Saturday, July 22, 2017

A New Challenge

If you haven't heard I have undertaken a new ice cream treat journey.  I have decided to make a post about it here, talk about the future of this blog, and leave my first Dairy Queen Blizzard review.  This will be a much shorter entry featuring about a fourth of the content and about a sixteenth of the wit but I'm all about click bait so it will probably be hyped up a whole lot.

The new challenge is to eat every Dairy Queen Blizzard on the menu.  I've had a few questions about what the Dairy Queen menu actually consists of so I felt the need to clarify that I will be eating the core menu and will try to eat the monthly special that Dairy Queen puts out but I'm making no guarantees on that front.  The goal is to eat one Blizzard a week but that could change as well.  

After this review the blog will more than likely move to one that better represents the challenge.  I should have thought about the future when making my original blog but I was to scared about the daunting task before to think that I'd want to tackle another resturuant so fast.  So if you have a good name for a potential blog leave a message in the comments or shoot me a Facebook message or something.  I'm relying on your wit to create something good.

Lastly we have the first review.  In the future expect 3-4 Blizzards in a review but I was so excited to update the blog that we only have one for today and boy is it a good one.

The first blizzard I took down was banana split.

Wow, the presentation of this blizzard was not good.  It had already started to melt and you know how they have to turn the blizzard upside down when they deliver it to you?  I thought that was going to be the end of the blizzards life.  It was close too.  But I got it and ate it and it was alright until I dropped my spoon.  I then had to ask the DQ worker for a new one.  Not a good start for someone I'm sure I'm going to become familiar with.

The blizzard itself was alright.

Taste- 3.5/5- I expected a lot more banana flavor in this to be honest.  It had a strawberry base and chunks of fruit in it but the banana was lacking.  I think there only two pieces of banana in the entire blizzard.  It was outweighed by pineapple chunks which I already don't believe mix well with ice cream so I was a little dissapointed.

Consistency- 4.5/5- The consistency wasn't bad.  Everything was mixed well and there were always chunks of fruit mixed in the ice cream, no long fruitless stretches although sometimes the fruit that I found were hard, a byproduct of improper thawing.

Overall- 8/10- This was probably a bottom-tier blizzard.  I had really high hopes because I like banana splits and even higher when I saw that strawberry would be prominent but there were too many nasty chunks of pineapple and cherry to bring this to the next level.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ranking The Cookout Milkshakes

Well team I promised that I would rank all the Cookout milkshakes as the preeminent expert on the subject so I'm back to do just that.  A few notes on the rankings.  The most important factor is memorability of the shake either good or bad.  I had 40 plus milkshakes over almost two years.  If I can remember the milkshake then it will rank over one that might have scored higher initially.  That is not to say that those ratings don't matter.  They will come into play but those numbers aren't the end all be all.  Lastly, I'm ranking from worst to best so you all have to read everything if you want to find out what the best is.  Gotta get my click rates up somehow!

46. Walnut- Gag-worthy

45. Peach- This contained peach pits and that wasn’t even the worst part of the shake.

44. Watermelon- It didn’t waste like anything really and you had chunks of watermelon in it still.

43. Banana Fudge- Perhaps the first shocker on the list but it was so bad when I had it deserves a low spot.

42. Cherry Banana- Mostly because cherry shouldn’t be classified as a berry.

41. Cherry Cobbler- Disappointing

40. Cherry Cheesecake- Cherry might be the most disappointing flavor in Cookout history.

39. Caramel Cheesecake- Cheesecake is a close second.

38. Hershey’s Chocolate- Regular Hershey’s Chocolate needed something more.

37. Banana Pineapple- They just don’t mix.

36. Pineapple

35. Banana Nut- You’re nutty if you think this should be higher.

34. Red Cherry

33. Peach Cobbler

32. Strawberry Cheesecake

31. Blueberry Cheesecake

30. Double Chocolate- Just adding double the chocolate makes this shake ten spots better.

29. Vanilla

28. Egg-Nog- You’ll have to wait until December to see if you agree.

27. Caramel- High initial rating but the cheesecake really hurt this one.

26. Chocolate Cobbler- The top cobbler milkshake but far from the top milkshake.

25. Mocha

24. Cappuccino- These two are so interchangeable it’s not even funny.

23. Snickers- My haters probably won’t like this ranking I’m sure.

22.Heath- I don’t like Heath that much but it is great in shake form.

