Following 2020’s “Fan Favorite” resurrection of Gimme S’more, Peanut Butter Half Baked, and Cannoli, Ben & Jerry’s has once again taken a trip to its Flavor Graveyard and used ice cream voodoo to summon a heralded classic from the dead. Previously RIP’d in 2012, Dublin Mudslide is Irish cream ice cream with chocolate chocolate chip cookies and a coffee fudge swirl.
Irish cream is one of those flavors that seems to have been around my entire life in various forms, from Milano cookies to (more recently) Starbucks drinks, but I’ve never fully understood what it’s supposed to taste like. In its purest form, it’s a mixture of whiskey and milk, but I’ve had iterations that taste more like vanilla, coffee, or even chocolate. So I went into this pint not knowing what to expect.
The base tastes like a really rich sweet cream with a hint of whiskey. The booziness is mild but it’s definitely there, and adds a faint smoky oak note that brings a little depth and intrigue to the otherwise good but tame ice cream. Its main strength is its silky smooth and dense texture, a result of the mere presence of alcohol in the mixture, and it’s fantastic. I wouldn’t mind more punchiness like I’m taking a straight liqueur swig but I can’t deny the velvety richness of the mouthfeel.
For this reinvented version, Ben & Jerry’s teamed up with Wheyward Spirit, a new liquor derived from whey, the liquid co-product of cheese and other dairy products. By partnering with domestic dairy producers they’re able to reduce waste and lower the environmental footprint of production while simultaneously creating a unique and sip-able booze. The Wheyward’s flavor is like a slightly fruity cross between sake and tequila, but in Dublin Mudslide it does a solid job of conjuring mild whiskey.
The mix-in density is excellent, and I’m really happy with the quality control compared to this year’s Chewy Gooey Cookie. The cookies add a rich chocolate flavor with hints of butter and a perfectly soft chew, accented by the crunchiness of harder chocolate chips.
Bringing some sauciness to the equation, the coffee fudge swirl is abundant and tasty with a 60/40 split of chocolate to coffee that does well to add a touch of bitterness to the succulently smooth and mild ice cream. The two components work well in a coffee-meets-chocolate mocha tandem that tastes perfectly familiar and comfortable next to the alcohol-tinged base.
It became clear to me while scooping this pint that the confusion around what an Irish cream flavored product tastes like stems from the fact that something like Baileys is often mixed with other components. You can drink Irish cream straight, but it feels so much more common in an Irish coffee, White Russian cocktail, or even hot chocolate, so this Ben & Jerry’s creation kind of taps into all the components that could be found with Irish cream and brings them together as one.
This is a well executed flavor that does everything it tries to do as quietly but effectively as possible. There’s a little bit of whiskey, a little bit of coffee, and a little bit more chocolate. I can see why this would be considered a fan favorite, and kudos to Ben & Jerry’s for the excellent quality control. I would personally enjoy a stronger handed boozy flourish but I can’t deny how lovely this one is to scoop.
DISCLOSURE: I originally purchased a pint, but also received a free product sample from Ben & Jerry’s and attended a virtual tasting hosted by the company. Doing so did not influence my review.
Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: One Pint
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup, 134g) 340 calories, 18 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 34 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.