Monday, 26 August 2013

Budget brands: Ballycastle Premium

It had gotten to be quite a while between first laying eyes upon Aldi’s premium Ballycastle Irish Cream and actually getting around to buying it. The only problem was that I’d been so skint that whenever I’ve been in Aldi I hadn’t been able to justify even the paltry £5.99 it costs to indulge my curiosity.
there must be a scientific reason ALL Irish Cream bottles are this shape
 Well, I finally seized my chance. We were doing a snack run, prior to our marathon jaunt to Vietnam, and it was just after pay day – the only time to make willy-nilly booze purchases these days. I took it home, then went on holiday and promptly forgot all about it. It was a nice surprise to see it sitting atop the booze cupboard on my return home, and it certainly made the discovery that we had no cold water in the kitchen easier to take.

We’d already been awake thirty odd hours, and it was only 8 in the morning, so we figured we’d need to stay up at least another 12 hours if we were going to get all compus mentus-like in time for going back to work. Fresh coffee with a drop of Ballycastle was on the cards.


A few days later I went back to it, to try it over ice. I can’t really fault Irish Cream. You like booze? You like ice cream? There’s a good chance you’re going to like Irish Cream. I have tried to find a place for it in my regular drink itinerary, and at the moment, that place is early on a Sunday afternoon, when you’ve got nowhere to go, you’ve already decided you aren’t doing any jobs, and the car can damn well stay where it is.

Now, the good thing about Ballycastle is that it is cheap, but it’s still good. If you go back in time a little, you’ll see that I did a comparative tasting of your standard Ballycastle with the undisputed (and original) Irish Cream king, Baileys way back at the beginning of this blog, and while Baileys was richer, and the Ballycastle somewhat watery by comparison, you wouldn’t notice if you weren’t drinking them side by side. Even if you were… you could still enjoy the Ballycastle which back then was retailing at a tramp friendly £3.99 – not that I’d ever expect to see a tramp drinking Irish cream. I think it’s gone up about 30p since then, and it’s only 14.5% ABV, compared to Baileys’ 17%, but with Baileys costing £12 or more, you have to wonder whether it’s worth the additional outlay.

Well, when it comes to the verdict on the Ballycastle Premium edition, I’ll have you know; you are getting your money’s worth for that extra £1.70 or so. It’s thicker, richer, more luxurious [than the normal Ballycastle] – I just want to be able to compare it alongside Baileys now, but I can’t imagine wanting to spend £12 on a bottle when I can get this for £5.99. It’s that good.

There must be plenty more brands of Irish Cream on the market, and frankly, it’s time I tried them all so we can see who really is the king. Perhaps then I can issue a really prestigious award.


  1. what has happend to the premium bally castle a much better taste than made in ireland one / why change it / can we please have it back in aldi soon so we can stock up for christmas / sure it was a better seller than the made in ireland bottle thanks

  2. It's much better than Baileys. l love it!