21. Chocolate Nut

20. Peanut Butter Banana- This might be my most controversial placement.  It truly is an enigma though.

19. Chocolate Cherry- Never thought I’d have cherry this high until I got halfway through this list.

18. Banana- It’s tough to get fresh banana but when you do, this is on another level.

17. Chocolate Chip Cheesecake- I never thought I’d have a cheesecake milkshake this high.

16. Hi-C Punch- This shake could be higher but was hindered by Cookout’s inability to remember I ordered it.

15. Chocolate Chip Mint- Not quite as good as Mint Oreo

14. Mint Oreo- This shake failed to reach my lofty expectations but was solid in the end.

13. Chocolate Malt- Cookout’s version of the Frosty.

12. Strawberry Banana

11. Caramel Fudge- Not quite peanut butter fudge but a quality mixture nonetheless. 

10. M&M

9. .Reese’s Cup- Never in my life would I think I’d rank Reese’s this low but when you have a perfect blizzard to compare to, the impossible becomes possible.

8. Blueberry Banana

7. Strawberry- People always sleep on strawberry.

6. Oreo- Never would have guessed this would be my top candy choice but it was truly impressive.

5. Peanut Butter- Smooth peanut butter and ice cream with some extra peanut butter at the end makes this a strong entry.

4. Blueberry- Who would have known that the 2nd most popular berry produces a better milkshake?

3. Banana Pudding- Another shocker but it deserves it.

2. Orange Push-Up Pop- A creamsicle in everything but name, the surprise of the challenge but a very good milkshake.


1. Peanut Butter Fudge- I wanted to find something that would dethrone the champ, but I'm still looking for a worthy challenger.

Well team there you have it.  Let me know what you think of the rankings and the blog in general.  What did you like?  What did you hate?  I think I've milked this whole Cookout thing for all I can so I ask you what should I tackle next? Let me know in the comments here on Facebook or send me an email or something I don't know but I'm open to ideas now that there is a whole in my life where Cookout used to be.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Unofficially The Official Last Milkshake Update

Although there will still be one more post after this one giving my definitive ranking of all the Cookout Milkshakes, this is the end of sorts.  For 3 years the Cookout Milkshake Challenge has been apart of my life and although I failed once, I am happy that I was able to complete it albeit on modified terms.  In the end, the challenge never really about trying to do something spectacular, it was about enjoying something I really liked, having a go to hang out spot, and a conversation starter.  Don't get me wrong, I am very happy that I completed all the milkshakes and worked hard to do so but that represented the icing on the cake more than anything else.

This year the milkshake blog took off, attracting a lot of viewers, poking its way into class discussion and even providing the basis for my final senior project.  Although there were some failures, overall this year was a success for the challenge.  It was fun but just like my undergraduate career it must come to an end.  So I hope you enjoy this last official Cookout review and I thank you for following along whether you actually read every post, only liked the Facebook message, or brought up the challenge when you couldn't think of anything to say to me.  I enjoyed all those aspects even when I could tell the person on the other end was only politely interested.

With that we get the show on the road.  The last four milkshakes need to be reviewed to close the door on this chapter.

The first one I had was Blueberry Banana.

The blueberry banana milkshake was one of the three milkshakes listed as the ominous banana berry (3).  I really like the blueberry flavor in milkshakes overall so I was excited to try it out and luckily it did not disappoint.

Taste- 5/5- Blueberry and banana work very well together and led to a great taste.

Consistency- 4.5/5- The blueberry and banana also mixed pretty well together but the banana was added first and the blueberry did not permeate the entire milkshake so there is a slight ding on that front.

Overall- 9.5/10- A very good milkshake overall if it would have just been mixed a little better this could have been a contender for top dog.

The second milkshake I had was Cherry Banana.

