When it comes to cooking and alcohol, my favorite drinks are those you can cook with! This time, I decided to dive deeply into Kirkland Irish Cream and Baileys as I started dabbling into including desserts. Let me tell you, sipping these two liqueurs while baking brings the experience to a whole new level. So, why not talk about their differences so you know which one to choose?
Differences Between Kirkland Irish Cream and Baileys
Kirkland Irish Cream and Baileys offer different experiences and features that are similar but have different notes. While Kirkland is deeper, with vanilla, cocoa, and whiskey notes, Baileys is simpler and balanced with a nutty tone and a well-integrated whiskey hint. Interested in a more detailed explanation? Then continue reading!
Taste and Aroma
When it comes to taste and aroma, I would classify Baileys as Kirkland Irish Cream’s younger sibling. While Kirkland Irish Cream is more potent and pungent in these aspects, Baileys is tamer and more approachable.
Nevertheless, my palate prefers Irish Cream, and Kirkland is one of the best I’ve tried. It is a delightful blend of sweet, dessert-like flavors with an edge that pierces through the caramel sweetness.
In a word- rich, its creamy sweetness creates a certain elegance around it, making it feel like a “hard-to-get” kind of drink. When you first taste Kirkland, you will feel a note of whipped cream pulling you into the depths of its flavor.
As you keep exploring it, you will get to the comfortable, comforting, and familiar vanilla notes, only to pull you even harder into the darker and stronger realms of taste. This is when your taste buds are submerged in cocoa richness with a gentle but very noticeable whiskey component.
While it is well-integrated into the rink, Kirkland provides you with just enough warmth to remind you of its presence and warn you of the consequences of chugging this delight instead of savoring it.
I love the Kirkland Irish Cream for many reasons, but my favorite thing about it is that it is both a drink and a dessert in a glass!
To top it all off, the aroma is exceptionally inviting, with soft notes of cream and vanilla interwoven with a delicate chocolatey tone, making you crave it even before you taste it.
Now, Baileys, on the other hand, is a crowd-pleaser for a reason. It is the softer of the two, delivering everything Kirkland Irish Cream does, but perfectly attuned to every palate. While you may or may not prefer Kirkland Irish Cream, you will definitely enjoy Baileys.
Baileys offers a more balanced flavor profile with softer flavor notes, which makes it far more palatable. Initially, it will greet you with a harmonious blend of sweet cream and a soft but palpable Irish whiskey flavor.
It is expressively sweet but doesn’t overwhelm you, making it an excellent addition to cocktails and mixes. It provides a certain depth that is just a little deep but still sufficiently complex to tickle your curious bone to see what hides further down the line.
Its hints of nuttiness and a trail of coffee bitterness stay with you long after you swallow your sip.
It greets the nose with cheerful chocolate and vanilla notes followed by a piercing cocoa hint, making you fall in love with it way before it touches your palate.
Color and Consistency
Three words: rich, rich, rich! Not a very detailed description, but you get my point.
Kirkland’s Irish Cream seduces with a lighter shade of beige, which reminds me of a milky coffee. The ironic thing is that I like my coffee black, but this milky shade just captures me!
Add the smooth and velvety consistency to this beige and luxurious shade, and you get a royal combo in your glass. From the sheer act of pouring to the way it settles into your glass, this drink has refinement all over!
Baileys is similar to Kirkland Irish Cream but with a slightly deeper beige color. It looks like nicely settled milk with cocoa or a well-brewed latte.
Although thinner than Kirkland Irish Cream, it is also velvety and smooth, with a lighter and more pourable consistency.
Kirkland Irish Cream and Baileys have a wide application in cocktail-making and desserts. While Kirkland is better suited for fancier baked goods and pairs excellently with chocolate-based desserts, Baileys finds a place in more complex desserts as well as simpler ones.
Regarding strength, both Kirkland Irish Cream and Baileys have the same alcohol content, which is 17%. That means they are excellent drinks you can enjoy without worrying about having too much fun in too little time.
They are extremely pleasant, with a bite that’s just enough to remind you that you aren’t drinking coffee but sufficiently gentle to allow you to sip with delight.
With around $12 for Kirkland Irish Cream and around $15 for Baileys, these drinks are affordable and available to a broad audience. Although the price tags may vary from store to store and from season to season, rest assured that they won’t max out your credit card.
Which Is Better, Kirkland Irish Cream or Baileys?
You can’t compare Baileys in terms of better or worse since they both have much to offer. Although they are similar, they are still different, and I can understand how they would appeal to different palates.
If you want something deeper and more complex, with a slightly darker story, you should go for Kirkland Irish Cream. On the other hand, if you want something more cheerful and lighter, Baileys should be your poison.
I made a table that may help you with your decision:
|Kirkland Irish Cream
|Taste and Aroma
|Sweet, vanilla, cocoa, subtle whiskey
|Balanced, nutty, integrated whiskey
|Color and Consistency
|Light beige, creamy
|Deeper beige, smooth
|Ideal for sipping desserts, cocktails
|about 17% ABV
|Pricier, premium brand