Friday, September 01, 2006

Bailey's Irish Cream

A major Kashrus concern is the general ignorance in dealing with kosher liquor. A lot of uninformed people assume that anything alcoholic is acceptable, which is certainly not the case. Of note are alcoholic beverages that are flavored (ie. flavored vodka). Because not all companies reveal the source of the their flavorings, the general rule to follow is that if it is flavored, it either needs a hechsher or a kashrus organization vouging for it. As such, when reading lists of acceptable liquors/liquers from different organizations, most will note that flavored liquors/liquers need certification; if not, they fall under the category of "not recommended".

One such drink is Bailey's Irish Cream.

Interestingly, when we were in Israel, both places we were for Shabbos had Bailey's. I assumed they were not aware of its problematic status and I, therefore, refrained from consuming them. After thinking about it though, I decided to look into the matter a little more. One of my friends that I stayed by with for Shabbos had heard that it was acceptable in London; but that's all he knew. I spoke with the London Beis Din Kashrus organization, which confirmed that it is, indeed, OK to drink (which I later saw on their website).

But, just because something is kosher in one country doesn't necessarily mean it is kosher in all places. Often times, major companies have more than one production/bottling plants. Obviously, if the different plans are altering the ingredients, even slightly, it would be problematic. But assuming the ingredients are the same, it still does not guarantee that the product is OK. The plants in different countries would each need to be checked by a mashgiach or kashrus agency, as there are other kashrus issues aside from the ingredients themselves.

I then called Diageo, who owns Bailey's Irish Cream, for clarification. They informed me that all production happens in one place, in Dublin, Ireland. Furthermore, the same machines used to make the UK Bailey's are the exact machines used to product the US Bailey's. She told me if I bought a bottle in the US it would be the exact same thing, from the same machines, as if I bought a bottle from the UK.

However, the Star-K, CRC, and Montreal Kashrus organizations all list them as not recommended. I realized, however, that this is not because of their worry about flavorings; rather, because of the fact that they do not certify products that are not Chalav Yisroel.

I, of course, cannot speak for your local rabbinic authority. All I can do is report that the product sold in the UK, which is 100% kosher, is the same product, from the same machinery, as the contents of a bottle that you can find in your local liquor store here in America. Cheers!

33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alan- Thanks for posting about Bailey's!
I was just in the Budapest Airport duty-free studying the label of one of these. It came from the UK, where I knew that they say it's kosher, but I still didn't feel right. Thanks for the reassurance about UK Baileys. I have to say that I am still skeptical regarding Baileys stateside.
Regarding your first point, I have been in establishments of questionable repute with guys who were quite Jewish... Drinks were ordered; blue drinks, stuff coming out of blenders, mixers with 20 ingredients- no questions asked, no kosher scruples at all. Somehow, as you said, it's assumed that alcohol is kosher (or worse, that if you're in a bar, all kosher bets are off). May as well order the hot wings.

9:35 AM, September 01, 2006

 
Blogger SephardiLady said...

I spoke with Rabbi Eidlitz, an accepted Kashrut authority and a product of Ner Israel, I believe.

He told me that the Star-K says not recommended and that the London Beit Din says recommended, as you noted.

He told me that both kashrut organizations are perfectly reliable and therefore I could choose as I saw fit.

So, if I'm not pregnant, I'm more than happy to enjoy a Bailey's Irish Cream.

10:30 AM, September 01, 2006

 
Anonymous Greg said...

"But, just because something is kosher in one country doesn't necessarily mean it is kosher in all places."

Like Mentos?

;)

9:56 PM, September 04, 2006

 
Blogger AlanLaz said...

I wasn't going to bring up Mentos, as there are non-kosher Mentos in the world. According to this, however, there is no non-kosher Bailey's.

9:57 PM, September 04, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the issue is with the fact that it is cholov akim which isnt recomended by the shulchan urach

8:31 PM, September 14, 2006

 
Anonymous OC said...

