Cheese & Chive
I had anticipated these would taste about the same as cheese & onion crisps, which I'm not a massive fan of. They smelled very similar, perhaps a bit sweeter & definitely not as strong as the classic Walker's cheese & onion. The taste is also much less pungent, with some creaminess reminiscent of a sour cream & onion crisp. I'd describe it best as a slightly sweeter, less strong cheese & onion. Nice, but still not a favorite.
Barbecue flavored chips were my favorites growing up in America (well, that and Jay's Hot Stuff) so I had high expectations here. I know that barbecue sauce has a bit of a different profile in the UK, usually a bit sweeter and smokier compared to what I'm used to which is quite tangy & a usually a bit hot. This crisp flavor followed suit - with just a touch of tang, but plenty of sweet & smoke flavors. They were very nice, and of all the crisps that could be 'brought back' this is the one that I can see myself eating most frequently. The one I like best follows...and it's back for good.
It may come as a surprise to people that I like Marmite. I know it's a real polarizing taste, but I was once heard to say "Eh, I could take it or leave it." I like it on crumpets, cheese on toast, as a flavor in a snack, and I've often theorized that it would be delicious in a stew...but it's not one of those things I really need. Funny, huh? Don't hate it - don't love it.
Regardless of that fact, these were easily my favorite of the returning crisp flavors, and I'm so happy they're just here to stay. There is something about them that's just perfect to me; salty, savory, meaty-without-artificiality, I love them. They remind me of the taste of beef & barley stew. Makes sense right, as barley is a component of Marmite. Anyway, I could happily chomp on these whenever I want crisps, so I'm glad they're just straight up back.
As for who I'd vote for, well, it would be the Marmite flavor if it was in danger of being taken away. Since they're not, however, my vote is probably for Barbecue! Nice, paired well with a sandwich, and a flavor that I don't think anyone else is really doing at the moment in the crisp world. My second vote would be Toasted Cheese, as it was also a flavor I don't see too frequently, and inoffensively tasty. I've yet to try Beef & Onion, but I'm not actually crazy about fake meat flavored crisps anyway. So, who do you guys vote for?
UPDATE! Beef and Onion...discovered!
Beef & Onion
Nice. Not actually all that dissimilar to the Marmite flavor! A bit of added onion seasoning, a bit less savory and of course a weensy bit more meaty - but in the same way that Marmite tastes like beef stew, this tasted like...beef & onion stew. I'd happily eat these as well, and they're going to get my 2nd place vote now in lieu of barbecue! Congrats, beef & onion, you finally made it.