Tasters' Pick: A big hit with tasters, the fresh, "grassy" aroma of Iliada's moderately priced Greek import ($11.99 for 16.09 oz., amazon.com) was echoed in its clean, green flavor. This "peppery" oil burns a little on the way down, making it hard to ignore those good-for-you polyphenols.
Columela Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The Spanish splurge of Columela ($17.99 for 17 oz.) tasted exactly like cured olives, making it a shoe-in for drizzling over bread or pasta. Its well-balanced, but "robust" flavor had a "buttery" finish with only a mild kick at the end.
California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The "very mellow," "light" tasting California Olive Ranch ($10.50 for 16.9 oz., amazon.com) has an almost sweet "nuttiness" and a "fruity" scent reminiscent of green olives. With just a "little bite," this olive oil is a great option for those seeking a more mild, everyday oil.
Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pompeian olive oil ($7.99 for 24 oz., amazon.com) polarized reviewers with its taste and smell. Volunteers who enjoyed the oil described it as "fresh" and "herbaceous," but other tasters complained about a strong, "plastic-y" odor. Critics also criticized the oil's "waxy" flavor, with one reviewer declaring it was only fit to "send back to the store."
Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Most reviewers had positive remarks about the light "herbal" and "fruity" scent of Lucini olive oil ($16.99 for 16.9 oz., amazon.com), with one taster noting a "slight lemon" aroma. Volunteers enjoyed how it coated the tongue and savored its bitterness, calling it "zesty."