“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Liqueur „
I'm sure most people associate the drink 'Baileys' with Christmas, and I certainly do. Every year my Mum buys some and every year we drink it in those little tiny glasses. I don't normally care for it that much, but I do manage to force down a small glass or two. This year I went to Mum's house for Christmas and she had bought Tesco Finest Irish Cream rather than Baileys, which she told me tasted the same as Baileys and I decided to have my usual small glass. Now I don't know whether my tastes have changed or whether it was because it was the Tesco brand rather than Baileys, but this year it tasted AMAZING. I polished off three really big glasses before 11am (I'm not an alcoholic it was Christmas Day remember) and have had massive cravings for the stuff ever since. If it was not so bad for me I'd be replacing water with it. It's hard to describe the taste of this product, apart from that it tastes like Baileys..only tastier! If you've never tried Baileys then it is basically a really thick, creamy drink which tastes like cream with a slightly sweet/alcoholic (whiskey) flavour. It doesn't sound great but it's difficult to describe and it really is delicious. It is pale brown in colour and does look like some kind of chocolate cream. This drink was very similar and gave off a chocolatey aroma which was pleasant too. I'm not a fan of whiskey but this drink did not taste of it to me (although it does contain whiskey.) Price wise, normal Baileys is about £17 a litre and this Tesco stuff was £15, although it is sometimes on offer. I know the price difference isn't much but I personally preferred the Tesco version so the fact it is a little cheaper is a bonus. Now that Christmas is over I don't suppose I'll be having any more of this for a while but I'm looking forward to December 2013 already! Remember to drink responsibly :)
Granted this is not Baileys but a store brand alternative and granted Baileys isn't the only Irish Cream product but as the leading brand it is inevitable that any other version will be compared with Baileys. I absolutely adore Baileys at Christmas time and I can be quite the snob about deviating from it so when I went to my parents house and found the Tesco's Finest alternative staring me in the face I was a little disappointed. Still being a lover of Irish cream I gave it a go. I always take Irish cream on ice as I think it takes sickly at room temperature. So Mum poured me a (large!) glass over two ice cubes and it looked identical to Baileys. Same colour rich colour, same distinctive smell and perhaps just a little thicker. Taste wise is it was certainly very nice. It's not identical to Baileys but certainly similar. Tesco's Finest Irish Cream is thick and creamy and has the luscious taste of Christmas. The taste is very similar to Baileys except it has a stronger alcoholic element as such this makes it a little more acidic which would put some people off but personal I didn't mind it and it didn't stop me enjoying the drink. I'm not 100% sure how much my parents paid for this but pretty certain it was less than £10 which means it's roughly half the price of Baileys. Definitely a brilliant alternative particularly when you consider the price difference. Ideal for parties and guest when the alcohol bill just becomes ridiculous!
Christmas is the time of Baileys, although after hunting around for deals and not being able to find anything that good the local Tesco was selling its own version of the famous Irish cream for £9.99 per litre. After purchasing a 70cl bottle of the genuine stuff for £8.99 which was a deal from the Co-op I thought the price was quite good and dropped a bottle in the trolley. ****The packaging/bottle**** The Tesco Finest Irish cream comes in a dark and tasteful bottle, a bit like the genuine article. Many Tesco own branded products come in garish packaging, even the finest range so it is usually easy to spot a Tesco branded item a mile off. This is not the case with this Irish cream. ****Ingredients**** This Irish Cream consists of water, double cream (25%), sugar, neutral spirit, milk proteins, Irish Whiskey (2%), flavouring (with caffeine), colourings and stabilisers. I was surprised at the relatively low amount of whiskey, although I guess the high overall alcoholic content is down to the "neutral spirit". I have absolutely no idea what neutral spirit is but I am guessing it is this that gives this Irish Cream the strong ethanol smell. ****The smell**** Upon opening the bottle there is distinct Baileys' cocoa/chocolate aroma but it is not as strong as the real deal. Once Irish cream had been poured one thing I did notice was that if you inhaled the liquid the cocoa/chocolate smell soon dissipated and there was a strong alcoholic smell that was quite over whelming. I appreciate this happens with genuine Baileys but I think the cocoa/chocolate smell lasts much longer and when the methanol smell comes through it is not so powerful, making the drinking experience much more pleasant. ****The colour and consistency**** This Irish cream is brown in colour, which is like genuine Baileys as expected. That said, it is more washed out than Baileys and a little lighter. Think of the dregs of Baileys at the bottom of a glass with ice and that is what the Tesco's Irish cream looks like straight out of the bottle. It doesn't look unpleasant or nasty but it doesn't look rich, warm and inviting either. With the washed out colour I was expecting a washed out consistency, and I wasn't wrong and it is much more watery than the genuine article. Once again, I can only liken it to the dregs of some genuine Baileys with ice. ****Taste**** The Tesco Irish cream does taste a bit like Baileys but it is not so flavoursome. The cocoa/chocolate taste is less but the methanol/pure alcohol taste is much stronger. If you quickly gulp the Irish cream down then it could be mistaken for the genuine thing, however, if you savour the taste and let it slide down your throat like Irish cream should do the methanol taste is clearly evident and it is not ever so pleasant. I found that adding ice, and watering the Irish cream down even further actually made it taste nicer as the methanol taste is diluted. ****Price**** We paid £9.99 for a litre of Tesco Finest Irish cream whilst it was on special offer. When it is not then you can expect to pay £16.99, which I consider to be quite expensive for an own brand drink, especially when you consider the many other offers on genuine Baileys at the festive time of year, where I have seen 70cl for £8.99 and even a litre for £9.99 in Morrisons, although we missed out on the original, and not being fans of the flavoured varieties we went without. ****Nutritional information**** As detailed on the Tesco website a 100g serving of this Irish Cream provides 214Kcal, 3.7g of protein, 22.1g of carbohydrates, 21.2g of sugars, 12.3g of fat and 0.3g of salt. The first question has to be what is the ml equivalent of 100g? I am guessing not that much. I think it is quite poor how Tesco doesn't state the nutritional values using ml, since that is the measure of liquids right? I think the figures would be absolutely horrendous and probably put a lot of people off (although this is my opinion that I cannot substantiate). Looking at the nutritional information this drink is exceptionally bad for you and has high levels of everything therefore it should definitely be drunk in moderation. It's a good job Irish Cream is a drink I only consume over the festive period otherwise I would be in a right state. ****Conclusion**** The Tesco Irish cream is an inferior product to Baileys. It is less flavoursome, more watery, less rich and more methanol tasting than the genuine article, although it does become more drinkable if you add some ice. If the genuine Baileys is on special offer then this is not worth buying, even if it is £9.99 for a whole litre. However, if the Baileys isn't on special or, you missed out like we did, then it is worth a punt if all you want is some Irish cream.
Brand: Tesco / Type: Liqueur