According to the neat, frosted bottle, Coole Swan is a “Superior Dairy Cream Liqueur”. A quick glimpse at the list of ingredients gives some insight to this “superiority”: it is made in Ireland using Irish whiskey, fresh cream, Belgian chocolate, Madagascan vanilla, and cocoa from the Ivory Coast.
The nose reminded me strongly of good quality milk chocolate ice-cream and cocoa paste, with an ever-so-slightly bitter edge that stopped it from being at all sugary. I also caught a scone-like quality that, combined with the creaminess, made me think of a lighter version of DTS’s cream tea cocktail. There wasn’t much in the way of alcohol on the nose; any that was there was at the end and slightly fruity.On the tongue, this liqueur was exceptionally smooth, as well as being relatively weighty. On a scale of heaviness, I would say that it sits pretty neatly between Merlyn (which is very light) and Bailey’s, which I think is quite heavy.To taste, it was initially fresh and almost fruity, before the primary flavour of vanilla and cream, laced with creamy milk chocolate, took over. Having said that, none of the flavours were overpowering or heavy; there was a really nice balance of flavour, which I think shows ingenuity and restraint on behalf of its makers. After a few sips, a comforting, but subtle warmth built up in my stomach, reminding me that this was alcoholic.
Overall, I thought that this was very pleasant indeed. As I’ve stated before, I’m not overly fond of cream liqueurs, but this one – with its delicate chocolate flavours and luscious, but not heavy, creaminess – has disarmed me. It’s subtle, smooth and elegant. If you like cream liqueurs and chocolate, definitely give this one a try.
– Mrs. B