Have you ever had an alcoholic drink which tasted fantastic and yet…it didn’t really taste like it had a high alcohol content? So that you didn’t actually realize how quickly you were making yourself very, very drunk? That’s the impression I get from eating Bonnaroo Buzz, the latest tasty atrocity from Ben and Jerry’s. Yes, of course, it’s a partnership between the ice cream company and the music festival. And it purports to bring you “Coffee & Malt Ice Creams with Toffee Chunks & a Whiskey Caramel Swirl.” Which sounds deadly enough. Quite deadly. Any of those items on their own would be pretty lethal in the hands of our friends from Vermont. But I put it to you that this is one of the most insidious Ben and Jerry’s flavors in recent memory. Because like those tasty, tasty drinks you’re getting drunk from…Bonnaroo Buzz is deceptively light tasting.
You wouldn’t think so from that macro-ingredient list, would you? But here’s the thing: when I try these ice creams I try to separate out the various bits so I can see what works and what doesn’t. Here, those two kinds of ice cream and that swirl? It’s swirled in so well that I couldn’t find it. Oh sure, I bet if I grabbed a big-ass spoon and tried to just give myself an entire scoop at once I might be able to mine a vein out of it…but one does not simply pull out an entire scoop of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Because if there’s a scoop in the open, it must be eaten. You know what I’m talking about.[ad#longpost]The coffee ice cream portion of the proceedings is not overwhelmingly coffee-ish either. It and the malt make for what would be, in my estimation, a very mild cup. The caramel gives it just a little sweetness. And then the English toffee bits provide a bit of punctuation. Honestly, the toffee might just save your life. Because while eating this thing, it’s only when you hit a good solid chunk of the toffee that you’re reminded of what you’re doing to yourself by having this. This is the sort of ice cream that you’ll plow through half a pint of before you know what’s happening. To put it another way, if this ice cream had been around in 1961, it could have taken the blame for Betty and Barney Hill “losing time.”
Is it good? It’s delicious. It’s smooth, it’s sweet and it’s mild. It’s not bombastic with its richness like my previous nemesis, the Red Velvet Cake ice cream. But this is not to be trifled with. Those of you without self control, just stay the hell away. Or at least get a friend or loved one to smack you and take it away when you’ve had enough. You’ve been warned.