Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cadbury Irish Creme Bar

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I don't know why I even bother to try anything new by Cadbury.

I know that the brand is practically worshipped overseas but I couldn't tell you why.

The Irish Cream bar is no exception. The chocolate is grainy, overly sweet and is so waxy it probably does not melt when left on the dashboard of a black car parked in the midday sun of a Phoenix afternoon.

I will concede that Irish Creme that is buried under a respectable coat of that vile chocolate does in fact have a nice flavor. They captured a rich, creamy, Bailey's like taste- but frankly I would rather just guzzle down some "real" Bailey's for a much tastier fix.

Nice idea but better to skip this bar.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dasani Plus Water

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Coke is jumping on the enhanced water bandwagon and added the Dasani Plus waters to the line.

So far I have tried both the Refresh and Revive which is a strawberry/kiwi flavor that contains Vitamins B3, B6 and B12 and the Cleanse + Restore: Pomegranate Blackberry Flavor which has Vitamins E, B3, B6 and B12, plus 1 gram of fiber.

I liked both but I give the edge to the Pom/Blackberry because I prefer tart to sweet. The Strawberry/Kiwi is good but as most strawberry flavored drinks tend to be it was on the overly sweet side.

The waters are sweetened with Splenda which I like because I am not deathly allergic to it and when it comes to flavored waters I have noticed that it manages to sweeten without a chemically aftertaste.

I can't say that either water made me feel anything beyond hydrated but I am sure the extra vitamins are a good thing. I will definitely be buying these again.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Starbucks Raspberry Mocha Frappucchino

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I am having a hard time remembering if this is a relaunched flavor or not but if it is I had never had it until today...

...And to be honest I could have easily lived the rest of my life that way.
I have a love/hate relationship with the Frappuccino. Every great once and awhile I get an itch that can only be soothed by the sticky, creamy, sweetness that is a Venti, upside down Caramel Frappuccino with a shot of vanilla. To be honest if that happens once every two years that is a lot. I prefer hot to iced coffee and that much dairy does cause some Shatner like bloating.

But kids I will try anything in the name of a good review. Lactaid firmly in hand I took a gooey, whip cream full sip (hey if you are going to go this far you may as well have the whip cream!)

The verdict:
Not bad, but not good either. mediocre at best. It's not the mocha (that was the standard issue mocha), it wasn't the texture or consistency. It was "raspberry" flavor. it was like they had gotten a hold of a vat of that cheap fake raspberry filling that cheap Mega Mart bakery's use on they're mass produced layer cakes- then they used that in the drink. I am sure they are using at least a decent quality syrup but it just does not do this drink justice.
That said I am willing to bet that it would not be as cloying in a hot drink.

I still love the 'Bucks but I won't be spending any of mine on another of the Raspberry Frapps.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hershey's Cacao reserve 35% Bar

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Maybe I should be honest- I don't like Hershey's chocolate. The only exception to that would be the Symphony bars.
But seeing as I will try anything I have been wanting to try the Reserve Hershey's line. I was in the mood for milk chocolate so I picked up the 35% Milk bar.

If this is the reserve stash then I hate to think about what they are putting in the regular bars.

Taste wise it has only a slightly creamer edge to it then the normal Hershey bar. It was more or less what I was expecting.

The texture is less gritty then the normal bar which is a good thing but the mouth feel is what kills it.

How did they manage to nail a rich, creamy, velvety melt with the Symphony and yet the spiffy Reserve bar's mouth feel is oily, lumpy with an uneven melt. I have had cheap Wal*Mart no name mystery chocolate with better mouth feel then this.

Reserve your calories and chocolate cravings for something better then this.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Lipton Brisk Green Apple Green Tea

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Seeing this on the shelf I couldn't resist trying it- it's bright green! who could resist something bright green?!

It has occurred to me after the fact that in nature there is a reason why things that are dangerous are brightly colored as a warning sign... And yet I chose to ignore it anyway.

About the only way to describe this is to imagine drinking a liquid sour apple Jolly Rancher- and oddly enough that is not a good thing. I can see this being a big hit with teens or even younger kids but I don't see it having a broad enough appeal to get hugely popular. Worth a try but it can't hold a candle to Snapples Apple White Tea.