This was the third milkshake included in the banana berry (3).  I was shocked to find that out.  Cherry is not a berry.  I get that they rhyme but that should not count as one.  Dang it Cookout.  My horrified reaction was actually justified too.  In the future, they should eliminate this abomination.  Banana berry (2) is all that should be listed.

Taste- 3.5/5- The cherry taste did not mix well with banana.  It settled on the top of the milkshake and provided a very unpleasant start to a very unpleasant milkshake.

Consistency- 3/5- Although I just complained about the taste not being that great together, I also feel the need to complain about the consistency.  The actual cherry part of the milkshake was all at the top and did not mix at all with the banana.  I felt like I was eating half a cherry milkshake and half a banana milkshake.  Since I didn't order that, I shouldn't expect that in a milkshake.

Overall- 6.5/10- This milkshake really made me mad which is why I rated it as low as I did.  They say you shouldn't hold grudges.  I hold a grudge against this milkshake.

The third milkshake on the list is Caramel Cheesecake.

At this point I must have really wanted to be done with the challenge because this is another clunker in my opinion.

Taste- 3.5/5- The caramel was not good in this milkshake.  I'm pretty alright with caramel in most cases but something was off this time around.  Throw that in with a cheesecake flavor I'm also not too fond about and you get a lackluster milkshake experience.

Consistency- 4.5/50 I feel like it is a rare occurrence when the consistency outrates taste but this is one of those times.  Although the taste was not the best, the consistency was still pretty good.

Overall- 8/10- The caramel left a lot to be desired and mixing it with the cheesecake didn't work this time but overall the milkshake could have been a lot worse.

The last milkshake in the entire challenge is Cherry Cheesecake.

Quite a few people asked me how the challenge was going throughout the year especially near the end of the year.  When I told them I only had Cherry Cheesecake was left, they were like at least you have a good one left.  I did not share this sentiment.  I was not excited for this milkshake and while I was grateful to be done with the challenge, this milkshake matched my skepticism.

Taste- 3.5/5- The cherry was just okay and the cheesecake was also just okay, making for a very okay milkshake overall.

Consistency- 4/5- The consistency actually was pretty good too.  There was a little more cherry on top but besides that this was pretty good.

Overall- 7.5/10- Unfortunately to challenge went out with just a mediocre milkshake but at least it was completed.




Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Official Unofficial Cookout Cobbler Ratings

Although the milkshake challenge might officially be over there is still the process of squaring up the blog.  Since I last left you, a lot has changed.  I gave a presentation on Cookout for a class where the blog was prominently displayed.  I graduated from UK and finished up being an RA for ever.  I still have three blog posts to finish before I can close the door on the Cookout Challenge.  This is the first one.  I had all three variations of cobbler that Cookout has and have determined the official ranking of the three.  Usually I present the milkshakes in order of completeness but for this entry I will deviate from that and present them in order of preference.

1. Chocolate Cobbler

So the cobbler effect is kind of a let down once you realize how it is achieved.  They literally just vanilla wafers in the milkshake and mix it up.  This kind of creates almost a pie crust flavor.  Kind of, it still is kind of off too so keep that in mind.  Still with chocolate cobbler the effect is the best.  The milkshake tastes almost like a lighter chocolate pudding or chocolate pie.  Pretty good job overall on this one.

Taste- 4/5- Overall the taste worked really well for this milkshake.  I liked it a lot.

Consistency- 4.5/5- It was very consistent and that helped to pull off the illusion of chocolate pie.

Overall 8.5/10- Although this was where I realized that I was being duped into believing pie crust was in this shake, it was still a worthy Cookout entry.

2. Peach Cobbler

This time there were no peach pits in my milkshake so that was already a positive.  This one was pretty good.  The wafers mixed well enough that I honestly couldn't tell that it wasn't pie crust that was used.  Alas, the frozen peaches were a drawback.

Taste- 4/5- The frozen peaches were a drawback but besides that the milkshake did taste like peaches.

Consistency- 4/5- Once again this boils down to the mistake that is the frozen peaches.  It tasted weird with the wafers and created a strange consistency.

Overall- 8/10- Not a terrible milkshake but it does leave a lot to be desired and it has to settle for number two in the great cobbler debate.


