The 16 Best Blue Diamond Almonds Flavors, Ranked

People go crazy over these nuts. People like us. In fact, you might even call us ... nuts.

Okay, we promise that was the first and last time we will make that ridiculously obvious pun. What we're actually here to do is rank the best flavors of Blue Diamond snack almonds. Packaged in convenient and colorful little tubs, they are delightfully easy to eat and come in a wide array of innovative flavors, from classy basics like Honey Roasted to wild Carolina Reaper Xtremes. 

Since there are so many to judge, we purposefully chose not to pick up what, in our opinion, is the most classic nut: the Roasted Salted Almonds. Those are the almonds you'll find in any mix, the almonds you expect, with the conventional salt levels and no added flavorings. They are very good, and they serve as the control as we test bold flavors — no, literally, branded Bold flavors — and various saltiness or sweetness.

We're ready to rank all those twists on sweet and salty, savory and spicy, bold or buttoned-down to find you the very best. Let's start snacking!

16. Xtremes Ghost Pepper Almonds

These Xtremes Ghost Pepper Almonds get three out of four flames on the company website, and the label of "hotter" (between "hot" and "hottest"). Spice levels are absurdly subjective, but even so, we thought they earned their penultimate hotness. Each can of Xtremes Almonds gets a lid saying "Warning: This snack kicks back," which is something we appreciate. If someone who absolutely hates spice, or God forbid a small child, accidentally shoved a handful in their mouth, well, it could be a disaster. 

A few of us, though, thought that it was probably more accurately only two out of four on the spicy scale. Those testers could stand the heat and come out the other side with only a mild sweat. The heat does camouflage the flavor, which is technically one of, and once believed to be the absolute, hottest pepper in the world with notes of fruity berry flavor. Though none of us considers ourselves a hot pepper savant, we agreed that almonds probably aren't the best way to learn the finer details and consequently test our tolerance, so these are of limited use. 

15. Xtremes Carolina Reaper Almonds

After we put the Ghost Pepper Almonds in last place, you may not be surprised to see another Xtremes flavor next door. 

The first ingredient is almonds. The second ingredient is Carolina Reaper Seasoning. The nuts cut right to the chase, and you can smell the commitment as soon as you pop open a can. This is the pepper that earns four out of four flames. These are the almonds that Blue Diamond promotes as really earning the Xtreme label, the spiciest flavor they can hit you with. Do they live up to the promise? 

Yes. They are truly spicy. If you have a heat high tolerance, you can taste the flavor of the infamous Carolina Reaper pepper. If you don't have that tolerance, though, it's pure heat and possibly pure torture. These would be great almonds for someone who hates almonds, because let's just say that you can't really taste the nut underneath all that intensity. Generally, we decided we prefer the Bold flavor lineup to the Xtremes. Even the spiciest of us testers agreed that they're a more solid, reliable choice. We like to taste our almonds, especially when they're from Blue Diamond.

14. Whole Natural Almonds

We're not so committed to the classic that we feel obligated to put these basic Whole Natural Almonds at number one. We just can't prioritize them, not when there are so many mind-blowing flavor creations and combinations out here. Unroasted, unsalted almonds are the quintessential "healthy" nut, even though they aren't authentic nuts at all, and believe it or not, peanuts actually have more protein per serving. Even so, almonds do deserve some credit, because they really are tiny nutritional powerhouses. 

The natural flavor of almonds shines because, well, there's nothing else going on. Great for cooking or baking, they would dress up cookies or salad equally well. But hey, they are just a tad boring, and we can't help but crave more salt. What can we say? They're whole, natural almonds. They are wholly good and receive our whole approval, but as far as snacks go, this is the dull way to satisfy hunger. 

13. Bold Sriracha Almonds

The Bold Sriracha Almonds have big shoes to fill, seeing as manly people are staunchly committed to whatever their favorite hot sauce is — and it's often Sriracha. We had a Sriracha lover in the house. You know, someone who puts a few glugs on everything from scrambled eggs to noodles. They were the most excited about trying these, of course, but agreed that they're slightly underwhelming. A handful is not aggressively spicy, leaning more heavily on the sour, vinegary side of Sriracha. 

We came to an understanding that while they have an unmissable heat to them, it's at an amiable and accessible level, certainly a few steps down from any of the Xtremes. So, if you're looking for a great spicy almond but don't want to risk going overboard, the Sriracha ones are a great choice. It's a perk that makes us less apathetic about the way they aren't as bold in that popular hot sauce flavor as we anticipated.

12. Xtremes Cayenne Pepper Almonds

Now presenting the last of the three Blue Diamonds Xtremes Almonds: Cayenne Pepper. These earn two out of four flames for spiciness, and they earn the highest spot on our ranking of the three Xtremes. We found that they had the best balance of flavor, heat, and salt. They have almost as much heat as the Carolina Reaper but manage to display a little extra flavor in there, too (and that's because the cayenne is just toned down enough to allow the summery flavor profile to stand out).

