White chocolate peppermint bark is something that I’ve always associated with the holiday season, but white hazelnut bark I’d never heard of before — and want to try as soon as possible, now that I’ve been made aware of its existence. Until I’m able to track some down, though, I figure the next best thing is to sample it in beverage form via Dunkin’s new White Hazelnut Bark Coffee, part of its hotly anticipated new winter 2024 menu. (Or, because of the season, should I say coldly anticipated? … Okay, fine, that was an awful pun. Please don’t pelt me with snowballs.)
According to Dunkin’s latest press release, this new flavor is inspired by an earlier (and still available) seasonal offering, the Toasted White Chocolate Swirl. I dug a little deeper, searching up Dunkin’s lengthy Allergen and Ingredient Table online, and noted that in addition to that swirl, this coffee also includes cream and “hazelnut flavor.” It is available both hot and iced; I generally enjoy, and surely will eventually try, both, but opted for iced for this review as I think that format is more conducive to clear, distinct flavors, as opposed to hot beverages where they are more likely to muddle together or be overshadowed by the tongue-tingling temperature.
I expected this to be a more white-chocolate-forward drink with hints of hazelnut, but I had the opposite experience: the first flavor that came through was distinctly nutty. Don’t get me wrong, this coffee is certainly sweet and creamy too, but so are sugar and cream, so I wasn’t sure which part of that profile screamed “white chocolate” specifically. And while I absolutely love white chocolate, even I must admit that it’s not the most distinctive beverage flavor, so it makes sense that the hazelnut component would be more dominant.
A common complaint about these dessert-based limited edition flavors is that they are too sweet. Did I find that to be the case here? No… but I was also content with the sugar level of the Ice Spice Munchkin Drink (which was, in a word, ludicrous), so maybe take my opinion with a grain of salt… or a grain of sugar… or several tablespoons of sugar…
In any case, I enjoyed the White Hazelnut Bark Coffee. I just can’t say it was the most unique experience. Regrettably, I also can’t say I prefer it to its predecessor, the Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte. I have to reiterate that it was a yummy pick-me-up that tasted exactly how it was supposed to. But it was just a little underwhelming — and I can’t in good conscience give a higher score to a product whose most memorable quality was teaching me about a different product I’d rather consume.
Speaking of, now that I’m sufficiently caffeinated, it’s time to hunt down some proper white hazelnut bark!
Purchased Price: $3.91
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 170 calories, 6 grams of fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 25 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.