Kicking off the new year in sweet and salty style, the master churners at Ben & Jerry’s are back with two fresh additions to their vaunted lineup of chunk-laden pints: Impretzively Fudged and PB S’more.
Impretzively Fudged is chocolate ice cream with fudge-covered pretzel pieces and pretzel swirls.
This is a straightforward but delightfully effective take on a chocolate-covered pretzel. Simple isn’t always bad; in this case, it makes the pint simply stunning. The chocolate base is as good as ever, with some of the salt from the pretzel swirl bleeding into the ice cream for a more nuanced and rich chocolate flavor than the average chocolate provides — and I love it. The gritty, subtly crunchy pretzel swirl is pretty present throughout, and with only one swirl and one mix-in, the intended sweet and salty profile is inescapable and captivatingly delicious.
The fudge-covered pretzel pieces are different than I expected. Even though the description says “pieces,” I envisioned pretzel nuggets, but they are, in fact, pieces. Pieces to the point that they feel almost like shattered fragments of a chocolate pretzel bark. They have a nice crunch and genuine salty pop that makes each spoonful incredibly satisfying. This pint eats more like a chocolate chip ice cream than one with massive boulders of chunk-age, but in this case, the chocolate chips are flecks of chocolate pretzel, and it’s pure indulgent fun. The profile is a bit of a one-trick pony, but it’s a pony that I love and a trick I will gladly embrace time and time again.
PB S’more is toasted marshmallow ice cream with peanut butter cups, graham cracker pieces, and marshmallow swirls.
S’mores ice cream is usually hard to pull off, nailing the nuanced layers of flavor and texture that make the summertime treat so fantastic, and this new PB-ified iteration falls down that same tricky trajectory. Anytime I see marshmallow and graham swirls in an ice cream, I am sold, and they both do their job in this pint convincingly as some of B&J’s best mix-ins. Where it gets a bit muddied is in the toasted marshmallow base. It comes across as really sweet, and I love sweet, but this teeters on cloying. Not enough to ruin the experience, but enough to make me wish it was different. I don’t get much of a toasted flavor either, and some smokiness would have been more than welcome to temper the intense sweetness of the base and swirls.
The peanut butter cups change the pint’s dynamic for the better, bringing a big, bold crunch and semisweet chocolate punch that helps break up the overlapping monotony of the double-mallow-whammy. They are full-sized PB cups broken into giant chunks. But sadly, my pint only had four sizable pieces throughout with a couple of fragmented shards, and I only occasionally got the salty peanut butter reprieve I was hoping for. I love this flavor conceptually, but in execution, I think it would have been much better with a different base — graham, peanut butter, or even chocolate — to make the scoop more balanced in moments without the excellent boulders of PB cups.
All in all, these are fun ways to start the new year for one of the most prolific brands in grocery store ice cream. This drop steps away from the novelty of a Topped or Core’d pint to deliver a slightly tweaked version of Gimme S’more and a more bare-bones spin on Glampfire Trail Mix. If you’re a fan of those, this will likely appeal to you and should be arriving on shelves now!
DISCLOSURE: I received free product samples from Ben & Jerry’s. Doing so did not influence my review.
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: One Pint
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Impretzively Fudged), 7 out of 10 (PB S’more)
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) Impretzively Fudged – 390 calories, 23 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 32 grams of total sugars, and 6 grams of protein. PB S’more – 370 calories, 19 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 45 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 35 grams of total sugars, and 6 grams of protein.