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Drinking Science Featured Liqueurs

How Long Does Baileys (And Other Cream Liqueurs) Last?

How long does Baileys last?

I’ve received this question many times, in many forms. How long can will the bottle stay fresh while it’s still sealed? How long will it keep after it’s opened? Does it need to be refrigerated?

Finally I am taking the time to answer your many questions and comments about Baileys and other cream liqueurs, with advice directly from the distillers themselves.

While I received a surprising variety in the responses, the rough consensus on cream liqueurs is that they’re good for about 2 years unopened, and about 6 months after opening. Open bottles should be refrigerated.

This however is not always the case — especially for the biggest brand of the bunch — so here’s the full rundown on shelf life (sealed and opened) from most of the major cream liqueur offerings (and all the minors I could track down) on the market.

Baileys Irish Cream – Baileys oddly did not respond to repeated requests for this information, but the brand’s website has all the details (though the page has since been removed): Baileys is guaranteed for a shelf life of 2 years from the day it is bottled — whether it is opened or unopened, refrigerated or not. You will find this date on the bottom left side of the back label. Per Baileys: “Code 11 20XY would mean that we guarantee the product would taste perfect until November20XY (XY is the year 2 years from the date of manufacture).”

Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur – Kerrygold has a shelf life of 2 years, whether it is refrigerated or not. After opening, it is good for 6 months, but stored away from direct sunlight at a temperature between 32 and 77° F.

Merrys Irish Cream Liqueur – Merrys cites a sealed shelf life of 18 months from the date of production, refrigerated or not. After opening, it lasts 6 months, refrigerated.

Five Farms Irish Cream – The company says Five Farms is good for a shelf life of 3 years unopened, then 6 months after opening if refrigerated.

Sugarlands Sippin’ Cream Liqueurs – Sugarlands did not offer an unopened shelf life, but said its products were good for 6 months after opening, best if refrigerated.

Saint Brendan’s Irish Cream – The product’s shelf life is 2 years, and it should be enjoyed within 6 months after opening. The product should be stored between 32 and 77 degrees (so, refrigeration is not necessary).

Mozart Cream Liqueurs – Per the importer, Mozart’s cream-based products have a shelf life of 5 years unopened, and 5 months after opening if refrigerated.

Tequila Rose Strawberry Cream Liqueur – The shelf life is 3 years unopened, then 6 months after opening, refrigerated.

RumChata and Tippy Cow Cream Liqueurs – Both have a shelf life of 2 years unopened, at room temperature. An opened bottle will start to lose flavor after about 12 months, but refrigeration is not necessary.

Nooku Bourbon CreamNo specific shelf life is provided before opening; the company says it is “shelf stable.” Beyond that, the product lasts 3 years after opening. Refrigeration is not required.

Bom Bom Liqueurs – These liqueurs specify the same shelf life as Baileys: 2 years, unopened or opened, refrigerated or not.

SomruS Indian Cream Liqueur – The unopened shelf life is 2 years and about 1 year after opening. No refrigeration is required before or after opening.

Kahlua – I asked Kahlua just to add a point of comparison, even though Kahlua contains no dairy or cream products and effectively does not spoil. It’s conventional wisdom that the flavor in Kahlua and other coffee liqueurs begins to fade after 4 years (opened or not).

Kirkland Signature Traditional Holiday Eggnog Liqueur – Adding this after a reader asked, and received a response from Costco. The shelf life of the liqueur is 1 year from production. Opened bottles should be kept refrigerated.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream – Another addition based on a reader query: “For optimum shelf life of high solid products such as cream-based products, storage conditions should be dry, away from direct sunlight and in a temperature controlled environment between 50 degrees F and 77 degrees F. Once opened, they should be refrigerated and can last for several years. You’ll usually get the best flavor by drinking within 6 to 9 months of opening, longer if refrigerated.”

Wayne Gretzky Cream Whiskey – The shelf life of this product is “around” two years unopened, and 9 months opened. Refrigeration is not required but is recommended to maximize shelf life.

Hey there, cream liqueur producers! Not on this list? Email us with your particulars and we’ll add you!

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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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  1. Tony August 17, 2020

    I found an opened bottle of Mozart in the old pantry of a deceased friend’s home that must be very, very old. I am enjoying it over ice now, though I did need to shake it and stir it quite a bit.

    1. Chuck Schick March 18, 2021

      I am currently drinking a 7 y/o Baileys over ice with a little Grand Marnier – seems fine to me. If I shit myself, I’ll repost.

  2. Anonymous August 27, 2020

    What about Amarula?

