Discontinued Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Flavors That Deserve A Second Chance

Even OG ice cream makers have missteps from time to time. Ben & Jerry's has always been beloved for its generous use of mix-ins. Unlike other ice cream brands, it doesn't rely on an evergreen line-up of plain flavors like vanilla and chocolate for its profit. Instead, it keeps coming up with creative flavors, although most of them riff on the brand's signature swirls and chunks. Plenty of Ben & Jerry's flavors have withstood the trends: Cherry Garcia, Chubby Hubby, and Half Baked have defined the brand for decades. But others didn't quite win over popular opinion and were sent to the brand's "Flavor Graveyard" without any promise of return. This isn't just a quippy name: The brand actually has a physical "graveyard" for past flavors at its Waterbury, Vermont headquarters. 


But if you can't make it in person, fans can scroll through the departed flavors online, hoping we might see their return. And it happens! Dublin Mudslide, for example, an Irish cream liqueur ice cream swirled with coffee fudge was retired in 2007 but is now for sale once again. But as the brand pithily puts it, "Even the best Ben & Jerry's flavors eventually melt away." The Flavor Graveyard doesn't hit all the highlights of departed flavors over the years. Some are hidden from view, existing only in the memory of serious fans (and occasionally in the hallowed halls of Twitter and Reddit).

Bovinity Divinity

A three-year reign, from 1998 to 2001, was all this dairy-forward flavor got. Perhaps one of its cutest flavors, each pint combined milk and white chocolate ice creams to create the "pasture" where miniature milk and white fudge cows cavorted. Despite numerous calls from fans over the years to bring it back, Ben & Jerry's hasn't budged. It instead cryptically asks its own question: "Where do all the cows go when heaven gives the word?" This pint is a special one, too, because no other existing pints match the flavor profile. 


Ben & Jerry's has sold many "swirled" pints with chocolate and vanilla, but none with the more unusual white chocolate and milk chocolate pairing. White chocolate has been an elusive ingredient for the brand, making few appearances (one failed launch was the now-retired Chocolate Comfort flavor which featured low-fat white chocolate ice cream swirled with chocolate truffle ice cream) until it launched the "Topped" line with a robust shell of chocolate — sometimes white — covering each pint. But you can turn to one of its stalwart classics, New York Super Fudge Chunk, to get a similar taste of the white and milk chocolate fudge chunks, albeit without the adorable cow shape.

Although the brand isn't known for whimsy, the fudge-shaped cows do have a famous predecessor in the Ben & Jerry's line-up. One of the brand's most iconic and popular flavors is Phish Food, which features miniature fudge fish swimming in a sea of chocolate ice cream. 


Crème Brûlée

When Ben & Jerry's launched its Crème Brûlée flavor in 2007, it was a win for ice cream eaters who prefer the simple and straightforward over the chunk-packed pints. Featuring a sweet custard ice cream with a caramelized sugar swirl, the flavor is one of the less gussied-up of all the brand's offerings. Although it was retired in 2012, the idea wasn't entirely off the table. Half a decade is a long time for a flavor that ended up being retired, for good reason, because it was well-executed. As one ice cream reviewer stated, the custard base "really is a good approximation of that flavor." The reviewer goes on to note, however, that it is an extremely sweet-on-sweet flavor, as "the caramelized sugar swirl comes close to amplifying things up to a tooth aching status."


In 2020, it launched a non-dairy Crème Brûlée Cookie pint. Made with sunflower butter, it had a burnt caramel non-dairy frozen dessert base with brown sugar cookies and a salted caramel swirl. The pint didn't last long. Perhaps this dessert is one best left to the pastry chefs. After all, the quintessential element of a crème brûlée is the "crust that shatters beautifully" and the 'sublime contrast' with the custard beneath, according to French chef Walter Trupp, and the ice cream version didn't replicate that crispy sugar faithfully.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

"An unbeatable duo!" says the brand of this beloved flavor combination. "And yet somehow it managed to flop in a cone," they acknowledge. How a peanut butter ice cream with peanut butter bits and strawberry jelly swirl wasn't a slam dunk for a mid-price grocery store ice cream company is a mystery. But we can find a clue in other ice cream brands: Peanut butter ice creams are popular, as in peanut butter chocolate or peanut butter banana ice creams, but peanut butter and jelly-flavored pints aren't very common in stores. Ben & Jerry's plays around with peanut butter plenty, but not nearly as much with jam or jelly or berries. Ben & Jerry's itself rated its Peanut Butter and Jelly flavor as one of the 10 weirdest Ben & Jerry's flavors ever, coming in at number 9.


