I first tried Bellvale Farms Creamery last summer while hiking along the Appalachian Trail with some friends on a hot summer day. After bushwhacking our way up the sometimes-steep slope for a couple of hours, approaching the charming little building was like finding an oasis in the desert. A huge bucket of icy water would have tasted good at that point, but a cold, sweet ice cream cone along with impressive views of the valley wasn’t too shabby.
Since I’m not sure if my impression of the ice cream was mostly determined by exhaustion and dehydration, I decided I needed to go back and try it again, this time without the workout.
The menu list is large but not unmanageable. I was informed by another customer that the list of special flavors on the right side of the menu sign is extended throughout the summer, depending on ingredient availability. Too bad – I was looking forward to Blueberries & Creme, listed in the online menu, and I had read good things about the Apple Pie flavor as well. Still, there was no shortage of choices!
I was able to sample several flavors over the course of two visits, but most were unexceptional. For ice cream made with high quality ingredients coming from an award-winning local dairy, I was expecting an equally high quality of flavors in the actual ice cream base, but generally they fell flat and relied too heavily on added ingredients to provide the punch. I know this opinion may cause some rage amongst fans, considering that Bellvale currently has a 5-star rating on Yelp, but I honestly thought that without a bite of cookie dough or graham crackers, many of the flavors were just bland. There were a few shining stars, though, which is why I gave this place an overall rating of 3 cones.