REVIEW: Bad Walter’s Slumber Party

When I first wrote here about emerging lactose-free artisan ice cream queen Bad Walters I mentioned the amazing base quality and massive potential with a desire for more mix-in density. Those qualms have been answered beyond my wildest dreams with the latest monthly masterpiece and absolute BANGER of a pint in Slumber Party: Ritz Cracker ice cream with Nutter Butters, Reese’s Pieces, and a thicc fudge swirl.

The base is absolutely perfect. I have yet to scoop a base from BW that doesn’t deliver on what it’s aiming for and I loved every moment of this rich and salty ice cream that shines with golden buttery Ritz cracker flavor. It tastes and even smells exactly like the red-boxed titan to the degree that if you didn’t tell me what it was and I was blindfolded I would be able to nail it on one bite.

The Nutter Butters are an amazing mix-in choice and were chopped up the perfect size — big enough to yield a substantial chew but not quite taking over the entire spoon. The texture is exactly like nice Oreo chunks in a proper cookies and cream, softened like they’ve been dunked in milk but still hard enough to be a really fun textural contrast against the base. 

The thicc fudge swirl was exactly as described – more akin to frosting than a typical fudge swirl, and it would have stolen the show if the base wasn’t so damn good. I loved it. In the best way it reminded me of the Duncan Hines chocolate frosting my mom used to finish my birthday cakes with growing up; I would eat this swirl by the jar. Anyone who’s had the seasonal Fudge Covered Ritz Crackers during the holidays knows how perfect this combo is.

The only part of this pint that didn’t work for me were the Reese’s Pieces, and despite how cool they look and sound, I wasn’t surprised I didn’t love them. When frozen, Reese’s Pieces lose their creaminess and become kind of waxy, and unfortunately none of their salty PB flavor stood a chance against the perfect and salty base, so they didn’t taste like much either. I did appreciate their chomp as the sole crunchy mix-in but I don’t need them here as they mostly got in the way of the other stars of the show.

This pint will be available again TODAY at 6:30 PM PST for pickup this weekend. If you’re in the bay area set your alarms and be ready to act quickly because they’re out now in less than 5 minutes, and it’s worth every penny.

Rating: 9.5/10

Found at: Bad Walter’s ($12.00)

REVIEW: Bad Walter’s 46

Bay Area I’ve gotta let you in on a little secret – there’s some cool underground ice cream shit happening in Oakland. Bad Walter’s Bootleg Ice Cream began as a quarantine hobby for owner Sydney in the spring of 2020, and has snowballed into churning out weekly limited pints since October. From what I’ve been able to sample, I’m impressed. Bad Walter’s makes super premium custard bases that are, wait for it…lactose free! I know, I’ve never had anything like it either.

Last week’s limited run flavor was “46”, inspired by today’s inauguration. It features a brown sugar ice cream with chocolate dipped Ruffles and a peanut butter swirl. Y’all know how I love my sweet and salty so I HAD to taste this. 

Truthfully, this was the most impressive and authentic brown sugar base I’ve ever had. It’s incredibly smooth with a decadent mouthfeel, but what really took me by surprise was the depth of the brown sugar flavor. Initially it reminded me of an epic brown sugar cereal milk, but the more it stacked the richer the flavor became. By the end it reminded me of the filling in a See’s Bordeaux truffle, which is one of my favorite chocolate’s of all time. Less-typical bases, like brown sugar, tend to fade away after the initial bites, but this one never let go.

Bad Walter’s peanut butter swirl is exactly how I like my peanut butter swirls — more salty than sweet with a slick fatty texture but thin enough to actually temper with the ice cream. Just as satisfying as sticking your spoon in the jar! My only issue with it is I wish there was more. The top superficial layer of the pint had the swirl’s best showing, and while the swirl never entirely vanished I would have loved a couple more epic spoonfuls to allow the saltiness to play off of the stunning sweet base.

Similarly, the chocolate dipped Ruffles were executed very well – nice and crunchy with a salty potato taste highlighted by just a touch of bittersweet chocolate. Once again, perfect execution, just lacking a bit on the actual quantities to make this pint something undeniably out of this world. I was reminded of this same mix-in being used in one of my favorite ice cream’s of all time, Salt & Straw’s Chocolate Caramel Potato Chip Cupcake, and how if I got some chunks akin to the boulders found in those pints I would have been in sweet and salty heaven. 

Despite the slightly underwhelming density of the mix-ins, which is largely a preference thing, I really loved this ice cream, and I love the entrepreneur spirit of Sydney and her ice cream company named after her pesky pup. If you’re interested in grabbing a pint of what she comes up with next make sure to follow Bad Walter’s on Instagram and place your order on Sunday night for pickup the following weekend. And fair warning: it sells out quick!

Rating: 8/10 

Found at: Bad Walter’s ($10.00)