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

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Cocktails with… Knockeen Hills Heather Gin

Today is the first day of Spring and, to celebrate, I thought that today’s Gin Review (of Knockeen Hills Heather Gin) should feature some suitably seasonal drinks.

Knockeen Hills Heather Gin is from the same folks that make Knockeen Hills Poteen; I’m sure a fair amount of that was enjoyed last Saturday (St. Patrick’s Day). They also make an Elderflower Gin.

The Heather Gin was first released in 2009 and is bottled at 47.3% ABV. The Elderflower Gin (and the one I reviewed) was originally bottled at the same strength, but this has recently been reduced to 43% in order to bring out more of the elderflower flavour and result in a tastier product overall.

Knockeen Hills Heather Gin is made at Thames Distillery and contains four botanicals:

Juniper
Coriander
Angelica
Savoury
Heather

From the botanical mix, you can see that the gin is not simply flavoured with heather, but rather that heather is a prominent botanical (after juniper, of course).


Traditional
Although this initially has a strong juniper flavour, this gin is actually much smoother and more mellow than many, certainly in a G&T. Some fruitiness then develops towards the end, accompanied by a hint of floral notes. Although it is quite light, it is also rather dry.

Gin Tonica

This a Spanish style of G&T; a nod to Knockeen Hills’ popularity in Spain. The Gin & Tonic was served in a large balloon glass filled with cracked ice and garnished with some crushed juniper berries; one berry had also been run around the rim.

After a little while, the outside of the glass becomes heavily frosted, which I quite like.
As for the drink, it is delicious: the garnish brings out the juniper of the gin, producing something of a super-charged G&T. Despite this, it had the same light dryness as the normal G&T.

007 Gin & Tonic
(From Dr. No)
[Juice of one lime + shells, 50ml Gin, will with ice, top up with tonic]
A nice combination, complex and full of flavour. This a crisp and cooling drink, the lime comes through more an also the very faintest hint of vanilla. This drink is a great way to relax and cool down.


Knockeen’s Pink Lemonade
[50ml Knockeen Hills Heather Gin, 150ml Pink Lemonade*]
Add ingredients to a tall glass with plenty of ice and garnish with citrus fruit slices.
The tart lemonade goes well with the strong juniper and slightly floral aspect of the gin, creating a drink that is clean, crisp and oh-so refreshing. Definitely a taste of the summer drinks to come.

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Grapefruit Fizz
[25ml Knockeen Hills Heather Gin, 25ml Grapefruit Juice, 25ml Sugar Syrup, 100ml Soda Water]
Very refreshing; less zing and tart than a normal Gin Collins, but still full of citrus, with a hint of bitterness from the grapefruit. Grapefruit and gin are usually good partners and this drink is no exception.

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Kiwi Kooler
[30ml Knockeen Hills Heather Gin, Half a Kiwi, 1/2tsp Sugar]
Muddle half a peeled kiwi in the bottom of a shaker, add gin and sugar, shake and fine-strain.
Initially, you get the gin, which is followed by the sweet, succulent kiwi. The dry juniper reappears on the finish. Some floral elements pop up throughout, but I thought this was quite a tart drink, overall.


Martini
Pretty classic to start: juniper, coriander, and citrus, all followed by herbal heather notes.

Negroni
Rather tasty; a little smoother, sweeter and more floral than most Negronis, but rather tasty nonetheless.

50ml Sugar
100ml Lemon Juice
500ml Water
A Handful of Red Berries

Combine ingredients in a jug and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Make sure that you muddle or crush the strawberries/raspberries/cranberries whilst straining.
Refrigerate overnight.
Before drinking/bottling, strain out the berries.

Cocktails with… Knockeen Hills Elderflower Gin


Not content with the success of their Irish Poteen and Heather Gin the folks at Knockeen Hills decided to release another product, an elderflower gin that uses elderflower as one of the botanicals, this is not a very common botanical to use and is a tricky ingredient to get right.
Bottled at 47.3%ABV Knockeen Hills uses a base Irish Spirit that is distilled five times and the botanicals it uses are steeped for 24 hours. It is described as “London Cut” which means in addition to being a London Dry Gin it is, distilled and cut in London.

