Thursday, 5 September 2019

Best Reese's Products (2019 Update)

A year and a half ago, I took a trip off the usual content that shows up on this blog and made a list of the best Reese's products. Since that was published, I have come across quite a few new Reese's products which have been making me want to do an update. Now that we're a fair ways out from that initial list, I'd say it's finally time to add in all the new products I've tried in the past year and a half. I'll probably update the list again in future, depending on how many new products I try and how long has passed since the last list.

As before, I'm not exclusively going over official Reese's products, but any exceptions are done at my discretion. I've also once again excluded the original Peanut Butter Cups from the list, because they're just timeless and the default (and therefore would just end up on the lower half of the list for being less interesting).

Anyway, without further ado, let's get started!

29) Reese Mix - These things got a dishonourable mention in the original list because they're way too expensive for what you get so I could never bring myself to buy them. However, my fiance knows I like to try new Reese products and hadn't seen one of these before so she bought it for me. Turns out that these are kind of worse than I expected. I mean, it's just the sum of its parts - peanuts, pretzel, Pieces and Minis, but the pretzel bits are really salty. On the one hand, this just makes you want to eat the Minis more to counter-act the salty taste, but it's a pretty bad look when your snack food is actively making me want to ignore parts of it to get to the bits I like. Plus, the saltiness passes over to everything else in the package anyway. All-in-all, it's not the ideal way of eating any of the ingredients and I'm 100% certain you could make your own Reese Mix that would not only taste better but be cheaper overall. These things are just all-round failures as far as I'm concerned.

28) Puffs - Reese Puffs are the KFC Double Down of the breakfast cereal world: breakfast cereals are already towing a fine line trying to justify themselves as something other than sugary junk food, but Puffs just shit all over that line and head into something that's just disgusting. I mean, the tag line when I was a kid was that they're "Reese, for breakfast!" Yeah, uh, no thanks. I mean, I like Coca-Cola, but I don't want one before noon at the earliest. Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms at least pretended like they weren't sugar in a bowl, but Reese Puffs don't even put up a pretense about what this product is. I had these maybe once as a kid, and even then I was not taken in. Of all the things on this list, if I had to sacrifice one Reese product for the good of humanity, this is the one I'd cast into the fire.


27) Whipps - I swear that I tried one of these things when I was a kid, but I can't remember it at all, it didn't leave any sort of impression on me. I don't recall it being bad, but there's basically nothing else on this list that I wouldn't rather have instead (y'know, aside from Reese Puffs and Miniatures). I'd probably buy one just for the memories if I saw one, but it isn't a particularly interesting choice.


26) Reese Bar - I've had these things a few times, but I've never been particularly impressed. Maybe it's just me, but these things are just too big and push over the limit where you're getting "too much" sweetness. Plus they don't hold together very well. I always find that if you try to break pieces off of the bar it caves in on itself and the peanut butter filling is very soft. They're certainly edible, but I never buy them as anything more than a curiosity.


25) Blizzard - So I usually tend to order a Reese's Blizzard when I go to Diary Queen, but I definitely have my issues with them. For one thing, Dairy Queen Blizzards are just stupidly expensive in general, and just keep getting worse year after year. Furthermore, if I order anything more than a medium, I just feel gross afterwards. I mean, think about what you're actually ordering: you're basically eating 3 or more packs of Peanut Butter cups, in addition to the ice cream itself. I have literally gotten sick from all the sweetness afterwards multiple times... not that that stops me from ordering them again, but the fact that these things literally can make me feel sick makes them harder to recommend than nearly everything on this list, even without the huge expense.


24) Minis - They aren't quite as satisfying as a full-sized Peanut Butter Cup, or once which has been wrapped for that matter, but Reese Minis are a nice little treat. Plus the fact that they come in resealable bags is great, it helps to make them last and not over-indulge in them. There are 2 varieties of Minis available too, regular and white chocolate. The variety is nice, but I tend to lean towards the white chocolate - for one thing, I think that they taste better, and Hershey's rarely sells white chocolate Reese products north of the border so I'll take whatever avenue I can get for that fix.

23) Pieces - These things are iconic, probably the second most popular candy Reese products after the original peanut butter cups, in part thanks to the textbook usage of product placement in E.T. which made everyone want to try them. While I enjoy Reese's Pieces, I have tended to find that they're inconsistent. Sometimes I'll buy a box and they just don't taste all that great. I'm not sure if it's inconsistent recipes or what, but when I was in high school I'd have this happen on a few different occasions, so it was like a flip of the coin on whether I was actually going to enjoy my box of Pieces or not and it completely soured me on them. Don't get me wrong, I'll still have Pieces on occasion, but I don't care for them nearly as much as some other people might.


22) Reese's Crispy Crunchy - I was pretty disappointed by this thing. It's essentially a Crispy Crunch bar, which I do really like, but bigger and with peanut butter and nuts added to the mix. Wow, how can that possibly go wrong? Well... it did somehow, because I would definitely rather have a Crispy Crunch. This bar tastes like a cheap, dollar store knock-off of a Crispy Crunch rather than a product put out by a major chocolate manufacturer and nothing about it really "works" for me. Just unfortunate all around.

