Trader Joe’s Taste Test of Caramels is back on shelves! Please find our original review, originally published on November 11th, 2015 below, republished with some new images because I just had to buy this thing again.

Oooph! This review is going to set me back…

Tonight I’m going to review 12 different caramels, thanks to this conveniently-packaged Trader Joe’s Taste Test of Caramels kit.

Trader Joe's Taste Test of Caramels

Trader Joe’s Taste Test of Caramels

The box for Trader Joe’s Taste Test of Caramels kit reads:

We’ve assembled dark chocolate covered caramels and paired them with some of the finest unique ingredients. The question is… which is which? We’ve provided the answers inside, but we challenge you to test your taste buds!”

Ok, I’m an absolute sucker for surprises, solving mysteries, and eating chocolate. The box encourages turning this into a social event by cutting the caramels into quarters, inserting toothpicks, having participants sample and write down observations, and then revealing the caramels’ identities to award a winner.

Trader Joe's Taste Test of Caramels

What the box doesn’t advise is for one man to eat 12 caramels by himself and blog about it to a light audience, none of whom are concerned at all for his health.

I’m going to try each caramel in order, record my guess, and then see how I did. The only problem is the front of the box gives the pool of possible flavors, and I already glanced at it. That’s way too easy; I rather have no idea at all.

And so I began to polish off a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey in order to forget everything.

Tonight I get #drunk and play Name That #Caramel.

With the honey whiskey serving as a successful primer for the 92g of sugar I’m about to inhale, I’m ready to tackle Trader Joe’s Taste Test of Caramels. Keep in mind I only get one quick shot at picking apart these flavors because you’re only provided one of each caramel. Also keep in mind that I am feeling prettttty buzzed already.

These reviews will be quick, dirty, and drunk.

Trader Joe's Taste Test of Caramels

Trader Joe’s Taste Test of Caramels

Caramel #1: My first caramel has a light brown ribbon on top of the dark chocolate coating. This caramel tastes like… well, it tastes like caramel. A damn fine one. I forgot how good Trader Joe’s caramels were. I’m not picking up on anything unique. I am quickly getting drunk, though. Maybe it’s a fun trick where one of the caramels is actually caramel-flavored.

My Guess: Caramel
Answer: Vanilla (Bullshit)
Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Caramel #2: The second caramel has a ribbon the same color as the dark chocolate coating. This baby tastes like straight coffee. Piece of cake. The flavors pair well together to taste like a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino.

My Guess: Coffee
Answer: Double Espresso (Close enough)
Rating: 8 out of 10

Caramel #3: The third caramel has some brown stripes on top. Whatever. There’s something citrusy underneath the dark cocoa. Kinda leaning towards orange on this one; it’s faint like orange zest. My least favorite so far, but it works.

My Guess: Orange
Answer: Stem Ginger (Wrong)
Rating: 7 out of 10

Trader Joe's Taste Test of Caramels

Caramel #4: This caramel clearly has coconut on top. They’re not even trying – definitely coconut. It tastes like an Almond Joy, only richer. Doesn’t matter how drunk I am to nail this one. Feeling pretty confident going forward.

My Guess: Coconut
Answer: Coconut (Nailed it)
Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Caramel #5: By the way, I should probably add that I’ve been taking gigantic sips of whiskey in between each caramel to “refresh my palate.” Caramel #5 has a ton of salt crystals on top – a bit too much for my liking. I didn’t get anything specific other than copious amounts of salt. Drunk Female would love this shit.

My Guess: Too Much Salt
Answer: Himalayan Salted (Yup)
Rating: 6 out of 10

Caramel #6The halfway point. This caramel has a fine white ribbon on top and my stomach is starting to hurt. Better drink more whiskey to take the edge off. DAYUM, this caramel is butterscotchy! Butterscotch with an extra burst of salt that I appreciate more than in the last caramel. This is my new favorite, but I am also drunker and food always tastes better when you’re drunk. Definitely butterscotch, though. No question.