3. Cherry Cobbler

Wow this milkshake was kind of a mess.  The chunks of cherry were not good and almost unnecessary because the cherry flavor clearly permeated the milkshake.  It was a real drawback as the cherry chunks mixed clumsily with the wafer pieces.  The wafers were also most noticeable in this milkshake.

Taste- 3.5/5- This is where the milkshake really suffered the taste was just not good at all.  It could have and should have been better given the multiple cherry entries on the list.

Consistency- 3.5/5- The consistency was also strange all the cherry chunks were at the top which made the shake a nightmare for a minute but then bearable afterwards.

Overall- 7/10- This was clearly the weakest of the cobbler milkshakes and honestly on the lower end of the milkshakes overall.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Four Down Only Six To Go

First of all this title is a little misleading.  There could technically be 7 milkshakes left due to the ambiguity of the Cookout Milkshake Menu, but as we head towards the end of the semester, creativity starts to take a dip so you get a boring misleading post title instead of a fun jazzy one.  The rest of the milkshakes almost exclusively feature cheesecake or cobbler and I'm honestly not a huge fan of both so it's going to be an exciting end to the blog.  Without further ado, it's time to get into what this committee of one views as the official opinion on these four milkshakes.

First on the docket is Banana Pineapple

I'm going to be honest with you all, I was dreading having to eat this thing again.  I have in the past and it was gag worthy.  The pineapple and banana did not mix at all last time, the textures were so different that you either got a smooth banana or a rough half frozen pineapple it was terrible.  Fortunately this time, banana continues it's comeback and the pineapple was not that bad.

Consistency- 4/5 Last time this was a huge issue for this milkshake, it was a lot better this time around.  The pineapple actually blended with the banana, in the past it stuck out and made the milkshake like a tastebud minefield, sometimes you would get the banana but more often than not you'd get the disappointment of pineapple.

Taste- 3.75/5- This gets knocked just because I know how bad this milkshake can truly be.  Fortunately this time it a lot better but the scars of milkshake past were brought up in this experience and drag it down.

Overall- 7.75/10- I came in expecting the worst and was pleasantly surprised.

 Now we turn our attention over to Pineapple

I was also pretty nervous for this milkshake.  I can't stress how much I did not like the pineapple milkshake idea when I first had it.  It just did not work well.  This time I was once again pleasently surprised.  Although the pineapples tasted slightly frozen, there were not all that many mixed in to the shake which was good.  On another huge note, the taste of pineapple actually permeated the vanilla ice cream which can be an issue for fruit milkshakes.

Consistency- 4/5 I feel like it's tough to say that the lack of pineapples improved the consistency but in this case it really did.

Taste- 4.5/5- The fact that the vanilla ice cream still had hints of pineapple did wonders for the taste of the milkshake.

Overall- 8.5/10.  I expected a milkshake I would struggle to finish but this one ended up surprisingly pretty good.

Then I had a Mocha milkshake

I was worried getting this one.  I had to wait almost 30 minutes for the milkshake.  I thought it was the return of the lost shake.  Luckily when I went to the counter to ask for it, it came out quickly after.

Consistency- 4.5/5 The coffee taste rang out pretty well throughout the entire shake.

Taste- 4/5 It tasted like coffee which was fine.  I'm not a huge coffee fan but I can still appreciate that those who do like coffee would probably like this shake.  It does get dinged slightly because I feel like it tastes pretty similar to the cappuccino milkshake.  I'm not really sure what the difference in real life is between these two but I don't get why there are two similar milkshakes that taste almost identical.

Overall 8.5/10 Still a pretty good milkshake

Lastly we have Blueberry Cheesecake.

This milkshake was very light on the cheesecake part of the shake which in my opinion is a big positive because I'm not a big cheesecake fan.  The blueberry part was good and the cheesecake was just enough to be noticeable but not exceptionally overpowering.

Consistency- 4/5 The blueberry was nicely mixed with the cheesecake although in some parts that the actual cheesecake part was lacking.

Taste 4.5/5 I'm a big blueberry guy and not a big cheesecake guy so the overall execution of this milkshake was positive in my mind.

