Thursday, March 21, 2013

Retiring Ben & Jerry's Creme Brulee Ice Cream

[By Nick, pint from 2007-2012] Want to know what sucks? When you write a review and forget all about it until you find out that the flavor you reviewed is being discontinued. That’s exactly what happened to my review of Ben & Jerry’s Crème Brûlée. I just ended up getting lost in the abyss that I call my backlog. So instead of just deleting the review, I decided I’ll post it anyway. There’s still a possibility you can find this flavor before it heads to the flavor graveyard. Let’s see if my original review makes you want to seek this one out while you can.

Trying to find a flavor of Ben & Jerry’s that Dubba hasn’t reviewed is like playing an amplified real life version of “Where’s Waldo?” Once I think I've found an interesting flavor it turns out he has already reviewed it. After enough frustration, I finally made a list of flavors he has yet to review (which isn’t very long) and set out to find Waldo…I mean the ice cream. Finally I was able to stumble across a pint of Crème Brûlée hidden among the usual suspects and decided to give it a shot.

I’ve never actually had the classic dessert before so I don’t have any expectations for this one. The idea of a sweet custard ice cream is pretty awesome though and the caramelized sugar swirl doesn’t hurt things either. Also what better way to try something new than in ice cream form?

Removing the lid, it’s pretty anticlimactic. You’re greeted with an off white base which is to be expected of custard. You also have some bits of the swirl peeking out. I don’t know why but I expected there to be a layer of caramel on top but as you can see I was clearly wrong.

The sweet custard base is just liked it’s named, very sweet but interesting nonetheless. I have had custard before and it really is a good approximation of that flavor albeit a bit sweeter than I’m use too. Surprisingly despite its sweetness, I would like to see B&J’s incorporate it into some of their other flavors. Another thing that took me by surprise was that the ice cream seemed creamier than usual. I’m not sure if this was on purpose but it did help give me a feeling like I was eating actual custard in creaminess.

If I thought the base was sweet, the caramelized sugar swirl comes close to amplifying things up to a tooth aching status. You’re able to detect some notes of caramel flavor but the thing I liked most about the swirl was that it adds a unique texture to the pint. It breaks easily on your spoon but has a crisp crunch when you bite into it. I found myself letting it dissolve slowly on my tongue. Despite adding a good amount more sweetness, I find myself wanting more of it. There just doesn’t seem to be enough though I guess the traditional dessert only has it as a topping so it might be the right amount for authenticity. If there’s one thing I’m missing with this is something to counteract the sweet flavor. I feel myself reaching for some pretzels to help balance things out. If B&J’s was to reuse the sweet custard base, I’d love for them to add a salted caramel swirl and some dark chocolate covered pretzels. That’s a flavor I could definitely get behind.

As is though, this is easily a flavor that you can eat less than a full serving and still be satisfied with it. If you were to eat more, you’re either going to be going into a sugar coma soon or scheduling a trip to your dentist.

Verdict?  Very, very sweet but good in small doses
Buy Again?  Possibly

33 comments:

Micky said...

Did what a Cluster get discontinued? Las time I saw it in stores it was "reduced for quick sale" and haven't seen it since

stride4unit E said...

This stuff is awesome and one of my favorite from Ben and Jerry's! Are they seriously burying this flavor in the graveyard?! NO!

Danielle said...

I have never seen this one but hopefully I can find it in the back of the shelves somewhere!

Nick Rovo said...

@Micky, What a Cluster is still in their flavor rotation this year. I'd suggest going to some stores you don't normally frequent to see if they might carry it.

@Stride, It will be heading there along with Dublin Mudslie, Mud Pie, Oatmeal Cookie Chunk and their plain chocolate flavor. Better stock up if you can still find it!

@Danielle, might need to go on a hunt before it's gone for good so you can give it a try.

Anonymous said...

The move to bury Oatmeal Cookie Chunk is a serious mistake. I actually wrote them a long e-mail saying as much.

Nick Rovo said...

@Anon, I did the same thing when Kelloggs discontinues jumbo rice krispies cereal.

Deborah Walter said...

What???? No more creme brulee??? Why are such yummy flavors put in ice cream archives??? Will the old flavors ever be brought back???
Ben and Jerry's ice creams cannot be duplicated. Can you say withdraws???
;-)

Nick Rovo said...

@Deborah, a lot of stores around me sitll have a constant stock of creme brulee so I'd stock up if you have the chance! You never know if the flavor will make it out of the graveyard.

K Ricca said...

This is one of the best ice cream flavors ever! The creaminess of the custard is amazing! The custard alone would be a great flavor. When you bite into the sugar topping...it's like eating an actual creme brûlée! How they were able to keep the crunch of the burnt sugar is amazing! I'm in Austin, TX. If anyone knows of a store with this flavor, please share!!! I will buy every pint!

Nick Rovo said...

Ricca, you might want to try their flavor locator and give the stores on the list a call so you don't drive out there for nothing. http://www.benjerry.com/flavors/flavor-locator

Matigan said...

Words can not express my sadness and complete hysteria when I found this out, after searching all the usual places I could buy it only to find the spot empty :(
I don't understand why they do this to awesome flavors- people call this flavor crack! It's downright addicting, and I'm furious that I had to go cold turkey with no preparation! I have never felt this way about any other ice cream, or any other food for that matter! I say we write a collective letter!lol
PS_- Where do you live Nick so I can check out those stores you mentioned that still had it?

Nick Rovo said...

