Elevation Caramel, Almond & Sea Salt Nut Bar (Aldi)

An open package of Elevation Caramel, Almond & Sea Salt Nut Bar, from Aldi
Not really worth the excessive price tag.

Here we have a single bar, which retails at the checkout counter for $1.19. That’s a little steep for an Aldi product, but whatever...it’s like the opposite of impulse buys in the past, because at least it’s semi-healthy for you.

Anyway, this one seems a little more straightforward than the previous one’s curious mix of chocolate and cinnamon (which was refreshingly unique): this one just blends caramel, almonds, and sea salt. Meh, whatever. But still, I felt it was my sworn duty to give it a shot, and so I grabbed it anyway.

The appearance is that of any other “nut bar” these days: a bunch of loosely-connected nuts of various shapes and sizes, all glued together by some unseen force, and then topped off with a layer of caramel-flavored coating on both the top and the bottom. The coating is reminiscent of the kind on the “sweet and salty” bars, although I already know going in there’s no way this is going to be sweet...these bars seem to always be dry and neutral, like they strive to be neither sweet, nor salty. Nor interesting.

The flavor on this one takes its time getting going, with an initial flavor of almost-flavorless nuts remaining the main flavor for a few seconds, until the “caramel flavored coating” on the top and bottom wakes up and finally realizes it’s time to kick in. It serves up a sweeter taste than the nuts, briefly giving everything a deliciously harmonious flavor, but quickly disappears from the scene, leaving you the thankless task of chewing up nothing but dry, flavorless nuts.

According to the ingredients, there’s some honey in there somewhere - if I squint my tastebuds, I might be able to make some of it out - but it doesn’t add enough to make the taste any more enticing...

I was willing to forgive the dark chocolate/cinnamon bar for its higher price because at least it’s something unique. This one, while not really “bad” by any means, is just way too “dime a dozen” to be commanding such a high price tag. At the very least, stick to buying Elevation products in the multi-packs, where they frequently cost $1 or less per bar.

Overall: 5/10. It’s a typical “nut bar”, so YMMV, but I found it to be overall very dry, with only slight pockets of flavor that don’t offset the rather high price tag (these retail for $1.19 in individually-wrapped single bars at the checkout counter). The caramel coating comes in to balance out the initial weak flavor of dry nuts, but then leaves a short while later, leaving you to chew up the dryness on your own, with little flavor or textural stimulation serving as motivation. I was hoping for a little more sweetness, or at least a more unique taste (a la the cinnamon dark chocolate bar), but this one was pretty standard - and pretty disappointing.