Boulder Bar Endurance

5 ratings (5 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Very Good
5 stars
2
4 stars
3 stars
1
2 stars
1 star
2
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

Boulder Bars: Please Don’t Make Me Eat These!

Jul 7, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Vegan Friendly, low sodium and sugar content

Cons:Tastes like it's name - a rock. Blech!!!

Boulder Bar Endurance & The Nutritional Bar Write-Off

I was invited to participate in a Nutritional Bar Write-off by Shan1, and was excited about this. I eat an amazing number of protein bars, and my satisfaction ranges from disgusted to delighted, depending on the brand and flavor of the bar.

Unfortunately, the proposed topic for the write-off was “Your Favorite Nutritional Bar”. Since I had already written a review on my very favorite bar, the Clif Luna Bar (See my review at http://research.epinions.com/well-review-5166-B399C70-39479D84-prod2), Shannie graciously broadened the category to all nutritional bars. What I’m sharing today is my very worst nutritional bar experience to date…. The Boulder Bar Endurance.

I would invite you to read the other writer’s reviews as well, including Shan1, Poseidon, Elorraine, Jaderabbit, MonicaL2Me and Magenta321. If you enjoy my format here, I’ve also written a plethora of other reviews on other nutritional bars, ranging from phooey to fabulous. Feel free to peruse these and save yourself some of the pain I have gone through trying all of these! And now… on to the review!

My Experience with Nutritional Bars
This is part of my ongoing analysis of the protein/energy bars out on the market. As part of my attempt to maintain my “girlish figure” <GRIN> I workout 3-5 times a week, and try to eat in a relatively healthy manner. Nonetheless, I have what could be described as a “healthy appetite” – especially when I’ve been exercising. I also can’t eat a big meal before exercising, so I often have a protein bar in the morning, or as a mid-afternoon snack.

Over the last few years I think I have tried almost every protein bar on the market. There are some relatively recent additions that have taken basic energy bars to a new level. Some, like the Promax bar, are simply a basic energy bar, with a little upscale presentation. Others like the Clif Luna bar and Balance Outdoor bar have integrated unique flavors, nuts, grains, etc. to appeal to a broader market. Finally there are a series of bars that have come out relatively recently that tap into this market, by offering healthy snacks or nutritional supplements in a bar, like the Jenny Craig bar and the Think bar.

In this series, I will attempt to look at each “line” separately. Please forgive the redundancy in the introductions, everything beyond this point is original!

History:
The Boulder Bar Company was founded by Eric Zapf, a hang-glider who wanted an energy bar for his flights, but was allergic to dairy products. He also wanted it to taste good, but it couldn’t freeze since he was often at high altitudes. This lengthy list of requirements resulted in him developing his own line of nutritional bars, named the Boulder Bars. If you look closely at the logo, there is even a tiny hang-glider near the snowcap in the mountain!

Details:
Each Boulder Bar contains a mix of simple (fast-burn) and complex (long-burn) carbohydrates. The simple carbs are from natural sources such as fruit juices, figs and brown rice syrup. These are generally more expensive than artificial sources, but Zapf wanted the Boulder Bars to be 100% natural. The primary source of complex carbs is from Maltodextrin, derived from corn. Protein is derived from soy, fiber from oat bran and additional minerals from figs.

Due to Zapf’s intolerance for dairy products, the Boulder Bars contain no dairy or animal products. This makes them Vegan friendly. I will have to say that I feel their claim of “the best tasting soy protein energy bar ever” is way off – I have had several other soy protein bars that I enjoyed far more. However, I’m not a vegetarian so perhaps these contained dairy or animal products as well.

Some of this information was taken directly from the web page, where you can also see specific nutritional date for each bar. This can be found on the Boulder Bar webpage, at www.boulderbar.com.


Bar by Bar Analysis

Boulder Bar Endurance: Apple Cinnamon
Tagline:
Sustained Energy … Naturally
Appearance: Well, the first appearance isn’t very encouraging, but I’m still willing to give this a shot. A very solid looking dark tan rectangle, about ½” high x 1.5” wide x 3” long. Very solid looking, dry and a few dark spots in it. Broken open, it’s the consistency of a dry cookie.
Taste:
There is a definite cinnamon flavor to this, and a faint apple taste as well. Unfortunately, there is also a very strong bitter taste that completely overpowers the other flavors, especially in the aftertaste. I just swigged down more diet coke, this is not a pleasant flavor at all.
Texture: Very solid and dry, with a solid cookie like texture. There is a very distinct gritty texture to this as well, and I hit at least two solid bits that were like gravel. Seriously – yuck! Maybe that’s why they call it a “Boulder” bar? I think these are fig seeds but some are really large and this is just a really unpleasant bar to chew.
Overall Satisfaction: Boy, this is disappointing. I just threw away $1.50 on this, because I cannot possibly finish this bar. I’m glad I have some Luna bars left, and believe me, as harsh as I was on the original Clif bars they are sounding really good right now. I definitely will not buy this again, ever, ever, ever.
Cost: $1.49 at the grocery store

