Note: This is a Presumptive Ephemeral Nom.
This is the 2nd flavor that Doritos rolled out in their initial (and perhaps only) Jacked line. I reviewed the first one here.
It's simultaneously bizarre and pleasant to experience a barbecue aroma and flavor on Doritos, simply because it's so seldom done. (This reminds of when I recently saw Sour Cream and Onion Doritos but stupidly didn't pick them up. It looks like I lost my one chance.)
The initial flavor hit is of a traditional barbecue seasoning like you'd find on any potato chip. The ways in which this one is different is with increased amounts of tomato powder and sugar, which make this seasoning one of the sweetest I've ever had on such a chip. The sweetness is there for a reason, because these chips are quite spicy. You knew that sugar is really the only thing that counteracts capsaicin, right?
It was a friend who finally tipped me off to the fact that these taste almost exactly like the now-discontinued Kentucky Fried Chicken Honey BBQ wings. It's uncanny. I haven't had them in years, but these taste almost like an exact replica of that sticky wing sauce.
And that's a problem. It's a problem because these are not honey bbq chips, they are smoky chipotle bbq chips. As a side note, I enjoy cooking, and I do it often. One of the ingredients I find excuses to use more of are chipotles, whether they be dried or, even better, canned with adobo sauce. As someone very familiar with the flavor of chipotles, these taste nothing like them.
There's another problem that reared it's head with the last Jacked flavor: the chip itself. This ultra-thick chip is severely crunchy, and I feel that Doritos may have made a misstep in trying to achieve this dubious characteristic. These chips somehow achieve their amount of crunchiness by containing less-than-normal amounts of fat, which usually lend a tenderness to snacks like these. This lack of fattiness, however, is to the detriment to the snack as a whole, and not just its structural nature. The lack of fat prevents these chips from having an aftertaste; that is to say, after the swallow, except for spiciness, these chips leave very little flavor in your mouth. It may sound pleasant, but it is instead very dissatisfying. A bit of extra grease would carry the flavor a bit more, but as it stands now the flavor's a bit too ephemeral, dare I say.
If this snack used a normal Doritos chip type, it would have been Great, and if it had also been labeled as "Spicy Honey BBQ", it would have been Outstanding. But as it sits, even though it's a fascinating snack, it won't get past the 2-NOM barrier.
Doritos Jacked Smoky Chipotle BBQ: - Good
Doritos Nacho Cheese(for comparison): - Great