Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the products discussed here were provided to me for reviewing purposes at no cost.
Salted mixed nuts and alcoholic beverages, generally beer and ale, have long been traveling companions. With Doug’s Nuts, a product I most recently sampled for the purpose of this review, that subtly sweet aroma in the air smells like change. Doug’s Nuts is a snack blend made up of cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. These get flavored with oatmeal stout beer, organic vanilla and maple extracts, and other ingredients including a bit of sea salt. The result is a sweet, lightly-salted bite enlivened by the somewhat understated flavors of maple and vanilla.
After sampling this blend in accompaniment with my favorite pale ale, with my favorite lager, with dry white and red wines, and even with various sodas, I’d give Doug’s Nuts Original Blend favorable marks across the board. Apart from being a healthy alternative to others of its kind, it pairs well with a variety of beverages of varying flavors and textures. Simple enough for your super bowl party or backyard cookout, but sophisticated enough to offer alongside wine and spirits, here is a snack that should appeal to anyone who enjoys nuts and delicate flavors that complement rather than mask. The use of organic sugarcane juice and extracts in its production should please consumers conscious of their refined and processed foods intake. A minor point that nonetheless deserves mentioning as well is that a lot of flavored finger snack foods (think popcorn or other nut assortments,) while tasty enough, tend to leave the fingers and hands sticky or dusty with whatever artificially-flavored coating has been applied to them. I encountered no such unpleasantness while enjoying this product.
On individually sampling each component of the blend, I found the hints of maple and vanilla were most appreciable on the cashews, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds. They seemed a bit less so with the hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts (though admittedly and to place that statement in proper context, I am not a huge fan of walnuts in any capacity, and my fondness for almonds is lukewarm at best.) Still, Doug’s Nuts Original Blend is a snack that is greater than the sum of its parts, and is a great step up from plain old salted pub peanuts as well as a satisfying remedy for between-meal cravings.