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Ice Cream: A Comparative Analysis of Bruster’s Blast, DQ Blizzard, and Sonic Blast

July 9, 2009

It’s summer already.  You’d better be eating ice cream, and lots of it.  In this economy, though, if you’re going to blow your retirement cash on ice cream loaded with a bunch of sweet and naughty bits, you’d better be sure you’re getting the most awesomeness for your dollar.  I did most of the legwork for you.  I sampled the Bruster’s Blast, Dairy Queen Blizzard, and Sonic Blast.  Screw the McFlurry, which is a glorified milkshake with only price going for it.  And Wendy’s?  A little too late to the mix-in game.  Stick with Frostys.

Ice cream treats were judged on five criteria:

  1. Ice Cream Thickness:  thick and creamy is good.
  2. Amount of Mix-in:  more is good, preferably large chunks.
  3. Selection of Mix-in:  more is good.  I want try lots of different ones.
  4. Uniformity of Mix-in Distribution:  even is good.  I want mix-ins at the bottom, top, and all strata between.
  5. Price:  lower is, of course, good.

Each criterion was rated on a 1-3 scale, 1 = Bad, 2 = Meh, 3 = Good.  For each dessert, I ordered at least a medium.

Bruster’s (Blast): Heath Bar

  1. Ice Cream Thickness:  3.
  2. Amount of Mix-in:  3.
  3. Selection of Mix-in:  2.
  4. Uniformity of Mix-in Distribution:  3.
  5. Price:  1.

Summary:  I was pretty excited when I ordered, since I had been told the Bruster’s Blast would be all that I desired.  Sure enough, the ice cream was thick and creamy and it bristled with big crunchy chunks of Heath Bar.  Every vertical inch of Bruster’s Blast had mix-in, so I got to enjoy each bite.  I’d prefer they offer more than the current 11 varieties, most of which are candy bars.  Pricey:  high $3 to mid $4 range.  I’ll have to start selling magazines to keep up.

Dairy Queen (Blizzard): Blizzard Of The Month: vanilla ice cream with Girl Scout Tagalong Peanut Butter Patties

  1. Ice Cream Thickness:  2.
  2. Amount of Mix-in:  3.
  3. Selection of Mix-in:  3.
  4. Uniformity of Mix-in Distribution:  1.
  5. Price:  2.

Summary:  I love Girl Scout Peanut Butter Patties , so when I heard about this Blizzard, colors looked brighter, music was heavenly, and everyone around me was my friend.  Ice cream needs to be thicker and less grainy, and ain’t no mix-ins in the last inch and a half; it’s all crammed in the top.  However, there seemed to be dozens, if not hundreds, of large-crumbled cookies mixed in.  DQ has like 20 different Blizzards right now, at around $3.  I joined the Blizzard Of The Month Club just so I could be associated with such a product.

Sonic (Blast): Butterfinger

  1. Ice Cream Thickness:  2.
  2. Amount of Mix-in:  2.
  3. Selection of Mix-in:  1.
  4. Uniformity of Mix-in Distribution:  2.
  5. Price:  2.

Summary:  Four varieties of Blast?  With thin ice cream and tiny bits of Butterfinger for about $3 (plus tip), I won’t make it to four.  C’mon, Sonic, are you even trying?  You can make a 2-pound burger but not a passable ice cream treat?  Did you trade your passion for glory?  I want to be punched in the face with flavors , mauled by mix-ins.  I want to be shanghaied by sugar on the Crazy Train to Tasty Town, and wake up two days later in the Butterfat Motel bleeding pure sucrose into a tub full of ice-cold toffee brickle from the holes where my candied kidneys used to be.  If I wanted to trudge up the steep and thorny way to moderation, I’d have ordered a damn CreamSlush.  Let me have it, Sonic!

Verdict: Bruster’s: 12; DQ: 11; Sonic: 9.  Bruster’s comes out the best, but may need to be an occasional treat due to price.  DQ may be a little lower in the quality department, but it keeps you coming back with variety.  Sonic?  You’ve got a way to go.  Choose carefully.

One Comment
  1. Michelle Gallo permalink
    July 9, 2009 1:09 pm

    If you go out on such a mission again, I recommend giving the Culvers Concrete Mixers a try… The restaurants are located in the two Meijer parking lots in Lexington and they have a decent variety and are always tasty. The only catch is that they are made of frozen custard, not ice cream…

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