Saturday, February 8, 2014

READER REVIEW: Steve's Review of Blue Bell Caramel Turtle Cheesecake

Blue Bell continues its winter blitz of tasty flavors with the release of February rotational flavor Caramel Turtle Cheesecake, winner of last year's "crankin' back the clock" contest as the discontinued flavor fans voted they wanted brought back. Blue Bell describes this concoction as a luscious cheesecake ice cream filled with chocolate-coated caramel turtles, roasted pecans, cheesecake pieces with a chocolate cookie crust all surrounded by a smooth caramel swirl. Whoa! That description, along with the Ice Cream Informant's "A" grade, certainly had me primed to demolish a tub!

Let me tell you, this tub was polished off in record time. I enjoyed the flavor so much I just couldn't stop scooping! The base ice cream is a cheesecake flavor and it tastes excellent, but it impossible to isolate much of it for separate analysis, as the other components flood the ice cream so thoroughly. The roasted pecans permeate the entire tub and provide a savory, buttery taste and texture. This combination of the cheesecake base and pecans would merit a grade of B on its own, as it would compare favorably to most good butter-pecan ice creams. But we also get three outstanding mix-ins: The swirl oozes real caramel and winds its way throughout the tub coating the other mix-ins. The candy turtles are large, similar to the chocolate candies in the I ♥ Chocolate flavor (and unlike the smaller candies in say Moo-llenium Crunch) and when bitten the chocolate shell gives way most satisfyingly to the caramel inside. This flavor peaks when these turtles end up in the same spoon with a thick chunk of cookie-coated cheesecake, which are moist and creamy on the inside and crumbly on the outside. In the midst of all the other stuff going on in this flavor, putting a chocolate cookie coating on these cheesecake chunks is pure over-the-top decadence. I love it! And because both are amply supplied, this occurs pretty frequently.

I've tried about 55 Blue Bell flavors, and Caramel Turtle Cheesecake is the best of that lot. There is just so much bang for the taste-buds. This is a very rich ice cream, with loads of caramel and chocolate candy and cheesecake, all embedded in a buttery base. So don't do as I did (wolf down the whole tub!), dole it out to yourself in moderate doses and savor each bite!

Where Steve Found It: Walmart (Baton Rouge, LA)
Steve's Grade: A

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