Back in April, McDonald's announced plans to add a premium Angus burger to its fast-food lineup. The burger, priced at $3.99, would compete with other higher-end fast-food burgers such as Carl's Jr.'s Six Dollar Burger and Burger King's XT burger, and was scheduled to roll out nationwide by August. Well, July's barely begun, but yesterday the chain's Angus Third Pounders hit menus across the country.

The burgers, which weigh at least a third of a pound, or 5.33 ounces, before they're cooked, come in a trio of styles, all on a sesame seed bun: Deluxe, with tomato, lettuce, mustard, mayonnaise, red onions, dill pickles, and American cheese; Bacon & Cheese, with ketchup, mustard, red onions, dill pickles, American cheese, and three slices of bacon; and Mushroom & Swiss, with mayonnaise, sautéed mushrooms, and swiss cheese. See more pictures — and the results of our office taste test — when you keep reading.

Mushroom & Swiss: Although every taster agreed this burger was too salty, this selection was my favorite. Although it was heavy on mayonnaise, the gooey Swiss cheese and sautéed mushrooms tasted surprisingly authentic.


Deluxe: Although tasters couldn't agree on a favorite, there was one clear consensus: this plain Jane burger was the least favorite. "I'd rather have a Whopper," one commented. "At least I'd get the special sauce."

Bacon & Cheese: This overall favorite of the bunch had a pronounced bacon flavor and a juicy patty. While the burger was on the salty side as well, the three strips of bacon were perfectly cooked. One taster put it succinctly when he said that the quality of beef in the Angus Third Pounders was "welcome and easily discernible." The patties were larger, juicier, and had a more robust flavor, making it $4 well spent.

Do these burgers seem like something you'd try? If you've sampled them already, what are your thoughts on them?