavored potato chips, we think he may be going for a bit of a Summer, outdoors, picnic-barbeque theme?!  We wouldn’t be at all surprised, or opposed, if he also releases some hot dog, or bratwurst, or sweet corn flavored chips next!”

Cheetos - Tapatio

Cheetos – Tapatio

“So far, we’re are absolutely confident in calling these Cheetos our favorites amongst the Tapatio and Frito Lay collaboration.”

Pan de Oro - Blue Sesame Tortilla Chips

Pan De Oro – Blue Sesame Tortilla Chips

“Pan de Oro means “bread of gold” in Spanish.  However, in this case, the “bread” appears to be made of precious sapphire colored blue corn, rather than precious metals.”

Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks - Simply So Sweet Chili Tortilla Chips

Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks – Simply So Sweet Chili Tortilla Chips

“We just love it when we stumble upon one of those rare surprises that make us smile with enjoyment after just one chip!!”

Trader Joe's - Cheddar & Horseradish Potato Chips

Trader Joe’s – Cheddar & Horseradish Potato Chips

“We can’t argue one bit with Trader Joe’s description that these chips are “delightfully flavored, cheesy spicy and wavy kettle.”

Mackie's of Scotland - Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper

Mackie’s of Scotland – Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper Potato Crisps

“Surprisingly enough, the vast majority of the reviews that we had read for these crisps were relatively, actually predominantly, positive.  We say surprisingly, because the majority of information we have gathered in regards to the actual Scottish dish, is that it can be a bit challenging to consume.”

Brother Kane - Hot Sauce

Brother Kane – Hot Sauce Home Style Potato Chips

“The chips immediately deliver a sharp and pungent nasal zip from the ample inclusion of vinegar.  Then a spicy kick from  cayenne appears, and continues to build and build…”

**Chip Review’s Top 25 list of the Year consists of chips that we tasted and reviewed during the 2013 calendar year for the first time.  The chips are not necessarily new to the industry, but they were new to Chip Review in 2013!

REVIEW: Mackie’s 0f Scotland – Aberdeen Angus Steak Potato Crisps

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

Mackie's of Scotland - Aberdeen Angus Steak Flavor

Comments:

The last unique flavor from our Mackie’s of Scotland crisps lineup.  Overall, we have been immensely impressed with the flavor range and quality of their crisps.  Mackie’s of Scotland’s potato crisps are larger sized, medium thickness, skin-on, rustic and hearty crisps, that convey a tremendous amount of potato-forward flavor.  Their potato crisp quality ranks them squarely among the greats.  Apparently, our friend Josh over at Crisp Nation has other thoughts regarding their potato crisps.

Similar to Mackie’s other meat flavored crisps we reviewed (Haggis – yep, those haggis crisps), we don’t taste very much meat flavor from these crisps.  In fact, we taste practically none at all.  If the crisps weren’t labeled as Aberdeen Angus Steak flavor, we are fairly certain we wouldn’t be naming, or describing, them as meat flavor of any type.  That is not to call the flavor bad by any means, it is still a solid flavor with strong onion notes, and plenty of salt.  But, when compared to our Top 5 Meat Flavored Chips, these crisps don’t hold a meaty candle.  If you feel differently, make sure to let us know at our meat flavored chips poll.

So, in the end, it is fair to say that we are huge fans of Mackie’s of Scotland potato crisps.  If we ever get the chance to travel to Scotland, we will certainly take the time to find this Mackie and thank him/her for their amazing addition to the industry we love!!

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 Mackie’s of Scotland for review

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©©© – notable

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Chip Review of the day…..

Mackie’s of Scotland – Scotch Bonnet Chili Pepper Flavor Potato Crisps

Rating: ©©©©-1/2 chips (lip-smacking)

Mackie's of Scotland - Scotch Bonnet

Comments:

We’re just going to come out and say it – we have had our eyes on these Scotch Bonnet Chili Pepper Potato Crisps from Mackie’s of Scotland for as long as we can remember.  We have no idea where we first spotted them, whether it was in a review, or on some shopping site like eBay.  Either way, like we’ve said numerous times before, we are huge fans of spicy chips (crisps), and it doesn’t get much spicier than the Scotch Bonnet Chili.  So, let’s just say that when we received a sample of these crisps to review from Mackie’s of Scotland, our mouths were watering from the get go.

We guess the best way we can muster to describe these chips in one word would be: Unique!  These potato crisps are unlike any other flavor combination of crisps that we have ever tasted, ever.  Now, would we have entitled them ‘scotch bonnet chili pepper’?  Most definitely not.  Why?  Well, above everything else, we never, ever actually tasted any scotch bonnet chili pepper flavor???  Reason enough, right?  So, what does that mean?  Clearly, it means that these crisps are misrepresenting themselves in our opinion.  And yet, they still land 4.5 chips rating on our scale – wow, that should say something!

