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Ceili’s Cream Cappuccino

Review: Ceili’s Cream Cappuccino   81/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on December 03, 2011

Ceili (pronounced Kay-lee) is an Irish word for a sort of community get-together complete with music, song, dance, and of course, a little food and the drink. Thus Ceili’s Cream Cappuccino is meant to be a Cream Liqueur suitable for such an occasion. It is a product of Highwood Distillers, and is a rich and creamy liqueur which combines Canadian Whisky with a richly flavoured coffee cream. It is bottled at 15 % alcohol by volume, and occupies the same market niche as Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Kahlua.

I was given a sample of the Ceili’s Cream Cappuccino by the Highwood Distillers Marketing team, and I am happy to share my review here on my website:

In the Bottle 3.5/5

The bottle the Ceili’s Cream Cappuccino is sold in is pictured to the left. I have to admit some disappointment. The bottle and label combination are simply uninspiring. The brown label seems to fade into the brown bottle and, and the graphics are simply amateurish.  There is nothing here that would entice me to buy the bottle on the liqueur store shelf. There is no ‘pop’, and no ‘sizzle’.

In the Glass 8.5/10

When poured, the Ceili’s Cappuccino is light brown in colour with a creamy appearance similar to that of melted maple walnut ice-cream. The aroma of coffee is obvious, but we catch glimpses of other scents and smells as well. Some light cocoa, some butterscotch and a bit of vanilla rise into the breezes as well. I like the firmness of the coffee aroma and my feeling at this point is that this is going to be a nice pleasant diversion.

In the Mouth 49/60

Flavours of coffee and chocolate lead out with a surprisingly firm accent of rye whisky. (I was not expecting to taste the whisky so clearly.) I also taste the light imprints of butterscotch, chocolate, and vanilla and perhaps a touch of cinnamon and a vague sort of nutty undercurrent. This should be just divine, but I am distracted by a sort of penetrating sweetness which is perhaps a little too intense. That rye flavour as well is just a little too firm as it seems to thin the texture of the cream just a little making things seem like they just don’t quite fit right. The result is a cream liqueur which is not as soft and luxurious on the palate as it should be.

I like the Cream Cappuccino, the more intense coffee flavour is welcome in a cream liqueur, but something is missing,  and I feel that it just doesn’t quite stand up to the market leaders in this niche (Kahlua or Bailey’s Irish Cream).

In the Throat 12/15

Because of the creamy texture, the coffee and chocolate flavours as well as that light rye taste seems to last on the palate and in the back of my throat well after the glass is consumed. However, I also notice something very vaguely bitter in the finish (almost like dry cocoa). And, after a few moments I sense the creaminess is dissipating to be replaced by an almost powdery sensation. These impressions are very vague perhaps I am imagining fault where none exists, but I just can’t seem to discount what I sense.

The Afterburn 8/10

I like Ceili’s Cream Cappuccino. It is inexpensive compared to the other cream liqueurs on the store shelves and although I have not given it a stellar score, it more than fits the bill for mixing with coffee or hot chocolate.  For the budget minded consumer I think it is a good purchase.

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 Recipes:

When I tried the Ceili’s Cream Cappuccino in my coffee, it tasted quite good, and this is how I plan to serve this cream liqueur to my friends. For a little added kick, I like to add a shot of Highwood’s White Owl Whisky to the mix.  I call this recipe, the Morning Owl.

The Morning Owl

1 oz White Owl Whisky
1 oz Ceili’s Cream Cappuccino
4 oz Hot Black Coffee
Whipped Cream
Cinnamon for Garnish

I think the construction of this recipe is self-evident.

Please enjoy Responsibly!


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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