Alan

The kashrus of Bialey's is a machlokes between kashrus agencies, but it has nothing to do with chalav stam issues - the CRC and MK both certify many many products that are not cholov yisrael.

As you and others have noted - this is not necesarily an issue - there are several other products like this where one relaible agency will say it is acceptible and one will say that it is not. Everyone should follow their own derech/rabbis/whatever.

10:00 AM, November 10, 2006

 
Blogger Paul and Cara said...

Thanks for that great story - we were also confused but you've done the legwork for us!

1:07 PM, November 29, 2006

 
Blogger LT said...

I just came upon this entry recently, and let me say... I cannot thank you enough for doing this legwork. You're officially my new hero. And I'll be making a blog entry (a little later today) to highlight this post and thank you profusely.

8:33 AM, January 11, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good job y'll. it is all politics of our rabbies anyways. enjoy your drink :)

9:29 AM, April 29, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...enjoy your drink but remember that it is DAIRY, so it should not be consumed with or after a MEAT meal!

6:05 AM, November 13, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed that its not mentioned on the website of the KIR which certify many products in Europe. http://www.badatz.org

7:07 AM, May 26, 2008

 
Anonymous Esther said...

Thank you for so much for solving the mystery of Bailey's Irish Cream for me.

4:13 PM, August 30, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

My brother asked me the question this morning, and I googled and got to your post. Indeed very informative and useful. Thanks and keep up the good work!

Doron & David Dreyer

2:38 AM, September 10, 2008

 
Anonymous Michael L. - Houston, TX said...

I sent a direct question to the people that make Bailey's, and this is what they had to say to me:
==================

-----Original Message-----
From: grainne.devereux@diageo.com [mailto:grainne.devereux@diageo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 7:19 AM
To: mikelem@earthlink.net
Subject: Baileys CASE ID1942736

Dear Michael,

Thank you for your recent email regarding Bailey's.

Bailey's is in fact not kosher. However, Bailey's Irish Cream Haagen Dazs ice-cream is kosher.

I do hope that this helps.

Kind regards,

Gráinne
DIAGEO Consumer Careline

==================

8:36 PM, October 29, 2008

 
Blogger AlanLaz said...

See this: http://www.theus.org.uk/jewish_living/keeping_kosher/keeping_kosher/kosher_product_search/

Type in Baileys. Low-level people that are answering e-mails won't know the facts.

8:52 PM, October 29, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This one is more informative:

http://www.koshercertification.org.uk

6:17 PM, November 05, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you!
My mother in law got us some Bailey's and we thought there was no issue. I recently came across a website that said it was not recommended.
Thanks for clearing everything up.

4:41 PM, November 17, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you!!!!!!! i found this post very helpful...one of my friends brought me a bottle of bailey's and now i'm super excited to try it!

12:22 PM, May 05, 2009

 
Blogger Ahuva said...

Anon, please contact the London Beis Din. My understanding is that Baileys changed their formula a little over a year ago and is no longer being recommended by the London Beis Din (or anyone else) as kosher.

6:26 AM, May 27, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the London Bet Din website has Baileys 3 kinds of liquer as Kosher Dairy.
They are very good at keeping their database updated and will remove kosher 'certification' almost immediately.
I find it extremely difficult to accept that a whole year has gone by since the change without their knowledge.

but if you've heard this, i shoudl think it warrants a check. chezkat kashrut stands till shown otherwise

4:22 AM, June 05, 2009

 
Anonymous Ken said...

To: AlanLaz

The "low level" people answering emails, as you so nicely put it, actually gave the right information if you had bothered to check your own link... So in future, try not to be so condescending to people who are employed to know the facts as delivered by technicans who know the product.

Thanks and enjoy!

12:59 PM, September 03, 2009

 
Blogger AlanLaz said...

Calm down Ken. Check the link. It's Kosher.

