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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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22
Feb

Review: Crispin Rose Hard Cider

Crispin Rose Hard Cider was recently introduced.  Founders Joe and Lesley Heron started making cider in Minnesota in 2004 after moving to the US from South Africa.  In 2010 they acquired Fox Barrel Cider and moved all production to the Colfax California.  In 2012 they were acquired by Miller-Coors.  Today the Heron’s craft Copper and Kings American Brandy.  Crispin Rose is the second of four Rose flavored ciders that have either been recently released or will be released shortly.  Why?  Rose wine sales grew 40% in 2017.  Crispin also sites a Nielsen study that showed Crispin Cider drinkers consumed four times as much wine as cider.  Crispin Rose is naturally fermented using raw unpasteurized juice of fresh pressed apples and pears through classic cold fermentation, and specially selected wine yeasts.  Rose is bottled at 5% ABV and sold in 6 packs of 12 oz. bottles.  Read more »

21
Feb

Review: Malibu Lime Rum

Malibu Lime Rum was just released.  This is not the first time Malibu has created a lime flavored rum.  A previous Malibu Lime was produced until 2003.  This is one of 15 rum varieties Malibu currently produces.  With lime being such a popular flavor to mix with rum, I’m a little surprised Malibu went 15 years without having a lime flavored rum.  But checking Bacardi Rums flavor lineup they don’t a lime flavored rum either.  The rum base for Malibu is made from molasses created from the finest sugar cane crops and pure water.  After fermenting with a proprietary yeast the spirit is distilled 3 times at the West Indies Distillery in Barbados.  The rum is barreled and shipped to Canada where lime liqueur is infused with the rum before bottling at 42 proof. Read more »

20
Feb

Review: Angry Orchard Rose Cider

Angry Orchard Rose Cider is one of six year round varieties in their Core Line of hard ciders.  The others include Crisp Apple, Green Apple, Easy Apple, Pear Cider, and Stone Dry.  American Orchard Rose is made from Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith apples grown on their 60 acre apple orchard in Walden New York, and Red Flushed apples sourced from France.  Cane sugar, sweet potato, radish, and hibiscus also appear on the bottles ingredient list.  The Crist family took ownership of the Walden orchard in the heart of the Hudson Valley in 1963 and have been leaders in the apple growing industry growing both culinary and bittersweet cider apples.  This is where the majority of the domestic apples used to craft Angry Orchard are sourced from. Read more »

19
Feb

Review: Paddy Irish Whiskey

Paddy Irish Whiskey was first produced in 1779.  It was originally made by Cork Distilleries and named Cork Distilling Company Old Irish Whiskey.  In 1882 the Cork Distilleries hired Paddy Flaherty as a salesman.  Paddy visited the pubs of Cork buying whiskey for customers.  He had such a presence at these pubs the whiskey became better known as Paddy’s Irish Whiskey.  In 1912 the distillery officially changed the name of it’s whiskey to Paddys Irish Whiskey.  In 1966 Irish Distillers was formed when a merger took place between John Powers and Son, John Jameson and Son, and Cork Distilleries.  In 1988 Irish Distillers joined Pernod Richard.  The Paddys brand was acquired in May 2016 by Sazerac, the makers of Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Corazon Tequila.  Sazerac also acquired the rights to Michael Collins Irish Whiskey in 2015, and plans on bringing that brand back to life.  For now Paddys will still be produced at Irish Distillers in Midelton Ireland.  Paddys is currently the worlds fourth best selling Irish Whiskey, no doubt helped with its decision in February 2010 to start shipping to the US.  Paddy Irish Whiskey is a blended whiskey that is triple distilled and aged up to 7 years in oak barrels.  Read more »

