It wasn’t until 2003, with Starbucks’ introduction of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, that the two very different but very popular world’s of coffee and pumpkin pie would collide to create one of the most iconic and polarizing drinks of the last fifteen years. It’s hard to imagine a time when the two flavors didn’t coexist, and with everything from M&M’s to Peeps to Bath & Body Works body wash emulating the cafe concotion, it’s fitting that ice cream is no stranger to the coveted combination. As their sole pumpkin offering for 2017, Ample Hills brought back No Sleep Til Pumpkin, which is dark coffee ice cream with pieces of pumpkin ooey gooey butter cake.
The dark coffee base is very bold. Incredibly thick and dense in the way that only a custard can be, its intense richness is a wonderful textural backdrop for the strong coffee notes at play. The use of both coffee extract and espresso powder give the ice cream an authentic and big coffee flavor that is bitter but beautifully balanced by the sugar and cream to create a very palatable and delectable profile. I like my coffee dark, and apparently I like my coffee ice cream dark too, because this one doesn’t beat around the bush at all and I love how deep yet sweet the overall flavor comes across. As the flavor evolves the bitter notes channel chocolate and I get a bit of a mellow mocha vibe, which is tasty and a very natural progression.
With only one mix-in there’s a lot of pressure on the pumpkin gooey butter cake pieces to bring some big time pumpkin vibes, and they really came to do their job with conviction. Somehow the complex spicy notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove cut through the rich coffee in the base and come through clear as an autumn day into the cake pieces. Ample Hills’ gooey butter cake is one of the most dangerously delicious baked goods ever put into ice cream and all of its wonderful dense, buttery texture remains intact here, with the added bonus of a sprinkling of spices. Chewy, gooey, succulent, and autumnal, I can’t imagine AH executing the cake any better.
My only qualm with this pint is the density of the experience as a whole. While the cake pieces are amazing, I wish there were more of them, and that overall they were bigger. AH’s original take on butter cake usually has more sizable chunks, and here they’re a bit more petite. When the two paths collide they are a wonderful combination, but when the cake disappears for many bites at a time it’s just a really good coffee custard.
Found at: http://www.amplehills.com