Snapple Out Of The Blueberry Tea

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I know what your thinking- Blueberry tea? BLACH!

The blueberry manages to avoid the two biggest problems most blueberry flavored items have. One being the sic kingly sweet fake blueberry pie flavor and the other the extremely sour pucker that gives the consumer a serious case of CBF.

The blueberry here is a perfect balance of sweet/tart with just a hint of a mellow tea in the background. excellent and refreshing.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Cocaine Energy Drink

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What did you think I meant?

One of the other bartenders at work brought some in and was daring people to try it- HA! little did he know who he was talking too!!
The hype behind Cocaine besides the name is that it contains 280 MG of Caffeine per 8.4 oz can. It also uses simple sugars rather then complex sugars so it doesn't cause the same crash as soda or other super sweet drinks or foods.
I didn't have more then a couple ounces but I can tell you that it was enough to cause a buzz.

The flavor is best described as Children's Tylenol and Pop Rocks. Not bad as far as energy drinks go.

There is one unique thing the drink has going for it and you are either going to love it or hate it. It contains special "secret ingredients" that cause the drink to both numb your throat and burn your throat at the same time as you drink it. It is incredibly uncomfortable bordering on painful.

Maybe I am just getting old. All the young whipper snappers at work loved the stuff. Me I think I will just stick to Starbucks.

By the way it seems that due to pressure from the FDA over the product name and a dispute with Coca-Coca over the can design that for the next few weeks you may have a hard time finding Cocaine in stores.

Dove Dark Chocolate Mint Creames

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I have to be honest. I did not notice these were sugar free until I got them home.

All in all not bad. The chocolate it's self is not as rich as the normal Dove dark but it does have a deep rich flavor. The mint is subtle at first but after two of the candies it does start to remind you of Mylanta.
The mouth feel is creamy and smooth. My only complaint with it is that it melts VERY quickly.

I like it enough that I would buy it again- IF it did not have two major drawbacks.

1. About 3 minutes after eating the after taste from hell sets in. It's like Mylanta and stale coffee.

2. The not so small print on the label:

I know I always want my snack food to keep me regular.

Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup

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I may have to forgive those damned hippies for the Dublin Mudslide after all...

I love peanut butter. LUUUUUUUVE it, the thing is that I tend to only like it three ways:
* Skippy on soft white bread- NO JELLY!
* Reeses or Trader Joe's brand PB cups
* Grandmothers peanut butter cookies

I don't like peanut butter cereals, PB flavored candies and 99% of all peanut butter cookies, novelties etc.

I always tell myself I should like the various PB products but it just never works out. I have been seeing this Ben & Jerry's for at least a year and I kept telling myself I wanted to try it. I just never did because I figured I would hate it. But I wanted to try something new and was feeling adventurous so I finally bought it.

It was good!. The base flavor is peanut butter. What I liked about it is that it is a very mellow taste. It tastes more like Thai peanut sauce then peanut butter. And it is full of mini peanut butter cups!
It is very rich, but I considered that to be a good thing because it would be very easy to blow through more then you should have in one portion. It wouldn't be my choice every time but it will be something that I get again.

Ben & Jerry's Dublin Mudslide

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Erin go Blaach!

Let's just cut to the chase and say right off the top that this is vile and if you want something Irish cream flavored go right to the Haagan Daz Bailey's Irish Cream flavor.

But how vile was it you ask?
While not as bad as anything involving Spam it was still pretty horrible.

The base flavor is supposed to be Irish cream. Yeah, if you have ever had knock off cheap "I Can't Believe It's Not Bailey's" it tastes like that only cheaper and crapier.
If that wasn't awful enough once you get through the faux-alcohol aftertaste then there is the "cookies" to deal with. You know those generic 99 cent "chocolate" sandwich cookie you can get at just about every mega mart in the world?. The ones made with entirely too much oil and carob instead of cocoa?. Those were the cookies they used. So not only do you have the strong fake alcohol to deal with but couple that with an overwhelming coconuty type oil taste.

