REVIEW: Bad Walters Scouts Honor

Thin Mints get all the love, but let’s be real, Samoas are the best Girl Scout cookie. Their combination of chocolate, caramel, coconut, and shortbread are divine, and that flavor is absolutely primed to excel as an ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s tried earlier this year with its Chewy Gooey Cookie flavor, which had some promise but failed to hit the highs of the delicious purple-boxed cookie. But have no fear, local lactose-free churner Bad Walters gave the profile a different twist and if you’re like me and think that Samoas are the best Girl Scout cookie and that Phish Food is the pinnacle of Ben & Jerry’s standard lineup— you’re gonna want to pay attention to the next time this one drops. Scouts Honor is a dark chocolate custard with salty caramel swirls and coconut macaroons.

I was curious how well a chocolate base would translate the Samoas experience but I’m happy to report that the bittersweet chocolate isn’t overbearing, and the Samoas profile is on full display in flavor HD. The base is intensely dark and tastes fantastic. As I noted in my review of Dream Team, it isn’t as smooth and lush as every other base I’ve had from Bad Walters, and it’s a tough trade off because the flavor is SO good but the texture gets held back a bit. I found this to be mostly remedied with extra temper time, but it still has a touch more grittiness than anything else I’ve scooped from the burgeoning local legend. You can see in the pictures how it’s a bit chunky, and I’m pretty sure it’s from the heavy handed cocoa powder. I wish it was more velvety but I love it regardless; and admire its bold punchy chocolate flavor that stands tall amongst a crowd of milkier chocolates.

The chocolate base is 75% altered, and honestly augmented, by the insane amount of salted caramel swirls; and it absolutely rules. As a Phish Food freak this dark chocolate meets caramel combo hits me right in the heart. The caramel has a perfectly caramelized slightly burnt taste that keeps it from getting too sweet. It has a flavor closer to Salt & Straw with a thinner texture more akin to B&J. It’s a fantastic medium that works so incredibly well with the strong base. Phenomenal.

The macaroons are where this pint has the chance to make or break the whole theme, and let me tell you, this shit is POPPIN’. There are SO many macaroons and they are next level perfection. Who knew macaroons are such a good mix-in? I think this is my first time having them in ice cream and I desperately need it to not be the last. The sensually sweet balls of buttery shredded coconut pop up everywhere, with caramelized crunchy bits on the bottom that actually send me over the moon. The saltiness that comes through, along with the toothy chew, is better than I could have ever imagined. Not to mention the many crevices for the chocolate and caramel to soak into, making for a singular mix-in that’s anything but static. Scouts Honor 100% channels a strong love for Samoas, but it’s a decadent and absurdly good pint of ice cream on its own (scouts) merit, too. 

Rating: 9/10

Found at: Bad Walters ($13.50)

REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Totally Unbaked

The first Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch of 2021 was a helluva challenge to find, and it’s less of a newbie and more of a remix. Totally Unbaked is a reimagined take on Half Baked, combining chocolate and vanilla ice creams with brownie batter swirls and gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough. As a fan of OG Half Baked this pint only really has to answer one question: is it an improvement? The answer, sadly, is no. 

The new addition to the mix, the brownie batter swirl, is FANTASTIC. It’s rich and thick and sticks to the spoon like proper batter, although it’s missing the grittiness I expected, (not an issue) and has more of a smooth consistency like fudge. B&J’s ability to nail a rich heavy swirl is what makes Peanut Butter Fudge Core one of my favorites from them and in Totally Unbaked that rich thickness is absolutely the star of the show. 

It makes the whole pint more chocolate forward than its predecessor and while the base distribution is still fairly equal, most of the more subtle vanilla flavor gets washed away from the intensity of the chocolate ice cream and swirl tandem. I have no issue with the level of chocolate, and I guess what I want is MORE chocolate because this pint DESPERATELY misses the brownies. B&J do brownies so well that their absence here is notable. Despite how good the batter is I still want the brownie’s dense chew to go with it; that would be a sweet combo.

What makes me REALLY miss the brownies is the cookie dough execution. I’m not sure if this was just a quality control issue but all of the dough pieces are hard on the outside, which is not what I’ve come to expect from my boys Ben and Jerry. It feels like the dough was about to be baked, popped in the oven for 45 seconds, and then *SIKE* pulled out and plopped into ice cream. It’s very odd, and not appealing in the slightest.

If Half Baked is your favorite Ben & Jerry’s staple (what’s wrong with you – it’s Phish Food, baby!) then this one is probably worth a shot as there’s a good chance your dough won’t be weirdly hard. If you’re looking for something complex and unique and tantalizing you’re better off skipping it, even though the brownie batter swirl is *chefs kiss* perfection.


Rating: 6/10

Found at: Target ($4.99)