Nutritional Info:

Package says it contains 23 Vitamins and minerals, and Soy protein.
Serving: 1 bar (2.5 oz, 71 g)
Calories: 200
Calories from fat: 20
Total Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 15 mg
Potassium: 250 mg
Carbohydrates: 43 g
Fiber: 5 g (probably not including the gravel)
Protein: 10 g
Other info: No refined sugars, no wheat or dairy products, not animal products. This product supports the National Youth Crisis Hotline.
www.boulderbar.com
Overall Rating:
Can I give out a ZERO star?



Boulder Bar Endurance: Original Chocolate
Tagline:
Sustained Energy … Naturally
Appearance: A very heavy (weight wise) solid brown bar, with a dry appearance. It is a dark brown with tiny tan flecks here and there; broken open, a very dry solid brown.
Taste:
Interestingly, this actually has more fruit flavor than chocolate flavor. If I didn’t know this was supposed to be chocolate I’d guess it was an apple/fig flavor. Strong overtones of apple and fig, with a cocoa flavor faintly in the background. These is also a bitter taste to this; I’m not sure what it is but I don’t care for it. There isn’t a lot of any flavor, but the apple is definitely predominant. The bitter taste hangs around in the aftertaste though.
Texture: Very dry, very heavy, this is a solid chewy bar. It has the same little fig seeds in it but these are smaller, at least, than in the Apple Cinnamon bar. A little gritty but not bad, just very heavy and very dry.
Overall Satisfaction: This is hard to get down. It’s not horrible, but it’s close <GRIN>. The chocolate is so lost in the bar that it doesn’t redeem the flavor. I’m still trying to figure out why the two first ingredients in a “chocolate” flavored bar are apple juice and figs though – and I didn’t even LOOK at the label until I had documented my opinion on the taste! (Score one for the old taste buds). In any case this is dry, bitter and a little gritty, with a nasty aftertaste and no real redeeming value. If I weren’t starving after my workout I’d have pitched this one altogether.
Cost: $1.49 at the grocery store

Nutritional Info:

Package says it contains 23 Vitamins and minerals, and Soy protein.
Serving: 1 bar (2.5 oz, 71 g)
Calories: 220
Calories from fat: 35
Total Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 10 mg
Potassium: 190 mg
Carbohydrates: 42 g
Fiber: 5 g (probably not including the gravel)
Protein: 10 g
Sugars: 12 g
Other info: No refined sugars, no wheat or dairy products, not animal products. This product supports the National Youth Crisis Hotline.
www.boulderbar.com/
Overall Rating:
1 star




Boulder Bar Endurance: Peanut Butter
Tagline:
Sustained Energy … Naturally
Appearance: This is tan, sticky-looking, with little dark and light flecks all over it. Broken apart, a solid tan cake-like appearance with less visible “bits”.
Taste:
Far moister than the other Boulder Bars, this is at least “edible” without a full glass of water with each bite. The flavor is really bland, though, with only a minimal peanut flavor. The predominant flavor is a karo-syrup like taste (probably the brown rice syrup on the label, I had to look it up!). It has a slightly bitter taste, but not nearly as strong as the chocolate flavor.
Texture: Chewy, with lots of little bits. Most of these are rice bits, and very small. There are also a plethora of tiny fig seeds, crunching unexpectedly, and generally just feeling gritty. I hope they’re fig seeds, anyway….
Overall Satisfaction: While far better than the Apple Cinnamon and Chocolate flavors, this is still not what I would call a “good” bar. The base is moister than the others (Thank Goodness!) but still this is a bland bar, with only a slight peanut butter taste. The rice bits help break up the monotony but the fig seeds give this a gritty feel and the bitter taste is mild (but still present), especially in the aftertaste . If I had to pick a Boulder Bar (e.g., if I were on the Survival Show and this is what I had to eat) I would get this one – but otherwise I would never buy this.
Cost: $1.49 at the grocery store

Nutritional Info:

Package says it contains 23 Vitamins and minerals, and Soy protein.
Serving: 1 bar (2.5 oz, 71 g)
Calories: 210
Total Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 25 mg
Potassium: 220 mg
Carbohydrates: 40 g
Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 10 g
Sugars: 9 g
Other info: No refined sugars, no wheat or dairy products, not animal products. This product supports the National Youth Crisis Hotline.
www.boulderbar.com/
Overall Rating:
2 stars



Summary
The only real redeeming feature that I can see about the Boulder Bar is that they are Vegan friendly. This means they are made 100% without animal products – actually, no small feat in a baked and flavored bar. They also do have extremely low sugar and sodium levels, especially compared to some of the other bars.

