Doritos is, by my estimation, the leader in innovative chip flavors, styles and gimmicks – and I use the word “gimmick” as a compliment here. I love snack gimmicks. New and “limited-edition” chip offerings take something I already love and make it exciting and a little risky, but with the comfort of knowing that a proven taste and brand are at the heart of it. Sure, Frito Lay has “Do Us a Flavor.” But Doritos is constantly spreading its cheese dusted wings with new ideas – many of which we have reviewed here – Doritos Roulette, Mystery Flavors, Dinomita Mojo Criolla, Doritos Loaded, Retro packaging, and of course their Taco Bell Doritos Locos taco shells.
So when I see a new Doritos offering, I am prone to give it a try – including Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapeno Pepper Jack .
To cater to the hip young generation, Doritos has created their “Jacked” line, which are EXTREME! and HARDCORE! I’ve always quietly chuckled at this branding since eating chips is seldom an extreme, high-energy experience. But here, when I compare Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapeno Pepper Jack to a standard Dorito, the latter seems delicate and a bit like a faberge egg. Meanwhile, the Doritos Jacked 3D style has a density that requires more power from my jaw and gives a satisfying heavy-duty crunch as its payoff. So, yeah, in the panoply of chips, these are EXTREME, I suppose.
The other common EXTREME attribute of the Doritos Jacked brand is a hot and spicy flavor – and this is where Doritos loses me. First, let me say – I like hot things, but I don’t like eating a LOT of any particular hot thing. After a few handfuls, I am satisfied, sweaty and not going back to the bag for more. This is good for self-control, but not good if I’m looking to indulge. And when I decide to buy a bag of Doritos, I am looking to indulge. Second, Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapeno Pepper Jack aren’t actually all that spicy.
The signature flavor is jalapeno. Jalepeno is fine, but not my personal favorite, and I don’t think its a widespread favorite. And that’s what breaks my heart about these chips. The shape is awesome. Dense, fun, filling, and yes – extreme. But so far they are dusting these crunchy arrowhead-shaped snacks only in the EXTREME Jacked way. Doritos, give me some mainstream flavors. Just use some clever names to get it “Jacked-Up” for the kids. Sweet and Sassy BBQ? Kickin’ Nosebleed Cheddar?
Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapeno Pepper Jack have a triangular shape like classic Doritos, and flavor-wise share a similarity in corn flavor. But the mouth feel, crunch, and density are an entirely new experience. Flavors are to niche. Good, but a missed opportunity.
UPADATE: I had the chance to try Doritos Jacked 3D Bacon Cheddar Ranch. They are exactly what the doctor ordered in response to my above review. Good use of the shape and a more mainstream flavor, but the use of bacon flavor amps it up to a perceived hardcore “jack-ness” because we all know that bacon is “EXTREME!” Doritos Jacked 3D Bacon Cheddar Ranch are tasty with an excellent crunch. Superior to their jalapeno cousins.