Review of McDonald’s Signature Collection – The Spicy
What they say:
100% British and Irish Beef, Jalapeño slices, Pepper Jack cheese, lettuce, Mayo and a spicy relish, all in a Brioche style bun.
Calories: 635 kcal.
The Signature Collection is now available at 149 McDonald’s restaurants and one of the latest to get the range is the McDonald’s at Kingsditch Retail Park, Cheltenham.
Back in November 2015, the Admiral gave us his analysis of all three burgers (then only available in 28 locations) – you can read that here.
This was the first time I got the chance to try something from the Signature Collection. Every time I’ve seen them on the menu at other locations, I’ve always been on a separate burger mission so had to pass.
Today in Cheltenham, I would be sampling The Spicy – my first choice primarily because of the core ingredients which gives it its name… Jalapeños, Pepper Jack cheese and a spicy relish!
I would also be taking advantage of the brilliant table service, which after its launch, I thought to be a bit of a gimmick and precursor to Create Your Taste, but after using it several times I now view it as a necessity.
The Signature Collection comes in a stylish black box with a tab pressed in to indicate your preference of The Classic, The BBQ or The Spicy.
Inside you have an additional layer of packaging in the format of a premium looking burger wrap which shows half of the partly covered burger. It all looks impressive and gives off the message of a more grown-up and luxurious offering than anything previously seen on a McDonald’s menu.
If you are having a meal, the fries also come in matching Signature Collection branding. And it seems to be popular here – I’m sat in a packed restaurant on a Sunday afternoon and roughly two thirds of tables have the black packaging on them.
After a respectable wait, our food arrived via table service – a god-send when you have young children!
After checking the goods however, I knew something was up…
As you can see from the picture below, this build was suffering from a few mistakes. The most obvious one was the inclusion of red onion, which is on the other two in the collection but not The Spicy.
I actually thought at the time “they’ve run out of Jalapeños and put red onion on instead”. I had two bites, then looked and I was right. No Jalapeños! As this is such a core ingredient in The Spicy I took it back and thankfully a replacement was delivered shortly after.
I’d also like to point out, that the one above also had the mayo on the crown and relish on the heel, when in fact they should be the other way round.
My new burger arrived and this one was spot-on! And there were Jalapeños this time! Yay!
So I’d waited approximately a year for this moment… and it was certainly worth the wait!
Biting in, the first thing you notice and appreciate is this thicker beef patty used on the Signature Collection. It’s really very good!
The obvious point to note is that this is very, very thick compared to the regular patty used on a Big Mac or Cheeseburger and even dwarves the Quarter Pounder.
Flavour-wise it’s impressive too. It didn’t seem to have the regular, liberally applied seasoning other McDonald’s patties have. It tastes fresher, juicier and actually not like something you would expect from the Golden Arches. For the price point and quality/tastiness, I don’t think it can be beaten on the High Street.
I wouldn’t say The Spicy is particularly spicy… especially if you are comparing it to the recently released Mexican Stack or Thai Special. Yes it does have the Jalapeños but they provide nothing more than a slight tickle – especially with the coolness and creaminess of the mayo to calm them down.
But it is good. And the mayo does work as a really good counter to the semi-spicy Jalapeños and that outstanding spicy relish.
This has got to be the defining feature of The Spicy and I dare say, one of the best sauces I’ve ever had on a McDonald’s burger.
The spicy relish is slightly sweet and offers a really strong, bold flavour to your palate which luckily doesn’t get drowned-out by the mayo. There’s a piquant-ness about it that is really moreish and this mixed with the Jalapeños, cool mayo and thicker beef patty makes for a tremendous burger.
Pepper Jack cheese is always a welcome addition, aesthetically this looks great with coloured flecks of pepper running throughout. Not a strong flavour but adds nicely to all the other components on-board.
The Brioche style bun visually looks the part, gleaming slightly and again giving the customer something that you wouldn’t normally associate with McDonald’s (although its similar to what we had on the Bacon Clubhouse – note the Signature Collection arrived in the UK first).
The thicker beef patty is definitely a welcome addition to the McDonald’s roster and I’m sure as more restaurants are converted to EoF standard we’ll continue to see the number of locations offering the Signature Collection increase.
If anyone from development is reading this, I really hope if you do have plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac that you consider doing a Signature Collection version of the iconic sandwich like we talked about in this post.
Imagine a premium Big Mac using these thicker beef patties and deluxe toppings…
On that note, it’s a thumbs-up from me for The Spicy. I had waited 12 months to try the Signature Collection and based on my experience with my second attempt today I will shortly be trying The Classic and The BBQ.
Keep a look out if you haven’t had the chance to sample one yet…