Knockeen Hills Elderflower Gin is distilled at Thames Distillers and uses only four botanicals (a stark difference to the last Gin I reviewed) these are:

  • Organic Juniper Berries
  • Organic Coriander Seeds
  • Organic Elderflower
  • Liquorice powder

#1) Neat
Good nose, medium amount of juniper with some floral notes. Great warmth (not burn) on the tongue with juniper and elderflower. Not overpowering and subtle. The warmth of the texture intrigues me.

#2) Gin & Tonic
This makes quite a strong Gin & Tonic (the gin is 47.3%). The very heart of the gin seems to come through with a floral taste at the back of the mouth; the straight-forward juniper flavour is followed by the dryness from the elderflower. It’s interesting, because elderflower is often associated with something sweet (cordial, liqueurs, etc.), but this is definitely dry. Mrs. B was very fond of this drink, as it reminded her of cut green apples.

#3) Martini
I used some home-made vermouth for this martini, which complemented the Gin quite well and seemed to give the drink more flavour than usual. Knockeen Elderflower Gin does not make a classic Martini: it’s not so clean and crisp as others, but it is not overpowering and has a lot of character. I like this drink and it makes a nice change.

#4) Gimlet
An unusual Gimlet; less sweet than usual and, in the middle of the taste profile, the drink has a remarkably clean edge, almost Martini-like. There were subtle notes from the floral elements and the gin stands up well to the lime cordial.

#5) Aviation
There’s some great interaction of the elderflower and other floral elements with the violette and maraschino in this drink; it’s complex, but the flavours are all in equilibrium. Very tasty.

#6) Tom Collins
This Collins is, like many, a wonderful cooler. It is very refreshing, but sadly the gin is a little overpowered.

#7) Bramble
Very tasty; there’s equal intensity from each of the various ingredients, all combining to produce a fresh drink that reminds me of Spring. Crisp & delicious.

#8) White Lady:
Fresh and crisp, perfect for Spring or early Summer. There’s a good amount of juniper and distinct floral elements on the finish.

#9) Alexander
I increased the proportions of Gin for this one, so that some of the dry muskiness of gin comes through. The Knockeen Elderflower contributes more to the cocktail that most other gins that I’ve tried.

#10) Gin Bump (Buck)
The Gin Bump was a disappointment as the sweetness of the ginger ale clashed with the floral notes of the gin. Not recommended.

#11) Gin Sour
Pretty strong; you seem to feel the full whack of the 47.3% in this drink. It seemed to warm me up, rather than cool me down (which a gin sour typically would do), and, flavour-wise, it doesn’t do the Gin justice.

#12) Sweet Gin
This was an idea for a cocktail (if you can call it that) that just occurred to me: I simply added half a teaspoon of simple syrup to a measure of Gin. I was surprised at how well it worked and how it brought out a new dimension of flavours: it was almost like an elderflower liqueur, but tasted more complex.

#13) Clover Club
In a similar way to the White Lady, this was balanced, simple, tasty and enjoyable to drink.

#14) Gin Old-fashioned
Fast becoming a new favourite of mine, the Gin Old-Fashioned with Knockeen Hills Elderflower is delicious. Sugar sweetens up the floral elements (just like the Sweet Gin) which stops the Angostura from dominating the drink. This is a superb way to enjoy the gin.

In Conclusion
Knockeen Hills Elderflower Gin is crisp and flavourful. The floral elements lend themselves well to a variety of cooling drinks, making it perfect for Spring or Summer (although I am still enjoying it during Winter!). Sometimes I think that when gins highlight one, single, botanical it can be a bit gimmicky and the rest of the gin profile seems to suffer, but I don’t think that that is the case with this gin.

Cocktail highlights included: Gin & Tonic (especially James Bond style),  the Gimlet,  the Aviation & the Gin Old Fashioned.

Knockeen Hills Elderflower Gin is available from The Drink Shop here: for £26.44 for 70cl.