The only good part about this ice cream was the java fudge swirl. It's a nice deep rich chocolate with just a hint of coffee. If only they could have matched the quality of the ice cream to the quality of the swirl.

I am just going to leave this one by saying those damn hippies owe me big.

New Tree Tranquility Bar

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New Tree is a brand of Belgian chocolates. I picked up the Tranquility bar around Christmas and truthfully forgot about it until today- WHY did I wait so long?!
The bar is divided into bite sized segments. The first thing I did was smell the bar. The smell alone would make it worth buying, it's milky and sweet and just lightly hinted of lavender.

The chocolate is one of the best milk chocolates I have ever had. If they had just a plain milk bar I would buy it.

The taste of the lavender is hard to explain. it's clean and mellow but not soapy or medicinal. There is also the a light citrus bite from the lime blossom. Can't wait to get another one!.

Bubble Yum- Hershey's Chocolate Gum

WAAAAAY back in the day when I was but a scrappy young lass still living in Boston my favorite bubble gum to chew and get stuck to things was a chocolate flavored gum. I can't recall the brand anymore (but Hubba Bubba seems to stick to my mind) but many a happy hour was passed attempting to blow a bubble bigger then my head.

Upon moving out west much to my dismay I never found chocolate gum again. And I looked!- I drove my family crazy (and anyone else who would listen) with my whining for that gum. But after awhile it became clear that I had as much chance of finding my beloved gum as I did of having a snowball fight, in Phoenix, in July. I got over it but I never forgot how much I had liked it.

Well guess what I found at Publix today!
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Of course I bought it.
As best I could tell it tasted just like I remembered- which is to say exactly like a chocolate Twizzler. If you have never had a chocolate Twizzler the best way to explain that flavor is to tell you to imagine that it was a chocolate flavor designed by a person who had never actually eaten chocolate. It has more of an "essence" of chocolate rather then a true rich milky taste. The flavor is pretty short lived. The strongest parts fade off after about 10 minutes with the weaker flavors dying off after about five.

I next to never chew bubble gum (or any gum for that matter) now. Maybe I got an older pack because it was very tough and rubbery. It was so dense I couldn't get a bubble going. I remember Bubble Yum gum being soft and reasonably thin.

As an adult I have to admit that I am not sure what the six year old version of me thought was so great. It's not bad, but I have had better things in my mouth.
A nice walk down memory lane but I think I will keep the rest of my chocolate gum memories hung up next to my Ferris Bueller poster.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Chocolove Raspberries in Dark Chocolate Bar

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is a boutique chocolate brand that is starting to get more widely available en masse. I actually found this bar at a local Kroger and the Target's in my area has the full line now also.

I liked it a lot!. The chocolate is a 55% dark.. The raspberry is actually whole dried raspberries, what's weird about them is that they are a really bright red- but it makes for a snazzy looking bar. What's nice is the first taste that you get is the sharp bite of the dark chocolate and that is quickly followed by the natural sweetness of the raspberries. In a refreshing change of pace the fruit actually tasted like fruit and not like a super sugary version of what fruit would taste like if it were made of only artificial ingredients. Something else that was good about the raspberries is that they actually had the seeds intact. The slight crunchy texture is unexpected but in a good way!- like when you find out you lost 5 pounds despite a nightly snack of Froot Loops with Marshmellows... um, not that I did that or anything.

If I was retarded I might close this by saying something like "Yumm-o!" but since My mother only dropped me on my head a couple of times I'll just end things by saying this bar makes me almost as happy as seeing Clive Owen topless
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Yes, I know he's dressed in this picture but I couldn't find a nakkid one.

Joseph Schmidt Lemon Truffle Bar

Joseph Schimidt is best know for making beautiful truffles like these:
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I have a particular liking for the combo of dark chocolate and lemon so how could I resist picking one up?- yeah like there was even a question.

The bars are nicely molded and sectioned into 8 bite sized squares. The chocolate it's self tastes like a high quality Toll House morsel- I personally like that mellow mix of bitter and sweet, and it has a spicy finish.
The lemon is true lemon flavor, it best reminded me of a thin but not sticky lemon curd. The filling is so good that if they sold it as a stand alone product I am sure I could put it to good use.

