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  • Writer's pictureClaire @ fromthegrapevine

Battle of the Irish Creams!

Two irish creams, but is one better?

Christmas simply wouldn't be Christmas without some Irish liqueur in the house, and when we discovered there was a Wiltshire version, we needed no excuse to grab ourselves a bottle and do a comparison test against the brand leader, Baileys.

The Wiltshire Liqueur Company are a small team of 4 based just outside Marlborough, and produce a focussed range of delicious spirits, including damson vodka, orange liqueur and sloe gin. Every festive season they add a limited edition Irish Liqueur to the range that they call Christmas Liqueur.

So, what makes it different to grabbing a bottle of Baileys from the supermarket shelves? Well there are only 500 bottles produced for a start. Like a piece of artwork, the label is individually numbered out of 500. Secondly, your purchase is supporting a local company and not contributing to the profits of some faceless conglomerate. Thirdly, the Wiltshire Liqueur Company send out a recipe booklet with every purchase for you to make fantastic cocktails.

Wiltshire liqueur company's Christmas cream

The downside? At £25 for 50cl, the Christmas liqueur is over twice the price of its Baileys counterpart. In the run up to Christmas, many of the major supermarkets have discounted Baileys (at the time of writing, a litre bottle has been reduced to just £12 - a quarter of the price).

Sourcing the Christmas liqueur is also not as easy as throwing it in the shopping trolley next to the sprouts. This can only be purchased online through the website's online shop (postage is thankfully free, and delivery was quick and efficient) or the team regularly attend Christmas fayres where you can purchase and chat to the team member.

So what about the difference in taste? The Wiltshire version is slightly sweeter and has caramel / toffee notes on the nose and in the taste, compared to Baileys that has a creamier texture and the hit of Whiskey is more noticeable. Both Irish creams are 17% ABV - the Wiltshire cream suggests keeping it in the fridge once opened to preserve it better.

In conclusion, I feel the Wiltshire Christmas liqueur is ideal as a special present or a treat. The label is attractive and the bottle looks classy. However, for an Irish cream to glug over the festive season (and pour over the mince pies), you'll probably want to keep the bargain Baileys close to hand too.


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