We loved that we could eat more than a single nut before downing a whole glass of milk, since one almond every few minutes really doesn't do much to satisfy our hunger levels during that 3:00 p.m. work slump. We could also probably eat these at work and not look like we've just been through the world's worst breakup. Overall, they're an extremely nice nut.

11. Lightly Salted Almonds

Obviously, if you need to watch your sodium intake, choose wisely when it comes to your snacking. You want to still be able to peacefully and properly season your steak at dinner, after all. But since almonds have so many proven health benefits, there's no need to eliminate them from your diet just because of the salt. You can certainly find bare-bones, all-natural nuts without any salt at all from Blue Diamond and do just fine (see the Whole Natural), but honestly, if you can spare even a dash, it really improves the taste. Since these Lightly Salted Almonds are minimally processed, the flakes gently liven up the nutty flavor of almonds without dwarfing it with either more sodium or added sensationalized profiles like Korean BBQ or Blueberry. 

It also ends up turning into one of those good "vicious cycles," because with less salt, you're less desperate to eat the whole can — and in turn, you end up consuming less sodium. It's a win-win. Still, we would only choose these nuts over their regularly salted cousins if we had to monitor our sodium intake because the Roasted Salted Almonds just taste more snacky and satisfying. It's great that there's a tasty middle ground between those and the Whole Natural, though.

10. Bold Sweet Thai Chili Favor Almonds

At face value, we're identifying these Bold Sweet Thai Chili Flavor Almonds as vaguely ... weird. By this point, we were so used to creative flavorings on our almonds that we weren't too thrown by any on principle. But in practice, the sweetness on top of the savoriness on top of the nut was going a little too far in the wrong direction. Other Asian variations seemed more on the nose and a better natural pairing with the almonds themselves. 

Again, they are not too spicy, and not too Thai, more a fun taste-test kind of product than an everyday buy. They're potentially suffering from a minor identity crisis. But they do taste great as a topping on Asian dishes, particularly Thai ones, of course. A mango salad or homemade pad Thai, even if cashews are more traditional to scatter on top, could be a fun way to show off this intriguing flavor profile. Try substituting these almonds for the peanuts in this delicious shrimp pad Thai recipe, for example.

9. Blueberry Almonds

Putting nuts like almonds or pecans on top of yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal at breakfast has long been a standby solution to added flavor, healthy fats, and increased enjoyment. We're not pretending to invent it. But Blue Diamond has given us a whole new understanding of the practice by introducing us to Blueberry Almonds. There's certainly a little cognitive dissonance happening here, however, because these nuts subvert the expectations of savory, salty snacks and instead go sweet. 

While they're incredibly versatile for topping sweet foods, especially if they involve berries (blue or black or otherwise), for those of us who aren't sweet breakfast people, there's little use for them in our pantries. The flavor is slightly artificial and candy-like, but all things considered, it's very blueberry-y. A handful of these nuts satisfies a sweet tooth in a feel-good way. Those of us who liked them loved them, and those of us with less of a sweet craving still saw the merits. Someone suggested a topping for blueberry pancakes on a lazy Sunday morning, just in case you weren't already looking forward to the weekend. 

8. Bold Spicy Dill Pickle Almonds

These babies are crazy. Crazy product concept, a crazy burst of flavor, and crazy good. The Bold Spicy Dill Pickles Almonds include everything needed to capture the experience of biting into a fresh spicy dill pickle, dripping with brine, sans the pickle itself. We've got white vinegar, chili, garlic, and onion powders, plus plenty of dill. Though we expected the grassy verve of dill to be front and center, these almonds are actually very spice-forward. If you were expecting only a hint, you have been forewarned. 

A few of us decided that they weren't their cup of tea, but only those who didn't like pickles to begin with. Love 'em or hate 'em, there's no denying that they sparkle with unique flavor. If you're practically licking the seasoning blend off of your fingers, you might want to whip up a spicy pickle brine recipe from the brilliant Carla Hall that will marinate anything you cook in nearly the exact same tingling flavor.

7. Honey Roasted Almonds

Since there are not a large number of sweet almonds in the Blue Diamond product line, we welcomed these Honey Roasted Almonds with open arms (and mouths). If the Blueberry was a bit too much of an offbeat twist, you'll probably prefer this more classic treatment. Many of us did, and we acknowledge that Honey Roasted is far more open-ended. A short ingredient list means that the honey gets her moment; there are no sneaky extra flavors like cinnamon or garlic-and-onion. We found these golden goods proved just about as perfect as we could want our sweet, simple Honey Roasted Almonds to be. 

They go well with meals that swing savory or sweet, adding a fancy touch and salty finish. We could easily finish a can of these within a few days, and they're the perfect work-desk snack to have next to you. Though Blue Diamond plays around with fun twists on classic nut flavors with great success, sometimes all we need is a little honey and we're happy.

6. Bold Habanero BBQ Almonds

The Bold Habanero BBQ Almonds provide an interesting flavor combination that actually works really nicely. It's a backyard cookout mashed up with spicy snack time, and we're here for it. According to, The flavor of a habanero pepper is truly one-of-a-kind, with fruity floral notes, a bit of sweetness, a crisp exterior, and a distinct pungency. Meanwhile, the barbecue flavor comes from tomato, molasses powder, vinegar powder, onion, garlic, mustard, and natural smoke flavor. 

