Denver-based RoseBud Ice Cream may turn your head with its CBD-infused flavors, but it’ll really hook you with its old-fashioned, hemp-free varieties. Owner Sam Rose launched the retail-only ice cream brand (there’s no brick-and-mortar to visit) last fall, starting out with three CBD flavors—Lemon Hazeberry, Mounty Maple, and OG Dreamsicle—but Rose wanted to get his sweet treats into more bowls and cones, so he debuted a trio of CBD-free flavors in June.

Rose’s creations are for ice cream purists, a sort of anti-Ben & Jerry’s selection of flavors. His flavors are devoid of mix-ins (except for the Midnight Mint, which is loaded with Newman’s Own chocolate sandwich cookies) so you can focus on the smooth, creamy texture and hits of flavor. “My whole approach with the ice creams is, in a weird, paradoxical way, the simpler the flavor, the more complex it is,” Rose says. “I don’t have a vanilla because I don’t have what I consider to be a perfect vanilla. The texture of the cream speaks for itself. Having it where it just stands on its own, it’s really cool. I think mix-ins are cop outs.”

RoseBud Ice Cream. Photo courtesy of RoseBud Ice Cream

The new, CBD-free flavors include the java-rific Covfefe; the fruity, nutmeg-spiked Moonlight Daydream; and the Newman’s Own cookie-chunked Midnight Mint. And every flavor, whether packed with a calming lacing of CBD or not, is made with 14-percent butterfat cream, just 24 quarts at a time. Rose purchases the pre-made, egg-free ice cream base from a local company and is working on dairy-free flavors that should be available by the end of summer, along with his first chocolate flavor and a CBD ice cream sandwich made with cookies from local brand C.B. Dough.

Rose got into the ice cream business on a whim, after a friend jokingly suggested he start a marijuana ice cream company. He took the joke seriously, though, buying an ice cream machine and churning, experimenting, and tweaking the recipes for years before getting them just right. “We’re making the best ice cream available in Colorado,” Rose says. “In order for me to make good on my goals, people have to try it. I can’t wait for them to do so because I love putting smiles on people’s faces with our ice cream.”

RoseBud Ice Cream is currently in 30 stores across the state, most of them smaller, independent grocers, including Leevers Locavore and Lucky’s Market. Look for the non-CBD flavors in Denver metro Whole Foods Markets this fall.

Allyson Reedy
Allyson Reedy
Allyson Reedy is a freelance writer and ice cream fanatic living in Broomfield.