Summer time is s’mores time and Ben & Jerry’s are reminding us of that nice and early with their latest Limited Batch. You may be saying to yourself “wait, doesn’t B&J already have a s’mores flavor?”, and yes, you’re right they definitely do. It’s an okay pint with a chocolate base that doesn’t have enough oomph to earn itself a slot in my top tier flavors. S’mores ice cream’s are notoriously kind of tricky to pull off, and the best mainstream iteration actually comes from 711’s Go Yum brand, which utilizes a graham base and multiple swirls for something really damn good. In any case, if there’s a company that can pull out the stops and right their initial wrongs with a remix on one of summer’s most beloved flavors it’s definitely Ben & Jerry’s. Gimme S’more! combines a toasted marshmallow ice cream with chocolate cookie swirls, graham cracker swirls, and fudge flakes.
The toasted marshmallow base is very tasty but doesn’t really remind me much of marshmallow, especially not a toasted one. There’s no apparent roasted flavor or smokiness to it, but it does have an exceptionally rich and smooth texture with lush egg-y and dairy notes much more akin to a sweet cream. It’s actually a lot better than B&J’s normal sweet cream with a full bodied sweetness that hints at honey and is decently complex for a more “plain” base.
Cookie swirls are always a welcome addition to any Ben & Jerry’s pint, and that’s no exception here, but again, Oreo-esque cookie crumbles don’t really remind me of s’mores. The swirl has a nice gritty texture with bittersweet cocoa flair that seems to blend seamlessly with the graham. The graham cracker swirl is one of B&J’s best, and while it adds some extra crunch and more direct honey flavor to compliment what I’m getting from the base, it doesn’t have the chance to shine as much as in stellar offerings like One Love. The magic of the graham gets somewhat buried beneath the cookie, and I want more.
Fudge flakes are fudge flakes and they’re exactly the same mix-in we’ve all known and loved or hated for years. Sometimes I think they’re great, like in Oat of this Swirled, and at other times they’re distracting, but here they’re just fine. They add a bit of bittersweet chocolate flavor and some deep crunch that doesn’t really take away from nor accelerate the goal of the pint. They’re just kind of there.
While I appreciate the sort of “deconstructed” or “re-imagined” take on s’mores, I ultimately don’t get any kumbaya campfire vibes from anything in the flavor. Chocolate cookies and chocolate chips don’t really have a place in my ideal gooey s’mores profile, and they don’t build for a tremendous flavor of ice cream either. I would have much preferred the toasted marshmallow base with a marshmallow, graham cracker, and fudge swirl, to really channel the perfect melty concoction. As it stands this is really just a cookies and sweet cream or sweet cream chocolate chip, which isn’t bad, but it’s not that special either, especially with the graham taking such a backseat.
Found at: Safeway ($4.99)