Product Type: Baileys Liqueur
Newest Review: ... liqueur and it has 17% alcohol in it so it is quite strong. I normally drink my Baileys with ice in a little glass. Me and my sister have... more
Baileys: Irish Creamy Heaven?
Baileys Irish Cream
Member Name: beckles88
Baileys Irish Cream
Date: 02/11/09, updated on 09/04/10 (1033 review reads)
Advantages: Nice creamy caramel taste, good in deserts.
Disadvantages: Price, fat content, can get a bit overwhelming after more than one glass.
I can remember that my mum has always like Baileys even since I've been young. I always thought it looked like a caramely type milkshake. The first time I tried Bailey was at Christmas when I was nearly 17, everyone was having an after dinner drink so I thought I'd try a glass of Baileys on the rocks, to be honest I didn't like it. However, after trying it a couple of years later I have since changed my mind and I'm a big fan of Baileys now!
**A Little Bit of History**
The origins of Baileys lie with the senior managers committee of 'Gilbeys of Ireland' who in 1971 decided to make a uniquely Irish drink that would reflect the heritage, agriculture and distilling traditions of Ireland. They had the relatively simple concept of the drink but there were issues with the mixing of the main ingredients, whiskey and cream as these would curdle naturally. The recipe had been perfected by 1973 and all the issues associated with production in bulk and shelf life where resolved.
Baileys was launched in 1974 and by 1979 over one million cases were being sold worldwide. The registered trademark of Baileys actually omits the apostrophe and Diageo who own the trademark claim that Baileys is the 8th largest selling premium spirit brand in the world and the No. 1 liqueur brand. Also another interesting brand fact is that in the first year of production, Baileys Irish Cream produced an average of 72,000 bottles. Today, over twice that figure is produced in one day, and Baileys is the single most successful new spirit to be introduced anywhere in the world within the last 30 years.
**What is Baileys?**
Diageo describe Baileys as a unique marriage of fresh dairy cream, Irish whiskey, finest spirits and natural flavours. The basic ingredients are: water, cream, an emulsifier like milk protein, alcohol (made up from a grain spirit & Irish whiskey) and flavours which Baileys say are chocolate, vanilla, caramel and sugar. As mentioned Baileys struggled with the mixing of alcohol and cream and they were the first 44% liquer to successfully mix these ingredients in a sufficiently stable manner for commercial distribution. The alcohol in Baileys is produced from a bacterial fermentation of whey. The cream and alcohol, alongside some whiskey and an emulsifier containing refined vegetable oil are then homogenized to form an emulsion. This process prevents the whiskey and cream curdling during storage. According to Baileys no preservatives are required; the whiskey alone is enough to preserve the cream.
The cream used in Baileys comes from Glanbia plc, a major company in the Irish dairy market. The Virginia facility in County Cavan produces a large range of fat filled milk powders and fresh cream. Glanbia have been the main cream supplier to Baileys Irish Cream Liqueurs for over thirty years. The production of Baileys uses more than 4 million litres of Irish cream a year, which amounts to 4.3% of Ireland's total milk production
per 1oz serving
Energy 489 kJ / 117 kcal
Saturated Fat 3.5g (Which is 18% of your GDA :O)
Alcohol 4.8 g
A bottle of Baileys looks really luxurious, I normally buy a 1 litre bottle but they come in lots of different sizes. The bottle is a gorgeous glossy black with a black screw lid. Below the lid is a black and gold band with the G.A.Bailey signature and then a green band which has the writing 'Product of Ireland' within it. The bottle has a strange like swirl design embossed on the bottle this shape reminds me of a 5 leaf clover, so I regard Baileys as being extremely lucky : ) this logo is also of the top of the bottle. There are some really beautiful swirls of green, orange and gold used as a background further down the bottle. These swirls look really soothing and remind me of the creamy taste of Baileys. The Baileys logo, of the gold edged red arch with Baileys written inside it is just above this background. On the bottle is 'The Original Irish (logo) Cream' with the G.A.Bailey signature again and the word 'liqueur'.
The label to the rear of the bottle advises to store Baileys between 5 to 25°c, so it is not necessary to keep Baileys in the fridge but this is where I keep mine. The shelf life of 24 months is quite long if you consider that it contains cream, I think it would be pretty difficult to make a bottle of Baileys last this long anyway. Also shown on the back is a description of what Baileys is, name of the distribution company and advice that there are a total of 17 UK units contained in the bottle and that baileys has 17% alcohol content.
When you first open a bottle of Baileys you get a nice sweet aroma, you can smell the cream, vanilla and caramel and you get a slight whiff of the whiskey but this is not a harsh smell like if you were smelling pure whiskey.