Perhaps it really is a flavor best left to the sandwich realm. The brand didn't stop with that first experiment though, eventually launching its Peanut Butter Jam Session and A Swirled of Difference flavors, both with almost identical components of peanut butter ice cream with crunchy peanut butter and raspberry jam. The reprise of the flavor in a different form is good news for fans of discontinued pints, as often the brand will simply revive a beloved flavor under a fresh new name and look. 

Schweddy Balls

An ode to the famous 1998 "Saturday Night Live" sketch starring Molly Shannon, this tongue-in-cheek flavor was a limited edition release that fans clamor to see back on the shelves. In the sketch, Alec Baldwin plays a baker named Pete Schweddy who goes on an NPR cooking show to talk about his family's famous ball recipe. The skit takes off from there, with Shannon as the NPR co-host maintaining total composure as Baldwin's character spreads innuendo on as thickly as frosting on a cake.


Rolling Stone rated the sketch in the top 20 of all time in 2014, and Ben & Jerry's took it as inspiration to create its pint of vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum and fudge-covered rum and malt balls. It's further proof that the brand has a seriously great sense of humor and knows its fans do too (although it did give the pint the dubious honor of being its weirdest flavor ever created. In lieu of the pint itself, make your own rum balls to tide you over til the pint possibly returns. Booze does pop up here and there in the brand's line-up (like its Whiskey Biz pint or its Dublin Mudslide pint).

White Russian

One of the longer-running retired flavors, this White Russian cocktail-inspired pint lasted a full decade from 1986 to 1996. With a coffee ice cream and Kahlua liqueur, it was a dream flavor for any ice cream fiends who also love a good boozy drink. So why did the brand decide to take it off the market? In true enigmatic style, Ben & Jerry's only answers this with its signature comical wit, claiming that it used too much Kahlua. "We actually made the price of Kahlua on liqueur store shelves rise because we were buying so much of it. We felt bad for our coffee liqueur loving friends, so we sent the flavor to the Flavor Graveyard," says the brand


In any event, fans of the flavor can turn to other current cocktail-inspired pints to drown their sorrows, like Dublin Mudslide (an Irish cream ice cream with cookies and a chocolate fudge swirl) or Whiskey Biz (a brown butter bourbon ice cream with blondie chunks and a whiskey caramel swirl topped with a white chocolate ganache). Ben & Jerry's briefly launched another cocktail-inspired flavor exclusive to scoop shops in 2016 — a Bourbon Brown Butter pint — but it was also retired.

Tuskegee Chunk

From 1989 to 1990, ice cream lovers could buy this peanut butter ice cream pint with chocolate chunks. The combination of peanut butter and chocolate seems like a simple slam dunk; after all, Chubby Hubby is one of the brand's most popular flavors of all time and features a similar flavor profile. Perhaps the pint was too simple, leaning on only a single mix-in.


Generally, peanut butter and chocolate do well for the brand, as evidenced by its current roster of peanut butter-heavy pints: The aforementioned Chubby Hubby, Peanut Butter World (milk chocolate ice cream with peanut buttery swirls and chocolate cookie swirls), Chocolate Peanut Butter Split (chocolate and banana ice creams dotted with miniature peanut butter cups), and PB S'more (toasted marshmallow ice cream with peanut butter cups, graham cracker pieces, and marshmallow swirls) just to name a few.

It could have been the esoteric name that kept this pint from sticking on the shelves. After all, it doesn't have a clear or evocative name that even hints at the flavor. Why the pint was named Tuskegee at all is a mystery, but one theory is that the modern peanut industry has roots at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. This is where George Washington Carver did research on the peanut plant and was largely responsible for making it such a widespread crop in the United States.


Holy Cannoli

This pint, released in 1997, was the first of two short-lived cannoli flavors. A mash-up of creamy ricotta and pistachio ice creams with chocolate-covered cannolis and roasted pistachios, it tasted as good as it sounds, yet it was retired merely a year later. Over a decade later, the brand released a limited edition Cannoli pint, this time using a mascarpone ice cream base with similar fudge-covered cannoli chunks. While the name and inspiration are the same, the pints differ in style. As the ice cream review site On Second Scoop points out, the current pint is "more of cannoli filling flavor then a straight up total cannoli package. The filling flavor is taking center stage while everything else is playing in the background." 