I did find that these were somewhat satisfying as a snack – in terms of how long they held me, not in terms of how enjoyable they were. They were only so-so as a meal replacement though. The chocolate one held me but the other two left me hungry later … perhaps it was the four cups of water needed to choke the chocolate one down?

I just can’t recommend these, though – they’re by far the worst (consistently bad) nutritional bars I’ve tasted. Every one of these had a strong bitter taste that sticks around in your mouth long after the bar is gone, even if you try to wash it away with a glass of water. Furthermore, the grittiness of these bars was a distinct turn off for me – ranging from bad (the fig seeds in the PB bar) to horrible (the fig seeds and assorted other rock-like chunks in the apple cinnamon bar).

I figured when I bought these that the “Boulder” in the name had to do with the location of the parent company. I am sure, though, after tasting these, that it’s an unfortunate coincidence that the product tastes like its name – a rock. Hard, dry, tasteless and unpleasantly crunchy, this was a lot like eating the mud pies we used to make as kids (and yes, I actually did try them <GRIN>). If I hadn’t plunked down $1.49 each for these and been motivated to share my “epinion” of just how awful these are, I would have thrown the rest of the bag away after the first one. As it is, I’ll consider this my donation to the National Youth Crisis Hotline (which Boulder Bar supports) and hope that someone out there can learn from my experience here.


Recommend this product? No

Read all comments (9)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

Photo of Boulder Dam 1935 ( BAR-834-BS )

Photo of Boulder Dam 1935 ( BAR-834-BS )

Vintage Original Photograph from the Historical Archive of The Baltimore Sun showing Boulder Dam 1935. The entire scanned area is 9.3 x 10.4. The diag...
Sears Marketplace
Photo of Napoleon's Tomb Boulder Lake 1935 ( BAR-826-BS )

Photo of Napoleon's Tomb Boulder Lake 1935 ( BAR-826-BS )

Vintage Original Photograph from the Historical Archive of The Baltimore Sun showing Napoleon's Tomb Boulder Lake 1935. The entire scanned area is 7.2...
Sears Marketplace
Fishpond Boulder Briefcase, New...free Shipping In Usa

Fishpond Boulder Briefcase, New...free Shipping In Usa

Fishpond Boulder Briefcase...NEW! FREE SHIPPING in USA! Color: Stone For travel, business, and everything in between, the Boulder Briefcase combines a...
eBay

$139.95

FREE Shipping
Boulder Creek 30 F Sleeping Bag

Boulder Creek 30 F Sleeping Bag

An excellent companion for crisp autumn camping trips, Boulder Creeks 30F Sleeping Bag accommodates campers of any build while fighting off chilly nig...
Cabela's

$79.99

+$12.95 shipping
Fishpond Boulder Briefcase

Fishpond Boulder Briefcase

For travel, business, and everything in between, we've merged utility and design to create the highly functional Boulder Briefcase that works as wel...
Fishwest Fly Shop

$139.95

FREE Shipping
Fishpond Boulder Briefcase Stone

Fishpond Boulder Briefcase Stone

Take the Fishpond Boulder Briefcase to work and remind yourself of better days spent fishing! This briefcase features a padded compartment to fit a 1...
Backwoods

$139.95

FREE Shipping
Stamina Boulder Door Gym 50-0085

Stamina Boulder Door Gym 50-0085

Stamina 50-0085 The boulder fit doorway trainer is the ultimate training tool to strengthen and develop your shoulders, back, chest, and arms. Unique...
Wayfair

$57.91

FREE Shipping
Mammut Boulder Chalk Can Iron, One Size

Mammut Boulder Chalk Can Iron, One Size

Don't worry about making a lung-hating mess everywhere when you use or travel with the Mammut Boulder Chalk Can. With a stowable lid and secure rubber...
Backcountry.com

$29.97

+$7.44 shipping
Stamina Boulder Doorway Exerciser 50-0085

Stamina Boulder Doorway Exerciser 50-0085

The Boulder Fit Doorway Exerciser is the ultimate training tool to strengthen and develop your shoulders, back, chest and arms. Unique rock climbing h...
eBay

$69.99

FREE Shipping
Metolius Bouldering Holds Set - 12 pk-All American

Metolius Bouldering Holds Set - 12 pk-All American

The Bouldering Holds Set from Metolius is an great addition to your personal or recreational climbing wall. Each pack contains a variety of shapes an...
CampSaver.com