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2016 Best Tasting Irish Cream Liqueurs

mollys-pour-shotWhat are the best tasting Irish Cream Liqueurs?  Before we get started lets start at the beginning.  In 1971 a group of managers at Gilbeys had an idea to create a unique Irish drink to sell to the International market.  By 1974 they had developed a process of combining fresh dairy cream with alcohol while still providing a 2 year shelf life.  This product Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur launched an entire new spirit category.  Today there are cream liqueurs made with rum, bourbon, scotch, vodka, and even tequila.  With hundreds of cream liqueurs now available Baileys still remains the best selling Irish cream liqueur and one of the worlds best selling spirits.  That said there are now over 100 Irish Cream Liqueurs produced today.  Believe it or not all of these Irish creams are produced at six or seven distillery’s in Ireland.  While I haven’t tasted every Irish cream liqueur, dozens are not offered for sale in North America, I have tried over 60, and reviewed over 50.  There may be someone who has sampled more Irish Creams, but I have seen no one review more.  I also like Irish Cream Liqueurs, to some reviewers, Irish Cream is just another spirit to review.  These fact alone make Best Tasting Spirits a leading source for Irish Cream reviews.  I feel the large sample size and the consistency of only one reviewer increases the accuracy of this list, but in the end it comes down to one mans opinion.  So what are the Best Tasting Irish Creams, and what makes them special?   

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Recent Articles


Review: McCleary White Chocolate Irish Cream Liqueur

McCleary White Chocolate Irish Cream Liqueur was just released.  It joins the previously reviewed McCleary Irish Cream Liqueur.  McCleary is a private label brand made by Robert A. Merry and Co. in Tipperary Ireland.  I picked up my bottle at Binny’s in Chicago.    The Merrys Distillery produces several other Irish Cream brands including O’Reillys, O’Donnells, Sheelin, and Fennellys.  They also create their own line of Merrys Irish Cream Liqueurs.  McClearys White Chocolate Irish Cream is made with a blend of Irish cream, aged whiskey, grain neutral alcohol, and natural flavors.   Read more »


Review: Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka

Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka was introduced in 2008.  It is made from American grown organic corn harvested from fertile soil, free of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, and chemicals.  The Crop Vodka base is distilled in column stills so efficiently that no carbon treatment or charcoal filtering is required.  Organic cucumbers grown in the Midwest are infused with the vodka, before bottling at 70 proof.  Crop also makes an unflavored Artisanal Vodka, an organic Tomato, and Meyer Lemon flavored vodka.  At one time they also made a Spiced Pumpkin flavor. Read more »


Review: Platinum 7X Vodka

Platinum 7X Vodka was introduced in 1996.  It is made from high quality American corn at Buffalo Trace Distillery.  This is the same distillery that crafts Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Van Winkle, and Blanton’s Bourbon.  Wheatley, Rain, and Clix Vodka are also produced here.  Platinum 7X Vodka is distilled seven times.  The first four distillations are in a column still.  The final three are in a traditional pot still.  Pure limestone filtered water is blended to reduce to 80 proof. Read more »


Review: Gubba Silver Rum

Gubba Silver Rum was introduced in 2013 along with Gubba Gold Rum.  After visiting St Martin with his wife and tasting delicious Island crafted rum liqueur, I’m guessing Toppers Rhum, Gubba Rum owner Steven Gubb was inspired to create a new different tasting rum.  Gubba Rums are crafted using a technique that dates back to the 1800’s.  These artisanal organic and naturally infused rums are made from pure organic cane and the finest fruits, spices, and herbs.  Gubba Silver Rum is distilled at Dancing Pines Distillery in Loveland Colorado.  It is unfiltered and infused with organic coconut. Read more »


Review: San Matias Tahona Blanco Tequila

San Matias Tahona Blanco Tequila was launched December 2016.  It was created to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the San Matias de Jalisco Distillery.  This distillery also produces Corazon Tequila.  When Don Delfino Gonzalez started producing Casa San Matias Tequila in 1886 he used a large stone wheel, called a tahona to crush the cooked agave.  That same stone wheel is used to craft San Matias Tahona Blanco Tequila.  It is made from 100% agave grown for 7-10 years in the red volcanic soil fields of the Highlands.  The agave is slow baked in brick ovens for 48 hours and crushed by the same tahona stone used more than 100 years ago.  The agave juice is fermented for 72 hours in pine wooded tanks and then double distilled at low temperatures in a 300 liter copper pot still by Master Distiller Rocio Rodriquez.  Read more »


