Whiskey and ice cream are an underrated pairing. The two go exceedingly well together. The sweet, creaminess of the ice cream and the toasty, sharp, booziness of the whiskey combine to make one heck of a dessert duo. So putting them together into one delicious, singular dessert seems like a no-brainer. And yet, good whiskey ice creams are few and far between. But another contender just entered the ring: McConnell’s Garrison Brothers Whiskey & Pecan Pralines. Well, I should say it is re-entered the ring. McConnell’s first released it in 2021. It sold out within a week. In 2022, they released more—that sold out, too. This year, they’re releasing even more to try to satisfy the demand. But is it worth the hype? Is it able to accomplish what so many brands have failed to do? I tasted it to find out.
- McConnell’s Garrison Brothers Whiskey & Pecan Pralines
Made with a base flavored with Garrison Brothers’ Texas Straight Bourbon, it’s studded with caramel-coated pecan niblets and ribboned with caramel. The caramel is great. I’ll start with that. It’s extremely creamy and soft and just the right amount of salty. Other tasters likened it to the caramel on a caramel apple. The praline bits are good but there are far too little of them. When you do get a bite of one, you appreciate the pleasant nuttiness and depth of flavor. But, seriously, why so few? And then there’s the base ice cream. While the flavor is nice and you do get some pleasant, warming, barrel-aged whiskey flavors, it’s not creamy enough. It’s icy, which I assume is due to the whiskey because McConnell’s is usually very creamy. (We included their vanilla in our best vanilla ice cream ranking and specifically called out how creamy the ice cream is.) It’s a bummer. If it was really smooth and rich, this would be an incredible ice cream. And the flavor is good (especially if you like caramel ice cream). But the iciness of the actual ice cream knocks it down a few pegs. Of course, after a few straight shots of Garrison Brothers, I bet you wouldn’t even notice.
Credit: Liv Averett / McConnell’s
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