Baileys Mint Chocolate Irish Cream (Dublin, Ireland)

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  • My Rating: D+

Baileys Mint Chocolate Irish Cream, 17% ABV – 750ml., (Dublin, Ireland)

on the back label:

“Baileys with a hint of mint chocolate is crafted with care from fresh Irish cream, the finest spirits and Irish whiskey”

Ingredients: cream, sugar, alcohol, maltodextrin, modified milk ingredients, natural and artificial flavours, Irish whiskey, colour, glycerol monostearate, sodium citrate.

  • Style: (mint chocolate) Flavoured Irish Cream
  • Taste: creamy sweet milked Irish whiskey with mild chocolate subtle mint
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores (no longer available, 3/2014)
  • How much: $29 – 750ml., sometime in 2010 (?)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to mixologists: nah, it’s nothing special

Visual: (Note, this is already way, way beyond it’s best before date of 11/2011, but what the hell, in the name of Science! Actually in the name of never buying another cream liqueur ever again.Pours milky light brown, thicker than milk viscosity.

Nose: a pleasant sweet milky cream with a faint dose of whiskey (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: thick and creamy viscosity

Mid-palate: quickly detected med-high alcoholic heat -> (lvl-8)-sweetness + alcohol bitterness, (MAIN) Irish whiskey, creamy milk, but slightly chunky, chocolate

Finish: mild minty finish with alcoholic detection and aggressive warmth.

Summary: As a sipper, I find the Irish whiskey part to be overbearing with its excessive heat, especially up front-to-mid. The ‘mint chocolate’ aspect is doesn’t quite shine through, but it is a decent twist if you are already sick of regular Baileys. I can’t say I would buy this again as it took me 3 years to finally finish this. Please note that YOU SHOULD THROW OUT OLD CREAM LIQUEURS as they have cream in them, and they SHOULD BE REFRIGERATED AFTER OPENING. (I sure hope I don’t get sick..)

In a cocktail: 50/50 coffee + baileys + whipped cream. The heat of the Irish whiskey again is prominent and doesn’t quite equal a smooth drink.

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Malibu Sundae and Berrylicious flavoured Rums (ON, Canada)

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Malibu flavoured Rum – Hiram Walker (Ontario, Canada)

  1. Sundae – Chocolate Ice Cream (and the base coconut): Rating: C
  2. Berrylicious – Strawberries & Whipped Cream (and coconut): Rating: D+

1.) Sundae – Chocolate Ice Cream (LEFT), 21% ABV, 750ml

Ingredients: rum, sugar/glucose-fructose, water, VODKA, IMITATION CHOCOLATE FLAVOUR, IMITATION CREAM FLAVOUR, coconut flavour, sodium citrate, citric acid, WINE, colour, gum arabic.

  • Taste Profile: rum sweetness -> nutty chocolate/cacao -> alcohol warmth/cloying/cacao exhale finish.
  • Where I got it: Port Moody Liq Store
  • How much: $30, August 2013
  • Do I love this enough to buy it again: nope
  • Would I recommend this to mixologists: maybe as a substitute for creme de cacao

Visual: Rum+vodka+wine?? plus 2 imitation flavours… Also, really crap quality screw cap. Pours clear light brown, not really chocolate colour at all.

Nose: Very nutty (peanut-coconut), sugary sweet. Subsequent nosings detect waffle cone and creme de cacao, in an artificial way.

Attack: watery viscosity, 9/10-rum sweetness

Mid-palate: half-bitter almost chocolate, fake (thin-bodied) cacao with coconut, hints of sourness

Finish: alcohol warmth, artificial cacao exhale, light-medium cloying finish with medium length.

Summary: It’s all artificial but not necessarily bad. There’s some shades of chocolate there but not a whole lot of ice cream. It’s not offensive by any means and is quite drinkable by itself. It’ll probably work okay as a mixer too, but don’t expect top tier cocktails. I find it tastes similar to a creme de cacao but not as sweet.

2.) Berrylicious – Strawberries & Whipped Cream (RIGHT), 21% ABV, 750ml

Ingredients: rum, sugar/glucose-fructose, water, VODKA, IMITATION CREAM FLAVOUR, NATURAL STRAWBERRY FLAVOUR, coconut flavour, sodium citrate, citric acid, WINE, malic acid, colour.

  • Taste Profile: sweet cherry -> fake strawberry/nasal tingly -> coconut nuttiness/warmth/long warm finish.
  • Where I got it: Port Moody Liq Store
  • How much: $30, August 2013
  • Do I love this enough to buy it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to mixologists: no

Visual: Same deal but “natural” instead of imitation strawberry flavour, plus malic acid and no gum arabic. Pours candy reddish-orange, more appealing than the chocolate.

Nose: strawberry candy, same nutty coconut, but with some astringent alcohol + minor nasal burn in there

Attack: 9/10-candied sweetness, CHERRY

Mid-palate: gets progressively sweeter, fake candied strawberry, nasal tingliness

Finish: coconut nuttiness, deepthroat alcohol warmth, PLASTIC, long warm finish.

Summary: The flavours here are all over the place. There is fake strawberry, ZERO whipped cream, and some coconut. It’s okay as a shot, and possibly as a mixer if you are okay with artificial flavours.

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Coffee Liqueurs Round 1 – Kahlua VS. Tia Maria

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Greetings! Tonight we have one well-known coffee liqueur going up against one that you don’t normally see served in bars, clubs, etc.. ABVs are identical in addition to price, at least here at the BCL stores. Note also that the they also have common ingredients. (At the end of this tasting I ended up with a pulsing headache…strange?)

1) Kahlua –20% ABV – 750ml, Mexico, ~$27 CAD

  • Ingredients: sugar, kahlua concentrate (coffee extract, rum, caramel, vanillin); water

VS

2) Tia Maria – 20% ABV – 750ml, Scotland, ~$27 CAD

  • Ingredients: sugar; water, alcohol (Jamaican rum), coffee extract, coffee flavour, vanillin, citric acid, caramel

Criteria:

Nose: Taking a whiff of the Kahlua, I get sugary medium-roast coffee mixed with very detectable tingly medium-burn invasive alcohol.  I have to say that alcohol eventually overpowers the pleasant coffee aroma and becomes offensive after several more nosings. With Tia Maria I get much cleaner coffee, caramel, and slight nutty vanilla nose with only minor alcohol detection, about a 1/5th burning level of the Kahlua. No doubt the winner is Tia Maria.

Taste & Texture: The Kahlua in my mouth has a syrupy mouthfeel. It goes down with 9/10-sweetness, cascading waves of roastcoffee flavour, caramel mixed with nasal numbing from the alcohol, light-medium burn (which is a surprise since the nose was so aggressive in alcohol) and finishes sugary cloying. Tia Maria is noticeably thinner in viscosity. Going down Tia Maria starts off with more intense and bolder flavours of coffee, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, nuttiness, 7/10-sweetness, with the mid-palate and finish consisting of medium alcohol warmth and and long bittersweet roast coffee finish. In my mind it’s crystal clear: the winner by far is Tia Maria.

Final Notes:

  • Kahlua is more syrupy, aggressively sweeter, less smooth/more nasal burn, less depth and length of flavour, and a sugary cloying finish. I WILL NEVER BUY KAHLUA AGAIN
  • Tia Maria has a better nose, better flavours, and goes down smoother.

WINNER = TIA MARIA