Food & Drink

All 14 Hershey's Kisses, Ranked

Hershey Kisses
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Hershey's Kisses are a thing of simple beauty: Poppable, exceedingly melty, and infinitely satisfying, it's no wonder that they consistently dominate lists of the best snacks of all time, candy bowls, and, this time of year, more stockings than a Burlesque convention. But like most things in this world, Kisses are more complicated than they seem. And if you're just sticking to the Milk Chocolate version, you're leaving a world of flavor behind.

There are 14 flavors of Kisses on the market. And in the interest of optimal stocking stuffing, we ranked them from good to best. Pucker up. Things are about to get delicious. 

Giant Kiss
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14. Giant Christmas Kiss (12oz)

These enormous, 12oz Kisses are actually kind of a letdown for the gluttonous. Why? Because they’re hollow. A big-ass hollow kiss seems almost symbolic in this cynical age, and it’s even sadder if something bumps into it, sending the thing collapsing in on itself. The haphazardly wrapped Greek tragedy of candy is still delicious, largely (teehee) because it’s essentially a Hershey bar in a different shape. But at the end of the day, it’s a Trojan horse that’s only filled with air. 

Cherry Kisses
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13. Cherry Cordial

All syrup and no cherry make cordial a dull, weirdly medicine-like Kiss. 

7oz giant Kiss
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12. 7oz Solid Milk Chocolate

After complaining about a big, hollow Kiss, I finally got my hands on a shorter, stouter version of solid-chocolate excess. But getting my mouth around a paperweight of a Kiss isn’t the paradise I thought I was entering. I’m pretty sure I dislocated my jaw trying to take a bite (worth it!), then nearly had a dental emergency trying to shave a hunk off of it with my front teeth (decidedly not worth it). As a novelty and a fantasy, this is ace. But sometimes fantasies prove disappointing. 

Hot Cocoa Kisses
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11. Hot Cocoa

This was the first new Kiss in 10 years when it launched near the end of 2018, with little marshmallow core inside to simulate biting into a solidified cup of hot chocolate. I thought it would make me feel like I was on a hayride, but alas, the magic wasn’t there. These are still highly snackable, but they’re also evidence of the “if it ain’t broke” school of Kissing. 

Cookies 'n Cream Kisses
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10. Cookies 'n' Cream

This is a perplexing little bit of deliciousness, to be sure. The crunchy texture challenges the very notion of the nostalgia that comes with eating a Kiss. The white chocolate is extra creamy, and the crunchy Oreo-ish flavor mixes well with it. These are basically the simultaneously loved and loathed Cookies 'n' Cream Hershey's Bar in Kiss form. I’m on team Cookies 'n' Cream, but I can’t fathom eating more than, like, 15 in one sitting, which runs counter to everything I love about Kisses. 

Special Dark Kisses
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9. Kisses Deluxe

These are basically Kisses’ answer to a Ferrero Rocher: They’re twice the size of the original, and have a little bit of crunchy rice and a hazelnut in the middle. I kind of love them, but I’m not in love with them. Are they as delicious as a Rocher? Nah, but that doesn’t make them any less special. They belie the simple pleasures of a standard Kiss, but that’s ok. They made me feel fancy. Apparently, that’s pretty easy to do, but it’s still very appreciated. 

8. Chocolate Lava Cake

The chocolate lava cake is like the Rob Schneider of the dessert world: It was cool back in the '90s, then kind of lost its edge... but hey, it's still around, and is prone to showing up with your Domino's order. It's a dessert you didn't really know you wanted in Kiss form, but Hershey was feeling frisky this year, and followed up the release of Hot Cocoa -- again, the first flavor in 10 years -- with this. The knee-jerk reaction is to call this a Hershey's Gusher, which it kind of is. But this is far from a dark chocolate Kiss filled with Hershey's Syrup. The filling walks a fine line between runny and gooey, hitting a middle ground between truffle, caramel, and fudge sauce that's weirdly comforting when you bite into it. Just like Rob Schneider, come to think of it!

Special Dark Kisses
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7. Special Dark

Until they can master the art of making dark chocolate super melty like other Kisses, these will remain an outlier, or something I put out when I have friends over who are still convinced that dark chocolate is healthy despite containing 30% of their daily recommended fat per serving. 

Candy Cane Kisses
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6. Candy Cane

Unlike Cookies 'n' Cream, these little holiday delights manage to fully utilize the rich, creamy flavor of white chocolate, allowing it to absorb the mint flavor into a fantastic little bite that tastes like peppermint bark by way of a Kiss, complete with little chunks of candy cane to add some crunch to the party. Melt these down and pour the goop onto a cookie sheet and you’d totally win the holiday potluck with your signature homemade "peppermint bark."

Hershey Mint Truffle
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5. Mint Truffle

And lo, somebody made something that tastes like a Junior Mint, but doesn’t come with the uncontrollable need to make an outdated Seinfeld reference. The soft mint core complements the milk chocolate beautifully. Yada yada yada, these are very good. Serenity now!

Hershey Hugs
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4. Hugs

Some people loathe white chocolate with a passion. Others love it. It’s one of those weirdly volatile debates in the food world that makes absolutely no sense. But here’s the thing: When milk chocolate and white chocolate meet, there’s extreme harmony. The richness of the white is mellowed by the milk chocolate. The creaminess of each merges into an entirely different melting experience. It’s a beautiful thing, and proof that sometimes the solution to overcoming our differences is to embrace that which makes us different, and find what makes us the same. Or something. Now, throw a little dark chocolate into the core and might have complete chocolate harmony. I nominate Hershey’s Three-Way as a name. 

Caramel Kisses
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3. Caramel

Another strong case for Caramel being the most underrated milk-chocolate candy of all time. 

Hershey Kisses
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2. Milk Chocolate

To paraphrase the stalker “best friend”/ zombie slayer from Love, Actually: Hershey Kisses, to me, you are perfect. The way you melt on the roof of my mouth, coating my palate in creamy milk chocolate, is the picture of what a simple, highly addictive, poppable bit of chocolate should be. So how is this not #1? Well, one version is perfect-er.

Almond kisses
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1. Almond

This is the absolute perfect one-bite candy, like a classy version of Goobers. Have you ever invested 10 minutes of your life just allowing one of these things to melt on your tongue, as the layers of milk chocolate slowly peel away from the contours of the almond’s wrinkles? Probably. But you also probably never thought of it that way. This is how E.L. James forged 50 Shades out of Twilight fan fic. My tongue sparkles every time I eat one of these. And unlike the stars of Twilight, I smile throughout the experience. 

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Andy Kryza is a senior editor at Thrillist whose Christmas stocking always included a tangerine, a bag of pistachios, and a ridiculous amount of Almond Kisses. But why don't they make Pistachio Kisses? Follow him to lobbying efforts in Hershey, Pennsylvania @apkryza