baileys go bad

Does Baileys Go Bad? Unveiling Shelf Life and Quality

Quick summary: Yes, Baileys Irish Cream can expire and go bad over time due to its creamy composition, but it generally remains safe to consume within its shelf life and for a short period after the expiration date.

Baileys is an alcoholic beverage, but it is creamy and not pure alcohol, so you probably wonder how long it can stand on your shelf? We bring you everything you want to know.       

Baileys Irish Cream reminds you more of some delicate creamy pleasure than burning alcohol. Although it is sweet and tasty to drink, you will hardly consume the bottle in a short time. Like other sweet liqueurs, this drink is filling, and you will probably enjoy small amounts when you want a moment for yourself. That’s why a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream may stay in your cupboard for years.

Many doubt whether Baileys can last like other alcoholic beverages, meaning many many years, or, because of its special creamy additive, it should be consumed within a few days. So the truth is somewhere in the middle. This liqueur will not spoil in a month or two. In fact, Irish cream should be entirely safe for consumption for at least two years. But it also can’t last like other alcohols, such as Irish whiskey, so don’t try your luck with very old Baileys.  Here’s the truth on when does Baileys Irish cream go bad.    

How Long Does Bailey’s Irish Cream Last?

A dairy supplement to a drink is what will cause it to spoil over time. Yet the alcohol content is present enough to prevent this from happening very quickly. Here’s how long you can expect your liqueur to last.    

Regular Baileys 

The manufacturer puts the best before date on the bottles because it guarantees the duration of the Irish cream liqueur for two years. Within that period, the liqueur should be perfectly good. Of course, the exception is keeping the drink in completely inappropriate conditions, which can spoil it earlier. After two years, it doesn’t necessarily mean the beverage in unopened bottle is spoiled, but be careful.        

Baileys Almande   

With this liqueur, the duration will be the same as the regular one. Although a slightly lower alcohol content is present, almond milk still provides slightly better endurance than dairy milk. So you can count on the durability of two years.

Does Baileys Expire?

As we mentioned earlier, yes, this popular Irish cream liqueur will expire in time. Although dangerous creations will not appear immediately, drinking very spoiled liqueur is not a smart idea. Here’s how you’ll recognize that something is wrong.

Sign 1: It has sour smell    

Probably the first sign you will notice will be an unpleasant odor. Baileys has a fine creamy aroma and a sweet smell. If you notice that the fragrance is unpleasant and smell sour, the drink has likely spoiled.

Sign 2: Texture is strange  

The smooth texture of the liqueur may change a little even though the drink is not spoiled. In which case, it is enough to shake the bottle a little, and you will have the usual beverage. But if more arduous lumps have formed or the texture is a bit slimy, it means Baileys has expired, and you should throw it in the trash.

Sign 3: Color is funny 

If you notice unusual dark spots or a darker brown color, even completely separated milk substance from alcohol, these are all sure signs that the liqueur is spoiled. It should be finely creamy and opaque.

Sign 4: Taste is wrong

In the end, if you feel a strange taste while drinking Baileys, it is a sign of possible spoilage. Rather throw it down the drain than drink a sour beverage.  

Which is the Best Way to Store Baileys? 

When it comes to storing Baileys, there aren’t a lot of rules. However, try to provide it with a few primary conditions so that it does not go bad faster than expected. You can significantly influence shelf life with proper storage.     

Tip 1: Keep it in a proper temperature

It is not necessary to keep this liqueur in the refrigerator, but make sure that the storage temperature does not exceed the average room temperature. Very hot places will undoubtedly contribute to the quality of this milk liqueur.  

Tip 2: Keep away from the sun    

In principle, it would be good to keep all alcoholic beverages away from direct sunlight. Generally, a lot of light causes faster evaporation and potential spoilage of the drink.


How can you tell if Baileys is bad?

You can tell if Baileys Irish Cream has gone bad by checking for changes in color, texture, or consistency, and by smelling for any sour or off odors. If the cream liqueur appears curdled, separated, or has an unpleasant smell, it’s best to avoid consuming it.

Is it safe to drink expired Baileys?

No, it’s not advisable to drink expired Baileys, as its quality and safety may be compromised.

How long can you keep Baileys after opening?

Six months after opening, it will last even longer if you keep it in the fridge. Unlike Irish whiskey, it won’t last forever, so don’t stretch it too much. If you produce homemade Irish cream, try to use up the whole amount in a month and keep it refrigerated all time.

Can you drink Baileys 3 years out of date?

No, it’s not recommended to drink Baileys that is 3 years out of date, as the quality and taste may have significantly deteriorated, and there’s a possibility of it causing digestive discomfort. It’s safer to consume Baileys within its recommended shelf life.


Although an alcoholic beverage, Baileys Irish Cream does not have the same durability as, for example, vodka or whiskey. The reason lies in the presence of milk cream, which makes it susceptible to spoilage. Look at the expiration date written on the bottle when buying, and be sure to try to stick to that recommendation. The drink can certainly last for some time after expiration, but it may have a reduced aroma quality.

Surely it will have the best taste when fresh, so there’s no reason to keep your favorite liqueur for special occasions. If you had an idea to freeze Baileys bottle, we must disappoint you. It will not work out, so serve your bottle at the next friends’ gathering.

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*image by Mehaniq/depositphotos

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