Baileys on the rocks was made popular in the 80s and this is how I normally drink my Baileys. If I'm at home I chill my glass in the fridge for 5 minutes beforehand, I enjoy drinking Baileys out of a Baileys tumbler (normally available in Christmas gift sets) or just a normal glass tumbler. But anyway the shape of the glass doesn't affect the flavour, I have drank Baileys from a plastic glass in a club before and it still tasted delicious.
I pour the Baileys in the glass over about 4 chunks of ice, the Baileys has a nice thick consistency so that when it is poured over the ice it coats it in a nice caramel colour which looks really nice. I like the ice to melt slightly so the Baileys is nicely chilled and lightens in colour, I swirl the glass and take a sip. I like to drink Baileys slowly instead of in big mouthfuls as soon as you put the glass to your lips you can feel the cool creaminess. The aroma of the Baileys and the creamy caramelly taste of the Baileys is delicious. There is no doubt about it Baileys does have a whiskey kick but this is not overpowering it is quite pleasant, it is like a nice warm taste after the cool creaminess, this nice warm flavour lingers in your mouth. Some say that Baileys tastes of coffee I don't think it does, I don't like coffee and cannot taste it, it is also not hinted at as one of the flavours on the Baileys website and Baileys have now brought out a coffee flavour.
I have the odd glass off Baileys at home with my mum occasionally or on special occasions but I like to stick to the one glass as I find the whiskey taste can become a little harsh if I drink more. I think it was the whiskey taste that put me off when I was younger. However, on a night out I can consume quite a lot of Baileys, it is the drink of my choice if I go to a local rock bar called the Casbah, they are generous with the measures and on my 21st the confused barmaid gave me a full half pint glass of Baileys, not that I'm complaining! I also love to drink Baileys at Christmas, I have no idea why but I do, maybe it just seems really relaxing and festive.
I enjoy drinking Baileys in a milkshake where I put 3 parts milk to 1 part Baileys with a little vanilla milkshake powder, this can be just stirred in a glass but is best in the blender with chunks of ice. A shot Baileys is also popularly added to coffee to make an Irish Coffee but I have never tried this due to my dislike of coffee.
Several cocktails use Baileys such as a B52 bomber: In a 2oz shot glass pour 3/4oz of Kahula, use the back of a teaspoon to gently pour 3/4oz of Baileys into the glass creating another layer, then do the same with 3/4oz of Grand Marnier to create a final layer. A favourite of my Mums is Baileys Amaretto as this adds an almondy taste which works well with the Baileys, pour equal measures of Baileys and Amaretto over ice, you can mix this first if you prefer. A popular Baileys shooter is the Slippery Nipple, pour 1/2oz DeKuyper® Buttershots liqueur and 1/2oz Baileys into a shot glass, let them mix, add 10ml of grenadine to the shot glass so it sinks to the bottom and forms a nipple. The tradition to this drink is to down the shot and lick the nipple from the bottom of the glass. This creates a nice buttery caramel taste with a nice sweet raspberrish taste from the grenadine.
Baileys contains cream which contains casein which coagulates when mixed with weak acids. While this outcome is undesirable in most cases, some cocktails specifically encourage coagulation. Due to this there is an urban legend in Belgium and the Netherlands that the combination of Baileys and tonic is lethal. A Cement Mixer is an alcoholic drink usually made with lemon or lime juice and Baileys, a shot of juice is taken first and held in the cheek, followed by a shot of Baileys and mixed in the mouth. The acidity of the juice curdles the Irish cream and the mixture is either swallowed or spat out due to the nature of the taste and texture felt inside the mouth. Another cocktail with this effect is the Baileys Red Bird, where 2oz Baileys, ½ vodka and 1oz pineapple juice are mixed and poured over ice.
I don't all that often buy Baileys as I don't drink it that much at home but a 70cl bottle cost roughly £11 and a 1 litre bottle around £17. Baileys is quite often on offer especially near Christmas and it is normally possible to pick up a bottle for under £10. The are quite a lot of Irish Cream Whiskey liqueurs on the market now and these taste very similar to Baileys these start from around £5 for 70cl so I tend to buy these if I am looking to buy Baileys. Baileys is also available in mint chocolate, crème caramel and coffee flavours and Häagen-Dazs have a Baileys flavoured ice cream.
Right I'll keep this short seen as the review has for some reason ended up really long! Baileys is a really smooth vanilla and caramel tasting drink, you can taste the whiskey in the liqueur but this isn't really harsh as neat whiskey can be. This drink may be a little sickly after a couple due to the cream content, but I like this drink at the end of a night when I'm out. Baileys is also great in deserts for which I won't add recipes here as the review is already extremely long but watch out for them in the recipes section. I really recommend that you try Baileys if you haven't already done so, just watch out for the calories and saturated fat!
Summary: A very tasty liqueur that reminds me of Christmas!
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