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Amarula Fruit and Cream Liqueur

Review: Amarula Fruit and Cream Liqueur   89.5/100
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published March 30, 2014

Amarula is a relatively new cream liqueur from South Africa which has recently been made available in my market. This is a cream based alcohol liqueur produced from cream (of course), the fruit of the African Marula Tree (also known as the Elephant Tree), and sugar. It is bottled at 17% alcohol by volume, and occupies the same market niche as Bailey’s Irish Cream and Kahlua.

I have received several mini (50 ml) bottles of Amarula over the past two years (usually attached as a free mini sampler to the neck of a larger 750 ml spirit). I usually enjoy the free sampler in my morning coffee or drizzled over ice-cream, but with my most recent mini bottle, I decided to write a review.

The product is imported into Alberta by PMA (Peter Mielzynski Agencies Ltd.), and is available in a 375 ml, as well as 1000 ml and 175o ml configurations.

AmarulaIn the Bottle 4/5

The Amarula arrives in the dark brown bottle shown to the left complete with the golden tassel around the neck of the bottle. The label is professional and proudly highlights the African heritage of the spirit.

My only quibble is with the metallic screw cap closure which cheapens the look slightly.

In the Glass 9/10

The spirit itself has a pale brown (mocha) colour with, of course, the thickened consistency of a cream liqueur. On the nose I detect some mild chocolate and coffee aromas with hints of butterscotch, vanilla, and a light nuttiness akin to hazelnut. Within these familiar cream liqueur scents is a zesty citrus component which seems to bring a little life to the glass elevating the familiar into something exotic.

I have never tasted nor smelled the marula fruit so I cannot say which scents belong to the marula and which do not. The fruit apparently has a succulent, tart flavour (probably the citrus element I detect) with a walnut sized nut or seed pod within its white flesh, This pod contains small seed kernels which have a delicate nutty flavour which perhaps brings forward that nutty hazelnut-like scent.

Although I do not know which scents belong to the marula fruit, and which may be caused by additional flavourings, I don know that the overall combination of scents I detect in the glass entices me to go further.

In the Mouth 54/60

The Amarula is soft and creamy in the mouth, and seems to bring all the elements I noticed on the nose forward through the palate. The light citrus tang which lies within the mocha-like nutty flavour is very alluring. It would be very easy for a group of friends and I to sip an entire bottle in one evening. The cream liqueur tastes delicious over ice cream, and I have enjoyed it not only over vanilla ice cream but also over maple walnut or as a complimentary drizzle over dark rich chocolate. It also tastes very nice in my morning coffee. I have other plans however for this latest mini bottle, which involve mixing Amarula with a dark rich rum (see recipe below).

In the Throat  13.5/15

Because of the creamy texture, the mild flavours of Amurula seem to linger both upon the palate and in the back of my throat well after the glass is consumed. In spite of the richness of the liqueur, the flavours do not become cloying, rather they just softly fade away and leave you with the feeling that you have just spoiled yourself a little.

That gentle citrus tang continues to beguile me.

The Afterburn 9/10

As a dessert drink or an evening indulgence with friends, I think the Amarula is wonderful. It also tastes great with coffee and ice-cream. As you can see down below, my cocktail worked out great too.

You may read some of my other Cream Liqueur Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews of some of the other Creme Liqueurs I have reviewed.


Suggested Recipe

SAM_1041Plush Martini

1 oz Bajan Rum ( I recommend Berrys’ Finest Barbados Rum (Aged 13 Years))
1 1/2 oz Amarula

Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker
Strain into a martini glass
Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


Each Review contains a rating or score out of 100, and these scores can be interpreted using the following scale:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing spirit.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

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