Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: Ben & Jerry's Schweddy Balls Ice Cream

I promised comfort reviews on this blog from time to time, so what better way is there to kick off those occasional reviews than a post about one of the most comforting, yet fattening foods there are?  Yep, it's time for Ben & Jerry's ice cream and since I've been reading about all the so-called controversy over the Ben & Jerry's Schweddy Balls Ice Cream limited batch offering, I was anxious to head to the store to try this one out.  Unfortunately, it took me about two weeks before I could find a store that had this in stock.  While at Walmart this past Sunday, I was finally able to find a pint of Schweddy Balls for $3.29.  Now, the name of this ice cream is quite sophomoric since it is based on a Saturday Night Live skit, so me sliding in the occasional sophomoric joke into this review will probably be unavoidable.  I'll TRY to act like an adult, but there may be an attempt at a joke that bounces in from time to time.  Just a word of warning.

For your reference, Schweddy Balls is "Vanilla Ice Cream with a Hint of Rum & Loaded with Fudge covered Rum & Malt balls."  Also, it should also be written before this review that I HATE rum in general, so I may be a little biased toward negativity.  Still, that's why I taste test these things...sometimes they surprise me and overcome my initial prejudices against a particular taste.  Also, at 270 calories per serving (four per pint), it's not exactly a health freebie, but hey, it's "premium" ice cream, so you have to expect that.

One of the issues with Ben & Jerry's and all ice creams for that matter that involve additional add-ins is they sometimes struggle to evenly disperse the toppings.  As you can see from when I first opened this pint, it appeared as if the Schweddy Balls were all on the right side of the pint.  Not a good start.  Once I dig a bit more into the pint, they were spread a little more evenly, which was more encouraging.  With the amount of balls that I was seeing, I felt like I was in the locker room at the gym.

After testing for add-in consistency, it was finally time for a taste.  On my first spoonful, I made sure to get plenty of ice cream, malt balls and rum balls.  So, how did it taste?  Drum roll please...well, the answer is that I did not find it all that appealing.  The ice cream was pretty basic vanilla, although I could taste a very, very slight hint of rum.  What I could taste of it though was not really appealing to me since I'm not a rum lover.  The balls on the other hand varied.  The fudge covered malt balls were delicious.  Basically the same as the Whoppers candy that you buy at the store, these were crunchy and the fudge taste was outstanding.  They clearly were the best part of the ice cream.  On the other hand, the rum balls were awful.  They were soft balls and the rum overpowered the taste of the fudge to the point that these were actually quite unappealing.  It was hard to distinguish between the malt balls and the rum balls, so every time I got a bite that included the rum balls, I was quite sad.

Remember what I said about the add-in ratio?  Well, once I got to the halfway point of this pint, I had no balls.  The balls in this pint were dispersed in the top and bottom quarters and then the middle half was all vanilla ice cream.  Great, eating plain vanilla ice cream is just what I wanted and it always makes me feel wonderful to pay premium Ben & Jerry's prices for something that I could get for a dollar.

Buy It or Fly By It?  Definitely FLY BY IT.  Not only was the rum in this unappealing, but the poor add-in dispersal makes this one a loser.  I can see why Ben & Jerry's released this flavor because it got them a lot of publicity and a lot of curiosity purchases (me included), but this should not be a permanent flavor for them because it has no staying power or overwhelmingly great taste.  After this one finishes its limited batch, they ought to pour some talcum powder on these Schweddy Balls so that they dry up and go away forever.  I know I poured talcum powder on my balls because I haven't finished this pint yet and I'm in no rush to do so.  Since ice cream in my house usually has a shelf life of about 1.8 seconds, that is really saying something.

Update:  On Second Scoop (great frozen treat blog, by the way) had a different opinion on this one.  Check it out his review if you are interested.


  1. Don't be critical of vanilla, dude, its the best flavor out there.

  2. I love vanilla, just not the rum flavored vanilla in this pint.


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