Color My Tongue

Sour Snack Roundup VI

We’re back with yet another round of sour snackage. This selection comes to us from Michael’s, the art supply store I went to because I really needed a giant ass poster frame and, in the process, I saw a really sad selection of snacks up by the registers that clearly no one else in the store was going to buy. But I did because there were some sour options and I am a sucker for buying stupid shit I can review on this site.

Now, I want to note that while we have three choice items here (choice being a selective term that, in this case, means “I had a choice of four and I went with three”), one other item (that illicit fourth one) did not make the cut. It was for little Warheads stuffed licorice pieces, not unlike the Twizzlers with flavor cores or whatever name they’re going by now, just in Warheads form. I was sorely tempted by these, but the baggie felt very hard and not at all soft and gooey like the candy advertised. It had clearly been sitting on the shelf for way too long and while I will eat a lot of dumb stuff for these articles, hard as rock chews are a bridge too far.

But with that out of the way, let’s look at today’s offerings:

Toxic Waste Sour Smog Balls

Before we get to the two Warhead options I did pick up we’ll start with something from the off-brand Warheads competitor, Toxic Waste. I say “off-brand”, but frankly I’ve found Toxic Waste’s candies to be more flavorful, and far more sour, than just about anything Warheads has put out. The brand brings the sour, full blast, and I have found that I am far more inclined to eat their sour candies than whatever Warheads has on offer. These smog balls are no different.

The smog balls are chewy candy balls with a hard candy exterior. They’re like a Skittle, in a way, just more round and maybe a little more waxy. Yes, waxy. That is one off-putting thing about these candies: their exterior coating has a slightly waxy consistency. It was just notable enough that I found I only wanted to eat a few of them at a time, preventing me from devouring the whole box at once. That may be an upside for some, but I do rather enjoy suddenly discovering I ate an entire box of candy without meaning to.

The candies come in six flavors – Lime, Cherry, Strawberry, Lemon, Blue Raspberry and Grape – and each are brightly colored and easy to distinguish. Not so easy to distinguish are the flavors which all taste pretty generic. Lemon and lime are basic, sharp citrus, while all the other flavors taste like vague berries. If you’re someone that really likes to savor each and every fruit flavor in a box of candy, this won’t really suit your fancy. I’m not saying they all taste the same just… very nearly.

What works about the candy, though, is their sour flavor. These guys are very sour to their core, quite literally. They have soft, chewy centers and those really pack in the sour flavor. I’m someone that (as should be obvious at this point) eats a lot of sour candy and, so, I’m generally not hit hard by sour flavor. These, though, can make me pucker. It’s a sour hit that is strong enough I could actually see some people being put off by them. It’s really sharp. But that’s what I liked about them; the sour on them feels equivalent to that first taste or a really strong Warhead or Toxic Waste hard candy, where all the coating is on the outside and when it hits your tongue it causes intense sour pain. I love that. These bring that punch and it’s why I ate more than a handful. I finished the box, eventually, and I really liked the sour taste. It was so good.

These aren’t a go-to for me primarily because of that waxy coating. But if Toxic Waste improved the coating I think these could be real winners. They’re close, and for a real sour waste chaser, they might just be good enough as is.

Warheads Super Sour Spray Candy

It’s been a long time since I saw this candy floating around, let alone bought any of it. When I was much younger I’d get this stuff and feel silly eating it even as I sprayed it in my mouth over and over. It’s just such a weird concept that it’s almost off-putting… except it also tastes really good and I can’t stop spraying it in my mouth when I have it sitting next to me. Again, uncontrolled consumption is worth some big points when we’re talking about junk food.

The sour spray is a spray candy that, well, you spray. In your mouth. Like it was some kind of breath mint spray, except in this case it’s not breath mints, it’s sour flavor. The spray comes in three varieties – watermelon, blue raspberry, and sour apple – and from my limited taste test here of the blue raspberry (and what I remember of the candy from back in the day) I can attest these are the same Warheads flavors you’re used to getting in all their candy. If you’re a fan of Warheads flavors, these will be spot on for you… for the most part.

There are a couple of caveats. First, the spray into your mouth has an odd after-taste, like the foaming from the spray leaves a bit lingering. It’s not bad, per se, but it does alter the flavor of the spray on the back end just a bit. It also gave me a bit of a phlegmy feeling after I’d sprayed it a few times in my mouth. I attribute this to the spray going deeper into the mouth from the outset than will happen with other kinds of candy and that leaves my throat feeling a tad weird. It’s a vibe you have to get used to, for sure, if you want to enjoy this candy.

But you just might want to enjoy it because it is legitimately sour. I don’t think it’s quite as strong a punch as the pure sour coating you’ll get on the hard candies, but it’s still well past “tangy” and into “sour” all the same. It’s good, and I like it… I just don’t think I’ll get this spray very often. It’s weird, and funky, and while it tastes good it has such a strange vibe to it that I would only get this every once in a while. But your mileage with the candy may vary.

Warheads Sour Taffy 2 in 1

The last item for this collection is Warheads Sour Taffy. Not that it’s not branded “Super Sour”, and that seems to be the indication Warheads uses to say which candies are tart (“sour”) and which are legitimate, pucker-your-mouth sour (“super sour”). This sour taffy tart, at least by my standards, so anyone hoping for a bar of pure, chewy sour, end-to-end, will not find that here. With that said, this is a pretty decent candy that’s worth grabbing a slowly eating through for a day or two (or more).

Warheads Taffy seems to come in two varieties: standard single-flavor bars and these 2 in 1 bars. Both have the same flavors in the mix, like you see with most Warheads candies (as per the above items, too, i.e., watermelon, blue raspberry, and sour apple). The 2 in 1 bars simply take two flavors (in this case, for the bar I tried, watermelon and blue raspberry) and mashes them together along a vertical line, one half one flavor and one half the other, right down the middle of the long bar. Thus, if there are two flavors you really like, in theory you come out ahead with the 2 in 1 bars.

In practice, the flavors kind of get muddled together. Each side does taste vaguely like their standard warhead flavors. The taffy, which has the consistency of an Airhead (another taffy bar), adds its own, basic flavor to the piece, softening the bold flavors from Warheads. The bar I ate tasted vaguely like berries, but I wouldn’t say it reminded me of watermelon or blue raspberry. Just fruity, sweet, and tart. I did like the flavor for what it was, but I wouldn’t say it particularly stood out as Warhead flavor by any stretch. And that includes the sour which (as this isn’t a Super Sour bar) was tart but in a mild way. Good, but not bold like you expect from Warheads.

This bar is one of the many items Warheads has out that uses their brand to say “oi, we’re gonna be sour in here,” and then isn’t. Flavor is good, texture is good, and the candy is pretty darn edible. But when you have a brand like Warheads, known for their extra sour candy, anything that isn’t sour feels like it betrays the idea of the candy. People that like sour won’t get as much out of something like this taffy, while people that don’t like very sour items won’t touch this at all because of the Warheads name. So who is this for except people, like me, willing to eat just about anything for a review? Again, the candy is good, but it’s not something I’m going to go out of my way to get again. It’s not sour enough for me, and I doubt it will be for most fans of warheads.