1:03 PM, September 03, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know about O'Reillys Irish Cream? It is a cheaper version of Bailys Irish Cream and can be bought in Publix. Does it have the same "kosher status" as Bailys you all listed here? I am koshering my home and am very disappointed if I have to give up my Irish Cream Liquor!

Atlanta, GA

9:17 AM, December 15, 2009

 
Blogger Ahuva said...

If this is the product you're talking about: http://www.prestigewinegroup.com/spirits/oreilleys.aspx

It's wine-based, not whisky-based, which makes it MUCH more problematic than Bailey's. I don't know of any Orthodox authorities that allow wine-based drinks without certification. Sorry!

2:44 PM, December 16, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work for Baileys Ireland and can guarantee that the information that you were given by one of my 'low level' colleagues is indeed correct. Why bother contacting a company if you refuse to believe the answer!

5:53 AM, December 31, 2009

 
Anonymous Rivkah said...

Well, I don't understand how come that Bailey's isn't Kosher and the ice-cream made with this same licquor is kosher. Can anyone explain me?

9:34 PM, September 22, 2010

 
Anonymous Rivkah said...

Well, I don't understand how come that Bailey's isn't Kosher and the ice-cream made with this same licquor is kosher. Can anyone explain me?

9:34 PM, September 22, 2010

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Baileys used in the icecream has no alcohol in it and is produced on a seperate line than that of the bottled liquid. Only one line in the production facility makes this Baileys for the icecream. This line is the only line that is blessed by a rabi. Thus the icecream is kosher

6:08 AM, January 12, 2011

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I contacted the KLBD, noted as the only organization to give a kashrus certification for Bailey's Irish Cream, and this was what they answered:


In the UK, the kosher market is relatively small and whilst we encourage companies to obtain kosher certification many companies here do not see the benefit. We therefore have an approval system whereby we investigate the kosher status of products by detailed correspondence on the manufacturers about the ingredients used and the processing equipment. It is always preferable though, whenever possible, to buy products with a hechsher and this is stated in all our literature.

To clarify, Baileys Irish Crème is not KLBD Certified but it has been approved kosher Dairy by the LBD by correspondence with the manufacturers.

Kind regards

Michal

Michal Eder
Kashrut Researcher
Kashrut Division

So basically, if you want to be more stringent, don't drink it, otherwise you can probably rely on the KLBD.

12:27 PM, February 09, 2011

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emailed direct from a Consumer Representative at Baileys:

With the exception of Baileys Blend for Haagen Dazs ice cream, currently Baileys is not processed as Kosher either for UK or US. Please note that we do not have list of the ingredients used in the manufacture that made the product not Kosher certified.

1:34 PM, December 12, 2012

 
Blogger AlanLaz said...

http://www.theus.org.uk/jewish_living/keeping_kosher/keeping_kosher/kosher_product_search/

Still listed as Kosher.

1:39 PM, December 12, 2012

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that the response cited for 12 December 2012 from the Consumer Representative mean that ony the Bailey's Blend for Haagen Dazs is CERTIFIED Kosher (i.e., that is what "processed as kosher" means). However, the "regular" Bailey's product is NOT "certified Kosher" (again, that is what "not processed as kosher" means). The Consumer Representative most likely was NOT "privy" to the exchange of email referred to above in the email from KLBD and likely does not even know what "approved but not certified" actually means...
Similarly, while there is no "ingredient list" for the public, it is quite likely that the investigation work of KLBD was able to address that issue.
I believe that it is important to NOT impugn the reliability of the London Beth Din based upon the email of a "Consumer Representative" who likely does NOT know all of the details relating to Kashrut.

5:23 PM, February 18, 2014

 
Blogger Ira Grinberg said...

The website that you have a link to is not the London Bet Din; it's the Sydney Bet Din

12:03 PM, September 26, 2015

 

Post a Comment

<< Home