There are quite a few Irish Cream liqueurs out there and to be honest I’ve only tried maybe two or three. Really just the most popular ones you see in stores around these parts like Bailey’s Irish Cream and O’Reillys Irish Cream are the ones I’ve given a go.
Saint Brendan’s has an subtly attractive bottle and I hadn’t noticed it before and at $17 I figured it was worth a shot. Due to the low price I did ask the shopkeep if he had any experience with it and he said it was now his favorite cream liqueur. After his positive review of it, I picked up a bottle to try for myself.
I don’t have much background on this one. It’s obviously named after Saint Brendan and Wikipedia tells me that Saint Brendan was an early Irish monastic saint that was renowned for a legendary journey to an Isle of the Blessed. I’m not very schooled on any Saints, but it sounds like some interesting reading.
Saint Brendan’s Irish cream is made in Derry, Northern Ireland, using local Irish whiskey and fresh cream.
Kick’n the tires:
Right off, I’ll tell you that out of the few Irish Cream Liqueurs that I have tried, this could very well be the best one. You take a sip and immediately you get that sweet creamy texture followed up by a mild Irish whiskey. The whiskey is not too stong; I think even those who are not really into whiskey could enjoy the flavor.
Now this definitely isn’t just whiskey and cream. There are some other flavors floating around that are hard to describe. I would say that Mocha is a good approximation, almost like hints of chocolate and coffee except very very slight. I may even detect some spices, but it is hard to tell. I’m no hound dog.
I’ve tried this on the rocks, and straight. I think I prefer it on the rocks as my texture preference is for it to be just a little bit runnier than it is straight. Drinking it straight its quite thick and may be too rich for some.
Overall I think the balance of flavors is wonderful and in my opinion it is not overly sweet when drinking it on the rocks. Of course it is still a cream liqueur so it’s going to be best when you ARE wanting something sweet. I’m just saying its not overkill.
I’ll definitely be finishing this bottle off after dinner every few nights.
P.S. I know cream liqueurs are popular in coffee-based drinks, but let me know if you’ve tasted any other interesting cocktails that include a cream liqueur.