REVIEW: Bang Whole Lotta Chocolata

Bang Whole Lotta Chocolata Can

What is Bang Whole Lotta Chocolata?

After cranking out over 30 different flavors of highly caffeinated bubbly drinks, including varieties like Candy Apple Crisp, Sour Heads, and Rainbow Unicorn, Bang has taken on the one flavor I’m pretty sure I never wanted to drink — chocolate. Okay, okay, yes, chocolate milkshakes are great, but a clear-colored, sugar-free carbonated drink with 300 milligrams of caffeine marketed to gym rats? This is a doozy.

How is it?

It is…not good.

I’ve had most Bang flavors and absolutely consider myself a fan of the brand, but this is up there (down there?) with the worst of ‘em. I went into this experience with a lot of optimism, and my first sip wasn’t awful, but the more I drank it, the less I enjoyed what was coming out of the ice cold tall can.

Bang Whole Lotta Chocolata Pour

The most prominent and expected flavor is artificial chocolate, very similar to the classic cheap taste of a Tootsie Roll. After the chocolate comes a bit of creaminess, like a cream soda, and then a bizarre touch of sour on the finish. The libation gets perpetually more confusing and less appetizing as the sips go on. Sadly, there is no redemption arc in store for this villain of a drink.

Bang Whole Lotta Chocolata Glass

Anything else you need to know?

In the aftertaste, especially when assisted by a little burp, I tasted something bitter and hoppy like in an IPA beer. Toss that into the equation with the chocolate, cream, and sour, and this beverage is beyond confusing. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me there was booze in this.

Conclusion:

I’ve had a chocolate Coke at a restaurant when the bartender was doing his best to channel a 1950s soda jerk, and I’d like to think this is what Bang was trying to achieve this release, but sadly, this ain’t it. Whole Lotta Chocolata isn’t un-drinkable or repulsive, but it’s a whole lotta something I never want to buy again.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 16 fl oz can
Purchased at: Lucky
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

SPOTTED (SEASONAL EDITION) – 11/22/2021

Here are some new seasonal products found on store shelves by your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of them, share your thoughts in the comments.

Betty Crocker Bake  Decorate Giant Cookie Kit
Betty Crocker Bake & Decorate= Giant Cookie Kit

(Spotted by Rachel J at Safeway.)

Beckon Crushed Candy Cane Brownie Ice Cream
Beckon Crushed Candy Cane Brownie Ice Cream

(Spotted by Robbie at Whole Foods.)

365 Whole Foods Market Limited Edition Organic White Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Bars
365 Whole Foods Market Limited Edition Organic White Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Bars

(Spotted by Robbie at Whole Foods.)

Candy Pop Peppermint Hot Chocolate and Iced Gingerbread Popcorn
Candy Pop Peppermint Hot Chocolate and Iced Gingerbread Popcorn

(Spotted by Amanda Y at Walmart.)

The Elf on the Shelf Christmas Cheer Brownie Kit
The Elf on the Shelf Christmas Cheer Brownie Kit
The Elf on the Shelf Scout Elf Cupcake Kit
The Elf on the Shelf Scout Elf Cupcake Kit

(Spotted by Amanda Y at Walmart.)

Huy Fong Foods Sriracha Colletible Tin
Huy Fong Foods Sriracha Collectible Tin

(Spotted by Robbie at Walmart.)

Wondershop at Target White Chocolate and Caramel Now Pal Hot Chocolate Bomb
Wondershop at Target White Chocolate and Caramel Now Pal Hot Chocolate Bomb
Wondershop at Target Marshmallow Kabob with Candy Sprinkles
Wondershop at Target Marshmallow Kabob with Candy Sprinkles
Wondershop at Target Gingerbread House Decorations
Wondershop at Target Gingerbread House Decorations
Wondershop at Target Glitter Chateau Sugar Cookie Kit
Wondershop at Target Glitter Chateau Sugar Cookie Kit
Wondershop at Target Beach House Sugar Cookie Kit
Wondershop at Target Beach House Sugar Cookie Kit
Wondershop at Target Gingerbread To Go
Wondershop at Target Gingerbread To Go
Wondershop at Target Make Your Own Hot Drink Bomb Kit
Wondershop at Target Make Your Own Hot Drink Bomb Kit

(Spotted by Amanda Y at Target.)