Flavor-wise it's one of the best bars I have had since the Vosages Black Pearl bar.

BUT... and the is always a but. The bar's only down fall is the mouth feel- or lack of mouth feel to be specific. Part of what I love about chocolate is that rich, warm, creamy texture of the chocolate melting on your tongue as you savour the taste. This chocolate never seems to melt. It dissolves in plasticy lumps- eventually. Yes, you do get a good five minutes out of the square and it does taste great. But without the melt it is just anti-climatic. It's like finally letting that hot new boyfriend get to third base only to find out he has no idea what to do. Yeah, it was fun getting that far but your left feeling unfulfilled and waiting for a sensation that is never going to come (pun intended).

I have heard it said that bad chocolate is like bad sex- at least you can say you had it. I think that pretty much sums up the Schmidt bar.
It was pretty, it tasted good, but it was just a one night stand.

Hint Apple flavored water

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I saw some of the Hint Water line at Whole Foods today and decided to try the Apple Flavor.

I had never had apple flavored water before so I thought it would be different. When you open the bottle the first thing you notice is that it actually does smell like you had just bitten into a fresh apple- I figured this was a good sign. If it had smelled like kool aid or apple candy (or God forbid Apple Pucker) I probably would be regretting my choice of the water over SoBe pretty quickly.

Tasting it... This is gonna be a weird answer. The initial taste is just plain bad. It's not sweet, but not tart. It actually tastes exactly like if you had taken one of those cool apple peel spirals and eaten it all by it's self.
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Needless to say there is a reason why you don't see any apple peel flavored products. Now remember I said that it would be a weird answer- so I am not done yet!. Once you get past the nasty ass apple peel taste there is actually a very nice aftertaste. Once the bitter bite of the peel flavor wears off you are left with the taste of having just bitten into a perfectly sweet /tart apple.

In the end while the aftertaste is good it is just not worth having to deal with slugging down the actual water. I do want to give some of the other flavors a try though

Yoplait Whips- Creamy Latte

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I've mentioned a few times that I really like the Whips line from Yoplait. Recently they added a coffee flavor to the line. I like coffee flavor but haven't been terribly impressed with coffee yogurt (Dannon's is just not good) but I tried it anyway...

Really Good!
The coffee taste actually does taste like a slightly sweet latte with a tart edge- and it manages not to have that bitter old gas station coffee taste that some coffee products have.
The best way to describe it would be to imagine coffee flavored cheesecake. If you want something sweet and low cal this is it!

Limonmint MetroMint

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Awhile back I did a review of the Mint and Spearmint flavors of MetroMint water. Both were horrible- so why I felt the need to try the Lemonmint flavor when I saw it is beyond me... But I am glad that I did.

The mint is nice, refreshing but not like slugging down Scope. The lemon actually tastes like real lemon and not like chemical lemon.

Worth trying if you are looking for something a little different but still refreshing

Dannon Fit and Light Cherry Vanilla Yogurt

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I am always trying to keep the sugar down and I love yogurt so I was excited to see I could try this.

I got the Cherry Vanilla. It was pretty good!. Not to sweet on the vanilla side and not too tart on the cherry. There are nice little bites of cherry premixed through out. And maybe I am just so used to it that I didn't detect it, but I also noticed so artificial sweetener aftertaste.

The only thing that I didn't really like is the texture/thickness. If you like a nice thick yogurt (like I do) you re going to be disappointed. It's smooth and not the least bit grainy which is good. But the thickness is more like one of those yogurt drinks (Danimals anyone?) or a really thick smoothie (I HATE smoothies so this is not a selling point for me). If you like yogurt dip for fruit this would be perfect straight from the container.

For 60 calories for 6 ounces and no fat you can't really complain (but that didn't stop me!) and I have to admit I got over the thickness enough to eat a couple more containers over the weekend. It's not Yoplait custard style but it makes a decent snack.

Jones Holiday Soda- Sugar Plum

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This soda is a cool light purple color- sorta like liquid Barney. Anyway...

