Baileys Chocolat Luxe

Baileys have released a number of flavoured editions over the years, the most recent being the delicious Orange Truffle, but this month sees the release of a particularly special one: Baileys Chocolat Luxe. Made with real Belgian chocolate and lots of hard work by Anthony Wilson, the son of Steve Wilson, who came up with the formulation for the Original Baileys, this version takes a step into the luxury liqueur market.

Bottled at 15.7% ABV (Original Baileys is 17% ABV), Chocolat Luxe contains over 30g of real Belgian milk chocolate per bottle, in addition to Madagascan vanilla, caramel and Irish cream. It’s worth noting, though, that this isn’t just another flavour variant of the popular cream liqueur; rather, it was created to be a “molten chocolate experience”. So let’s have a taste and see how it fares.

BaileysChocolateLuxeBottle

Tasting notes (served straight from the fridge)

Pour: Firstly, I think it’s worth noting that this even pours luxuriously. It seems more viscous than the Original Baileys, pooling almost seductively in the bottom of the glass. I don’t normally take much notice of such things, but I did with this one.

Nose: This smells exactly how I expected it to: rich, Belgian chocolate, cream, and creamy caramel. I’m particularly reminded of expensive Belgian chocolates with a soft caramel centre, or the filling of a chocolate tart. This could have been a really sickly smell, but there’s just a hint of bitterness that stops that from happening, somewhat reminiscent of dark chocolate or salted caramel.

Taste: This has a luxuriously thick texture. After a second or two, there’s then a creamy note of Belgian chocolate and a burst of caramel sweetness. The familiar, creamy notes of Baileys with a hint of vanilla then kick in, before the chocolate returns to the forefront. Hints of dark chocolate again appear around the edges, just ensuring that it isn’t too sweet or one-dimensional. I’m also reminded of the creamy, strawberry notes that I get from some poteen (like Knockeen Hills).

Finish: Lovely, Belgian chocolate and double cream. Despite the thick texture, it’s not sickly or cloying, but still has a weightiness to it – quite a fine line to walk, but all of that experimentation during the development stages has obviously paid off!

With Coffee
When you have something as intriguing and complex as this liqueur, mixing it can be a bit tricky; you could easily lose some of the character and texture of the product. As such, we simply opted to try a dollop in an Espresso, a sort of short Mocha, if you will.

The result is an absolutely scrumptious liqueur coffee. The creaminess of the liqueur comes through, along with some of the Belgian chocolate notes, softening the bitterness of the coffee without covering it up with sweetness. The combination of chocolate and coffee reminds me even more of dark chocolate. Indeed, even DTS (who always drinks his coffee in Espresso form without even the suggestion of milk) happily finished off this drink.

In Conclusion
My views of the flavoured editions of Baileys are mixed, but I think they’ve chosen the right route to go down with this product, setting it apart from both the others in the range and any other cream liqueur that I’ve tasted. It’s really very masterfully done: it has delicious, genuine notes of Belgian chocolate and caramel, and the texture is the perfect combination of weighty cream and smoothness. Particularly when served straight from the fridge, this could easily replace a dessert. Needless to say, if you like Baileys and chocolate, I’d recommend giving this a try. A lot of time and effort went into creating Bailey’s Chocolat Luxe* and, in my mind, it was certainly worth it.
– Mrs. B.

Baileys Chocolat Luxe is currently available from Harvey Nichols at £16.99 for 50cl.

*Over 200 varieties of chocolate were tasted and the final formula was the 840th tried.

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Bailey’s Orange Truffle – The NEW Flavour

If you like Bailey’s Orange Truffle why not check out our article on Bailey’s Biscotti for some simple cocktail ideas.

The scamps who run Baileys Facebook page are one of the more interactive teams and although I may not be the target market, I do find many of their posts of interest (a lot of my family love Baileys). They are also quite fun when it comes to releasing news; they gave away free miniatures of the Biscotti Baileys, and held a clue-solving competition for their new variety, Baileys Orange (Chocolate) Truffle.

