Baileys Irish Cream is an Irish whiskey and cream based liqueur, made by Gilbeys of Ireland. The trademark is currently owned by Diageo. It has a declared alcohol content of 17% alcohol by volume. It can be compared to other cream liqueurs such as Amarula, Carolans and Sangster's.


Baileys Irish Cream was created by Gilbeys of Ireland, a division of International Distillers & Vintners, as it searched for something to introduce to the international market. The process of finding a product began in 1971 and it was introduced in 1974 as the first Irish cream on the market. The Baileys name, and the R.A. Bailey signature, were fictional, inspired by the Bailey's Hotel in London. Baileys is produced in Dublin and under contract in Newtownabbey.

The alcohol and cream, together with some Irish whiskey from various distilleries, are homogenized to form an emulsion with the aid of an emulsifier containing refined vegetable oil. This process prevents separation of the alcohol and cream during storage. The quantity of other ingredients is not known but they include herbs and sugar.

According to the manufacturer no preservatives are required as the alcohol content preserves the cream. The cream used in the drink comes from Glanbia, an Irish dairy company. Glanbia's Virginia facility in County Cavan produces a range of fat-filled milk powders and fresh cream. It has been the principal cream supplier to Baileys Irish Cream Liqueurs for more than thirty years.

The manufacturer claims Baileys Irish Cream has a shelf life of 30 months and guarantees its taste for two years from the day it was made - opened or unopened, stored in a refrigerator or not, when stored away from direct sunlight at temperatures between 0 and 25 °C (32 and 77 °F).

In 2003, Bailey & Co. launched Baileys Glide, aimed at the alcopop market. It was discontinued in 2006.

In 2005, Baileys launched mint chocolate and crème caramel variants of its Irish Cream at 17% ABV. They were originally released in UK airports and were subsequently released in the mass market of the UK, US, Australia and Canada in 2006. In 2008, Baileys, after the success of previous flavour variants, released a coffee variant of its Irish Cream with an ABV of 17%, followed by a Hazelnut flavoured variant in 2010. The company is currently trialling a new premium variety, Baileys Gold, at several European airports. The latest additions to the Baileys flavour family are Biscotti and Hazelnut, which were launched in 2011 and Baileys Chocolat Luxe in 2013

As of 2010, Baileys has its own line of non-alcoholic coffee creamers.


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