Tuesday, June 11, 2013

REVIEW: Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop Exclusive, White Russian

Over the past few months, the folks at Ben & Jerry’s have released a few new flavors exclusively for their scoop shops scattered across the country. New creations like Peaches & Cream and Salted Caramel are only available by visiting one of their brick and mortar locations, but unfortunately for me, there aren’t any in my city. This meant if I wanted to try Candy Bar Pie, which is slated for release in pint form starting in September, or the recently resurrected White Russian; I’d have to work out the logistics.

As I traveled through the Charlotte, NC area this weekend, I finally made the arrangements to try and transport some scoop shop exclusive flavors back to my home a few hours away. This location wasn’t quite as memorable as my last visit to the flagship shop I last visited in Burlington, Vermont where I reviewed Coconut Seven Layer Bar, but they still had plenty of ice cream to offer. After walking through the front door, I immediately made my way to the freezer holding their pre-packaged pints. I had been hoping to find Oatmeal Cookie Chunk hiding inside, which has been eluding me forever. After that didn't pan out, I moved on to the counter. I scanned the available options and finally settled for a to-go pint of White Russian and Candy Bar Pie. Judging from the reaction I received from the guy working the counter, the majority of their customers select smaller portion sizes and rarely opt for hand-packed pints. Following a 15 minute struggle of forcing frozen ice cream into two separate containers, I was ready to go. I cashed in one free Ben & Jerry’s pint coupon I had been saving and walked out only $6.22 lighter. I placed the paper bag holding my cartons of ice cream in my Styrofoam cooler and topped the whole thing with plenty of ice.

By the time I reached home nearly two hours later, my ice cream was still frozen solid. I placed the pints in my freezer to let them harden back up completely before sampling either. It isn’t everyday that Ben & Jerry’s decides to give a second chance to something that had once been condemned to the gates of the Flavor Graveyard, so I opted for White Russian first. The gravestone for this once deceased creation reads, “Sweet cream flavored with Kahlua® and Camaya liqueurs and coffee extract. A caffeinated communion, the iron curtain has dropped upon this so-velvet union. It is nyet more.” This latest reincarnation has a more straightforward description: coffee ice cream with coffee liqueur. While in Vermont, one of the flavor gurus had stressed how hard it is now to include alcohol in any their flavors. Not only does it require a ton of licensing, but laws also demand that the manufacturer destroy any booze left over after production. That could be the reason for the lack of Kahlua in the White Russian recipe.

Prior to trying this, I’d tasted Ben & Jerry’s coffee base in flavors like Coffee Heath Bar Crunch and Coffee, Coffee, BuzzBuzzBuzz! Both of those featured some type of chocolate candy mix-in, so I was hoping the simple addition of coffee liqueur could help out White Russian. At only 200 calories per serving, this uncomplicated, beige base isn’t quite as overwhelming as some of their other options. The thick feel is the same you’d expect from a super-premium ice cream, but the taste can’t quite keep up with the consistency. The small addition of coffee liqueur manages to mellow out the boldness of their standard coffee ice cream without overly spiking the whole thing with alcohol. The result is a near identical taste to that of a well-made, heavily creamed White Russian cocktail. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to hold my attention for very long. Ben & Jerry’s recently resurrected flavor is great for fans of the drink, but there may be better options when making a special trip to a scoop shop.

Where I Found It: Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop
Grade: C


  1. My favorite sundae I ever ate was White Russian with hot fudge. Then they canceled that flavor!!! I want to try the new White Russian and see if it is as good as the original. Maybe it's not possible for them to make it the same way anymore...

    1. I'd be interested to hear your opinion in comparison to the older version if you ever get around to trying the new one.

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