It’s tough being a self-described foodie and suffer from lactose intolerance. In my case it’s pretty easy to manage the symptoms with over the counter supplements as long as you remember to take them early in the dining process. It’s not a fun experience to digest dairy and realize you don’t have a Lactaid available to counter the future “effects” of your poor decisions. Milk products are in a lot of things you might not expect so it’s important to be prepared.
As someone who loves Baileys Irish Cream over ice, especially in the winter time, I was excited to learn they made a dairy free version. Evidently what’s available now is the 2.0 version. Version 1.0 was released in 2016, labeled as Vegan, and contained Bees Wax (a big no-no in the vegan community). Hands were wrung, Birkenstocks were kicked off, and the Paddington Bottling Company (maker of Baileys) was taken out back and scorned for their misgivings.
The 2017 2.0 release is now “certified” vegan and gluten free to boot! I’m not really interested in either claim but the dairy-free aspect piqued my interest so I bought a bottle to try out.
I’m not going to sugar coat it, Baileys Almande is pretty nasty. From the appearance, to the smell, to the taste, it’s NOT a substitute for the real thing. I’m not sure what they were going for with this product but I think they need to go back to the drawing board.
I’m going to fix a small glass over ice right now, just for you, and try to explain what it’s like:
Appearance – Baileys Almande is very watery, similar to plain almond milk. Maybe that’s what the beeswax helped improve? It’s almost thinner than water!
Smell – Slight almond smell that’s not entirely pleasant or natural.
Taste – The first sip is the worst. You’re expecting that warm and creamy mouth feel that comes with regular Baileys. You don’t get any of that here. It’s like a clammy limp-wristed weak handshake from a mortician at a funeral. Yeah I’m sorry for my loss of $20 too.
Aftertaste – OK it seriously gets worse after you swallow. You’ll experience a bitter taste followed by what I can only explain as chalky and slimy. It lingers way longer than you want or expect. Another sip only amplifies the first experience and the aftertaste builds upon itself.
I’d love to know how many people make a subsequent purchase after their first experience. I know I’m staying far far away from this stuff and I’ll take my chances with the original.
Have you tried Baileys Almande? What was your experience?