Sunday, April 5, 2015

REVIEW: Steve's Review of Blue Bell Hot Fudge Brownie -- Crankin' Back The Clock Contest Winner

Last August, Blue Bell had another "Crankin' Back the Clock" contest, in which brand fans voted online for a favorite flavor from the past to be brought back during 2015. The winner was Hot Fudge Brownie, which made its way to the shelves this week. Noticing a tub at my local Winn Dixie, and not being deterred by the Blue Bell listeria outbreak, I bought one more out of a sense of obligation than a rabid desire to try it out. I voted several times in the contest but never once for Hot Fudge Brownie, which struck we as a bit too ordinary and obvious a flavor to merit contest-winning status.

Blue Bell describes Hot Fudge Brownie as a creamy vanilla ice cream loaded with chunks of rich chocolate brownies all surrounded by a thick fudge sauce. Opening the lid, that's pretty much what one sees: Lots of vanilla ice cream with some fudge sauce mixed in, and evidence of a few scattered chocolate chunks. Ho Hum! Dipping the spoon into the concoction and tasting the ice cream, things improve considerably. In the vanilla base, Blue Bell has given us the good stuff, their creamy, rich, flavorful true-vanilla ice cream, not the weaker "vanilla flavored" base that mars some other flavors. The fudge sauce is rather generic on its own, but mixes smartly with the base, providing a nice flavor of fudge while still allowing the vanilla to shine through. The brownie pieces are nice-sized squares, moist and chewy, provided in abundance, and pack a rich fudge flavor. As this ice cream melts, the three components congeal seamlessly, with great synergy. Thus, I enjoyed this flavor more and more as I worked my way down the tub.

I still wish a more adventurous flavor had won the contest, but Hot Fudge Brownie is a respectable offering. It's not quite up there with the best Blue Bell flavors, but if you don't have some homemade brownies handy that you can heat up and plop a dollop of vanilla ice cream over, this flavor will serve as a very credible and enjoyable replacement. It earns a B+ in my book, though that rounds down to a "B" on the Ice Cream Informant's scale.

Where Steve Found It: Winn-Dixie
Steve's Grade: B

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