Doritos Stadium Nacho and Tailgater BBQ Inspired by EA Sports Madden NFL 11 Tortilla Chips

Doritos has decided to team up with Electronic Arts and their colossus series of Madden NFL video games to produce two new “Madden NFL-inspired” flavors: Stadium Nacho and Tailgate BBQ. I’m finding the whole collaboration surprisingly difficult to describe. On the official website, they’re calling it “Change the Game”. I’m not sure what game I’m supposed to be changing. Football? Madden NFL 11, which is the newest game in the series and which seems to be the focus of the whole promotion? Hold on, let me just quote part of the website:

“…for a limited time, redeem exclusive on-bag codes for Madden Ultimate Team rewards from Madden NFL 11.”

Okay, so what the fuck is Madden Ultimate Team? Here’s the website again to help me understand:

“Madden Ultimate Team combines the best aspects of Madden NFL 11 gameplay, card collecting and fantasy football.

Earn, purchase and participate in user auctions to collect player cards, manage your fantasy roster and compete in online matches with your friends.”

I am now more confused than ever. Is it because I’ve never played a Madden game? There’s a card game? You can auction your cards? There’s a Madden-exclusive fantasy football league, or do they just mean fantasy football in general? By online matches do they mean the video game, which I would assume would have online competition functionality to begin with, or do they mean online matches with your cards? Are the cards vital to the fantasy football league? Do you have to collect enough cards, which I’m now assuming have football players on them, to have a full roster before you can engage in any card-playing at all? Is buying Doritos to get the special codes the only way you can get these cards?

To further complicate things, their website takes an intolerable amount of time to load, has an animated intro that tells you nothing, and either has very little information beyond the quotations above or makes it impossible to find any more information.

You know what? Fuck that website, and fuck me for not just reading the back of the fucking bag first.

There. Fine. Enter code. Get cards. But wait, there’s some fine print at the bottom of the bag…

“Collect all 3 ‘Ultimate Team Cards’ for use with EA Sports Madden NFL 11 Video Game with your packaging code…Limit 1 ‘Ultimate Team Card’ per packaging code. Limit 3 (1 of each exclusive ‘Ultimate Team Card’) per email address.”

So there’s only three cards available and you have to buy (or just write down from the bag in the middle of the store) three bags of Doritos to get all three cards but you can only have three per email address. And they have something to do with the video game.

You know what, Doritos? You win. I’ve been able to decipher your opium haze-induced marketing schemes for years now, but you’ve totally lost me with this one. Congratulations, your gimmicks have gotten so fucking complicated, obtuse and downright insane that I am ragequitting trying to figure this one out. I just spent 523 words trying to describe it, and I want to erase them all out of anger and just start the review with this next paragraph.

Doritos has some new fucking chips. The fucking flavors are Stadium Nacho and Tailgater BBQ. They are doing a fucking promotional tie-in with Madden NFL 11. Here is what the fucking chips taste like.

Doritos Stadium Nacho Inspired by EA Sports Madden NFL 11 Tortilla Chips

If you’ve never had literal stadium nachos, because you are a nerd or have common sense or whatever, they’re basically how you would imagine them: generic round tortilla chips with globs of processed cheese sauce. You have to close your eyes and use your imagination to believe there’s any real cheese involved. After laying out your $8 for soggy chips and tasteless chemical goo, you can fight your way through the milling masses of painted faces and foam fingers to the condiment bar, where you can ladle on enough spoonfuls of pickled jalapeño slices to fool yourself into thinking you’ve invested in something with flavor. Of course, by this time, you’re probably on your fourth plastic cup of beer and don’t really give a shit what you’re shoveling into your mouth anyway.

From this perspective, Doritos Madden Stadium Nacho succeeds greatly. I hesitate to say they taste remarkably similar to the classic Nacho Cheese Doritos, since I haven’t actually had a “normal” flavored Dorito in about 15 years, but they do seem to have that flavor, except a little toned down, which is reflected in the toned-down flavor powder colors. There appears to be flecks that would indicate some sort of pepper flavor, but I couldn’t discern anything spicy in the chip, thus ruining my opportunity to rant about Doritos repackaging their cheese/jalapeño flavor over and over again.

So, much like real stadium nachos, Doritos Madden Stadium Nachos are similar to real nacho cheese, but with less nacho cheese flavor. I’m a little conflicted – I mean, they aren’t gross, or bad, they’re just mediocre. If you’re sitting on your couch playing Madden NFL 11 and want to get that real stadium nacho feeling, these would be perfect for you. Like the guy who’s already half-sloshed on overpriced beer, you’re not really paying attention to the taste, anyway. As long as they’re a mild facsimile of the real thing, you’re satisfied.

