Bourbon Crunch Ice Cream
Dessert Runner Up
- Chaney’s Dairy Barn | Bowling Green, Ky.
- Bowling Green Division
Brandon Gabbard is the chief ice cream maker at Chaney’s Dairy Barn and the creator of the Bourbon Crunch Ice Cream with Makers Mark. It only takes one spoonful to understand why.
“We tested it to make sure you could freeze the alcohol, and adding bourbon to the base is what really makes this special,” says Brandon.
Brandon used the farm’s blue-ribbon vanilla ice cream and Maker’s Mark bourbon as a base, and mixed in a completely irresistible marble fudge bourbon ball to come up with a best-selling dessert. He’s been tweaking it for the past few years to get it to its current state of perfection.
“The way we make it and the equipment we use is just a little bit different,” says Brandon. “But come on out and visit us and see for yourself!”
With a 127-year legacy of working Kentucky’s farmland, the Chaney family knew everything there was to know about raising and milking cows. What they didn’t know was how to make high quality ice cream, and when Carl Chaney decided to take on the alternative dairy business, he wanted to be taken seriously. He signed up a for an ice cream-making course in 2003, after which he felt comfortable that “we could make ice cream as good as anybody.”
Actually, much better, as it turns out, because Chaney’s was named the top ice cream in Kentucky by USA Today in 2009, the #1 ice cream store by Kentucky Living, and last year won a blue ribbon from the National Ice Cream Retailers’ Association for their vanilla flavor…not to mention their family-friendly Ice Cream & a Moovie event which was ranked as one of the top events of summer by the Southeast Tourism Society.
“We were tickled by this recognition,” reveals Carl. The free movies, projected on the side of the dairy barn, draw thousands each summer who stake out spots on the grass to watch, while enjoying some of the state’s best ice cream.
At Chaney’s, an Emory Thompson ice cream machine is used, transforming a milk base into a soft serve consistency, which is then frozen at just the right time. Vanilla remains the top seller, but Chaney’s also scoops out plenty of innovation in the form of Wow Now Brownie Cow, chocolate ice cream with brownie bits, chocolate chunks and fudge swirl; Mint Julep, another bourbon-based treat, with chocolate flakes; and Big Red Rumble, a white chocolate ice cream with red velvet cake, chocolate flakes and a chocolate swirl created in honor of Western Kentucky University.
Chaney’s is set to keep spreading its goodness across Bowling Green, with plans to revamp the milking facility and convert it to a robotic milking machine used round the clock.