Friday, November 2, 2012

REVIEW: Ben & Jerry's Imagine Whirled Peace

After trying musician-inspired offerings from Ben & Jerry's like Phish Food, Cherry Garcia and Peach Cobbler, the description of John Lennon's Imagine Whirled Peace sounds much more enticing. Bearing a framed scribble that resembles the famed Beatles frontman, along with his signature, the outside of the carton is almost as alluring as the summary of ingredients. Attempting to embody the musician's outlook on life, Ben & Jerry's has even incorporated pieces of chocolate peace signs inside.

A life free of war would be nice, but I guess settling for a combination of caramel and sweet cream ice creams, fudge peace signs and chunks of toffee cookie will have to do. After fully appreciating the artwork on the outside, I'm ready to see what this reincarnation of Lennon in ice cream form is all about. The first layer looks almost uniform in color, but the splotches of darker caramel ice cream let you know you're dealing with dual bases. I've yet to experience a Ben & Jerry's flavor featuring cookies that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed, so the fact that Imagine Whirled Peace features toffee cookies has me ready to begin.

Taking the caramel base from Cinnamon Buns and the Sweet Cream base, that I haven't had yet, it's hard to distinguish which is which. I opt for a big spoonful of both. The two ice creams weren't distinguishable in taste because of their smooth, sweet nature, but come together to create a versatile canvas to show off the chocolate and cookies. As I continue to sample the bases, I'm surprised to see another added touch from our friends in Vermont.

They've added a few words of wisdom to ponder as you're working your way through this pint. Phrases of love, life, peace and dreams are printed all the around the inner lining of the carton. Before I can read too many of the remarks, I've hit the plethora of chocolate peace signs. Much like the fudge fish in Phish Food, Ben & Jerry's has taken another small step to ensure a unique experience. The custom stamped ingredient adds even more flair to this already unorthodox offering.

Unlike the chocolate incorporated in Phish Food, these fudge peace signs seem to be slightly smaller, resulting in the ideal size to avoid an overly hard consistency. These melt down with ease, meshing perfectly with the creamy bases. As usual in a pint of Ben & Jerry's containing cookies, their toffee version doesn't disappoint. These pieces are dense, chewy and remain moist despite being surrounded by frozen ice cream. Not only is the texture tremendous, but the taste is every bit as impressive.

Each bite including a chunk of cookie brings about a bold toffee flavor, but most importantly, finished with a mouthful of real toffee bits that required additional time to break down. I'd love to see Ben & Jerry's begin to start using various cookie pieces in their other flavors. The cookie swirls from Peanut Butter World and Milk & Cookies were excellent, but not quite as effective as the whole chunks. Along with their message of peace and benevolence, Ben & Jerry's has created a flavor worthy of The Beatles reference.

Where I Found It: Harris Teeter
Grade: B

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