There comes a time in every person's life when they're pushed to the limits of sanity. For some people, it's an actual trauma that does it. For me, it was attempting to taste-test all of Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors. After nixing fro-yos, limited-batches, Scoop Shop-onlys, and Target exclusives (which are real things), that still left 41 flavors, which I spent 10 days assessing and evaluating and smearing on my face as I slowly passed into a diabetic stupor. While you all debate in the comments, I'll be over here, subsisting on soup and plain bread until the sugar shakes go away.
41. Red Velvet Cake
It's pretty much just the cheesecake frosting from the real deal made into ice cream form -- you gotta dig for the cake bits and even when they're around, you feel like you're eating straight frosting. This is not ideal unless you're 6 years old and at a dinosaur-themed birthday party.
40. Pistachio Pistachio
Look, this is a handsomely made pint, but it all comes down to whether you like pistachios or not. I don't and this is my list dammit, so it lands low.
There’s nothing wrong with this, but it's vanilla. No one's favorite flavor is vanilla.
38. Vanilla Toffee Bar Crunch
Eh, toffee. I'm not a huge fan, and there's not much to distract here since it's basically vanilla ice cream and toffee bits.
37. Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch
Well, there's more to distract me from the toffee, but it's still not a flavor that consistently works. Next.
36. Vanilla Caramel Fudge
I'm a fan of caramel, but it works best when it's complementing chocolate (i.e. Snickers). When it's stacked up against plain old vanilla, it's just not as exciting. Again, sorry, vanilla.
35. Everything But The...
So many things going on, as the name implies. Every bite is a different experience, but it's a little overwhelming and that toffee flavor still manages to stand out.
34. Chocolate Therapy
This is REALLY chocolatey. The pudding makes it seem thicker and more intense. But honestly, if I want pudding, I’ll stick to the individual cups.
33. Coffee Caramel Buzz
Toffee. Again. At least the whiskey caramel swirl helps.
32. Boston Cream Pie
Not to annoy the good people of Boston, but pie and ice cream exist separately for a reason. The pastry cream filling is one of the more confusing swirls in the Ben & Jerry's lineup, and brownie/cookie pieces are always preferable to cake ones.
31. New York Super Fudge Chunk
Rich chocolate with lots of crunch. If that’s something you’re into, great. But if you’re like me and your stomach buckles after a few bites of incredibly rich cocoa, this one’s a challenge. Sorry New York, at least you beat Boston.
For a "s'mores" flavor, this is aggressively chocolately. There's marshmallow present, but it gets drowned out (and you can barely tell graham's there, either. (Poor graham.)
29. Phish Food
Now this one has some marshmallow, although it's really sweet. Those chocolate fish do balance it out a bit, but... this is really sweet. Sorry to put down a classic!
28. What a Cluster
I’m a sucker for peanut butter anything, so I appreciate the PB swirls (and ice cream), but the caramel cluster pieces have a weird texture and the lack of theme leaves me confused.
27. Cake Batter
Yellow cake with chocolate frosting was the only thing I ever wanted on my birthday growing up, but I still remain skeptical of cake-themed ice creams.
26. Coffee, Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz!
Espresso and chocolate almost make it seem like a tiramisu pint, which is something I would definitely buy. I’m not big on coffee ice cream, but this one’s pretty solid.
25. Banana Split
I’ve only eaten a banana split maybe once in my life, so I can’t say with authority how this compares to the real deal. But the ice cream is kind of like a strawberry banana milkshake, which is never a bad thing. It loses points due to fairly small fudge chunks for a Ben & Jerry's pint.
24. Boom Chocolatta Core
While I appreciate the name, I wasn’t feeling the chocolate cookie Core or the busy blend of flavors.
23. Peanut Butter Fudge Core
There's a lot of great stuff happening here, but Ben & Jerry's does better PB-themed pints and better Cores. Also, this Core is crazy gooey. Not necessarily in a good way.