Some may recall that Diageo (the owners of Baileys) used to make a Terry’s Chocolate Orange liqueur and I attempted a recreation here, which seemed quite popular, so I was intrigued to try this new version.

Trying to find a store with Bailey’s Orange Truffle? Check out their Facebook Page or Click Here for a List.

Baileys Orange Truffle is only available as a limited edition form certain Tesco stores and, unusually, is only available in litre bottles. It was originally released for duty free in markets such as New Zealand, hence the litre bottle.

From the bottle

“Baileys orange truffle flavour is crafted with care from fresh Irish Cream, the finest spirits and Irish Whiskey.”

“The finest spirits” in addition to whiskey? An interesting addition. The Baileys website doesn’t mention what these spirits are, but I would wager that it was some sort of dairy-based spirit, not unlike the whey-base of authentic Irish Poteen.

The Curdle

Anyone who has tried to make cocktails with Baileys will probably have realised that, often, if you mix it with vodka (which is usually grain-based) the drink will curdle, but, if you use a milk-based spirit, the curdling does not take place (as you would be mixing dairy with dairy).

Baileys mixed with Whey-spirit Poteen (left) and Grain vodka (right) – notice the curdle.

But enough of that – onto the taste of the new product!

On its own (at room temperature):
Nose: A strong nose of orange-flavoured chocolate, very much like Terry’s Chocolate Orange, rather than any chocolate containing orange fondant.
Taste: Exceptionally smooth and creamy. Refreshingly, it’s not too sweet, but it is very, very creamy. The orange chocolate notes are strong from the start, along with a burst of sugary sweetness, before this fades away to a less sweet and more lasting, but rather heavy, creaminess (definitely more double than single cream!). At the very end of the finish, there’s a faint hint of Irish whiskey, but the cream quickly takes over.

On its own (chilled):
The nose seemed sweeter, the drink itself more viscous and the finish warmer than at room temperature.

On its own (over ice):
It seems much more viscous when chilled, although it still isn’t too cloying. Again, there’s strong notes of orange chocolate and a pleasant finish of cream. Very, very easy to drink.

With Poteen:
When I say Poteen I mean the traditional whey-based spirit* and not some grain based variety (which would curdle). The Poteen adds a lovely, spicy kick to the drink and transforms this into a tasty spirit that is better to sip than gulp down. The orange chocolate notes are still very much present, but some of the previously dull cream notes on the finish are replaced with the more spicy creaminess of the Poteen, and there is, overall, a lighter, silkiness.

Baileys Orange Truffle and Coffee

Baileys Orange Truffle and Coffee

In Coffee:
This smells delicious, like a combination of coffee and orange fondant filled chocolates. The taste was very much like coffee with cream, but with hints of orange. Like the Baileys itself, it’s not overly sweet, although may be a tad too rich for those used to black coffee. I’d definitely recommend that anyone with a bottle gives this a go, though.

In Conclusion
I’m already a big fan of this; it’s by far my favourite version of Baileys, which I sometimes find sickly and cloying. The orange chocolate notes are captured to a tee and its long finish of cream and whiskey is refreshingly non-sweet. All-in-all, it’s ridiculously easy-to-drink, whether that be on its own, in coffee, or – my personal favourite – with a dash of Poteen, which transforms it into a delicious, almost spicy chocolate liqueur with real oomph.

Baileys Orange Truffle is available exclusively from selected Tesco Stores for a limited period for around £15 for One Litre

Bailey's & the whey-based Knockeen Hills Extra-Gold Poteen

Bailey’s & the whey-based Knockeen Hills Extra-Gold Poteen

*I used Knockeen Hills Extra Gold Strength (90%ABV) and mixed 25ml Baileys to 5ml Poteen; for a larger drink mix 50ml Baileys with 10ml Poteen. This creates a drink around 29.2% ABV.

*Update in answer to question*

Knockeen Hills Poteen Extra-Gold Strength (90%ABV) is available from TheDrinkShop.com for around £44 for 50cl (that will make 100 single Bailey’s Drinks)

If you want to try a smaller sample you can buy a 50ml Mini for £6.29 also from TheDrinkShop.com