A Ben & Jerry's PR representative in 2015 explained the flavor resurrection by saying, "Whenever we develop a new flavor, we start with a big, sky's-the-limit idea and narrow it down from there. So, before Holy Cannoli was Holy Cannoli years ago, we had lots of different batches of what we thought a cannoli-flavored ice cream might taste like. Putting out a different cannoli ice cream flavor is our chance to show our fans just how much we love playing with our food: we love it so much that we don't just stop at one final flavor!"

Devil's Food Chocolate

Ben & Jerry's is known for a lot of things, and low-calorie, light ice cream is not one of them. That being said, the brand isn't immune to trends and has dabbled in frozen yogurt (of which only two flavors remain in its line-up) and lighter offerings like sorbets (like its Pucker Upper Raspberry Lemonade sorbet) over the years. Fans are in it for the maximalism of it all, looking to the brand for flavor-packed, rich pints like Chocolate Therapy (chocolate ice cream with chocolate cookies and swirls of chocolate pudding ice cream). But in a strategic business move, the brand has continued to try to diversify, branching out to cover all of its bases, from the decadent to the very opposite end of the spectrum.


It even launched a "Moo-phoria" line of reduced-calorie ice creams, which was eventually discontinued. Since it isn't exactly in its wheelhouse, perhaps that's where this light chocolate and dark chocolate sorbet swirled together went wrong. With a name like Devil's Food Chocolate, you'd expect a dangerously dark and rich chocolate ice cream rather than a light sorbet. Instead, fans got a lighter take on a chocolate frozen dessert, which didn't exactly hit the mark. That being said, the pint had plenty of fans and is worth a revisit for anyone looking to get a hit of chocolate without the experience of eating an overly rich dessert.

Cool Britannia

Who doesn't love a pint of ice cream with a side of political controversy? When Cool Britannia — a vanilla ice cream with strawberries and fudge-covered shortbread — launched (a year after Ben & Jerry's first appeared in the United Kingdom), the flavor seemed like an easy crowdpleaser. The name came from a contest held by the brand to find the perfect title for a British-inspired pint. An American won with Cool Britannia as a reference to the British military anthem "Rule Britannia." 


While some lauded the name as a clever nod to the region's history, others have pointed out the problematic nature of the nod to some of Britain's controversial and violent military episodes. The flavor itself is a pretty unusual one, as the brand isn't known for fruit flavors. But you could get a similar vibe with its current Strawberry Cheesecake flavor. Or make your own version with homemade vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries, and crumbled shortbread cookies.

Fresh Georgia Peach

As we've said, Ben & Jerry's is best known for its decadent chunk-packed pints featuring flavors like chocolate and caramel. But it has occasionally forayed into simpler fare, like this vanilla ice cream with fresh Georgia peaches. It lasted from 1986 to 1991. Some online commentators have speculated that the prohibitive cost of shipping peaches from Georgia to Vermont could have been the culprit, thanks to the poetic message written on the pint's Flavor Graveyard headstone: "Fresh-picked peaches trucked from Georgia / Tasted great but couldn't last / 'Cuz Georgia's quite a-ways away & trucks don't go that fast."


Given that the brand could easily have sourced peaches from another region, it seems more likely that the pint didn't tip the scales enough with mix-ins and add-ins as the brand's fans have come to expect. In the history of Ben & Jerry's, peach ice creams have been few and far between. It launched a Country Peach Cobbler flavor and a Raspberry Peach Cobbler, neither of which stuck around for long.

Concession Obsession

A brilliant mash-up of movies and ice cream, this pint was destined for greatness, and yet it failed. Concession Obsession featured a vanilla bean ice cream base with nonpareils, fudge-covered crisped rice candy, peanuts dipped in fudge and a caramel candy swirl. It's like eating all your movie theater favorite candies in one bite. If you're thinking the missing element here is popcorn, you'd be incorrect. The brand did try to launch Peanuts! Popcorn! Flavor, which flopped. 


Ben & Jerry's flavor guru Eric Fredette explained that "the popcorn was the big issue. When you mix things into ice cream, the moisture of the ice cream eventually seeps into them, changing the texture." He goes on to divulge one of their trade secrets, and part of what makes the brand such a chocolate lover's dream. Typically they coat mix-ins like cookies or pretzels in chocolate before adding them to protect them from getting soggy, and to maintain their crunch. "But the popcorn was so oddly shaped, he says, "that the white fudge didn't do its job properly and the popcorn got soggy. And nobody wants to eat soggy popcorn."