Americans tend to go wild for limited-time menu items (think Starbuck’s pumpkin spice lattes and McDonald’s McRib). Something about the exclusivity of the item being available only for a limited time leads to serious cult followings, with customers counting down the days until the items are back on the menu. McDonald’s jumps on the bandwagon every February and March, promoting their St. Patrick’s Day themed dessert, the Shamrock Shake. While the milkshake has legitimate cult status, it seems that customers overall are divided.

It’s the lovers vs. the haters.

The Shamrock Shake was first introduced in 1970 and is rumored to have come from a family recipe. The dessert was originally called “St. Patrick’s Day Green Milkshake,” and the shake is now a part of McDonald’s McCafe collection, which consists of coffee beverages, smoothies and shakes. The idea behind the shake is simple: a vanilla milkshake with mint flavoring (which gives the shake its signature green color), topped with whipped cream and a cherry (classic). The company also tried to sell the Shamrock Sundae, but it was discontinued after one year, due to poor sales.

Despite the current popularity, Shamrock shakes were temporarily discontinued in the 90’s (how dare they!), only to be reintroduced in the early 2000’s. Clearly there is a lot of buzz surrounding the shakes… but the question is, is the shake worth they hype?

My answer: No. The mint flavoring tastes incredibly artificial (as does that lurid green color), and is so sweet it’s almost difficult to eat. The shakes also aren’t winning any healthy awards, with the smallest size (12 fluid ounces) at 530 calories and the largest size (22 fluid ounces) at 820 calories.

Would I ever buy a Shamrock Shake again? Personally, no. I go for Pizza House or Rod’s instead. But I know there are plenty of people who disagree with me. People go wild for these shakes, and if you think there’s a chance you could join the cult following, it’s worth a try.