Ben & Jerry's (along with numerous other brands such as Turkey Hill and Haagen-Dazs just to name a few) has released several new flavors for 2016 and so I decided to take a thirty minute drive from my house to Wegman's since they seem to carry new flavors months before some of the other grocery stores closer to me. I had originally set out to try one of Ben & Jerry's new dairy free flavors, but after discovering they released a Coconuts for Caramel Core flavor, I knew the dairy free ones could wait. I had to try it. The new cores include Brownie Batter, Cookies & Cream Cheesecake, and this Coconuts for Caramel Core. Each one was tempting so this was a hard decision to make, but memories of the Coconut Mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks made my heart long for this.
Upon opening this pint, I was surprised it didn't have a strong scent; I actually couldn't smell anything. It had a nice mixture of caramel and sweet cream ice cream with several fudge flakes apparent from the top with a promising blob of caramel in the core. Upon scooping out my first spoonful, I was growing more and more impressed with the amount of caramel Ben & Jerry's had included. After taking a few bites and also having some in a bowl (which partially melted while I proceeded to take pictures), all the flavors mixed together to make an incredibly satisfying ice cream treat with just the right amount of sweetness and a ton of flavor. The caramel swirl isn't overly sweet like some caramel flavors can be, but it is rather buttery like a premium caramel sauce.
This thing tastes just like the Samoa Girl Scout Cookie (before they changed the recipe to Caramel DeLites)! The "fudge flakes" weren't really flakes, but were rich chocolate chips with great amount of depth; they tasted like dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate which I also really liked. Some scoops would get more caramel core than the others, but everything kept coming together to be really delicious. My brain kept wanting to taste cookies & cream with how the sweet cream ice cream looked with the fudge flakes, but the Samoa taste was impossible to overlook.
Visually you may mistake this ice cream for being lighter on the mix-ins, but it really isn't. The difference here is that you can't see the coconut flakes which are omnipresent in the sweet cream ice cream. Again, tons of texture and flavor! However, I will admit I was beginning to miss those huge chunks of either brownies, cookies, or cake pieces Ben & Jerry's often includes inside their ice creams. I would have loved to see pieces of actual cookie in here to really set the bar and make it taste even more like a Samoa, if that's possible.
Next, I decided to try each side on its own. The sweet cream side with the fudge flakes and coconut was actually very subtle and not nearly as sweet as I had expected. Going to the caramel side and then moving to the caramel core, again, I wasn't too impressed and didn't find them as being all that sweet. Somehow, the sweetness comes in once they all mix and have a chance to melt slightly. Also, going down further into this pint I was disappointed how the core started growing MUCH smaller about halfway through and by the last 1/4 the core was gone completely. Should I be disappointed the core is gone, or that I just finished another pint of ice cream in one sitting?
Overall, I would rank this ice cream as a B. It is very delicious and if you're a fan of Samoas you will love this and I'd recommend giving it a try, but Ben & Jerry's could have done better. First, they should keep the core consistent and include just as much in the bottom as in the top. Next, they could have added a tad bit more sweetness to the sweet cream and caramel base (my father also tried it and agreed it was on the bland side which says a lot since he generally doesn't like sweet ice cream). Last but not least, some cookie pieces would have added an even greater fun factor to eating this ice cream. Is it something I'll get again? Sure! Is it something I'll get again soon? No, especially when there's been so many other flavors recently released!
Where Caitlin Found It: Wegman's
Caitlin's Grade: B