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

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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40 Comments

  1. Tony on August 17, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    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.

    • Chuck Schick on March 18, 2021 at 5:18 pm

      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 on August 27, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    What about Amarula?

  3. Kathleen Stremke on October 13, 2020 at 1:52 pm

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

    • Christopher Null on October 14, 2020 at 11:30 am

      Kathleen – talked to Costco and added this information!



  4. Ellen on October 17, 2020 at 1:27 pm

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

    Thanks

  5. Leslie Burnell on November 15, 2020 at 9:19 am

    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 on December 13, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    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?

    • Christopher Null on December 14, 2020 at 9:35 am

      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 on December 13, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    Remy martin cognac. Another oldie. Does it expire?

    • Christopher Null on December 14, 2020 at 9:32 am

      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 on December 15, 2020 at 6:40 am

    Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream?

    • Christopher Null on December 15, 2020 at 11:41 am

      BT’s official response has been added.



  9. Oskar Maueroeder on December 23, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    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 on December 28, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    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.

    • Christopher Null on December 28, 2020 at 8:24 pm

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



  11. HD on December 30, 2020 at 7:30 am

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

    • Christopher Null on January 11, 2021 at 1:21 pm

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



  12. Natasha Simms on January 5, 2021 at 1:31 am

    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 on January 17, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    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.

    • Christopher Null on January 17, 2021 at 7:41 pm

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



    • Christopher Null on January 17, 2021 at 7:43 pm

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



    • Christopher Null on January 18, 2021 at 11:01 am

      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 on February 11, 2021 at 12:49 pm

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

    • Christopher Null on February 11, 2021 at 5:17 pm

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



    • Taniah on February 17, 2021 at 11:21 pm

      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!



    • Christopher Null on February 18, 2021 at 8:36 pm

      It’s coagulated? Absolutely not.



  15. Ann letts on April 26, 2021 at 9:49 am

    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?

  16. Ray Moore on May 3, 2021 at 7:53 am

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

  17. Anonymous on May 22, 2021 at 10:40 am

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

  18. Godmanis on May 22, 2021 at 10:42 am

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

  19. Dr.Ram Sawant on June 30, 2021 at 7:38 am

    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.

  20. Chris Idenouye on January 11, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    Drinking Forty Creek Nanaimo Bar that is 2 years old opened and it still tastes fine.

  21. WW on April 9, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    The thought of drinking anything that is leaking black or coagulated is very off-putting. I’d say common sense should rule. ???

  22. Lois Christie on August 8, 2022 at 8:33 am

    I bought a bottle of Tequila Rose Cream Liquor for a Hen Party favour bag. I bought these very cute, small mason jars, which I was going to pour the Tequila Rose Cream into, then put into the individual the bags. Therefore, the Tequila Rose Cream bottle will be opened the day before, and then the bags taken to the Hotel to be placed on the table, so say un-frigerated for about 12 hours or so. I live in Ireland, so it’s not too warm, probably around 18 degrees Celsius on our summer day, I guess within the hotel it will also be air conditioned. My question is, will the drink have gone off/ curdled (make everyone ill)?? Would hate for this to be a flop!

    • Christopher Null on August 8, 2022 at 8:56 am

      I’d say it’s fine to be unrefrigerated for that length of time.



    • Lois Christie on August 10, 2022 at 6:27 am

      Thanks Christopher :)



  23. Rob on October 18, 2022 at 8:26 am

    Amarula does not last indefinitely; with the passage of enough time, it eventually congeals. Like most cream liqueurs, if you’ve purchased one but not opened it within 2-3 months time, it’s probably wisest to gift the bottle to someone who imbibes it regularly.

  24. Espresso Martini Man on November 13, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    Jim Beam Bourbon Cream?

    Same as Buffalo Trace?

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