My Guess: Butterscotch
Answer: Maple (Dammit!)
Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Trader Joe's Taste Test of Caramels


Caramel #7
: I’m sitting at 50% correct and need to improve in the second half, I’m better than this. Caramel #7 has a brown drizzle on top. This is the funkiest one so far. It’s a berry flavor; I just have no idea which one, or which state I live in. God I love Jack Daniel’s. There’s something else I can’t put my finger on, but I like it. It’s kind of earthy? I’m just going to guess blackberry.

My Guess: Funky Blackberry
Answer: Strawberry Black Pepper (WTF)
Rating: 7 out of 10

Caramel #8: The eight caramel has a single brown line on top. Even I could have made this one prettier, and I’m hammered. It tasted like cinnamon at first, because I just switched over to Jack Daniel’s Cinnamon Whiskey, because I finished the Tennessee Honey. I took a second bite and it just tasted like caramel. Whatever flavor it is, it isn’t very strong. Maybe it actually is cinnamon, or cinnamon whiskey!

My Guess: Jack Daniel’s Cinnamon Whiskey
Answer: Butterscotch (HOW)
Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Caramel #9: I vowed to improve in the second half and haven’t been right since. Is Taco Bell still open? Caramel #9 has a BEAUTIFUL chocolate drizzle star on its surface. 10 out of 10 artwork. It tastes like a chocolate caramel, only sweeter. Not overly-sweetened, just something a little extra that I like. What’s sweeter than caramel? Maple was already used, so I’m just going to take a shot in the dark (of whiskey). Let’s go with honey.

My Guess: Honey
Answer: Fig & Honey (THAT COUNTS)
Rating: 7 out of 10

Trader Joe's Taste Test of Caramels

Caramel #10: That was a helluva guess, huh? Ok, I’m going undefeated the rest of the way. Caramel #10 has a bunch of crap on top. Hard to tell what it is because I’m going cross-eyed. Hard to tell what it tastes like too, because I’m about to black out. So much for going undefeated the rest of the way. This caramel blows.

My Guess: No clue
Answer: Blood Orange Balsamic (LOL)
Rating: 5 out of 10

Caramel #11: This is the longest review I’ve ever written. If you made it this far, a shot of Jack Daniel’s on me! Caramel #11 has an amorphous blob on top. It’s hideous, so I feel like it understands me. It has a peppery kick. It’s not habanero hot, but more like a chile pepper.

My Guess: Chile Pepper
Answer: Hot Chili (BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE)
Rating: 7 out of 10

Caramel #12: Thank God, the final caramel. I can’t take any more sugar. But if I guess this one correctly, I’ll be at .500. Hey, that would make me the greatest hitter of all-time if this were baseball. Drumroll, please…

F*CK, I have no idea what this is. It’s tart and I don’t like it. I don’t have a well-informed guess. Actually wait, yes I do.

My Guess: Butt
Answer: Toffee Apple (Pretty sure it was butt)
Rating: 5.5 out of 10

WELP there you have it. I went 5-for-12, got drunk, and had a great time by myself with Trader Joe’s Taste Test of Caramels. Though I only guessed 42% correctly, there were no other participants, so I WON! And this entire experience reminded me how good Trader Joe’s caramels are, and how good whiskey is.

If you have actual friends, a Taste Test of Caramels party would make for one helluva night.

How Many Better Things I Could Have Done Tonight Rating: 4 out of 10
How Much Better Whiskey Makes Everything Rating: 9 out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 out of 10


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4 Responses

  1. Gretchen Schnautz says:

    Literally laughed out loud from start to finish of this review. Favorite one yet. Keep em’ coming!

  2. Junk Male says:

    Thanks Gretchen! Would you like me to get drunk before every review?

    • Gretchen Schnautz says:

      Please… my fitness pal doesn’t have an alcohol as a macro so technically it fits, right?

      • Junk Male says:

        Hahaha, I never thought about it like that! When my barcode scanner on my macro tracking app doesn’t recognize the product (like these caramels), I just assume 0P,0C,0F,0cal.