THE STARBUCKS SMOKED BUTTERSCOTCH LATTE HAS RETURNED for its third year in a row, and having tried it in the past, I knew it was worth a review.


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Let’s start with Starbucks’ description of the Smoked Butterscotch Latte:

“Notes of smoked butterscotch intermingle with our signature espresso, giving your latte a sophisticated new twist.”


 My Recommendation


I recommend getting all hot Starbucks milk-and-espresso beverages with breve, fewer pumps of syrup or sauce, and extra shots of espresso. The Smoked Butterscotch Latte is no exception to this.

How Many Pumps of Sauce Should You Get?

Get this with 2 pumps in a Venti size. The standard recipe for the Grande size of this drink contains 41 grams of sugar, which is a little on the high side for a Starbucks drink, and in my opinion, is just way too much.

For a Venti size with standard Signature Espresso, I’d recommend 2 pumps of Smoked Butterscotch Sauce instead of the standard recipe of 5 pumps. If you’re getting this beverage with Blonde Espresso, you can even get away with just 1 pump of sauce in a Venti size, but the Butterscotch flavor may be a little muted depending on your desired number of espresso shots.

Signature or Blonde Espresso?

Get this one with Blonde Espresso. The subtler Butterscotch flavor notes get overwhelmed when Signature Espresso is in the mix, and Blonde Espresso does a great job of letting those buttery sweet notes come out much better.


 My Experience


There one lives up to its name: It’s definitely butterscotch! The fact that this accurately reproduces the full flavor of its namesake shouldn’t be taken for granted, however, because not all Starbucks drinks do this so well (looking at you, Gingerbread Latte). I believe this full-bodied flavor reproduction is achieved because it is flavored with a sauce, and sauces are much more substantial than a syrup. If you’re looking for a butterscotch Starbucks drink, this will satisfy you for sure.

I compared how the Smoked Butterscotch Latte tastes with both types of available espresso, and found that Blonde Espresso allows the lighter candy flavor notes of the butterscotch to come through very nicely, while Signature Espresso definitely overpowers them. Signature Espresso doesn’t ruin the drink, but it does make it less interesting. Blonde Espresso doesn’t do anything shocking to the flavor of this drink (as it does to the Blonde Vanilla Latte), but it does improve it significantly.

It may be worth noting that I cannot detect a “smoked” flavor in this beverage, which could easily be due to the fact that espresso already has a smoky flavor to it. Personally, I don’t care if the butterscotch tastes smoky or not, but it’s worth mentioning just in case you do.

Similarly to the Caramel Brulée Latte, the topping on this drink is mostly sugar, and as a result melts into the foam without showing up much in the flavor of your drink. Basically, the effect of this is that the start of your drink will be a little sweeter than the rest of it. No big deal.


 Verdict 


I liked this last year, and now, because I ordered it with the new Blonde Espresso, I like it even more. If you like butterscotch (as I do), you’ll like this drink. Simple as that.

This is a seasonal winter beverage, so give it a shot before it disappears!


 

Nutritional Information (Courtesy of Starbucks.com) For the Standard-Recipe Smoked Butterscotch Latte:

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (16 fl oz)
Calories 350Calories from Fat 130
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 50mg17%
Sodium 350mg15%
Total Carbohydrate 45g15%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Sugars 41g
Protein 12g
Caffeine 150mg**
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
**Each caffeine value is an approximate value.


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