Graeter's, which is known for massive mix-ins, again strikes gold with a basic Cookies & Cream flavor. Throughout the review I will compare this to the other cookie flavors I've touched upon in the past ranging from Ben & Jerry's Milk and Cookies and how these two differ. While Graeter's is basically their vanilla loaded with Oreo looking cookies, the Ben & Jerry's Milk and Cookies included a chocolate cookie swirl, chocolate chips, and chocolate chocolate chip cookies. While the name and mix-ins may sound like Ben & Jerry's has the advantage, when it comes to quality flavoring and dense mix-ins this is where Graeter's holds the edge.
Once you crack open the pint, there was a bit missing on one side, but that is nothing to stress about. You get a nice looking vanilla base with tons of specs from the broken Oreo cookies flooding the top (which is rare for most pints), but as you know Graeter's is not shy when it comes to mix-ins. Remember that the French pot process will use whole mix-ins and they do get broken up into different degrees. Think about Dairy Queen and their Blizzard making skills. Sometimes you will get a chunk of a candy bar and sometimes you will get flakes.
Once scooping into the pint, you are first overwhelmed with the density of the vanilla ice cream that tops Ben & Jerry's and gives 2nd St. Creamery a run for its money as far as quality goes. Graeter's has a nice, sweet touch to the vanilla base and it is not overwhelming. Due to the French pot process, it makes a very thick consistency due to the added butterfat and lack of air trapped inside when making the ice cream. The great thing is even on the first bite, I got a massive scoop of an Oreo cookie that really allows the cream center to come through on top of the already rich, vanilla base. That makes this a cookies and cream you will never forget.
As you dig deeper, it gets even better. As noted in many of my reviews of Graeter's pints, you will see larger chocolate chips (sometimes an inch long) or an Oreo cookies that may be left whole. Literally every bite included bits or chunks of an Oreo on top of the already dense base, which made for an incredible amount of flavor and pleasure all in one. The great thing is the mix-ins are not rock hard like in many other pints. They are softer cookies that wont break your teeth upon biting. The overall way the pint sets up the cookies, the dense base, and complimenting flavoring makes this a reason its a top flavor in their lineup next to Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip and Buckeye Blitz in my opinion. But still, after trying their Peanut Butter Brownie at the scoop shop earlier in the year it gives these flavors a good run for what is king on the line.
Where Bob Found It: Giant Eagle (Erie, PA)
Bob's Grade: A