It's not often that one gets the chance to try something really new, but it's something I am always open to. That's why I'm happy to say I've just had the opportunity to try some cracking new ice cream.
It's called Pottical, from an Old English word meaning 'inspired by alcohol'. Which might lead you to suppose, correctly, that this ice cream is of the boozy variety.
It's the brainchild of Matthew Freeman, who used to work for Tenterden's own Old Dairy Brewery, and now makes ice cream. Yesterday he dropped me off some samples and I tried them all this morning before coming to work. What's that ya say? Ice cream for breakfast? No, my friends. Boozy ice cream for breakfast. What could be better? Oh, that's right - no artificial ingredients! Matthew uses just double cream, sugar, egg , cornflour and locally sourced tipples - that's it!
The first one I tried was the Gibbet Oak Discovery Cider ice cream, because I'm not overly keen on ciders in general. Having said that, the Gibbet Oak ciders I have tried have been really good. Plus, I had to try it first because Gibbet Oak Farm was where my grandparents lived when I was a nipper - Grandad was the orchard manager and their house was directly opposite the packing shed which is now the Farm Shop building. Gibbet Oak themselves have been in the news recently because of their recent launch of a new range of ciders. They even took over the White Lion Hotel one evening a couple of weeks ago and all their ciders were on draught.
Well, as soon as I opened the lid of the Discovery Cider ice Cream there was no doubt that it was made from real cider from that initial burst of apple aromas. I worried that it might be too strong of a taste, but the aroma subsided quickly and I plunged in to what turned out to be a delicate and creamy experience, definitely Discovery apples, but without the tart aftertaste that can sometimes happen with a cider. Think baked apples and cream and you'll be getting close.
The first one finished, I went for the Dessert Wine ice cream.
Even though it doesn't say it on the label, I can tell you that Matthew used Nectar, the dessert wine from Tenterden vintners Chapel Down Wines.
This is a gorgeous ice cream with lots of exotic fruity flavours from this very moreish wine. It's like something Heston Blumenthal would concoct for his Waitrose lines, but without the WTF? factor. A beautiful dessert. But I was saving the best till last. How did I know it would be the best?
Because it is made using an outstanding beer! Dark Side Of The Moo is an Imperial Porter, 7% abv, rich, dark, smooth and gorgeous. How could this not be an amazing ice cream?
Now I realise there are some people out there that actively dislike dark beers, stouts, porters, etc. but even those people might like this one, because its rich darkness gives the ice cream a coffee/chocolate quality, with a subtle hint of golden syrup cake in the background. And yes, I know it sounds like one of those terribly pretentious things reviewers say, but I got all that from the first spoonful. The rest, I quickly scoffed down.
I would gladly buy a case of this and eat it in one sitting. It's that good.
If you're interested in getting hold of some of this ace ice cream, you can contact Matthew in one or all of the following ways:
Phone: 01580 761230
Mob: 07856 478244
or check out the website www.pottical.com
Tweet to Matthew at twitter.com/pottical
and he's even on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pottical/