Tuesday, April 19, 2016

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Tillamook Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee

So, I am making my way through the 4 pints I acquired, and the next one up was the Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee. This flavor is described as, "Silky-smooth ice cream blended with Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee for the ultimate coffee lover." I am a big fan of coffee ice cream, and this sounded right up my alley. Here is how it was.........

I took the lid off the pint and noticed the light brown base. Tillamook touts this ice cream as "extra creamy ice cream". They aren't lying about that! My first bite in, I loved the smooth texture of this ice cream on my tongue! It kind of had the same texture as their gelato products, but this might have been even more smooth. It was almost like eating a soft serve type custard! The incredible coffee flavor immediately hit my taste buds, and it was mighty fine! I could definitely see why, too. Tillamook partnered with Stumptown Coffee Roasters! Stumptown is a Portland based coffee roaster that makes its cold brew coffee without heat, steeping it for over 12 hours until its smooth and sweet. This pint is very "basic" looking with no coffee ground flecks, no mix ins etc, but don't let that mislead you. This pint is pretty much just pure goodness of coffee flavored ice cream. This flavor was excellent! I mowed through this pint in record time.

Monday, April 18, 2016

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Tillamook Chocolate Covered Strawberry

After a mighty fine pint of Tillamook's California Pistachio ice cream, I decided that I would try out their Chocolate Covered Strawberry pint, next (No, I did not eat 2 pints of ice cream in a row...I ate this one the following day lol). Chocolate Covered Strawberry is described as, "Sweet mascarpone gelato with Oregon strawberry sauce and dark chocolate fudge pieces." Sounded like another tasty flavor. Here is how it was..........

I removed the lid of the pint and was bombarded with a beautiful sight of tons of chocolate chips, a nice white base, and even some strawberry sauce around the edges. At first, I thought this pint might have been a mistake and had been layered all wrong where everything rose to the top. As you will see later, this was not the case. This was just a nice "showcase" of said ingredients to come! I took a bite of the chocolate chips first. They were nice and crunchy and had a decent chocolate flavor. The problem with that first bite was that all I could taste was chocolate chips. I didn't even get a hint of the mascarpone base. Once I cleared off that chocolate chip section, I was able to sample some of the mascarpone gelato was well as the strawberry sauce. The mascarpone gelato had a nice mild flavor to it. It's like a ricotta type cheese in a way. Mascarpone is made from cream and usually has some acidic substance added to it. It was pretty tasty and worked well for this type of flavor combo (chocolate and strawberry). I got to some of the strawberry sauce next. This was fantastic! It was nice and sweet with a jam type texture. It was layered a little weird, almost like a parfait, throughout the pint, but it was definitely my favorite part of the entire pint. I kind of mixed up the pint with my spoon to evenly distribute that strawberry sauce so I could get a little in each bite. All the way down the pint, there were plenty of chocolate chips, too...not just a massive pile that you saw on top.

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Tillamook California Pistachio

I had recently seen that they started selling Tillamook products in pint sized containers! I was extremely excited since Tillamook is one of my favorite brands of dairy products. I was able to get my hands on 4 pints of their new flavors (Thank you, Becky!). The first one I decided to try was the California Pistachio Farmstyle Gelato. This product is described as, "Creamy, nutty and truly indulgent pistachio gelato with the perfect hint of sea salt." Sounded great! here is how it was............

First off, I would like to say how much I enjoy the new pints. They are in a plastic container and are double sealed. They have the lid on top, and then a pull off tin foil cover, too. Great way to insure freshness! So....I took off the lid and noticed the greenish yellow tint and a whole bunch of little speckles. I dug in and took a bite. First impression was a positive one. The gelato is super duper creamy and had a great feeling on the tongue and in the mouth. The pistachio flavor is a bit subtle at first, but once you let it dissolve in your mouth, it tastes exactly like the aftertaste of eating a handful of pistachios! I was a little bit surprised that this pint did not have any actual nuts in it (never had a pistachio ice cream without nuts in it before), but it was delicious even without. The sea salt was a nice touch, too. This pint almost reminded me of a good sea salt caramel ice cream but replace the caramel with pistachios. I finished about half the pint and wanted to save some for later.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Haagen Dazs Brownies A La Mode

After a bad experience with another brands "brownie ice cream", I decided I needed to try for redemption. I'm a big fan of brownies, and obviously, ice cream. Those two combined are usually a good combo. I saw the new Haagen-Dazs destination series flavors recently, and decided to try out the Brownies a la Mode. This is described as "Like Chicago- the birthplace of the brownie- our brownies a la mode is rich with flavor. We combine our signature vanilla ice cream with rich fudge and decadent brownie pieces to bring this american original to life." I took it out to my car and dug in. Here is how it was.......

