If you've been watching the Olympics, you've probably seen the ad for the new chocolate-covered strawberry frappé (small size, $3.19) from McDonald's (many times). Made from a mocha base that's buzzed up with ice, strawberry-flavored syrup, and chocolate chips, then topped with whipped cream and strawberry drizzle, it packs a sweet punch, with a nutritional profile similar to a strawberry milkshake.
Sometimes these things have bizarre textures, but the new frappé is thick and creamy, with a smoothie-like consistency that's broken up by microscopic bits of semi-sweet chocolate that bring some extra dimension. I was bracing myself for the sugar impact (there's 79 grams of the sweet stuff in the 12 ounce size), but the frappé went down surprisingly easy. That being said, I didn't come close to finishing it because flavor-wise, something is wrong with this drink.
The strawberry syrup hit me first. It's sweet and tasty, like strawberry-flavored milk. Unfortunately, right behind the sweet berry flavor is the mocha base, which tastes bitter, like burnt coffee beans or the blackened bottom of an over-baked chocolate chip cookie. You can get some relief by crunching down on the bits of chocolate chips, but it's not enough to save the drink. Even when I mixed in the whipped cream and strawberry drizzle, hoping the extra fat and sugar would mellow out the bitterness, it didn't make any noticeable difference. In the drink I tried, the burnt flavor dominated the beverage, and there was just no getting away from it.
If you're tempted to try the new chocolate-covered strawberry frappé, go with McDonald's classic strawberry milkshake instead.