Monday, July 1, 2013

READER REVIEW: Tommy's Review of Haagen Dazs Vanilla Latte (7-Eleven Exclusive)

I'm always down for a good coffee flavored ice cream. It's my safe bet, for those nights you stand there steaming up the ice cream aisle doors, unable to make up your mind. It's not one of those flavors like Ben and Jerry's Peach Cobbler, which is great, but you have to be in the right mood. You always know what you're going to get. So when I saw this new exclusive flavor in my local 7 Eleven, I was pleased to have another club in my coffee flavored bag. Plus, it's 97 degrees outside today, and I just installed a new A/C unit in my window. It's time for a treat. Let's see what the packaging says: "Our rich and intense espresso, bursting with real coffee grounds, is delicately swirled into creamy vanilla bean ice cream, offering an awakening surprise in each spoonful. Flavor Top Notes: rich and sweet vanilla bean ice cream. Flavor Finish Notes: intense and full-bodied roasted espresso." Sounds great, but is it?

It does actually look kind of like a vanilla latte, which is pretty impressive and somewhat disturbing at the same time. But does it taste like one? Nope. Not at all. Although, now that I think about it. I'm not sure we really want ice cream that tastes just like an iced vanilla latte. We want the idea of it, and on that it definitely delivers. The name is also great in the sense that it stands out from the regular coffee flavored names, but still lets you know what to expect. The vanilla bean base and coffee swirl work as a great pair. You get a much stronger coffee flavor than a Coffee, Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz! or the Starbucks line of Haagen Dazs. But it's not overpowering. The vanilla bean base subdues what would normally be a novelty flavor. Personally, the bold espresso and coffee bean grinds were the first flavor to register, and soon gave way to a subtle vanilla bean after taste. Which leads to the need to go back for another spoonful shortly after each bite. Until the next thing you know, it's half gone.

As you can tell, the flavors are more segregated than it originally looked when it was first opened. And you can tell in the taste. Where the first few bites tastes like all coffee, it soon evens out and each flavor stands on its own. The ground espresso beans are a nice touch. They're finely ground, which gives it a good texture. But not a gritty texture like that of the Volun-Tiramisu. Overall, it's a solid flavor. The one thing I've noticed about the latest trend of flavors made for specific stores, is they're all safe bets. Meaning Target isn't going to get jealous that WalMart's flavor is more popular than theirs. They are all evenly keeled. This one on the other hand, might be a trouble maker. If you're a coffee fan, definitely pick it up. It's not likely to replace your coffee ice cream of choice, as it's not quite in the same category. That said, if you're not historically impressed with coffee ice cream, you should give this a try. It might just be what you've always wanted in a coffee ice cream, but never found.

Where Timmy Found It: 7-Eleven
Grade: B

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