Brannigans, a UK maker of “crisps,” includes in its quiver such flavors as Roast Beef & Mustard, Roast Lamb & Mint and Smoked Ham & Pickle. The images these flavors conjure is that of the Brannigans mascot, a mustachioed cad in spats slinging giant beers down the rail in a crowded barroom choked with smoke and the loud talk of men, who are all clamoring for another hot sandwich from the table in back where hunks of meat are piled next to crusty snatches of dark rye bread. Wash it down with another pint then, will ya?
As it has begun to offer more variation in its product lineup, Lay’s has looked to smaller brands like Brannigans for flavor combinations. And while it’s had success with Loaded Chili Cheese and variations on a barbecue theme, it’s nice to discover that its Dill Pickle chips aren’t saddled with an ampersand of the porcine variety (“Dill and Ham Hocks!”) and instead embrace the simplicity of a perfectly obvious chip flavor. Salt & Vinegar is one thing. But Dill Pickle is like the top portion of your sandwich condiments drizzled onto Lay’s patented, perfectly flaky chip. It’s a win for the pickle enthusiast.
Lay’s dill is tart, with notes of vinegar amid the natural sweetness of the core herb itself. There’s a purity to this chip, offering salt and dill in relative equal portions while leaving both flavors to mingle in the aftertaste. Dill Pickle chips are perfectly matched to a sandwich and soup, too—in our taste test, they even stood up to liberal dips into a hearty split pea and responded with even more flavor return.
Lay’s has even nailed the package design, opting for an inviting, dark cucumber green that offsets the natural chip color and red tones in the logo. It suggests dill, and that’s driven home by the pickle and the herb image. But it suggests health, too, and simplicity.
No need for a sub-Pringles mascot here, or a weird combo to taint the finish. This is about pickles and chips in that order, and if you like either, you’ll love these.