I removed the lid and noticed a lot of brownie fudge on the top of the pint. I immediately took a bite of that first and was not incredibly impressed. The "fudge" tasted more like chocolate syrup. It wasn't bad per say, but it wasn't what I was expecting either. Turns out that most of the "fudge" in this pint was all at the top. It wasn't too evenly distributed throughout the pint. I have said before that Haagen-Dazs vanilla is probably my favorite of all vanilla bases. This pint didn't let the vanilla shine though! It was too inundated with brownies and chocolate which kind of masked the great flavor of the vanilla. On a good note, the brownies in this pint were fantastic! They were nice and soft and chewy and fresh! The chocolate brownie flavor definitely was abundant and at the forefront of every bite. The texture was pretty good all the way down the pint. I just wish I could taste the vanilla base a little bit better. I finished the pint and thought it was good, but not great.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Haagen Dazs Vanilla, Tangerine & Shortbread

I was at my local Walmart, and noticed that they had rearranged their ice cream section. They have less of the big brands, and made room for their Sam's Choice brand as well as Three Twins and a couple of other pints, too. I was browsing the Haagen-Dazs section and I noticed a few new flavors that I had never seen before. They are part of the "Destination Series". I decided to pick up a pint of the Vanilla, Tangerine and Shortbread. This ice cream is described as "Collaborating with the small batch artisans at Rare Bird Preserves, we swirl creamy vanilla ice cream with ribbons of sweet-tart tangerine curd and buttery shortbread cookies for an especially delightful tea reminiscent of teatime in the UK." I took it out to my car and dug in.

I removed the lid and noticed the nice white base along with some faint hints of the tangerine swirl. I took a bite and was delighted! I am a huge fan of Haagen-Dazs plain vanilla ice cream (probably my favorite of any brand of vanilla) and that was the main flavor of my first bite. The tangerine was very, very subtle in this pint. It was swirled throughout, but never came to the forefront of flavors. I encountered some of the shortbread pieces within my first few bites and they were fantastic! Some bites had a smooth type texture of shortbread ribbons, while others had little nuggets of chewable shortbread pieces. The pieces provided great texture! After each piece was done, you got the buttery aftertaste of a shortbread cookie. These were one of the better mix ins I have had from Haagen-Dazs. Every so often, I would get a perfect bite with shortbread pieces, enough tangerine, and the great vanilla base to remind me a bit of eating an orange creamsicle popsicle from back in the day. I mowed through that pint pretty quick. This pint seemed "lighter" than a lot of pints, too. It was easy to eat the whole thing.

Friday, April 8, 2016

REVIEW: New Orleans Ice Cream Co. Po’Boy Ice Cream Sandwich - Creole Cream Cheese and Vanilla Bean

On August 10th, 2012, we opened our first pint from New Orleans Ice Cream Company. The owner had reached out to us and we had agreed to work together. My team and I would taste test and provide unbiased reviews and in return New Orleans Ice Cream Co. would gain some publicity. Since then, we've reviewed dozens of their different products, including the best ice cream we've had to date: New Orleans Ice Cream Co. Café au Lait & Beignets. Fast forward nearly four years and we're still partnering up. This time for a new novelty item this creative company has brought to consumers. Always paying homage to their hometown, New Orleans Ice Cream Co. now brings us Po'Boy Ice Cream Sandwiches.

The official description reads, "Fresh baked chocolate cookies stuffed with New Orleans all natural ultra premium ice cream, hand dipped in rich, indulgent milk chocolate," and they come in two fantastic flavors: Vanilla Bean and another one of my personal favorites, Creole Cream Cheese.

The first individually wrapped ice cream sandwich we tore into was of the Vanilla Bean variety. Taking a traditional approach to the classic ice cream sandwich, New Orleans Ice Cream Co. added a bit of their own lagniappe. As we do with most novelty items, we took a knife right to the center so we could get a nice dissected view of all the different layers. The beauty of any ice cream sandwich are all the different tastes and textures you get in each bite. In this case, the "ultra" premium Vanilla Bean as the filler, two soft, chewy chocolate cookies surrounding those, and then the whole thing is dipped in a thick, crunchy coating of milk chocolate. When you think about the ideal ice cream sandwich, this is what you should be thinking of. Top quality ingredients, bold flavors, and a great feel. This is an easy A and looking forward to the Creole Cream Cheese version, should get even better.

Grade: A

The very first time that we received products from New Orleans Ice Cream Company, Creole Cream Cheese immediately became one of our favorites. Described as a local delicacy, fresh farmers style cream cheese blended into our delicious ice cream, we couldn't imagine it getting much better. That was until you take that rich, flavorful ice cream and sandwich it between two of New Orleans Ice Cream decadent chocolate cookies, then add another layer of chocolate over everything. The combination of chocolate and cream cheese is something you traditionally see, but works brilliantly. Kudos to New Orleans Ice Cream Co. for bringing together all these ingredients together in one convenient package.

Grade: A

To summarize, head on over to IceCreamSource.com and pick up some of these fantastic frozen treats!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

FREEZER FIND: Ben & Jerry's Pecan Sticky Buns

A reader of ours from Blue Springs, Missouri recently sent in a new Exclusive Flavor from Ben & Jerry's they found in a local Walmart. This pint of Pecan Sticky Buns is described as Buttery Brown Sugar Ice Cream with Pecans, Sticky Bun Dough & a Cream Cheese Frosting Swirl. According to our reader, the flavor is very reminiscent of Ben & Jerry's Cinnamon Buns, which sits very high in our overall rankings. Either way, we're looking forward to trying this new addition to Vermont's Finest collection.

Need some ice cream suggestions? Click on what component you're craving for further assistance!

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