The scent:
It's lightly banana scented. If any of you have been to Universal Studios and been on the tour and remember the part where you get to be face to face with King Kong and smell his banana scented breath it's just like that (they couldn't give me a decent raise after 3 years but they had enough money to make fake monkey breath smell AND 2 crappy Kevin Costner movies. But I am not bitter!).
If you haven't been to Universal then just imagine cheap fake banana aroma and you'll get the point.

The Taste:
Just like the Peppermint it is lightly carbonated which works well for this. The main flavor is kinda like grape Pedialyte ice pops (what?! I couldn't eat solids for two months after a surgery- you get desperate for flavor). Now mix that with banana.
The after taste is blissfully pleasant UNLIKE that disgusting peppermint. It reminded me of banana runts.

With all that in mind I have NO IDEA where they got "sugar plum" from banana and grape but none the less it was pretty good.

It IS realllllllly sweat though. I don't think I could drink a whole bottle- but I could see where kids would love this stuff.
Best yet!

Jones Holiday Soda- Peppermint

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There are Three all together- Sugar Plum, Eggnog and Peppermint and I will do one a day for the next three days. Random selecting by Chris put Peppermint up as the first review.

Peppermint also was the one I figured would be make the best soda.

In person it is a nice light cranberry color- kinda like the cranberry Sierra Mist. Nothing for nothing it would make a good color for lip gloss.

The smell.
I guess the best way to describe it would be cherry kool aide made with Mylanta in place of water. If you can't tell it goes way down hill from here.

The taste.
It's barely carbonated- which is the nicest thing I can say. I have no idea where they get Peppermint from, there is nothing peppermint about it- save for the Mylanta mixed with cherry kool aide mixed with Rolaids flavor.

Again if you are looking for ways to piss off Santa replace the beer (or whatever you leave him to drink) and put this out

Cinnamon Chocolate Covered Altoids

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I read about Chocolate covered Altoids about month ago and finally saw them at Wal*Mart the other day.

They come in three flavors- Peppermint Cinnamon and Ginger. All Wally World had was Cinnamon so that was what I have tried.
Admittedly I figured this was going to be weird, but I tried them anyway.

The chocolate is a mildly bitter dark chocolate, a lot like what you would get on a Junior Mint only better quality and it melts quicker. Don't plan on handling these a lot before you eat them. They will melt in your mouth, AND on your hand AND in the tin if you leave it in direct sunlight... um not that I did that or anything.

The chocolate cuts through the bite of the cinnamon and while it is kind of on the waxy side it doesn't taste cheap or waxy. I really want to find and try the Ginger ones (the ginger are my favorite Altoid anyway) Yum!

Metro Mint Water

I heard about this a few months ago a few months ago but it takes a while for some products to reach those of us in the boonies so I haven't gotten to try it until today.

I like water, I like mint- I sometimes put fresh mint leaves in my water so I figure this should be pretty good right?. If you like drinking Scope it's great otherwise you are SOL. It has that strong fake mint flavor that makes your brain wait for the mouth wash/alcohol burn you get if you swallow by mistake. It never comes but that doesn't help any.

Needless to say I will not be buying more. Great idea just badly done.

It comes in Spearmint (the one I tried) and Peppermint. I got one of the peppermints too but that is in the fridge until tomorrow. I just couldn't bring myself try it after the Spearmint. But I will and when I do I shall report back.
If you just have to know more.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Haagen Daz

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This was the winning flavor from the "Scoop" FN/Haagen Dazs contest. Admittedly I didn't know that when I bought it. I remember hearing something about it but when I saw the name of the flavor alone on the shelf I had to buy it.

And here is the rest of it. It's a vanilla ice cream base that has a slight hint of cinnamon and it is filled with a toffee sauce and bits of a moist sugar cake. I hope this ends up becoming part of the normal line. This flavor is actually BETTER then the Mayan Chocolate that was launched earlier in the year- and that is saying something because that is a damn good one.

Worth every calorie!

Mayan Chocolate Haagen Daz

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Haagen-Dazs has come up with THE best chocolate ice cream EVER

Mayan Chocolate is a rich semi-sweet chocolate ice cream with a thick gooey cinnamon/fudge swirl. Heaven in a pint.
It's creamy, spicy and chocolaty.