Doritos Tailgater BBQ Inspired by EA Sports Madden NFL 11 Tortilla Chips

I went into Tailgater BBQ with low expectations. I’ve had bbq chips before. Who hasn’t? I consider Lay’s Barbecue chips to be as iconic as regular Cheetos, or, to tie this review together a little, Doritos Nacho Cheese. I see the appeal – they really do taste a lot like barbecue sauce – but I’m just not into it. Maybe I’ve grown bored of the flavor. Maybe I’m just not into that hint of sweetness. Either way, barbeque is barbeqboring. Wow that was horrible.

I figured I’d just be a little disappointed and also mention that bbq flavoring doesn’t belong on tortilla chips, but this was not the case. Tailgater BBQ goes further than just BBQ, and this is something I have said before, and will continue to say:


This should be a large lesson for me as a reviewer in not going into foods with expectations. I’ve been around the Doritos block so many times now that I feel like I could write any review about their chips without opening the bag. Stadium Nacho taught me I was wrong with their lack of jalapeño flavor, and I should have taken that as a warning. Tailgater BBQ really brought the message home. Oh yes, there’s a definite barbeque flavor, although a little more subtle than a chip like Lay’s Barbecue, but there’s also a distinct meat flavor. Particularly, pork. Doritos Madden NFL 11 Tailgater BBQ tastes like barbeque ribs.

I have to say, kudos to Doritos for teaching me a lesson on expectations and also managing to create a tortilla chip that tastes like bbq pork ribs. I have no idea how much effort goes into achieving such a feat, but in my mind it seems like it would take a lot. Hundreds of hours in the flavor lab, trying to nail that balance between barbecue and meat. Not just any meat – distinctly pork. Kind of amazing, really.

After having a few more chips and thinking this over, I feel kind of bad for yelling at Doritos. I got blasted in the comments for giving Doritos Late Night All-Nighter Cheeseburger such a poor rating, and I’ve thought about it occasionally, because these are the things I think about. And I think they’re right. Doritos nailed the cheeseburger taste, and they shouldn’t be penalized for the fact that I think meat-flavored chips are disturbing. In fact, I think I may be coming around a little to the idea of eating meat chips. It challenges the palate in a way that I should embrace.

Okay, Doritos. You know what? You’ve won me over. I still hate your convoluted Madden NFL 11 promotional game with an inappropriate amount of passion, but your barbecue pork rib chips are a-okay in my book. I may not finish the bag or even eat another chip out of it, but you’ve done an impressive job on flavoring and I can’t deny that any longer.

However, I do have one more thing to yell about, now that I’ve changed my mind:


Doritos Stadium Nacho Inspired by EA Sports Madden NFL 11 Tortilla Chips

  • Score: 3 out of 5 plastic cups filled with overpriced beer
  • Price: $3.99
  • Size: 11 1/2 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Safeway #1717
  • Nutritional Quirks: Not much quirky going on here.  They’s just cheese chips, yo.

Doritos Tailgater BBQ Inspired by EA Sports Madden NFL 11 Tortilla Chips

  • Score: 4 out of 5 spiritual revelations about meat chips
  • Price: Free (Buy one get one free sale with Stadium Nacho)
  • Size: 11 1/2 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Safeway #1717
  • Nutritional Quirks: Contains no actual pork.  You clever Doritos flavor lab bastards.  Not sure if this is a relief or not.

Note: The Impulsive Buy has also reviewed Doritos Stadium Nacho and Tailgater BBQ Inspired by EA Sports Madden NFL 11 Tortilla Chips, with a much shorter review title.  So has Food Junk, and he found the spice mine seem to lack.

5 thoughts on “Doritos Stadium Nacho and Tailgater BBQ Inspired by EA Sports Madden NFL 11 Tortilla Chips”

  1. I respectfully disagree! I just revied these and loved them. I thought the jalapeno was great. This is easily one of the best flavors of Doritos (that might not be saying a lot admittedly). Great review!

  2. Yup, they conquered a BBQ pork sandwich, now they definitely should come out with a bacon flavor. Or some kind of breakfast flavored chips, which would be perfect for me since I sometimes eat Doritos for breakfast.

  3. I envision an all-encapsulating breakfast burrito flavor that has distinct flavors of sausage, bacon, and eggs. Hey, they’ve already got the tortilla part covered. Now I want to vomit.

  4. If/when they do come out with Bacon Flavored Doritos, I will buy them just because of the bacon factor.

    I’m now kinda curious and want to try the Tailgater BBQ Doritos now, though.

    The Breakfast Burrito Dorito shall someday be made. I’m shocked Taco Bell hasn’t started breakfast burritos and whatnot yet as it is.

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