Häagen-Dazs Spirits Stout Chocolate Pretzel Crunch

REVIEW: Häagen-Dazs Spirits Stout Chocolate Pretzel Crunch

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When it comes to ice cream, I don’t suffer from the problem that plagues most Americans. You know, that one where you take a pint of ice cream from your freezer, bring it to the couch, and it vanishes in a cloud of delight, shame, and regret. Poof.

You see it’s one thing I don’t typically overindulge in. I have a freezer overflowing with it, but I like to reserve it for a few spoonfuls after dinner to satisfy my sweet tooth. Even though I eat a LOT of different ice cream, to me it’s the perfect way to finish a meal and a little bit goes a long way.

You know what I do overindulge in on occasion? Alcohol – and soon my ice cream strategy falls by the wayside. With my inhibitions thrown out the window, I have crushed many a pint of ice cream – some of which I remember, and some of which I only learn of from the empty carton serving as evidence in my garbage can (and once in my bed).

Häagen-Dazs new Spirits Collection appeals to me for a lot of reasons…

Two birds, one stone, zero f*cks given.


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This review is part of a series. Today’s Häagen-Dazs Spirits is:

Häagen-Dazs Spirits Stout Chocolate Pretzel Crunch

Häagen-Dazs Spirits Stout Chocolate Pretzel Crunch

The description from Häagen-Dazs is stout infused chocolate ice cream with notes of toasted malt, studded with chocolate covered pretzels and decadent fudge swirls.

This review needs to be done in two parts, which I’ll explain in a little bit:

The Good: It tastes like stout.

Häagen-Dazs Spirits Stout Chocolate Pretzel Crunch

I’m impressed immediately as I can actually taste the stout in this ice cream. I got it right away: a chocolatey ice cream with a strong taste of a chocolatey, coffee stout blended in. I can definitely taste roasted, malty notes from the barley in the stout. Honestly, HD did a good job infusing chocolate ice cream with a beer style that often has chocolatey notes, while still allowing the more complex notes of the stout to show themselves.

And just about everyone knows beer pairs well with pretzels, so covering pretzels in chocolate was a very smart mix-in. I was impressed again that the pretzels retained their crunch and added a nice salty element throughout. The fudge swirls were great too, but I would have welcomed more of it.


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Sounds great right? Well, now I’m about to ruin it for you.


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Try the ice cream again, and this time think about soy sauce.

The Bad: It also tastes like soy sauce.

Häagen-Dazs Spirits Stout Chocolate Pretzel Crunch

It’s ruined. One of my friends asked me if I thought it tasted like soy sauce, and at first I laughed in her face. I had already tried it once and thought it was a great stout ice cream.

But I tried it again, and all I could taste was f*cking soy sauce.

This is the most remarkable, fascinating thing.

I don’t know if it’s the PRETZELS, the stout, or the curse my friend put on it when she mentioned soy sauce, but it totally tastes like soy sauce mixed into chocolate ice cream. It’s confusing, and also a bit concerning that I don’t completely hate it.

I thought about boiling up some rice and cutting up some raw fish to pair with it.

But maybe I’ll just move on to the next boozy ice cream to get this soy sauce flavor out of my mouth…

After I go out for sushi.

The Stout Half Rating8 out of 10
The Soy Sauce Half Rating: 5 out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 out of 10


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