Santa s Sweet Shop Hot Chocolate Bomb Making Kit
Santa’s Sweet Shop Hot Chocolate Bomb Making Kit

(Spotted by Robbie at H-E-B.)

Siderno Bakery Pumpkin Crumb Cakes
Siderno Bakery Pumpkin Crumb Cakes

(Spotted by Amanda Y at Kroger.)

Budweiser Limited Edition 2021 Holiday Cans
Budweiser Limited Edition 2021 Holiday Cans

(Spotted by Robbie at Walmart.)

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte

Dunkin Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte Iced and Hot

My relationship with coffee can best be described as a fairweather friend; when things are light and sweet, I’m the biggest fan, but the second it gets dark and bitter, I’m out of there.

For fellow lovers of milky, sugary, frilly coffees, I’m glad to report that Dunkin’s new Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte is a dream come true. This review was the first time I’ve had both hot and iced variants of a latte simultaneously, and I was pleasantly surprised that their tastes were as distinct as their temperatures.

Dunkin Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte Iced

To celebrate an unseasonably warm day in late fall, I started with the iced version. On a sweetness scale from “plain cold brew” to “milkshake,” it fell solidly at “Frappuccino” level (that is to say, pretty dang sweet). Alongside the pure richness and creaminess of the white chocolate flavor, which was matched by the pure richness and creaminess of the thick, dense whipped cream on top, the “toasted” aspect of the name shined, accentuated by the cinnamon sugar dusting. The drink’s topping also contained a caramel drizzle, but as syrups tend to do, it quickly melted into the whipped cream in an indistinguishable blob, so it didn’t impact the flavor much for me.

As a white chocolate aficionado, I often lament its relegation to seasonal status, but I’ve got to say that this blissful combination of sweet and smokey was as perfect a winter treat as lounging by the fireplace on a snowy day. Bonus points for living up to the image on the poster about as faithfully as possible under the confines of the whipped-cream-smushing lid.

Dunkin Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte Poster

Dunkin Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte Hot

Interestingly, my hot latte was reminiscent of a different iconic winter flavor: gingerbread. After consulting the label to make sure I hadn’t picked up the wrong order, I started to suspect this had to do with the coffee-to-mouth pipeline. Sipping the iced latte from a straw allowed me to skip the whip and get right to the heart of the drink, but since I was swigging the hot latte directly from the opening in the lid, the whipped cream and its accoutrements were the first things that rose to meet me. The heated combination of whipped cream richness, white chocolate toastiness, and the light bite of cinnamon all at once gave the hot version its zesty, cookie-esque character (I found the caramel didn’t make much of a mark in this version, either). Once I slurped past the wintry mix on top, I was met with a beverage as sweet, full-bodied, and comforting as a cup of cocoa.

I couldn’t detect even the faintest hint of acrid coffee taste in either version, which suited me just fine. Ultimately, I might recommend the hot latte over the iced just because it isn’t subject to the same “melting ice diluting the flavor” issue that can plague a cold drink that isn’t chugged quickly enough. But honestly, as long as you don’t mind a serious sugar rush, either variant is so delicious that you just might want to drink it as quickly as possible regardless.

Purchased Price: $4.56
Size: Small
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 11 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium (hot) or 135 milligrams of sodium (iced), 42 grams of total carbohydrates, 38 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein.

SPOTTED – 11/19/2021

Here are some interesting new products found on store shelves by your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of the products, share your thoughts about them in the comments.

Kings Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Pretzel Hamburger Buns
King’s Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Pretzel Hamburger Buns

(Spotted by Sarah R at Safeway.)

Alfaro s Artesano Sweet Steakhouse Rolls
Alfaro’s Artesano Sweet Steakhouse Rolls

(Spotted by Sarah R at Safeway.)

365 Whole Foods Market Rustic Bread Mix
365 Whole Foods Market Rustic Bread Mix

(Spotted by Sarah R at Whole Foods.)

Justin s Super Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter CupsJustin’s Super Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups[/caption]

(Spotted by Sarah R at Whole Foods.)