Matigan, I live in Upstate, NY. Most stores recently have clearanced creme brulee out. If I was you I'd check B&J's flavor locator to see which stores carry it around you and give them a call to see if they have anything left in stock. Also if you have any scoop shops around you I'd give them a call as well. They sell pints and there's a strong possibility they might have some still in stock. If that doesn't work, you could always give Haagen-Dazs' creme brulee a shot though I'm not sure how it compares to b&j's version.

Anonymous said...

Nooooo!!! This is the best ice cream, im so saddended and disheartened they are discontinuing this one. The haagen daaz version sucks! B and j creme brulee is even better than haagens sticky toffee pudding that was out for like a year a few years ago. Ugh, im glad i hid like 5 pints of it a few months ago, sadly since. They all have been consumed. Sad.

Anonymous said...

I've spent the last week searching every grocery store in my area to find my beloved Creme Brulee. I just checked the graveyard at Ben and Jerry's and couldn't find it there or anywhere until I saw your review. I'm going to cry! Next to One Sweet Whirled, which also died a premature death, Creme Brulee is my favorite. I must have weird taste buds - everything I love gets axed.

Dubba said...

@Anon: I don't know if you live near a Wegman's, but I spied a pint of their in-house brand labeled Creme Brulee last night.

Anonymous said...

Ah, nooo, this is my favorite Ben & Jerry's flavor! :( Although I'm so glad to see that others love(d) it as well. I thought I was the only one!

Anonymous said...

this is very uppsetting to me.. this is the only flavor of ben and jerry's i truly LOVE. I had no idea they were discontinuing it and I have been buying it for some months now.. I had a craving a couple of weeks ago and couldnt find it on the website but didnt see it in the graveyard. If only I had known a couple months ago! but stocking up means i would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.. not a great idea.



Has anyone tried Hagen Dazs Creme Brulee icecream??

I was wondering what the comparison/contrast to B&Js is?

Nick Rovo said...

Anon, you can check your local scoop shops to see if they have any pints left still. As for HD's I've yet to try it but with such fandom over this flavor I just might have to pick it up to let the public know if it would be a good substitute for B&J's flavor.

Anonymous said...

Frickin bummer! This was the only reason I had to live....
I guess I'll wallow away my sorrows in this pint of coffee heath bar crunch which I'm sharing with my stingy fiancé

Nick Rovo said...

Anon, you have more reasons to live! There are plenty of flavors in the sea. Just because one didn't work out doesn't mean you won't find another just as special.

jenn said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! pleeeeeeeeeeeaaaase NO! I always had to hunt it down as not every local store carried it. and sometimes id check 3-4 stores before finding it. and sometimes it was just sold out. sold out! cuz its that good! and id seriously would be furious if i couldnt find it. were talking...a temper trantrum. no...not really. but almost! you better believe that im getting ready to throw one now tho. i always told everyone that it had to have CRACK in it cuz i was def hooked. no doubt about it. and i obviously was not the only one. i used to eat cherry garcia and pfood and i really loved those but .....!!! they really have to bring it back. ive searched other brands and theres NOTHING out there at all that compares. i have not seen any other brand that makes a creme brulee ice cream. im pretty sure im going to probably die. BRING IT BACK PLEASE! ....seriously.

Anonymous said...

I have had the haagen daaz creme brulee and it is nothing compaired to B&j's. I suggest we write them and tell them to bring it back ASAP! Dont waste your money on the haagen daaz one.

mizunogirl said...

Oh this is the saddest hing ever, no wonder I have been unable to locate it. Oh so so so so sad. I can see why PB and Jelly hit the graveyard, btu this was AWESOME. Now if they go to a salted caramel that may also be awesome but...really...

Monica said...

I got to say your comment about the creme brule ice cream. Well I was going to cry when I read it. That is the exact same way I feel about it. I'm addicted to it. And can't find any were. Your right everything I love gets axed I mean everything! Maybe my taste buds aren't alone after all. Lol since I read your commment. Your awesome

Anonymous said...

That sucks! I only had it ONCE awhile ago andit was very hard to find and to know now its officially gone is heartbreaking. That one plus mission to marzipan were THEE best flavors in my book.

Nick Rovo said...

@Anon: I did spot a pint while getting gas the other day so there's still hope of you getting to taste it again before it's gone for good. You just need to be alert to all places that carry ice cream!

Anonymous said...

Oh NO!!!!! This is why I can't find it anymore!!! This was my favorite ever! Please Please bring it back!!!!!

Anonymous said...

agh, it's neither in the flavor graveyard nor on the listed flavors! is in purgatory? is there hope yet? my favorite ice cream ever, gone too soon.

Nick Rovo said...

Anon: It is in fact no longer with us. Ben & Jerry's announced it was going to the graveyard earlier this year and I'm guessing they just never updated it.

Anonymous said...

I was so sad about all of this, and went to their website today and in fact, it doesn't show up in the graveyard BUT if you go to the 'resurrect my flavor' part of their site, it is listed there under flavors that are now archived. So if you want it back, write to them like I did!!! Let's bring our favorite back!!

Anonymous said...

Nooooo!! This was my favorite , when I don't want chocolate, then it's phish food! Obviously I love SWEET! Bummer :( I loved the crispy sugar throughout this bomb @$$ flavored ice cream. I sure hope to see it resurrected!!

Theresa said...

This ice cream is the best. Why is it gone?

Nick Rovo said...

Theresa, like all discontinued flavors, it comes down to sales. If something doesn't sell well enough or have a decent price margin, they're going to send it to the graveyard in favor of a new flavor.