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Ceili’s Cream

Review: Ceili’s Cream  78/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on December, 11 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 is produced to be a Cream Liqueur suitable for such an occasion. It is a product of Highwood Distillers, and is a light and creamy liqueur which melds authentic Canadian Whisky with a lightly flavoured cream. It is bottled at 15 % alcohol by volume, and occupies the same market niche as Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Kahlua.

In the Bottle 3.5/5

The bottle the Ceili’s Cream is sold in is pictured to the left. I have to admit some disappointment. The label is uninspiring. In fact, it seems to melt into the brown bottle and doesn’t give the product any ‘pop’. As well I found the label information (especially the back label) hard to read. I do not see anything here that would entice me to buy the product if I saw it on the liquor store shelf.

In the Glass 8/10

The Ceili’s Cream enters the glass as a lightly caramel coloured cream. The aroma is of mild butterscotch and faints hints of chocolate and spice. I also catch some faint wiffs of rye whisky in the air. I kind of suspect that sensing the whisky notes may have more to do with my expectation than it does with reality. I know that Highwood’s Centennial Rye Whisky is at the heart of the Ceili’s Cream, and it may be that knowledge of this information is creating the subliminal message to my nostrils to sense the rye in the air above the glass.

In the Mouth 47/60

The flavour in the mouth is rather sweet with butterscotch and vanilla accented by hints of mocha. The rye influence is very noticeable, and I suspect that some persons will really like this while others would prefer the rye to be more buried in the cream and butterscotch. I also taste a little hint of spice.

This should be really nice; but, like I noticed with the previously reviewed Ceili’s Cream Cappuccino, I am distracted by a sort of penetrating sweetness which is perhaps a little too intense, and by the rye flavour as well which 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.

In the Throat 11.5/15

I guess I would have to describe the flavour as I swallow as being a touch cloying. The sweetness penetrates a little too much, and I sense something unfamiliar which is mildly astringent. The rye flavour is very apparent in the exit; but my feeling is that the astringency is not stemming from the rye. It is something I cannot put my finger on, but which is apparent nonetheless.

The Afterburn 8/10

Ceili’s Cream is an inexpensive indulgence, with a low price point in my market place; however I found it hard to get excited by it. The flavour is almost right, but not quite. Perhaps I am sensing a liqueur where the sweetness is just a touch too penetrating, or perhaps the rye flavour is just a little more assertive than it should be. It is really hard to say what is missing or what is there that shouldn’t be, but things just are not as smooth and suave as I want in a Cream Liqueur.

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.


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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