  3. Kathleen Stremke October 13, 2020

    What bout Kirkland Traditional Holiday Egg Nog Liquer from Costso? It’s delicious.

    1. Christopher Null October 14, 2020

      Kathleen – talked to Costco and added this information!

  4. Ellen October 17, 2020

    Hi, thanks for the information.
    Would you happen to know the shelf life of
    Forty Creek cream? Opened and unopened.


  5. Leslie Burnell November 15, 2020

    Thanks so much for taking the time and energy to research all these cream varieties. Takes the pain out of self research and spending the day in the bathroom ?.

  6. Chris Iulo December 13, 2020

    I have a gift set of praline liqueur that must be ancient. Do I throw it out? I also have moet and chandon white star but the cork area is leaking a black substance. Why?

    1. Christopher Null December 14, 2020

      Highly sugary liqueurs like Kahlua will fade after a few years. Though your praline liqueur probably won’t kill you, it may not taste great any more. As for your Moet, if it is leaking anything, it has probably spoiled due to a faulty cork and is almost certainly no good any more. Not sure why it would be black considering that’s a white wine, but I wouldn’t risk trying to drink it.

  7. Chris Iulo December 13, 2020

    Remy martin cognac. Another oldie. Does it expire?

    1. Christopher Null December 14, 2020

      Standard spirits like whiskey and cognac do not “expire” — though once they’re open the flavor can begin to change subtly, sometimes more significantly over time.

  8. Anonymous December 15, 2020

    Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream?

    1. Christopher Null December 15, 2020

      BT’s official response has been added.

  9. Oskar Maueroeder December 23, 2020

    Can you find out about Tallyrand Cream Bourbon? I got it from a local website, bigspringspirits.com. I HIGHLY recommend it if you like chocolate milk. Thanks

  10. Anonymous December 28, 2020

    Thanks Chris, this is a very useful resource. Curious about Amarula as per the above poster but I imagine its safe to assume its within similar boundaries to those described above.

    1. Christopher Null December 28, 2020

      I have asked Amarula’s reps for details but unfortunately have yet to hear anything back.

  11. HD December 30, 2020

    Do you know how long shelf life of Wayne Gretzy Cream Whiskey unopened and opened? Thank You

    1. Christopher Null January 11, 2021

      I spoke to the company and updated the post with this information!

  12. Natasha Simms January 5, 2021

    Do you know about El Dorado rum cream? I have a bottle I forgot about and not sure of, it’s still sealed.

  13. Jean January 17, 2021

    I was at the Buffalo Trace distillery 2 weeks ago, and the recommendation they gave for their Bourbon Cream is totally different from your post. They say once opened, keep refrigerated for 5 months, max. Shorter than others because it actually contains milk products.

    1. Christopher Null January 17, 2021

      These recommendations are directly from my contacts at Buffalo Trace. Sounds like there’s some wiggle room on this one!

    2. Christopher Null January 17, 2021

      PS All cream liqueurs, by definition, contain milk products.

    3. Christopher Null January 18, 2021

      Jean – I confirmed the above with Buffalo Trace, directly from their laboratory. They also added a clarification about drinking it sooner for best flavor, but it should be safe for years in the fridge.

  14. Nupur February 11, 2021

    I have got a Baileys Irish cream whiskey saying Expiry on 10/2018, is it ok to consume ? In terms of flavour and safety ?

    1. Christopher Null February 11, 2021

      I would err on the side of caution and nab a new bottle.

    2. Taniah February 17, 2021

      Hi Christopher! An unopened many years old Mozart chocolate cream when opened was found to have coagulated. Is it safe for consumption, like added to drinks or added to cake ingredients etc? Thanks!

    3. Christopher Null February 18, 2021

      It’s coagulated? Absolutely not.

  15. Ann letts April 26, 2021

    I was once given a large Baileys Irish Cream, must have been around for a while , it definitely tasted like sour milk, this week was given a bottle marked March 2017, tasted yesterday and it did upset my tummy. Any suggestions?

    1. Christopher Null April 26, 2021

      Pour it down the sink!

  16. Ray Moore May 3, 2021

    Amarula is made in South Africa from the fruit of a Baobab tree

  17. Anonymous May 22, 2021

    I have cream lacquerer that is 9 years expired but it still taste amazing

  18. Godmanis May 22, 2021

    I am currently drinking a cream liqueur that is 9 years expired and it taste really good

  19. Dr.Ram Sawant June 30, 2021

    I opened Bailey’s Irish Cream on Jun 29, 2021 which was packed on May 2018. Almost 3 years old . It is good, no phase separation. Original odour, taste. Stored at around 25 to 30 degree C for last 8 month at home.


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