We Tried Taco Bell's New Flamin' Hot Cool Ranch DLTs to See if They're Any Good

We weren't blown away by the latest take on the iconic DLT. Hear us out.

Courtesy of Taco Bell

If you're a Doritos lover, you know about the new Flamin' Hot Cool Ranch Doritos that hit stores just a few months ago. Now, the new flavor can be found at Taco Bell, too. The fast food restaurant recently unleashed three new menu items, and one of those creations is the Flamin' Hot Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco. Yeah, it's kind of a mouthful—in more ways than one.

The arrival of the DLT is pretty notable. It comes as part of Taco Bell's 60th anniversary, along with new Cantina Crispy Chicken Tacos and a test-launch of what's dubbed as the Crispy Chicken Tortada at a few California locations. 

For the new DLT, the big news here is that Taco Bell is using the new Flamin' Hot Cool Ranch Doritos for the shell. The flavor combines the heat of Flamin' Hot with the zesty punch of Cool Ranch, just as its name suggests. The taco features a crunchy shell coated in Doritos Flamin' Hot Cool Ranch flavoring, a filling of seasoned beef, and sour cream, lettuce, cheese, and diced tomatoes on top. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

The original Doritos Locos Taco set a high bar, so with that in mind, we set out to try the latest iteration. Here's how it went.

Initial thoughts

While taking photos of the new creation for this story, some of that iconic Doritos chip residue got on my hands. Without even thinking, I licked my fingers and was immediately intrigued. I have yet to try the new Doritos chip, so I was surprised by the traditional flavor with a spicier edge.

Another thing I noticed, though, was that the taco shell was already falling apart. I'm no stranger to this taste test life—sometimes when you order food online, it gets a bit cold, soggy, or messy on the way over. That's just par for the course. However, my order arrived in under 30 minutes, and by the time I opened the taco, the bottom of the shell was practically falling apart already.

Photo by Janae Price for Thrillist

Is the Flamin' Hot Cool Ranch Doritos Taco tasty?

All sogginess aside, my first bite contained the lovely flavors of the new spicy, cool ranch shell. It also revealed the culprit behind the deteriorating shell: a heavy helping of sour cream. Together with the seasoned beef, the sour cream nearly overwhelmed the flavor of the shell. It was a bit too much—to the point where I was directing my bites to the top of the taco so that I could get more of the lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese instead of the bottom half with the meat and sour cream explosion.

Final thoughts

The Flamin' Hot Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco shell is excellent.

It's got that tasty spice that makes an entrance, but doesn't steal the show. On the other hand, the beef and sour cream on the taco were overwhelming and so soggy that it was hard to enjoy at points. I'd love to try the taco again, but next time without sour cream or even with chicken instead of beef. 

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Janae Price is a News Staff Writer at Thrillist. She's a native New Yorker and loves all things cheese, K-pop, and culture. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @janae_larie.