REVIEW: Lay’s Smoked Gouda & Chive (Flavor Swap)

Tonight, we’ll explore the Cheese Category in the Lay’s Flavor Swap Contest. This battle is subtitled “David vs. Goliath.” Let’s meet David, aka Lay’s Smoked Gouda & Chive.

Lay's Smoked Gouda & Chive

Lay’s Smoked Gouda & Chive

Nice knowing you, David, because Goliath is Lay’s Cheddar & Sour Cream. Everybody loves Lay’s Cheddar & Sour Cream. Everybody. I can’t fathom a world in which people will let Cheddar & Sour Cream disappear forever – no matter how good these Lay’s Smoked Gouda & Chive might be. I completely understand it, too. Even if I were to enjoy these more, the potato chip aisle would be more depressing and shameful than it already is without the familiar orange-clad Lay’s Cheddar & Sour Cream. But let’s find out if Lay’s Smoked Gouda & Chive is worthy of your money while it exists for the next few months.

Lay's Smoked Gouda & Chive

Not sure exactly which cheese is gouda? According to this article on gouda cheese, gouda is “mild in flavor, but yes, it does have flavor.” So there you have it… gouda.  My knowledge on gouda is this – it ages well despite the fact that it’s a habitual smoker. Many gourmet recipes call for a smoked gouda, which instantly transforms any cheesy dish into a pretentious one that you can bring to a dinner party. If your Mac & Cheese game can be best described as “Velveeta,” try using gouda and I promise your friends will be begging for the recipe. (It’s Easy Mac + gouda.)

Lay's Smoked Gouda & Chive

Lay’s Smoked Gouda & Chive is made with a seasoning that includes buttermilk, salt, onion powder, natural smoke flavor, garlic powder, sugar, skim milk, cheddar cheese, gouda cheese, chives, and paprika. A lot going on, but give credit to Lay’s for not half-assing it. Noshing on a few, a light smokiness leads a creamy mouthfeel with flavors of fresh herbs and garlic. This is a pretty darn good chip. The seasoning lends itself well to a potato chip vehicle because the combination of the two cheeses (both gouda and cheddar), the creamy component from the buttermilk, and the chives reminds me of a loaded mashed potato side dish from a fancy restaurant. It’s super snackable, but also super sophisticated.

Here’s the thing, though. Lay’s Smoked Gouda & Chive doesn’t feel all that novel. Save for that light smokiness, this mostly feels like a combination of Goliath (Lay’s Cheddar & Sour Cream) and Lay’s popular Sour Cream & Onion. If you blindfolded me and fed me these chips (a popular fantasy of mine), I would go back and forth guessing if these were Cheddar & Sour Cream or Sour Cream & Onion. The more I ate them, the more I forgot about the smoked gouda twist. Of course there’s nothing wrong with this, but there would be no reason to eliminate Cheddar & Sour Cream in favor of Lay’s Smoked Gouda & Chive. Not that it matters – we weren’t going to anyway. Goodbye David. You were quite delicious before you were murdered.

Chance of David Winning Rating: 0 out of 10
But It Was a Gouda Tempt Rating: 7 out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10

Read all of our 2016 Lay’s Flavor Swap reviews:
Lay’s Korean Barbecue
Lay’s Olive Oil & Herbs
Lay’s Fiery Roasted Habanero

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4 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    This was a good flavor. Both the cheddar ones and gouda ones are good. I wouldn’t care if the cheddar and sour cream ones went away, there is still the Ruffles version if that happens. Tasted like cheese, chive/onion, and smoke flavor. Almost a bacony taste. Didnt taste any sour cream notes.

    • Junk Male says:

      That’s a valid point – there are other Cheddar and Sour Cream alternatives. But for me, the iconic Cheddar Sour Cream is the Lay’s version. Cheddar Sour Cream isn’t even my favorite chip by the company, but the family feels more complete with it. That said, I would get over it pretty quickly because I really like the Smoked Gouda & Chive.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Compared both and the cheddar ones had more flavor. If you like the cheddar ones get enough of them before they go.

  3. Sheila Blair says:

    I like the Gouda ones better than the cheddar and sour cream to me they have a better taste

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