21) Reese's Chocolate Lovers Peanut Butter Cup - I'm not entirely sure who this product is for. It's just a peanut butter cup, but with slightly less peanut butter and slightly more, somewhat richer chocolate. It's like they tried to design a peanut butter cup for people who don't like peanut butter cups... but still left a lot of peanut butter in there so it doesn't even accomplish that. Oh, and it only comes with 2 cups, so I really don't see why someone would buy these. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this well enough, but I just don't understand why these exist when they're so similar to a regular peanut butter cup, but with less in a package.

20) Eggs, Hearts & Christmas Bells - I'm going to use this entry to cover a couple seasonal variants which don't really deserve to have their own separate entries, since they're basically just the same product in different packaging each time. The Christmas Bells, Valentines Hearts and Easter Eggs are essentially seasonal versions of Reese's Miniatures - small, individually wrapped peanut butter cups with a shape based on the season they're made for. They're great, and if you find some of these in your stocking or for your Easter egg hunt, you know that whoever bought the chocolates was slaying it this year. Always a welcome gift, although the one thing keeping them a bit lower is that, as seasonal releases, they price gouge you for them.

19) Reese's Peanut Butter Lovers Peanut Butter Cup - The Peanut Butter Lovers cup definitely comes out on top compared to the Chocolate Lovers, but neither of them really do much to stand out, instead just providing a bit more of a niche for a Reese's lover. What makes the Peanut Butter Lovers cup stand out is that the top quarter of the cup has been replaced with peanut butter, which naturally gives the whole cup a more pronounced peanut butter taste, more akin to the taste of a Big Cup, just in a smaller package. It suffers the same sort of issue as the Chocolate Lovers cup where the difference isn't that big of a deal and there are only 2 cups in a package, but I'd have to say that the Peanut Butter Lovers does a little bit more to stand out.

18) Reese's Fast Break - As far as Reese's chocolate bars go, the Fast Break is definitely one of the better ones. The nougat is very soft and subtle, but luckily all the peanut butter is what really makes this thing shine. It's very simple (basically a Snickers, but with the peanuts and caramel swapped out for extra peanut butter), but it works so well. I can definitely see myself buying one of these things again because it was quite good.

17) Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Stuffed with Crunchy Cookie - These things sound amazing, but in practice they're just decent. It's basically just a regular Peanut Butter Cup but with a crunch to it from the cookie bits. They don't really change the taste substantially, but the crunch is very satisfying, much moreso than the older Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups. However, you only get 2 cups in these packs, whereas you get 3 in a Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups pack and I can't really say that it's worth the difference considering that they taste basically identical in the end.

16) Peanut Butter Cups with Crunchy Peanut Butter - I'm not sure if I'm just not remembering these things very well, but the big "crunchy peanut butter" gimmick of this product never actually stood out to me - they basically just tasted like a normal Peanut Butter Cup to me, just maybe a bit less smooth. It's a small difference I guess, but not much to justify having a whole other variation on the market. I think Reese agreed because I haven't seen one of these things in years and imagine they were probably discontinued. It's too bad though, just remembering that these exist makes me hungry for one...

15) Miniatures - On first glance, these might just seem to be the same thing as the aforementioned Minis, but there are a couple notable differences which make them stand out. Miniatures are all individually wrapped and maybe about twice the size of an individual Mini, which might not seem like a huge difference, but for whatever reason, Miniatures just taste better to me. Plus, they come in regular and white chocolate versions, which just helps to vault them over the seasonal chocolates in my opinion.


14) Christmas Trees & Easter Eggs - At first glance, these just appear to be low-effort, cheap holiday cash-ins (hell, that "tree" is more reminiscent of a chocolate turd). However, these things over-deliver in a big way. Plus, unlike most seasonal chocolate, they actually tend to be priced reasonably. The fact that they come in regular and white chocolate varieties is just icing on the cake, I used to buy these things around Christmastime when I was in university. I would not be surprised if I was eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Tree while writing some of the earliest posts on this blog.


13) Swoops - I can remember back when these things came out and was saddened when I heard that they were discontinued. If you never got the chance to try one, imagine a Pringle made entirely of chocolate and with that Reese's peanut butter mixed in. Suffice to say, they were delicious and it was easy to forget just how much chocolate you were consuming as you scarfed them down.


12) Big Cups - Unlike some of the Reese's products I mentioned earlier, while Big Cups certainly tow the fine line between decadence and overindulgence, I feel like they strike the perfect balance. I definitely feel like I'm pushing some limits with a Big Cup, but I never feel like they're too much or like I'm going to be sick or disgusted with myself for having one.

11) King Size Peanut Butter Cups with Crunchy Cookie - I know I just went over the regular-sized Crunchy Cookie cups early, but there's actually some big differences between them and the King Sized version which make it stand out. Most importantly, it comes with 2 Big Cups in a package, which is standard for the King Sized Reese's products, so it doesn't feel held back as a result. So, factor in that satisfying crunchiness, and you have a clear recommendation over a regular Big Cup with no reservations.

