BAR BATTLE: Grenade Carb Killa Chocolate Cream vs. Chocolate Crunch

After the insanely impressive success of the White Chocolate Cookie bar and the relative letdown of Caramel Chaos, it seemed only fitting to pit Grenade’s two U.S. available chocolate flavored bars – cream and crunch – in a completely irrelevant and awesome bar battle to the death.  In reality this is just two reviews crammed into one, but all that sounds pretty fun doesn’t it?

First up – Chocolate Cream.

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This bar has a chocolate cream center with a layer of caramel coated in milk chocolate, all revolving around a whey protein base.  Unfortunately, this bar was neither creamy or particularly chocolatey and resulted in immediate disappointment.

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The inside looked gorgeous, with a fluffy protein core topped by thin whispy caramel and was very similar to the Caramel Chaos without the elements that made that bar redeemable – the caramel flavor and crisp crunch.  The promised flavor fell completely flat and left me searching for more bite after bite.

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This bar is fine, as in passable, but it isn’t adding anything new to the protein bar game, which a truly creamy chocolate bar would.  When I hear chocolate cream I think of truffles or the center of a Cadbury egg, or at the very least a rich deep cocoa flavor, and none of those were present in this bar.  What’s good about this bar is the same thing that makes white cookie so great without any notable strong flavors or inventiveness.  Ultimately it’s perfectly edible and has solid macros but isn’t replacing any of the other established chocolate protein bars (Combat Crunch, Quest) that have been doing it for years.

Rating: 6/10

And the challenger – Chocolate Crunch.

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This bar comes in a golden wrapper – does that mean it’s actually the reigning champ and not the challenger?  Is this foreshadowing?  Yes.  This bar is solid.

The name “Chocolate Crunch” is a bit misleading because a prominent flavor in this bar is peanuts.  Listed in the description, peanuts, in both their taste and texture, play a bigger role in making this bar successful than the chocolate, which is present but greatly amplified by the nuts.  The half real, half artificial (you know the taste) flavor of peanuts is the first and last thing you taste, rounded out very nicely by the coating of chocolate.
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Speaking of successful, the caramel here is very different than the other three bars – it’s thick and solid with a chewy texture that is new and awesome.

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This bar, much like its white chocolate all star, is channeling a liquor store classic – SNICKERS.  The peanuty protein base becomes distinctly like the texture of nougat and the nuts and caramel work together to complete the package.  This isn’t as dead-on of a copy as the white cookie but it took me by pleasant surprise that this bar tasted nothing like I expected.  I didn’t anticipate the bar to taste bad I just had no idea it would take me back to the candy aisle and eager to reach for another.

Rating: 8/10

Chocolate Crunch absolutely destroys Chocolate Cream and will earn its slot in any Snickers-loving protein bar munchers’ rotation with ease.  A great nutritional profile with flavor to back it up, the gold wrapper is a fitting home for a bar that channels one of the greatest candies of all time.

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OOEY GOOEY CHAMPION!

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REVIEW: Grenade Carb Killa White Chocolate Cookie

Grenade is a United Kingdom based protein supplement company founded in 2010, apparently dominating everyone’s post-workout fix world wide except me.  As someone who does most of his whey protein intake through bars I’m always looking for new flavors and textures to entice my palate.  When the Carb Killa bars popped up at my local GNC the packaging was interesting and I grabbed two of the available flavors.  The first one I tried, Caramel Chaos, had really great texture but was generally lacking in any notable flavors, despite the fact that it was the only protein bar I’ve had to actually have caramel.  The second bar – White Chocolate Cookie – changed everything.

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Carb Killa’s are triple-layered bars combining a whey protein base with gooey caramel and crunchy bits, then dipped in either a white or milk chocolate.  The White Chocolate Cookie bar has a milky white caramel beneath pieces of chocolate cookies and looks almost identical to the Hershey’s Cookies and Cream candy bar.  It is without a doubt one of the most uniquely flavored and well executed protein bars I have ever had.

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The three textures interact with each other to create a seamless snacking experience, leaving almost nothing to be desired.  White chocolate is the first ingredient, and the flavor is strong and pronounced with the use of cocoa butter and whole milk powder.  Many of the issues that plague protein bars – grainy bases, overly sweet fake sugars, or too much fake fiber, are all nonexistent here.  The bar is just sweet enough to emulate the candy bar it looks up to without becoming over the top or artificial.

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This might be one of the rare cases where a protein supplement trying to mimic an established junk food product actually surpasses the real thing.  The addition of the caramel offers a more complex mouth feel than the Hershey’s bar and with 22 grams of protein and only 2 grams of sugar I can’t imagine myself ever choosing the candy over the killa.

In the United States Carb Killa bars are available in four flavors – Caramel Chaos, Chocolate Cream, Chocolate Crunch, and the sensational White Chocolate Cookie.  I plan on trying the two chocolate flavors as soon as possible, and being on the lookout for some of the more obscure UK-available flavors like Banana Armour and White Chocolate Mocha to make a Stateside appearance soon.

Rating: 9.5/10

Quick Nutrition: Calories: 220 – Fat Cal: 70 – Fat: 8g – Sat Fat: 4g – Sodium: 150mg – Total Carb: 21g – Fiber: 6g – Sugars: 2g – Sugar Alcohol: 13g – Protein: 22g