Alright, so let’s try and describe these for all of you (hang on tight for this amazing flavor ride).   A little smoky, not too salty, some sweet, with a very recognizable black licorice (anise) flavor, lemony (coriander), of course some onion, and garlic.  There’s also Mackie’s of Scotland’s great potato flavor, of course, (we simply can’t say enough about Mackie’s potato crisps – top notch – really, top notch).  There’s cumin, coconut, tomato, loads of black pepper, and finally in the end, the Scotch Bonnet heat is definitely present (although we can’t taste the flavor).  All of a sudden our lips are burning, and we wonder just how it was able to sneak up on us!  Ouch!  Plain and simple, in our opinion, these crisps taste like we imagine the Caribbean to taste like!!  In fact, that’s what their flavor name should be!

In the end, when Mackie’s of Scotland describes their crisps as having an “intense heat, and sweet fruitiness,” they were not lying.  We enjoyed these crisps immensely.  That being said, scotch bonnet, sorry, these were not.

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 from Mackie’s of Scotland for review

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REVIEW: Mackie’s of Scotland – Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper Potato Crisps

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips (lip-smacking)

Mackie's of Scotland - Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper

Comments:

Even before receiving these uniquely flavored crisps from Mackie’s of Scotland, we were well acquainted with the infamous haggis flavored chips from our friends across the pond.  Surprisingly enough, the vast majority of the reviews that we had read for these crisps were relatively, actually predominantly, positive.  We say surprisingly, because the majority of information we have gathered in regards to the actual Scottish dish, is that it can be a bit challenging to consume.

Josh at Crisp Nation is actually a fan of haggis, so his opinion should definitely bear some weight.  The crew over at Taquitos were fans of these crisps.  Junk Food Guy probably had the least enthusiastic review.

For those of you who are a bit unfamiliar (as we were) with what haggis is, according to Wikipedia, haggis is, “a traditional Scottish dish, considered the national dish of Scotland.  Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach and simmered for approximately three hours.” (Wikipedia)

So, lets see if we’ve got this right.  These crisps are one of the most interesting flavor combinations that we have ever heard of, and they are supposed to taste like sheep’s heart, liver, lungs and stomach, combined with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, salt, along with the addition of cracked black pepper.  Why do we want to even try these….?

We are happy to report that Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper are another wonderful addition to the Mackie’s of Scotland line-up, but it may not be for the reason you are thinking!  To be completely honest, we don’t get very much meat flavor from these crisps.  According to the ingredients list, these crisps do include natural pork flavoring, and perhaps if we strained our taste buds to their limits, we could recognize a bit of meat flavor; but compared to many other meat inspired flavors, especially our Top 5 Meat Flavored Chips, these ones don’t hold a meaty candle.  If you feel differently, make sure to let us know at our meat flavored chips poll.

What we do love about these crisps is everything else.  First and foremost, it must be said that Mackie’s potato crisps are really, really impressive.  Larger sized, medium thickness, skin-on, rustic and hearty potato crisps, that convey a tremendous amount of potato-forward flavor.  The potato crisps themselves are of amazing quality that ranks them squarely among the greats.

Cracked Black Pepper indeed.  In fact, if we didn’t know better, we would have simply thought that we were trying a very good, new version of salt and pepper chips.  These chips provided loads of spicy black pepper heat that lingers for a long time in the backs of our throats.  They also bore a subtle acidic bite, almost like they were splashed with some lime, or citrus, that compliments all of the spices and black pepper very well.

So, we can’t be sure if these chips bore any resemblance to the actual dish of haggis, but we can confirm that they most definitely included black pepper, and some other flavors that complimented that pepper very nicely.  To top it off, they were tasty and we must admit that they did pair rather nicely with a dram of great, peaty, single malt.

Before we go, we wanted to make sure and leave you with what we think is probably the most creative review we found for these crisps.  This video review just happens to be from renowned food writer, Chow.com Supertaster James Norton, who’s opinion we feel very highly of.

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 Mackie’s of Scotland for review

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Chip Review of the day…..

Mackie’s of Scotland – Sea Salt & Vinegar

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips (lip-smacking)

Mackie's of Scotland - Sea Salt & Vinegar

Comments:

We’ve had our eyes on Mackie’s of Scotland’s potato crisps for as long as we can remember, but due to their proximity to our local grocery store shelves (as their name indicates), they are not from around these here parts.  Luckily for us here at Chip Review, a little while back, Mackie’s of Scotland decided out of the kindness of their hearts to bestow upon us a wonderful array of their naturally grown potato crisps.

First and foremost, it must be said that Mackie’s potato crisps are really, really impressive.  Larger sized, medium thickness, skin-on, rustic and hearty potato crisps, that convey a tremendous amount of potato-forward flavor.  Their potato crisp quality ranks them squarely among the greats.  Let’s just say that we are really looking forward to the rest of their lineup.

These crisps do not taste very much like another popular U.K. brand’s tasty take on the classic combination.  Where as, Tyrrell’s – Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar crisps taste like crispy potatoes doused with real cider and malt vinegars, Mackie’s of Scotland makes us think of hand-cut french fries, that have been generously sprinkled with sea salt and a citrus-y acid that sort of reminds us of a vinegar flavor.  Mackie’s take on vinegar, is what we would consider the more common example of what we are used to for salt and vinegar chips.  It may not necessarily be the most natural, or authentic representation of real vinegar, but we are fans none the less.

We can only wish that Mackie’s some day soon decides to take the leap and try their hand at selling their chips (crisps) on our side of the pond.

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 Mackie’s of Scotland for review

Chip Ratings Scale:

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