The classics always come out on top.
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There comes a day in everyone’s life when they experience the truest form of joy. For some, this may be their wedding or the birth of their child. For me, it was the day my boss told me I could taste test Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
My B&J addiction didn’t actually begin until midway through college, and back then, I could stop myself and not eat the entire container. I had control those days—not anymore though. Fast forward to yesterday, my roommates and I literally ordered three pints of Ben and Jerry’s through GoPuff at 11 p.m. because someone mentioned it and then we all started craving it. On a Monday night, people—we have a problem. While my coworkers have tested ice cream makers and swear it's actually easy to make your own, I’d rather pay someone to bring perfectly crafted dairy heaven right to my doorstep, thank you very much.
Once my boss gave me the go-ahead to move forward with this test, I reached out to Ben and Jerry’s for the top 10 Ben and Jerry’s flavors of 2019. Now, by narrowing it down to the top all-time flavors instead of naming some crazy rare flavor that won’t be available in three months, we are only considering the ones that Ben and Jerry’s data analysts saw to be the most highly consumed flavors on the market today—ones that probably won’t be going away anytime soon. A lot of our editors were also upset at this list, particularly Executive Editor TJ Donegan, who wouldn’t stop pestering me about how Milk and Cookies is downright the best flavor and doesn’t get enough credit. Regardless, this is the list of our taste-tested Top 10 Ben and Jerry's Flavors:
We’ve done it with chips, Oreos, and even healthy ice cream. The blind taste test works and it keeps our testers honest—for the most part. This one was slightly harder because our office is apparently full of people who can identify Ben and Jerry’s flavors just from a glance.
I had our office rank each flavor on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best, based on taste, texture, appearance, and overall thoughts. We then calculated each factor’s score for all the ice cream, and averaged them together to get the overall score of said ice cream. Which flavor reigned supreme? Which one fell flat on its face? Are these all really so good that they beat out all the peanut-butter-based ice creams? Here’s what we found:
Overall Score: 8.19 out of 10
This wasn’t too surprising since this is a classic flavor, but I was disappointed at how standard our tastes were. This flavor won overall in Best Texture with it’s “gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough.” Invented in 1984, Ben and Jerry’s made the world’s first batch of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and hasn’t stopped since. One tester wrote that it had the “perfect ratio of chunks to ice cream.” Some people complained that it was too sweet, but that’s not in my vocabulary. Overall, it’s not shocking that this won overall because Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is something we’ve all had from Ben and Jerry’s and will have again sometime soon (to be honest, I’ll probably go get a pint after writing this).
Overall Score: 7.90 out of 10
Another classic, Half Baked won in the Best Taste category, and came in second place overall. Its simplicity is what makes it so beautiful, with its chocolate and vanilla ice creams mixed together with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough and fudge brownies. Perfect for a Netflix binge weekend, post-breakup, or just any regular Tuesday. However, some of the complaints people had were it was “too creamy,” “a little icy,” and “hmmm IDK it’s just not good.” But overall, our testers loved this flavor, summing it up with “I want to eat this every day.”
Overall Score: 7.86 out of 10
This one is like a close friend to me—that I happen to store in the freezer and eat with a spoon regularly. The Tonight Dough was the first flavor of Ben and Jerry’s I ever tasted and it changed me as a person, and in our tests came in third place overall. This ice cream flavor, donning the image of Jimmy Fallon on the packing, has so much going on inside. A mixture of caramel and chocolate ice cream along with chocolate cookie swirls, chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough, and peanut butter cookie dough. Honestly, all the bases are covered with this—peanut butter lovers, chocolate lovers, and caramel lovers all have something to enjoy.
Our testers kept complaining that it was “too sweet” and that the chocolate was overpowering all the other flavors. But hey, you don’t buy The Tonight Dough unless you’re expecting a chocolate explosion. Other comments were that the “flavor is a bit ‘busy’” and “tasted bitter.” Overall, people loved the appearance and texture, saying it had a “nice marble” and “it look(ed) so intriguing—so many colors, so many chunks” and they “loved the crunchiness. Very Carvel-cake-like.” Definitely a classic in the making and an overall favorite.
Overall Score: 7.69 out of 10
I’ll probably get a lot of hate mail for this but honestly, I don’t like Americone Dream. There I said it. Stephen Colbert is fine, but the ice cream just doesn’t do it for me. Vanilla ice cream? Sure. Caramel swirl? Heck yeah. But fudge-covered waffle cone pieces? Count me out. They either get way too mushy in the ice cream or they're too hard from being frozen for so long. Plus the flavor? Bleh. Not a fan. It’s bland and I don’t like it.
But apparently, I have an unpopular opinion because our testers thought the opposite. People said it was wonderful in aspects of “perfect combo of soft and crunch,” “looks amazing,” and “I love the chocolate bits!” Some negative comments were that there was too much caramel and that it “needed more chunks (of waffle)”, that it was overly sweet, and one tester said simply, “it’s trying too hard.” So go and try something else the next time you go to the supermarket and wake up from this Americone Dream.
Overall Score: 7.47 out of 10
This one honestly surprised me at how high it scored. I’m not a big mint-chocolate-combo lover, personally, and this one really split our testers. This peppermint ice cream with chocolate sandwich cookies scored solidly in the middle for all categories, evening out the bad complaints with the loving recommendations. People mentioned things like “too much Oreo, not enough mint,” “tastes like toothpaste with cookies,” and “weird, soggy, clean flavor.” The Mint Chocolate Cookie lovers ranked it a perfect five across the board, saying things like “I could eat a whole pint” and “Dude, it’s freaking Oreos and Mint! I mean come on! Best. Flavor. Ever!”