Swirl technology has come along way. I remember when fudge swirls was a thinnish hard chunk type thing, the swirls of modern ice cream manage to be smooth and gooey. That may actually be the best invention of the 21'st century. Get some NOW!!!

Ben & Jerry's Vermonty Python

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No one Expects The Spanish Inquisition... Or Crappy Ice Cream
After my recent run of luck with Ben & Jerry's I gave another of the new flavors a try- "Vermonty Python"

"Vermonty Phython" according to the pint is a coffee liqueur flavored ice cream with a cookie crumb swirl and fudge cows.
Sounds pretty good right?, yeah I thought so to. But...

The first thing you smell is the fake alcohol of the "liqueur" that fades away fast enough and leaves you with a weak sweet coffee like taste.
The cookie swirl is weirdly hard and reminds you more of loose coffee grounds more the cookies and let's not talk about the chocolate cows.
If they had been semi sweet- like the fish in Phish Food or the chunks in Cherry Garcia they would have been great.
Instead the cows are this weird wanna be fudge/cheap milk chocolate.

BLAH!!! why this ice cream fall so flat on it's face after the greatness of the other two flavors I don't know but store brand ice cream would have been better.

Ben and Jerry's Jamaican Me Crazy Sorbet

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Damn I am impressed!
I was in the mood for some sorbet tonight was I trekked (yes- that is a geek reference) to my local Publix. I had planned on getting some Mango Haagen Daaz but a new Ben & Jerry's offering caught my eye. The new flavor is called "Jamaican Me Crazy" it's a chunky pineapple with a passion fruit swirl.
I had tried B&J sorbet in the past and not been impressed. I recall it being gritty and chemically testing. If I wanted gritty sorbet I could make my own (I have not quite mastered it myself-yet)

WOW! did they fix those problems with this batch! it's smooth and creamy, the pineapple is just a tad tart- but that works really well with the sweetness of the passion fruit. This is well worth a try.

Coke Blak

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I am a big Coke fan and when I heard that Coke Blak was coming out I was fairly excited. Coffee and coke together?, yeah it sounds weird but I was willing to give it a try. After about a month of waiting I finally scored some today.

I tried it when it was ice cold- once your done looking at the cool label and cute bottle the first thing that hits you is the smell. The aroma is vaguely coffee, vaguely chocolaty and vaguely burnt sugar. You would think that would be a good thing but all together the effect is like a tiramisu/creme brulee from hell.

The mouth feel is that of almost flat Coke- I like almost flat Coke so I considered that to be a fairly good thing. Flavor wise it starts out with a sharp coffee/tootsie pop flavor, mellows into a taste best described as chocolate tootsie pop and finishes like a Coke left overnight besides the bed that spent hours getting direct sunlight before you drank from it again (uh, not that I have ever done that or anything...) The aftertaste is what I can only imagine the breath of Satan himself is like.

I feel safe to say this is probably going to go the way of New Coke (only I would hope less embarrassing) .

Ben & Jerry's Black and Tan

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I used to be a Ben and Jerry's fan.
I say 'was' because I noticed a change in the quality of the ice cream after being purchased by Unilever in 2000 (Unilever interestingly enough also owns Slim-Fast). I am beyond lactose intolerant (forget things like Lactaid it just does not work on me) but I am an Ice Cream lover to the max- but if I am going to go through the pain and suffering that the ice cream will bring it had better be damned good (and YES sometimes it is just SOOOOO worth it)

Ben & Jerry's has just not been as rich and creamy as it once was and it also seems to have picked up a chemically after taste. Even still I can't resist trying new flavors when they come out. Yeah 'Marsha Marsha Marshmallow' was pretty gross, 'Brownie Batter' should never be discussed but I have to give them points for 'Black & Tan' flavor.

It is a stout flavored cream with swirls of chocolate running through. It's beer, it's chocolate, it's ice cream- what's not to love!!
The taste is more of a chocolate malt then beer but it is a smooth, full taste. It's no Cold Stone Creamery 'Cake Batter' but it is well worth a lick.

Originally posted 4-6-06