10) Reese's Outrageous! Stuffed with Pieces - The naming convention for this chocolate bar is pretty weird. It's basically a Reese's Nutrageous bar... but the nuts have been replaced with Reese's Pieces. I don't know why they didn't just come up with some sort of totally new name, especially since they make sure to specify that the bar is stuffed with Pieces anyway, but whatever, I'm not a big marketing exec now am I? In any case, the Outrageous bar is quite good! It tastes very similar to the peanut butter Oh Henry! bars, minus the nuts of course, and adding in Pieces always makes a Reese's product better by orders of magnitude. My only real complaint is that the standard size version is pretty small for a chocolate bar, but it is certainly a tasty treat.


9) Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Reese's Pieces - I normally don't care for a Hershey's bar, the milk chocolate is quite tasty but it's a rather boring product as far as chocolate options go. This version really surprised me though - the bits of peanut butter taste and the crunch from the Pieces gives it some more flavour than usual and there's even little bits of peanut added in for added texture and taste! All-in-all, it's pretty similar to the M&Ms Bar (which I do really like), but much better!

8) Sticks - It shocks me just how good these damn things are. If you thought peanut butter and chocolate were a match made in heaven, Reese Sticks prove that 3 sticks of wafer definitely make a case for a hot threesome. Just... these things are brilliant. They sell smaller versions in the same sorts of bags as Minis too, and they are so addictive. If you've never tried these, then seriously, freaking do it.


7) Crunchers - These might be the most surprising entry on this list for me. I saw a package of these at a gas station and, similarly to Reese Mix, the price seemed rather steep but I figured I'd try them out. The price is definitely a bit high, but bloody hell are they worth the cost. They're kind of like little, delicious bite-sized clusters and just writing about them is making me want to eat the package of them that I have in a bag nearby. (Post-script: Yeah, within 5 minutes I had that package opened and was scarfing them down greedily.)


6) Breyers Reese Ice Cream - Breyers' Reese ice cream has some big legs up on the Reese Blizzard which propel it so far up the list. For one thing, a container of Breyers ice cream can be purchased for about the price of a Blizzard, particularly when they go on sale for around $4. Secondly, the ice cream is flavoured to actually complement the peanut butter cups in there, which makes it taste better than a Blizzard in general. Thirdly, you control the portioning, so you shouldn't ever feel sick when eating this. Whenever I see this product on sale at the grocery store, I love to pick it up because I know that I'll get to enjoying it on a hot day.

5) Royal Reese's Brownie Blizzard - My God, a Reese's Blizzard is already tasty enough, but this one was just so over the top that it was unbelievable. A peanut butter filling and brownie bits in addition to the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups? Holy crap, this thing is completely amazing. Like most Dairy Queen products, it's insanely expensive, so you're only going to be indulging in this kind of thing on a special occasion, but man... that special occasion is going to be the freaking best.


4) Pieces Eggs - It's getting close to Easter season now, and the most exciting part of that is that the Easter chocolates are going on sale. For most people, that means Cadbury Mini Eggs, but for me that means Pieces Eggs. While Pieces themselves don't set my world on fire, Pieces Eggs are a whole other animal. To put it simply, Pieces Eggs are quite a bit bigger than a regular Pieces, so they're far more satisfying to me. The only real issue is that, like all Easter Egg chocolates, they charge you through the nose for them. Said said, I just paid nearly $20 for a big bag of Pieces Eggs... that pains me, but it's (just barely) worth it and that bag will probably last me for months.


3) Big Cups with Reese's Pieces - Who is the diabolical candy-making genius who thought up this decadent combination? This is just such a brilliant mixture that I have to applaud it, even if it might be enough to break that delicate balance that Big Cups strike and put them on the side of over-indulgence. They're as good as they look, but I definitely feel some shame afterwards for how decadent they are.

2) Miniatures with Reese's Pieces - As I predicted in my original rendition of this list, Miniatures with Reese's Pieces are the perfect version of the "just add Pieces" puzzle. Whereas Big Cups with Pieces just feel like they're too decadent, Miniatures with Pieces are small enough that you can eat a few at a time without feeling like you're going overboard.


1) White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups - Dear God, white chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are absolutely amazing. There's only 2 of these in a package, compared to 3 in a regular package of Peanut Butter Cups. When I was in my early teens, they sold these in Canada, but now they're bloody impossible to find here. Recently, at Ottawa Geek Market, there was some enterprising international candy-seller selling these things for $5 EACH, and I love these so much that I begrudgingly bought 3 of them. Hell, I've considered dropping $60 or more of a whole box of them on Ebay, because they are just that good. The white chocolate Minis aren't nearly the same, and while the white chocolate Trees and Miniatures get close, they're still hard to get ahold of and nothing quite matches just how good a white chocolate Peanut Butter Cup is. It wasn't even a contest for me to place this entry, it was basically just a question of how I was going to fill out the remaining slots beneath this.

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