Overall Score: 7.36 out of 10
Chocolate Fudge Brownie is so simple, with literally just chocolate ice cream and fudge brownies. The thing about Ben and Jerry’s is that people love their complex flavor combinations and variety of textures, so maybe this might be too simple and not wild enough to pull it off. It didn’t score high enough to be in the top 5 but still did pretty decent because, well, chocolate. Our testers commented on how it had a great chewiness to it, but some complained of a weird aftertaste. Someone wrote “I love chocolate but this was too chocolatey.” Is too chocolatey possible? I for one think so, as a vanilla fan myself, but you can be the judge of that.
Overall Score: 7.27 out of 10
This one was honestly such a disappointment for me. Phish Food is one I get regularly because I love those little chocolate fish and caramel swirls, combined with the sticky marshmallow. People went back and forth on whether or not the chocolate fish were too crunchy, which brought it’s texture score down to a 3.39 out of 5. People complained that it was “too chocolatey”, but the marshmallow was a pleasant surprise to many. One tester commented, “I liked the marshmallow more than expected. I normally don’t care too much for it.” The marshmallow made it very “gooey” and the combo of crunchy chocolate fish, gooey marshmallow, and an overwhelming taste of chocolate left the testers feeling confused As one tester beautifully summed it up, “eh.”
Overall Score: 7.06 out of 10
Ah yes, Cherry Garcia, another Ben and Jerry’s classic. This was the first ice cream flavor named for a rock legend, an edible tribute to guitarist Jerry Garcia and Grateful Dead fans everywhere. Compared to other flavors, this was a lot more controversial though. This cherry ice cream inspired a lot of comments from our testers, mostly about the cherries & fudge flakes. People loved the fudge flakes and wished there were more but the soft fruit turned a lot of people off. In general, it seems that people didn’t like the fruit chunks in their ice cream, but liked the fruit-flavored ice cream. The soft, squishy texture of the fruit definitely bothered most people which lead this to the bottom of our list. Someone complained that they didn’t like the after taste, but others were surprised at how they liked it more than expected, calling the ice cream flavor “strangely refreshing.”
Overall Score: 6.83 out of 10
Coffee ice cream is a special breed of taste, one that you either love or hate. This somewhat new flavor consisting of coffee ice cream with fudge chunks and a brownie batter swirl scored poorly among our testers—so much so that it tied with Strawberry Cheesecake for the Worst Flavor at 2.77 out of 5. Maybe it’s because some people in our office don’t drink coffee, or maybe the Brewed to Matter just isn't good. I personally love coffee and drink a lot of it, but I really didn’t enjoy this flavor. However, there were some good comments and coffee ice cream lovers in the mix. Our testers said things like “great texture, ideal chunks” and “tastes like tiramisu!”
Overall Score: 5.93 out of 10
Finally, we have the worst of the best, Strawberry Cheesecake. Honestly, I’m not quite sure how it got on the top flavors of 2019 list to begin with. The strawberries tasted very artificial and the ice cream melted the what-should’ve-been crunchy graham crackers so they were soggy and gross. Testers complained the mix-ins tasted the worst out of all the flavors they’ve tested, in all aspects. Strawberry Cheesecake, therefore, wound up scoring the absolute lowest score in Appearance and Texture, and it tied with Brewed to Matter on Worst Taste with a score of 2.77 out of 5. America, is this really what you’re eating? Come on, you can do better.
After doing the testing, we got word from Ben and Jerry’s that they’re releasing a new flavor called Justice Remix’d. We were able to get a sample pint to add on to our taste test, but I didn’t want to make the testing unfair so I’m not including this in my official top 10. However, I hypothetically scored it as if it were in the mix. Here’s how it stood up against the rest:
Overall Score: 7.43 out of 10
This flavor was super exciting to everyone because we got to taste it before it hit store shelves. Like many Ben and Jerry’s flavors, this is only available for a limited time and carries a liberal political statement; this one is in support of criminal justice reform. The ice cream itself is not political though—with its cinnamon and chocolate ice cream, combined with cinnamon bun dough and (here’s the real kicker) spicy fudge brownies.
This ice cream was really quite the experience, and if I was to count it in the top 10, it would beat out The Tonight Dough for Top Appearance. You start out with a bite of chocolate and cinnamon and it tastes almost like heaven, but then you get a bite of that spicy brownie and it really takes the flavor to another level. It doesn’t say what makes it truly “spicy” but it tasted and felt, like a LOT of cinnamon. Once you get a bite of the brownie, it feels as though you swallowed a little spoonful of cinnamon and then it just lingers in your throat, getting more and more pronounced. Some people got hit with the spicy kick immediately and some people barely tasted it, depending on how much brownie was in their bite
People’s reactions were the best to this flavor. With the other flavors, people could mostly guess what kind they were trying if they were familiar with popular Ben and Jerry’s flavors, but this was brand new to everyone. Some people thought it tasted like gingerbread, others said pumpkin bread. One person wrote, “No no no! It’s so spicy! Why is it hot?! I literally have a burning Big Red gum aftertaste in my mouth.” I would recommend trying Justice Remix’d for yourself and even having your friends do a blind taste test as well. It's fun to not only see everyone's reactions, but it means you'll get to eat an insane amount of ice cream—and who wouldn't want that?