Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale – St. James’ Gate Brewery (Dublin, Ireland)

Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale – St James’ Gate Brewery (Diageo), 4.3% ABV, 500ml., (Dublin, Ireland)


  • Style: (widgeted + nitrogen) Irish Ale
  • Taste: Dull flat sweet lightly toasted barley malt slight metallic
  • Where I got it : traded with a friend
  • How much: $3.30 CAD – 500ml., Winter 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Widget with CO2 + nitrogen. Initial pour has the cascading draught head, subsequent pour leaves a small 1mm head, half moon layer of retention, slow and steady loose clusters of streams.

Nose: very faint light toasted sweet barley malt. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: flat, gentle (lvl-3-sweetness)

Mid-palate: dull carbonation, lightly toasted barley malt

Finish: barley malt grainy, light metallic

Summary: It drinks pretty dull and flat like the other nitrogenated beers I’ve had. The flavour is very one-note and basic. Uninteresting, but somehow I got a buzz from 4.3%.

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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Magners Pear Cider (Ireland)

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  • My Rating: C

Magners Pear Cider, 4.5% ABV – 500ml, (Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland)

Ingredients: pear juice from concentrate, glucose, sugar, citric acid, pear flavour, sulphites, colour.

  • Style: Pear Cider
  • Taste Profile: sweet fizzy yeast -> light pear/light apple -> burpy/med-sweet/light rough finish
  • Where I got it : W. 16th Liquor
  • How much: $4 (after 10% off), Jan 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear light  white wine yellow with almost no head, no retention, but lots of activity. Bright, sugary pear juice on the nose.

Attack: 9/10-sugary sweetness, fizzy yeast

Mid-palate: light pear, light apple, crispness

Finish: burpy, light-bodied, med-sweet/light rough finish.

Super-drinkable yet overly simplistic. Not much depth of flavour nor complexity of taste. This is more for the non-drinker/casual drinker crowd. Decent with a meal.

Bushmills White Label Irish Whiskey (Ireland)

Bushmills White Label Irish Whiskey, 40% ABV – 750ml, (Country Antrim, Ireland)

On the back label:

“Welcome to Bushmills, on Ireland’s rugged Antrim coastline, a region with a license to distil granted in 1608 and still home today to Ireland’s oldest working distillery… and one of its finest whiskeys. Triple distilled for smoothness, Bushmills is a whiskey with notes of honey, ripe fruit and sweet spice.”

  • Style: (Blended) Irish Whiskey
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: Green apple -> caramel/alcohol/warmth -> clean finish.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $32, Summer 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to whiskey aficionados: not fully

Tasting notes: pours golden filtered apple juice yellow. Caramel and alcohol burn on the nose. Drinks with a green apple aroma, 6/10-sweetness, light caramel, alcohol in the mids, numbness, warmth, smooth and light flavour, watery viscosity, finishing clean. Low-medium complexity, medium depth, good smoothness, good sippability.

John Kepplers Premium Irish Cider (Ireland)

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John Kepplers Premium Irish Cider, 6% ABV – 500ml, (Midleton, Ireland)

  • Style: Apple Cider
  • My Rating: C
  • Taste Profile: Fizziness -> sweet red/tart green apples/brown sugar-> crisp/sweet/puckery finish.
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek
  • How much: $3 (after 10%), March 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to friends: yes

Tasting notes: pours golden yellow with no head and a few slow CO2 streams. Faint filtered apple juice on the nose. A burst tingly fizziness up front, 8/10-sweet red apples, medium tart green apples, light woodiness, brown sugar, finishing crisp, sweet, slightly puckery. Low complexity, low-medium depth, good transitions, okay carry, good drinkability.

2nd Tasting (2013/Aug/26): Drinks burpy without much depth. Mainly red apples with tart green apple texture. Quite boring and downgraded from C+ to C.