Liquor Laboratory

Kirkland Irish Cream vs Baileys: Creamy Comparison (2024)

Kirkland Irish Cream vs Baileys

When it comes to Irish creams, most patrons vouch for Baileys and Kirkland Irish Cream liqueur, making them two of the most excellent options. But when elevating your cocktail drink, which of the two is the must-have?

To stop the confusion, I researched and did a side-by-side comparison between Kirkland Irish Cream vs Baileys to help you decide which bottle to grab at your next liquor store visit.

In-Depth Comparison of Kirkland Cream Liqueur & Bailey’s

Bottles of Kirkland Cream Liqueur and Bailey's

Kirkland Irish Cream liqueur and Baileys are spirits hailing from the rolling hills of Ireland.

While these Irish creams are made with the same foundation (Irish whiskey, dairy cream, and sweet flavors), there’s a difference between the two, bringing their own unique character to the table.

Kirkland Signature Irish Cream boasts a silky texture, a balanced flavor profile with hints of caramel and toffee, and a slightly lower alcohol by volume (14%).

On the other hand, I love Baileys, which boasts a thicker, creamier mouthfeel, a chocolatey, coffee-like taste with pronounced vanilla notes, and a higher alcohol content (17%).

“Cream liqueurs blend velvety creaminess with exquisite flavors for indulgent sipping.” – Liquor Laboratory

Another difference is that Bailey’s holds an iconic status and worldwide recognition for its exceptional flavor, whereas Kirkland’s provides an appealing, budget-friendly alternative.

Kirkland’s Irish Cream & Bailey’s Comparison Table

FeatureKirkland Irish CreamBaileys Irish Cream
TypeIrish Cream LiqueurIrish Cream Liqueur
BrandKirkland SignatureBaileys
Country of OriginIrelandIreland
ColorCreamy BeigeMilky Brown
UsageSip, Mix, and DessertsSip, Mix, and Desserts
ABV (Alcohol By Volume)14%17%
Star Rating★★★☆☆★★★★☆

Key Differences

Main Ingredients

The recipe of the Kirkland Signature Irish Country Cream involves a blend of Irish whiskey, cream, and sweet flavors. Of course, the brand uses its very own Costco whiskey.

On the other side, Bailey’s uses a similar recipe but adds a secret blend of ingredients, giving it its distinct taste.

The whiskey used in Bailey’s is rumored to be Jameson, but there’s no confirmation from the brand up to this day.

Mouthfeel

Two Bottles of Kirkland Cream Liqueur & Bailey's

Kirkland Irish Country Cream provides a velvety-smooth mouthfeel, while Bailey’s boasts a slightly thicker, creamier texture, making it ideal for those who enjoy a richer liqueur.

Color & Appearance

The Kirkland Signature Irish Country Cream has a creamy beige hue, while Baileys is known for its classic milky brown appearance.

Aroma

Kirkland Signature Irish Country Cream greets the senses with its pleasant blend of Irish whiskey, caramel, and cream, while Baileys offers a more pronounced aroma of vanilla, hazelnut, and chocolate.

Flavor & Taste

The flavor profile of the Kirkland Irish Country Cream is well-balanced, with noticeable hints of caramel and toffee, making it a versatile choice for cocktails.

In contrast, Baileys leans more toward a chocolate, coffee-like taste with a touch of vanilla and hazelnut sweetness.

Of course, each bottle is delicious. The difference is their flavor profile, which caters to varying taste buds. So, choose what suits your palate!

Texture & Consistency

Kirkland’s Irish Country Cream is silky and easy to mix into various cocktails, while Baileys, with its thicker consistency, lends itself well to simple sipping or indulgent desserts.

Popularity

Woman Holding Bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream

Baileys is a household name known and loved worldwide for its long-standing reputation and iconic flavor. This label has a significant edge over the Kirkland Signature Irish Country Cream in this aspect.

Conversely, while gaining popularity, Kirkland’s Irish Country Cream [1] may not have the same recognition. Popularity can be the big difference between these two liqueur creams.

Uses

In regards to usage, there’s not much difference. Both liqueurs can be enjoyed neat, over ice, or in various cocktails and desserts.

“Baileys is all about offering adults indulgent, treating experiences and nothing is more indulgent or universally beloved than chocolate.” – Jesse Damashek, Senior VP, DIAGEO North America

Baileys has a slight edge in versatility due to its unique flavor profile and higher alcohol content.

Price & Value

Kirkland’s Irish Country Cream often comes at a more budget-friendly price point. Most Costco stores (like California, Washington, and Illinois) sell it to members at around $9/bottle (1.75L in volume).

But some online stores sell it for around $12/bottle. This Costco liqueur will surely fit the bill if you’re looking for a quality bottle without breaking the bank.

In comparison, Baileys [2] tends to sell at a slightly higher price range. But I can attest that it’s worth the price for its premium taste and character. Most liquor stores sell it for around $28/bottle (750ml).

FAQs Related to Kirkland Irish Cream vs Baileys

Which Irish cream tastes the most like Bailey’s? 

No other Irish cream can taste like Baileys, but good and delicious substitutes exist, which include Carolan, Saint Brendan’s, and Five Arms.

Has Costco discontinued Kirkland’s Liqueur? 

Costco continues Kirkland’s creams but tends to rotate its liquor inventory, so it may not be available year-round. It’s best to check with your local alcohol store or the Costco website for current availability.

Are there any notable differences in the price between Kirkland Irish Cream and Baileys?

Kirkland Irish Cream is typically priced lower than Baileys, making it a more budget-friendly option for those seeking a creamy liqueur. However, prices may vary depending on your location and the specific retailer.

How does the quality of Kirkland Irish Cream compare to Baileys?

While Kirkland Irish Cream offers good quality and value for its price, Baileys is often considered a premium brand with a long-standing reputation for excellence in cream liqueurs. Baileys may offer a more complex flavor profile and smoother texture compared to Kirkland Irish Cream.

Can Kirkland Irish Cream be used as a substitute for Baileys in cocktails and recipes?

Yes, Kirkland Irish Cream can generally be used as a substitute for Baileys in cocktails and recipes that call for a creamy liqueur. While there may be slight differences in flavor and texture, Kirkland Irish Cream can still provide a delicious alternative to Baileys in many applications.

Which situations or cocktails are best suited for Kirkland Irish Cream versus Baileys?

Kirkland Irish Cream is suitable for various cocktails and recipes where a creamy, chocolatey flavor is desired. Baileys, with its richer and more complex taste, is often preferred in classic cocktails like the Irish Coffee or enjoyed on its own over ice.

In Conclusion

After savoring Kirkland and Bailey’s, my verdict is clear: Bailey’s reigns supreme. I love Baileys for its rich and complex flavor, along with its creamy texture, which makes it, of course, a timeless classic.

While Kirkland delivers a fantastic alternative at a more budget-friendly price, there’s nothing better than the unique taste of Baileys. So, who else loves Baileys? Cheers!

References:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/joemicallef/2021/07/15/why-you-should-buy-costcos-kirkland-signature-whiskies/
  2. https://www.which.co.uk/news/article/baileys-vs-cheap-supermarket-irish-cream-liqueur-taste-test-aORFP7W8RS8u
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