22. Chocolate Peppermint Crunch
This is clearly aimed at Thin Mint fans (maybe a few peppermint mocha addicts, too). Even the cookie bites have that slightly chalky Thin Mint quality. They stand out against the creamy base/fudge swirls, though, lending a slightly odd aftertaste.
21. Chubby Hubby
Peanut butter? Good. Pretzels? Uh-huh. Fudge? Always. The vanilla malt is a little weird, but we can let it slide.
20. Cinnamon Buns
This is the kind of thing you get obsessed with when you first encounter it. But, just like with real Cinnabons, the sugar and cinnamon eventually get to your stomach and you're confronted with a sneaking suspicion that you really can't justify eating this.
19. Americone Dream
One of the more daring experiments, and I'm glad Colbert got another thing named in his honor.
18. Strawberry Cheesecake
Refreshing, and with a nice distribution to boot. Even though it’s just as loaded with butterfat as its siblings, this one almost feels light next to all the chocolate, fudge, and caramel-loaded ones.
17. Triple Caramel Chunk
There’s a nice blending/balancing of the flavors, but alas, no pool of caramel.
16. Salted Caramel Core
This one got the pool of caramel, but the tiny blondie bites don't leave much of an impression.
15. Milk & Cookies
It's basically a supercharged cookie dough pint, and a premise like that just can't fail.
14. Hazed & Confused Core
As with the Peanut Butter Fudge Core, I do wish the Core here wasn't quite so thick and gooey. But you don't see a ton of hazelnut in the other Ben & Jerry's pints, and that's a damn shame.
13. Chunky Monkey
Chunky Monkey can be a divisive flavor since it involves a banana base, but the banana flavor is pretty subtle and it's balanced nicely with enormous chocolate chunks and walnuts.
12. Mint Chocolate Cookie
The rare non-green mint chocolate pint that pays off, because it has nearly whole cookie pieces pounded into it.
11. The Tonight Dough
So. Many. Flavors. They're all delicious, and nice work on the theme there, guys, but this is a little too manic to crack the top 10.
10. Half Baked
Perfect for the person who just can’t decide between brownie bits or cookie dough balls.
9. Spectacular Speculoos Core
To quote myself, “On top of that legit swath of cookie butter, there's a nice, subtle cookie crunch throughout the dark caramel and vanilla ice creams that ensures every bite is packed with cinnamon and nutmeg bliss.” Basically, it has cookie butter and they did not mess it up. So it’s fantastic.
8. That’s My Jam Core
You’d think this would be the lamest Core, since jelly's not usually as exciting as speculoos or caramel. But, as any seasoned PB&J lover knows, raspberry is the best jelly. (Yeah I said it. Come at me, grape fans.) The raspberry ice cream is also fantastic, which makes you wonder why it’s not getting heavier pint play, at least in the permanent lineup.
7. Cheesecake Brownie
Not that Strawberry Cheesecake is gross, but next to his delicious brother Cheesecake Brownie, well, he almost is.
6. Karamel Sutra Core
Caramel ice cream is more vanilla than, say, actual caramel, but luckily there's a fountain of that in the middle, too. (Sidenote: why don’t all ice creams have this?) There's also a nice spread of chocolate going on.
5. Peanut Buttah Core
It may be Ben & Jerry’s most recent peanut butter flavor, but it’s already one of the best. They should’ve been speaking like the Coffee Talk ladies this whole time.
4. Chocolate Fudge Brownie
It’s simple, elegant, and totally worth the streaks of chocolate you’re liable to leave all over your face.
3. Peanut Butter Cup
Jacked-up Moose Tracks. The peanut butter cup bits are enormous (which is wonderful) and the ice cream base isn't too rich. 10/10 would recommend.
2. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Ben & Jerry’s was the first one on the cookie dough ice cream scene, and 30 years later, it remains a pinnacle of human achievement.
1. Cherry Garcia
This pint is a goddamn classic, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a Bolshevik. Cherry ice creams all too often veer into cough syrup territory, but not this one, 'cause it has actual cherry chunks. And chocolate. Also Grateful Dead references, so there's something for everyone.