Cocktails with… Baileys Biscotti

Baileys Biscotti Title

After the recent unveiling of Baileys Orange Truffle, I decided I should really write about Baileys Biscotti, which made its début in September of last year (2011). This is a blend of the Original Baileys cream liqueur with added flavour of biscotti biscuits: dry, double-baked biscuits made with almonds that originate from Italy. In the UK, I’ve only ever had them served with coffee, although Wikipedia tells me that they are also often served with either fortified or dessert wine, depending upon your location (and both of which I’d like to try).

Baileys Biscotti

On its own

Nose: Very sweet and a strong, distinctive note of layers of wafer filled with vanilla cream, which was so strong that I found it difficult to find anything else. A hint of coffee made its way in towards the end.

Taste: Velvety and viscous from the outset, but also rather sweet. The flavour, like the nose, reminded me more of vanilla wafers than biscotti, although there’s a dryness on the finish that reminds me of almonds. At the very start, there’s a hint of coffee and whiskey, but this is quickly washed away by an intense hit of sugar and then a long, lingering creaminess.

Over ice Baileys Biscotti - Over Ice

The nose was unchanged over ice, but the drink itself seemed even sweeter and less balanced, reminding me of a poorly-made cream cocktail.

With a dash of Poteen

To be more precise, I used an approximate 5:25 ratio of Poteen* to Baileys. I decided to try this, given how wonderful it was with Baileys Orange Truffle. In this drink, it added more of a kick and, although it reduced the cloying creaminess of the liqueur – very much a positive thing – and replaced some of those sweet vanilla notes with some spicier ones, the two sets of flavours just didn’t seem to pair as well. I’m saving my Poteen for superior combinations!

With Coffee

Without a doubt, this was where this liqueur was at its best. I used strong, bitter coffee, to help balance out the sweet and creamy aspects of the Baileys. The sugary, vanilla wafer note appeared briefly at the beginning of the drink, followed by the unmistakable flavour of coffee with cream. I’m sure this will still be too sweet for some, but then those people are unlikely to be looking for a cream liqueur to add to their coffee!

In Conclusion

I was initially intrigued at the prospect of this flavour, but I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed at how sweet and cloying it turned out to be. As such, the Orange Truffle remains my favourite version of Baileys, although the vanilla wafer notes of the Biscotti variety may occasionally find their way into a cup of my coffee.

– Mrs. B.

* Once again, we used the wonderful Knockeen Hills Poteen Extra-Gold Strength (90%ABV).

WOW6 – Merlyn Welsh Cream Liqueur

In honour of St. David’s Day, Mr. B. suggested that I write up my notes on Merlyn – a Welsh cream liqueur produced by the Penderyn Distillery in South Wales; named after the Carmarthen-born wizard of Arthurian Legend. Whilst Merlyn isn’t strictly a whisky liqueur (it uses malted barley spirit as its base), Penderyn do make a good array of whiskies and I imagine anyone who enjoys a good whisky cream liqueur would also thoroughly enjoy Merlyn. It comes in a modern, black, matte bottle with sweeping, romantic lettering.

Merlyn has a rich, creamy nose that reminded me strongly of toffee ice-cream or vanilla fudge; I also detected a faint hint of coffee. It was a very straight-forward, but pleasant nose.

Once it hit my tongue, I was instantly surprised at how light and smooth it was; Merlyn glides across your tongue with hardly any weight or syrupiness to it at all. Like the nose, the taste reminded me of ice-cream, only without any of the clinginess of thick cream. I then tasted a flash of sweet fruit flavours: strawberry and peach.

The alcohol in this liqueur comes through mainly via a lovely, gentle warmth that fades in after that flash of fruitiness. I cannot emphasise enough how deliciously smooth this liqueur is: I kept waiting for a jab of harsh alcohol, but it just wasn’t there.

I have to admit to having been instantaneously won over by Merlyn: it is smooth without being tasteless or boring, has a non-uniform flavour that continues to intrigue me, and a comforting warmth at the end that is unmarred by any harsh finishes.

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant Hapus!

– Mrs. B.

For more Whisk(e)y Liqueuer Reviews please click here