Sunday, August 25, 2013

READER REVIEW: Dan's Review of McConnell's Fine Ice Cream -- Salted Caramel Chip, Dark Chocolate Paso Brittle, Double Peanut Butter Chip and Black Coffee Chip

Here's a Reader Review much longer than our standard submissions. Dan was recently reimbursed by McConnell's for purchasing a freezer-burnt pint of their super-premium ice cream. He shared his story over on the ICI Forums, but I thought I'd share it here as well. It's nice to see yet another ice cream company coming through with some top-notch customer service. I'd be willing to say they've secured a customer for life after reading the experience below:

A couple weeks ago I decided to branch out and try a new ice cream brand I saw in a local market. The brand was McConnell's. I chose their Salted Caramel Chip and tore into it that night. I didn't make it very far. I had a horribly freezer burnt pint that I just couldn't stand. The super-premium ice cream tasted more like Arctic Zero with a splash of milk. I shot off an email to McConnell's and didn't return to it. Within a day I had a response- I was getting a coupon for a free pint! Fantastic. I can never argue with free, and that means a lot to me as a consumer for a company to respond in any form. A few hours later I got another email- the representative had shown the other email to their boss and the boss upgraded the experience and offered to send me four free pints of ice cream. I was blown away. I hadn't expected this kind of response, and I was very impressed. I gave them my address and they told me I could expect the pints the next Wednesday.

Wednesday rolled around and I opened up my package:

Always a good sign when there's dry ice coming your way.

Review of McConnell's Salted Caramel Chip:

Okay, so the base is a top-tier caramel base. I still don't quite understand the hybrid French Pot process, but they're doing it right. This base is right up there with Talenti's Sea Salt Caramel for smoothness, and it almost seems like a gelato. The taste is just what you want in a caramel. The mix-ins are a little weak only because they're so very dark, but by the end you get a really nice balance between the light, fluffy caramel base and the rich, dark chips. The flavor works really well and gets a solid A-.

Dan's Grade: A

Review of McConnell's Dark Chocolate Paso Brittle:

The weakest of the three flavors I tried, but still one I would have any time. The base is good, better than Ben & Jerry's chocolate bases by far, but not quite as good as, say, Dessert Trio from Blue Bell. It is dark though, and if that's what you want, this flavor delivers. Again, very creamy base - almost unbelievably so. The mix-ins are good pieces of some buttery almond brittle, but there's not really that many. Nevertheless, I started this pint and thought it would take me a couple days to finish but I refinished it later that same day. This flavor is my definition of a B- it's not handicapped by anything about it, it just needs to be more of what it is. On a side note, this is my wife's favorite and she loves chocolate.

Dan's Grade: B

Review of McConnell's Double Peanut Butter Chip:

Okay, I'm spoiling this and telling you the grade: A+. Fantastic ice cream. Amazing base. It's perfectly creamy and is tied for my number one peanut butter ice cream with Jeni's Buckeye State. Not that it tastes like it, the two couldn't be more different, but it is just that good. I am a huge fan of whatever the Hybrid French Pot process is and recommend that other ice cream companies step it up a bit. Ridiculous peanut butter mix-ins that are reminiscent of Haagen Dazs Peanut Butter Pie (not as big, but the quality of the peanut butter is better) that pepper the entire pint. The chips are great, too - I think they're the same chips as in the Salted Caramel Chip but don't suffer from the slight bitterness that those seem to have, possibly because of the difference in the textures of the bases. The Salted Caramel Chip is more like a gelato, the Double Peanut Butter Chip is more of a creamy base. Who knows? I don't, and I especially don't care because this ice cream is in my top 3, if not #1. I am really struggling to think of an ice cream I'd rather eat than this one and coming up blank.

Dan's Grade: A

I decided to skip the Black Coffee Chip and focus on the three I ate (again, don't drink coffee and don't enjoy the taste/smell regardless). McConnell's was pretty dang good. Still some points to hit, but definitely a brand that deserves a mention up there with Graeter's, Ben & Jerry's, Blue Bell, Haagen Dazs, etc.

Overall, my experience with McConnell's has been great. Fantastic customer service and a great response to a person who got a bad pint. I have to respect that in a company and the fact that their product is actually good makes this review so much easier to write. If you see McConnell's, give it a chance. They've definitely won me over as a customer.

1 comment:

  1. I just this brand for the first time. I actually preferred the smaller chips in the salted caramel, doesn't detract from the awesome base!


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