Review: Grays Peak Meyer Lemon Vodka

Grays Peak Meyer Lemon Vodka is one of 4 spirits in the Grays Peak stable, that includes a straight vodka, and two gins.  It is made from premium corn that is small batch distilled five times and charcoal filtered.  Pure spring water filtered through a proprietary reverse osmosis process that removes any trace minerals typically found in spring water is blended to reduce to proof.  Meyer Lemon flavor is added before bottling at 60 proof.  The Meyer Lemon is native to China and it was introduced to the United States by agricultural explorer Frank Meyer who collected a sample on a trip to China. Read more »


Review: Tahoe Moonshine Peanut Butter Vodka

Tahoe Moonshine Peanut Butter Vodka is made at the Tahoe Moonshine Distillery located in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the California side of the lake, 6200 feet above sea level.  Prior to opening the Tahoe Moonshine Distillery, owner and creator Jeffrey VanHee spent time in Costa Rica making rums using molasses as a base for fermenting and infused this rum with mangos, bananas, passion fruit and cinnamon.  He also had an apprenticeship at Fat Dog Spirits in Ybor City Florida, and he attended UC Davis through the American Distilling Institute.  Peanut Butter Vodka is one of nine spirits currently featured on their website.  It is made with their Snowflake Vodka as a base.  This vodka is made from California Wild Flower Honey that is fermented to a mead and distilled in a copper still.  Creamy organic peanut butter is macerated into the vodka base for 11 days before it is distilled a second time. Read more »


Review: Fair Quinoa Vodka

Fair Quinoa Vodka was launched in 2010 by company founder Alexandre Koiransky.  The Fair Spirits Company also crafts a rum, gin, and several liqueurs.  Fair Quinoa Vodka is the result of a two year joint research project between French Distillers and Andean farmers.  Fair Quinoa Vodka is made from grain and organic quinoa grown at over 3000 meters above sea level in fertile volcanic soil in the Altiplano plateau of Bolivia.  The Fair Spirits Company respect about 200 rules to make sure they pay farmers a fair price for their quinoa.  The quinoa is shipped to the Cognac Region of France where Master Distiller Philip Laclie crafts this vodka.        Read more »


The New Gold Standard

For four years Best Tasting Spirits has reviewed some very good spirits and some not so good.  Some of these products are brand new and some have been around for a long time.  While our reviews have included both a numbered score and a medal award, the focus from a review stand point has been number driven.  After four years I’ve come to the conclusion that unless you are a regular visitor to our site the number given is far less important than the medal awarded.  When we started Best Tasting Spirits we only awarded Silver, Gold, and Platinum medals.  We have since added Bronze and Double Gold.  These new awards will help provide more distance between our product reviews.  Product reviews will continue to be scored on a point basis with a three point range within each award level.  Think of this like a report card where you may receive a B-, B, or  B+.  This will provide differentiation within each award level.  While we don’t have the time to go back and review all 1400 products again, we will be adding a new feature titled What is the Best Tasting.  First up will be Watermelon Vodka.  Cucumber Vodka, and Coconut Rum will follow.  Products within each category will be sampled again and compared.  Some previous scores may go up and some may come down.  The important thing is all will be sampled within a week of each other.  Finally a special thank you needs to go out to Melanie who designed our new Best Tasting Spirits Medals.


Review: Beach Whiskey Island Coconut

Beach Whiskey Island Coconut was launched in select markets in 2016 along with Beach Whiskey Original and Beach Whiskey Bonfire Cinnamon.  They are in the process of building out national distribution.  A quick look at the Beach Whiskey webpage only lists their Island Coconut and Bonfire Cinnamon varieties.  Beach Whiskey was co-founded by a large group of people including Country Music singer Jake Owen, Gavin DeGraw, Billy Bush, J Smoke Wallin, and Ken Austin, the Chairman and Co-Founder of Avion Tequila.  Beach Whiskey Island Coconut starts with a corn whiskey base that is not barrel aged, but it does undergo a unique filtration process.  Natural flavors are blended before bottling at 52 proof.  Some coconut flavored rums are blended with an oversweet coconut liqueur.  In fact Island Coconut is made with 44% less sugar than the leading coconut brand, presumably Malibu.  Read more »