Sargento Creamery Mild Cheddar Chunnk
Sargento Creamery Mild Cheddar Chunk
Sargento Natural Cheese Extra Sharp Cheddar Chunk
Sargento Natural Cheese Extra Sharp Cheddar Chunk
Sargento Natural Cheese Sharp Cheddar Jack Chunk
Sargento Natural Cheese Sharp Cheddar Jack Chunk
Sargento Natural Cheese Fiesta Pepper Jack Chunk
Sargento Natural Cheese Fiesta Pepper Jack Chunk

(Spotted by Rachel J at Safeway.)

Bitsy s Swish Cotton Candy and Pink Lemonade Drink Mixes
Bitsy’s Swish Cotton Candy and Pink Lemonade Drink Mixes
Bitsy s Swish Blue Raspberry and Fruit Punch Drink Mixes
Bitsy’s Swish Blue Raspberry and Fruit Punch Drink Mixes

(Spotted by Robbie at Walmart.)

H E B Cracker Cuts Limited Edition Carolina Reaper Pepper Natural Cheese
H-E-B Cracker Cuts Limited Edition Carolina Reaper Pepper Natural Cheese
H E B Limited Edition Carolina Reaper Pepper Natural Cheese
H-E-B Limited Edition Carolina Reaper Pepper Natural Cheese

(Spotted by Robbie at H-E-B.)

Creme Savers Orange  Creme Hard Candy
Creme Savers Orange & Creme Hard Candy

In case you missed it, we reviewed it a few days ago. (Spotted by Robbie at Big Lots.)

REVIEW: Papa John’s Triple Bacon Pizza

Papa John s Triple Bacon Pizza Whole

What’s meatier than a Shaq-a-Roni, more novel than a Papadia, and able to clog three times as many arteries in a single bound? Papa John’s new Triple Bacon Pizza! Its claim to fame is containing three types of bacon: crumbles, julienne-cut pieces of Canadian bacon, and good old-fashioned strips.

At first glance, the strips were the most noticeable part of my pie. The chunky juliennes stood out as well, but were more prone to being submerged under cheese (this often made for a nice mid-bite surprise). The crumbles were the shrinking violets of the trio, with their smaller size, denser texture, and deeper color, making them surprisingly hard to tell apart from the dark dots of cheese. The lattice of varying shapes, textures, and shades of red made the pie look almost like a piece of avant-garde art—so like any good art connoisseur would, I immediately ripped it apart with my teeth.

The strips were, well, typical bacon strips, though I particularly enjoyed the variations in texture, with some bites lean and burnt and others fatty and chewy. On the other hand, the juliennes were consistently thick and tender, and since they were Canadian bacon, they had a slightly sweeter, meatier taste. I’m finding it harder to sum up the crumbles, whose standout feature seemed to be that they were just the strips, only torn into pieces. Papa John’s website specifically describes the crumbles as “smokey,” but for me the bulk of the smokey flavor came from the sheer surface area covered by the strips. While the strips were large enough that each one tended to have representation of both crispness and meatiness (even if they weren’t evenly distributed), each crumble typically only captured one of those flavors, which meant they didn’t contribute distinctly to the overall taste.

Papa John s Triple Bacon Pizza Slice

While I deeply appreciated the audacity of laying down full bacon strips across the entire pie, the flavorful juliennes with their perfectly pluckable shape were my favorite of the three types. Hearty enough to stand alongside the slice instead of just blending in, they had a similar appeal to the classic meatball or sausage pizza toppings, while the thin strips meshed with the cheese and sauce as smoothly as pepperoni. I’m not sure exactly what the advantage of the crumbles was. They felt like they were just tacked on as a cheap way to get a third selling point for this new menu item, and I suspect the two star students would shine better without them.

Papa John s Triple Bacon Pizza Bpx

All in all, the savory saltiness of these three breeds of bacon was a great, if not exactly world-shattering, pairing for Papa John’s dense cheese and sweet sauce. It made me wonder how this classic breakfast topping would hold up on a slice eaten cold the next morning, but my household demolished our box too quickly to tell. Fortunately, this meaty marvel is good enough that I don’t mind having an excuse to get it again some time and find out.

Purchased Price: $13 (that’s for the basic Triple Bacon pie, though I splurged an additional $3 to add stuffed crust)
Size: Large
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Information not available on website.