Overall 8.5/10- Another solid milkshake in the Cookout lineup.


 

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Extended Cut

Well team, its been a while since the last update.  In years past this would mean that I just haven't had the time to get milkshakes, this year that is not the case.  I just haven't had time recently to type up reviews.  Senior year is starting to get crazy and senioritis is effecting the regularly scheduled blog postings.  Thankfully spring break is here so I can finally deliver a massive update.  Usually the standard blog update features three to four milkshakes.  This blog is double that.  I could space out the posts and reap the Facebook likes and page views but I'm not that kind of person so instead I present you a massive 6 milkshake update.  This is a giant undertaking for me, instead of the usual 15 to 20 minutes a blog post takes, this one could take over half an hour but I'm determined to give you this review in its entirety.

The first milkshake in this long list is Double Chocolate.

Double chocolate is exactly what it sounds like.  It is vanilla ice cream with double the amount of Hershey's syrup infused into it.  While the first one struggled in certain areas with chocolatyness the consistency of this milkshake was much better although the pesky syrup after tastes still exist.

Consistency- 4/5- Like I said, better than regular chocolate but it still left a little to be desired.

Taste- 4/5- To me Frostys are the gold standard of soft serve chocolate ice cream.  If that is a 5/5, this one was pretty close but not quite there.

Overall- 8/10- Definitely an improvement over Hershey's Chocolate but not quite at that level of a Wendy's Frosty.  Akin, to an Honors student who gives a presentation over a topic they googled the night before, smart enough to know what they're talking about but still far from perfect.

Secondly, we have a contender for the Cookout Chocolate Milkshake King crown, Chocolate Malt.

Chocolate Malt is the superior of the three Cookout milkshakes, the other two I can speculate how they are made.  If I had to guess how chocolate malt is made, I'd say Cookout quickly speeds to Wendy's, orders a Frosty and speeds back.  It is a worthy competitor indeed.

Consistency- 4.5/5 Still not completely perfect but quite close.  The chocolate was much better distributed and the Hershey's syrup nonexistent.

Taste- 4.75/5- It is so, so, so close to being a Frosty but alas it is not quite there preventing it from getting a perfect 5 here.

Overall- 9.25/10- Tough math there.  The Chocolate Malt milkshake is head and shoulders the best chocolate milkshake at Cookout and a worthy competitor to other restaurants.

Moving away from the chocolate we have Strawberry Banana.

Banana Berry is listed on Cookout's menu with a 3 next to it.  I imagine that means that there are three variations depending on the berry mixed in.  I will further investigate and if this is not the case, you received a free review!

Consistency- 4.5/5- These two flavors mixed together pretty well.  There were certain times where one was noticeable without the other but overall it was well done.

Taste- 5/5- I think I finally managed to get some fresh banana.  This milkshake restored my faith in banana milkshakes.  This was really good, the flavors just play off of each other so well.

Overall- 9.5/10- Overall this milkshake was really good and a welcome surprise.  Although I really enjoy strawberry milkshakes, I was worried that the banana would taint it.  Thankfully, it did not.

Now we move onto the walnut category with the Walnut milkshake.

I had this milkshake not at my local Lexington Cookout, but in Huntington, West Virginia. I was excited to test out another Cookout.  While the food was comparable unfortunately this particular milkshake was not.

Consistency- 3/5- The consistency of this shake was not good.  It consists of vanilla ice cream, walnut mixed in, and some sort of walnut syrup.  It was weird.  The entire first half of the milkshake was only vanilla ice cream, all of the walnuts settled at the bottom with the nasty syrup at the very bottom.

Taste- 3.5/5 - I only finished this milkshake for you guys.  It was bad.  At the end I was gagging.  I don't mind walnuts usually but this was bad.  The syrup, which I guess was designed to improve the taste, didn't.  It was the worst part.  I can still picture the taste and it has been three weeks.

Overall- 6.5/10- Overall this has been my least favorite milkshake, we'll see if it sticks.

Next up in the walnut category is Banana Nut.

I was not looking forward to this milkshake.  As I've stated, banana's track record has been spotty at best and walnut made me gag.  This could be the end of my epic journey.

