Thursday, November 15, 2012

REVIEW: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

This transition from Fall to Winter has seen it's fair share of pumpkin-inspired offerings. Nearly every major manufacturer rolled out some type of flavor based around the bright orange gourd. The majority of companies stuck to the proven pumpkin pie strategy, but some broke away from the mainstream. Ben & Jerry's went the cheesecake route with their Pumpkin Cheesecake, while Blue Bell incorporated candied pecans and a cinnamon-honey-praline sauce inside their Spiced Pumpkin Pecan. A bit late to the party seeing as how it's nearly mid-November, Starbucks has introduced a new take on pumpkin ice cream.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte beverage has a near cult following, so the corporate minds at Starbucks have decided to use that as the basis for their next limited edition ice cream flavor. They've taken their patented coffee ice cream and have combined this with pumpkin spice base to embody their prized drink in ice cream. Unlike any other offering found this season, the unique combination of pumpkin and coffee should provide the perfect parting gift to this past season. After removing the green-rimmed lid, the dueling bases are barely distinguishable. The slight difference in shade is the only sign that this isn't your standard coffee flavor from Starbucks. Even the scent rising out of this pint is reminiscent of past pints of Starbucks.

Void of any mix-ins, the 220 calories per serving seems a bit on the high side, but after plunging my spoon into the ice cream, the density is along the lines of other super-premium pumpkin selections. It takes a few minutes to melt down enough to be able to scoop out a spoonful. Seeing as how the two individual ice creams are so intertwined, it's nearly impossible to determine exactly what you're getting inside each bite. The pumpkin portion is mild, possessing a well balanced flavor with the perfect amounts of both spice and sugar. But the real highlight of this pint is the result of combining the pumpkin base with the gourmet coffee ice cream.

None of my complaints with the Starbucks Ice Cream corporation has been with the quality of their coffee base. It's always full-bodied, complex and overly flavorful. If you appreciate a cup of high-quality coffee, this will hit home with you. The combination is a near spot-on representation of the actual drink. I've had my fair share of hot pumpkin spice lattes this season, but seeing as how those are being phased out to make room for peppermint, this ice cream will have to hold me over until next year. If you are a fan of the beloved Starbucks beverage, this will not disappoint.

Where I Found It: Target

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