Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ben & Jerry's Nutty Caramel Swirl
A 7/11 exclusive ice cream

It's 50 degrees and it's sunny.... forget driving somewhere, it's time for a walk... to 7/11.

Score! The new 7-11 exclusive Ben & Jerry's Nutty Caramel Swirl has been snagged! It's only a "measly" $5.49 for this pint though technically I could have bought 2 for $8.99.

WOW! JUST WOW!!! Holy freholy is this one chock full! I think this might be the busiest pint we've ever seen on the blog. We've got nougat ice cream with peanuts, fudge flakes and a salty caramel swirl. Sounds awesome, looks awesome, and I'm guessing it tastes awesome.

I dig in and I am instantly overwhelmed by peanut halves and chocolate chunks. They just do not end. I love how they have taken the time to break up their traditional fudge chunks into more manageable pieces. The "flakes" are actually about the same size as the peanuts. It just adds a nice consistency to the non-stop chomping (plus I've never been a huge fan of over-sized mix-ins anyway).

It was a super rare occasion, but I did manage two small bites that were mostly base. All I can really say is that the nougat flavoring is super mild. It's reminiscent of how chocolate nougat crunch had that underwhelming nougat swirl. It's just not a potent flavor, at least under Ben & Jerry's watch.

As you quickly devour this pint, you might ask yourself "why didn't they salt the peanuts?". Honestly, I don't know. Maybe they were relying on the swirl to bring the salt, but to me the swirl is too mild (or too scattered) for that. Maybe I was distracted, but I just wasn't picking up a strong caramel flavor, let alone any kind of saltiness. Overall it's a neat flavor, it's right up my peanut-loving alley, but I think that a little bit of salt to the peanuts would keep us craving more. You can't go into this one expecting a peanut butter vibe because plain peanuts just aren't that potent. Here, put it this way, this flavor is like the peanut butter that has whole peanuts in it. It's a neat trick, but when once you finish the container, your next purchase is going to be the regular peanut butter again.

I've enjoyed my oversized serving, but deep down I don't know if I see this one being a huge seller. I mean it's a fun flavor, it's a unique flavor, and I definitely recommend picking up a pint and sharing it with someone, but I wonder if the very straight forward peanut flavor will dissuade multiple purchases, at least at this price point. I was even wondering if maybe they need the higher price point to justify all the mix-ins inside. Whatever the reason, I'd easily buy this again at $3-$3.50 when the mood hit, but at $5.49, it's just going to be an occasional treat.

Ok, hope all that rambling got my point across. This one was a lot of fun for me, the kind of flavor you just keep eating faster and faster, and I could have easily convinced myself to eat the whole thing (and then subsequently exploded from gorging on 1240 calories). Peanut lovers rejoice, everyone else try it because after an hour I was already craving my second scoop.

On Second Scoop: Man it's hard for me not to plow through this pint, but I stood fast and ate my second serving (and left a third and final serving for tomorrow). My goal today was to to take things as slow as possible which is tough for a smooth textured yet chomp friendly flavor like this. I did detect more of an underlying nougat flavor, though it's still fairly subtle, and I'm still not really picking up on the caramel. Maybe it's just completely blended into the flavor profile, or maybe I just didn't get much in my pint, I'm not sure. You know, I bet I could convince someone that the base was a subtle malted flavor. Anyway, nice flavor, never ending mix-ins, and you should probably try it if you want something out the box pint.

On Final Scoop: In retrospect, I wish I had bought two pints of this stuff because it grows on me every time I have it. Over on Facebook, fellow ice cream fan mentioned that maybe the peanuts are unsalted so as not to mess with the creaminess of the base, and that answer works for me. It's a nice flavor, I just need to learn to eat it slower.

Verdict?  I liked it, it's very different
Buy Again?  Yup

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/2 cup (106g)
Servings Per Container   4

Amount Per Serving
Calories  310
from Fat  160

% Daily Value*
Total Fat  18g
- Sat Fat 10g
- Trans Fat  0g

Cholesterol  55mg
Sodium  90mg
Total Carbohydrate  32g
- Dietary Fiber   2g
- Sugars  23g

Protein  6g

Vitamin A   8%
Vitamin C   0%
Calcium   10%
Iron   6%


Anonymous said...

"Measly" means "meager." A "measle" is one of the small red spots symptomatic of the disease called measles.

Dubba Scoops said...

hahahahaha - typo corrected

Rodzilla said...

I know they aren't directly related, but if I want a busy pint with PB flavor I'd likely go for clusterfluff

Anonymous said...

It does look good but too many add ins for me! Also, too expensive for those of us who consider a pint as one serving. I always marvel at your control!

Dubba Scoops said...

@Rodzilla: no PB here, just P... wait, that doesn't sound right

@Anon: hehehe, it has taken years and years of practice my friend

Anonymous said...

If you liked this one... DO RUN AND TRY the Target "Brownie Chew Gooder"-- had it for the first time last night and had to force myself to not devour the entire pint. Vanilla caramel ice cream with actual small brownies and a caramel swirl.

Like most of the B&J caramel/vanilla flavors it is lush, buttery, but amazingly, this is not that sweet a flavor. It is smooth and very satisfying whenever you hit one of the amazing brownies that are layered throughout... that small hit of chocolate along with the caramel and vanilla make this one of 'those' flavors you know you will mourn when Target stops carrying it...

Seriously-- find it, try it, review it so everyone tries it and it becomes a regular flavor eventually LOL

Dubba Scoops said...

I actually did try it, but it was almost three years ago (scary).

Plus it was only a single serve cup so it kept me from getting addicted to it. I should go back and try it again sometime.

Marly said...

I've searched in four 7-11's in Los Angeles and can't find this flavor! Ironically each and every store has a sign for this flavor, but just a sign. Please cross your fingers for me finding it some time soon :)

Kiki said...

I loved this! After checking the closest 7 Eleven store twice for it I found it at one heading home from downtown Austin late one night. It tastes like a better version of snickers ice cream. Since it was late I only had 4 or 5 spoonfuls but it's definitely a flavor to savor.

The PopCulturist said...

I found this flavor pretty gross. Got nothing of the nougat OR caramel flavor. Pretty much just an endless mess of soggy peanuts, one spoonful after another. Which as you point out, are unsalted, and thus almost completely flavorless. UGH. There are very few B&J flavors I actively dislike - can't think of another one off the top of my head - but I wouldn't recommend this to my worst enemy.

This weekend, while waiting for my Target to get the two new flavors in, I decided to try this and the Walgreens exclusive flavor, which was extremely underwhelming as well (but not disagreeable, as this one was).