Consistency- 4/5- Luckily it was not.  The banana and walnut mixed together well.  It looked like significantly fewer walnuts were used in the shake which was greatly appreciated and the banana was once again fresh.

Taste- 4/5- The banana also helped to mask the walnut flavor.  With the banana tasting good, this milkshake couldn't be too bad.

Overall- 8/10- Thankfully a step up from the awfulness that was Walnut.

Our last shake of the day is also the last in the nut category.  It is Chocolate Nut.

Consistency- 4.5/5- This one was really good too.  The walnut was cut by the chocolate but it also prevented the chocolate from being too much.  It mixed together really well and the nuts were distributed well throughout the shake.

Taste- 4.5/5- I'm not usually a huge fan of chocolate shakes, but I would say this one tasted slightly better than the banana and the thicker flavor that chocolate provides helped to keep the nuts from being overpowering as well.

Overall-9/10- Chocolate Nut takes the crown for best walnut milkshake at Cookout as well.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Endgame

Recently some people have expressed their concern about my ability to finish this milkshake challenge.  This lead me to see just how close I really was.  In the past people would ask me how close I was and I could really only shrug indifferently.  Yes, I had a lot to go, no I didn't know how much was a lot.  But I finally looked into it and the end game of this challenge is fairly close and very doable.  I currently have 17 milkshakes to go and 13 weeks left.  So I should be able to finish this challenge without the previously mentioned post-graduation gorge that I previously alluded to.  In other news, I'm attempting to get into contact with the Cookout CEO for a class project.  The milkshake blog could get some real attention here soon.  

I've had three milkshakes since my latest post.  Unfortunately these weren't as good as some of the previous ones but nevertheless I persisted. 

The first milkshake on the list in Vanilla.

The vanilla tasted surprising similar to the eggnog and I realize that eggnog has that vanillay taste.  Still I wouldn't be surprised if they just give vanilla milkshakes out around Christmas time and call them eggnog.  In fact, I hope that's what they do except charge a premium for it.  This milkshake was also a little chunky in spots so that was interesting.

Consistency- 3.5/5- Usually when I refer to consistency I'm focusing on how the extra flavor interacts with the ice cream or how the two mix together.  Here, I'm talking about the ice cream because there was no extra flavor and unfortunately it was a little chunky in spots.  

Taste- 4.5/5- I'll dock it slightly for just being a vanilla milkshake.  It tasted like it but it wasn't revolutionary or anything.

Overall- 8/10- I'll admit I was a nervous to try the vanilla, I'm just not a huge fan of those milkshakes but overall this one wasn't bad at all besides a few minor setbacks.

The second milkshake I had was red cherry.

This is an interesting milkshake because the underlying ice cream is cherry but there are still little parts of cherry added to it.  Unfortunately I wasn't a fan of the cherries that were added.  They were chopped but cherries and when mixed with the ice cream gave it a strange consistency.

Consistency- 3/5- The consistency was really hurt by the pieces of cherry.  I think it blended nicely in the chocolate cherry milkshake but by itself it doesn't really work in my opinion.

Taste- 4/5- The taste was still pretty good.  It definitely tasted like cherry.

Overall- 7/10.  In my opinion go with the chocolate cherry option.

The third and final milkshake that I had was peach.

I admit I was a little disappointed by this milkshake.  UDF has fantastic peach ice cream so that was really the standard that I was comparing this shake too and it just did not live up to my hype.  The peaches tasted like frozen peach and there were a couple pieces of what I assumed to be pit in the milkshake.

Consistency- 3/5.  I really struggled to finish this one because the consistency bothered me.  The peaches present similar problems to some of the less traditional ice cream fruit.  It just does not mesh well with the vanilla ice cream.  It was a struggle but I finished it because I refuse to let my fans down.

Taste- 3.5/5- The consistency led to a taste that just was not great.  As I stated before the standards set were pretty high and the fact that the ice cream was vanilla mixed with frozen peaches left me disappointed.

Overall- 6.5/10.  We have a leading contender for my least favorite milkshake.  Time will tell whether I will have a similar experience in the future.