17
Feb

Review: Two Hats Pineapple Light Beer

Two Hats Pineapple Light Beer was recently released by MillerCoors along with Two Hats Lime Light Beer.  Depending on your market area, Two Hats is sold in 4 and 6 packs of 16 Oz. cans.  MillerCoors has targeted the 20 something drinker who may be more inclined to order a cocktail or glass of wine than a beer.  Those watching their weight or living a healthier life style will be happy to learn Two Hats weighs in at 4.2 % alcohol with 112 calories per 12 Oz. serving.  No doubt MillerCoors would also like to steal some of those currently consuming Bud Light Lime.  Heads up, Bud Light Orange will soon be released.  Could flavored light beer be the hot beer trend for 2018, following the wave of hard ciders, adult soft drinks, spiked iced teas, hard seltzers, and apple ales?     Read more »

16
Feb

Review: Five Farms Irish Cream Liqueur

Five Farms Irish Cream Liqueur is the world’s first farm to table Irish cream liqueur.  Five Farms is positioned as a super premium Irish Cream and is exclusively sourced and produced in County Cork Ireland.  County Cork is the largest and Southernmost County in Ireland.  Five Farms is crafted from single batches of fresh cream sourced from five family owned farms.  The fresh cream is combined with premium triple distilled Irish whiskey, within 48 hours of leaving the farm.  Five Farms is made with 10% Irish Whiskey.  This is a higher amount of whiskey than other Irish Cream Liqueurs.   Read more »

14
Feb

Review: Ron Abuelo 7 Year Old Rum

Ron Abuelo 7 Year Old Rum is made from 100% Panamanian estate grown virgin sugarcane honey, fermented with yeast raised in the companies own laboratory.  The spirit is distilled utilizing an advanced stainless steel four column still.  The rum is aged for seven years in carefully selected small white oak barrels.  The rums are blended to produce a uniform taste and bottled at 80 proof.  The history of Varela Hermanos SA dates back to 1908 when Don Jose Varela Blanco a young Spanish immigrant established the first sugar mill in the recently formed Republic of Panama.  In 1936 they began the distillation of alcohol from sugar cane juice.  In 1976 the new modern Don Jose Distillery opened and this is where Ron Abuelo rum is now produced.  Read more »

12
Feb

Review: 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey

2 Gingers Irish Whiskey was launched in 2011 by Kieran Folliard the owner of 4 well known Irish pubs in Minnesota.  Those pubs include The Local, The Liffey, Copper, and Kieran’s.  For four years running The Local poured the largest volume of Jameson Irish Whiskey worldwide.  One day Kieran decided to launch his own brand.  2 Gingers is named for Kieran’s red headed mom and aunt.  It was contract distilled at the Kilbeggan Distillery.  Jim Beam acquired the distillery shortly after launch and acquiring the 2 Gingers brand in 2012.  2 Gingers is made from 100% malted barley, and is twice distilled, and aged for four years in previously used bourbon barrels before bottling at 80 proof. Read more »

9
Feb

Review: Grand Mayan Silver Tequila

Grand Mayan Silver Tequila is made from 100% estate grown Weber Blue agave from the Lowland region, and natural spring water.  The spirit is slow distilled three times and bottled in a hand-made ceramic talavera bottle crafted by Mexican artists.  Each decanter bakes for 8 hours before it is hand painting and numbered.  Grand Mayan is made at Corporativo Destileria Santa Lucia.  This distillery has produced tequila for over 70 years and it is where several other tequila brands are crafted.  These brands include El Capo, Amate, El Destilador, and Tierra Azteca. Read more »

7
Feb

Review: Pyrat XO Reserve Rum

Pyrat XO Reserve Rum is made from a blend of nine different Caribbean rums that are aged up to 15 years.  Pyrat gets its name from the Old English word for pirate.  Once blended the rum is further aged in French limousine and toasted American barrels.  The Pyrat rum brand is part of Patron Spirits and it was included in the recent $5.1 billion acquisition by Bacardi.  Pyrat XO Reserve Rum is blended and bottled in Guyana South America by Demerara Distillers, who also distill some of the rum used to produce this rum. Read more »