One of us noted that these may be trying to do too much, from full-scale Southern cookout to one-and-done snack. But beyond this nitpicky point of critique, we had nothing else. They're pretty darn delicious but slightly less moreish or spot-on than the top five products. Still, if you're indecisive about whether to reach for barbecue (see the Korean ones), spicy (all those Xtremes), or tangy (hello, Salt and Vinegar) at snacktime, you can do it all with these. 

5. Smokehouse Almonds

We had minimal expectations for these Smokehouse Almonds. They seemed at first glance like they would be somewhat dull and unmemorable. But, as you can see, they snuck their way into the top five. These actually do taste fairly smokey. We expected that "smokehouse" title to be more of a buzzword or nod to a locale, not a real flavor identification. But we got it immediately, and upon checking the label, noticed the natural hickory smoke flavor as the third ingredient after almonds and vegetable oil.

A handful of these calls to mind the nuts we would find in a good bar mix, maybe mixed with some corn nuts (newsflash, also not real nuts) and sesame sticks. With their nuanced savory seasoning, we think they are a great way to elevate a steakhouse-style homemade salad with apples and maybe even a hot bacon dressing. Now that we're thinking about it, why doesn't Blue Diamond have a fully bacon-flavored almond yet? Maybe even a maple bacon almond that's the best of all worlds? We would gladly help test the recipe before it hits the shelves. Just saying.

4. Bold Korean BBQ Almonds

It doesn't take much to get us to eat a Blue Diamond Almond, but we're even more inclined to make them our chosen snack when the flavoring is this intriguing: Bold Korean BBQ. Some of us found it puzzling, and some of us found it utterly enticing. As you've probably imagined, these can only get so close to mimicking good Korean Barbecue. There's just no way to coax an almond into going through all that. They do, however, get a nice lift from the seasonings. 

Tomato powder, dashes of garlic, a bit of sugar, and smokey paprika all make for a whiz-kid snack. Our minds got tricked into thinking these almonds are much meatier than they actually are, and if you're a meat lover who has a hard time justifying eating actual barbecue as a snack, these might tide you over. If you're really into these flavors, you might want to try leveling up your cooking game by making Korean barbecue at home. Don't be intimidated — we'll help you get started right here.

3. Bold Elote Almonds

Wow. These Bold Elote Almonds actually, somehow, taste a lot like corn. There are numerous obstacles they had to circumvent, most notably that the source material is a big, juicy, starchy ear of corn and the torchbearer is a humble nut. Though initially controversial, they eventually won the majority vote to land in the top three Blue Diamond Almonds.

Mexican Street Corn, or Elote, is a treasure. The corn is grilled to bring out all the sun-drenched flavor, seasoned with chili, lime, and cilantro, and doused in crema. Naturally, these almonds aren't covered in cream, but they take the other three elements and run with them. It's seriously the perfect balance of flavor, creative in its simplicity: chili for heat and spice, lime for zesty acidity, and cilantro for freshness. It's uncanny how many of those elements the almonds can put on, and we loved every bite. The Bold Elote is one of the strongest contenders for best standalone nut, but we'd also put them on a loaded taco salad. Or any salad, really.

2. Bold Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds

These Bold Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds are, simply put, incredible. We could eat a lot of them. Soy sauce is already salty, so that means the salt factor is doubled, and that means that we need tons of water afterward. Water to wash down the spice, too. But it's not shock-your-system level heat — more of a rolling heatwave than, say, Ghost Pepper. Wasabi, an ancient ingredient even used medicinally, has a taste that is known for being spicy, but not necessarily hot, according to MasterClass. It comes from the rhizome of a very touchy and high-maintenance plant. And, as evidenced by this snack, it should not just be saved for sushi. 

Some of our taste testers felt ambivalent about this combination going into the ranking, but after just one almond, they were in love. So we highly encourage you to give these a try next time you're picking a snack because even if you don't think you're the kind of person who would enjoy them, we think you might surprise yourself.

1. Bold Salt 'n Vinegar Almonds

Like the Wasabi and Soy Sauce snack, these Bold Salt 'n Vinegar Almonds capitalize on the tang of acid to keep you coming back for more. And more. And more. Our mouths are puckering just thinking about these, but in a good way. We found that there was a pristine quality thanks to the stark and pure flavoring. It just cuts straight to the core of everything a great snack should be. "Bold" is no misnomer here, and you'd better believe we're celebrating every ounce of boldness. 

If you're trying to kick your Lay's Salt and Vinegar potato chip habit, keep all the best parts by swapping in these almonds. Consider them a jumping-off point from which you begin exploring some of your favorite snack flavorings on new snacks. Now, if only there were a Sour Cream and Onion offering. In the meantime, these Bold Salt 'n Vinegar Almonds are a "run, don't walk" to your nearest grocery store sort of product. Thank us later.