Back of the Cupboard Booze – Marks & Spencer Gold Crème Brûlée Liqueur

Back of the Cupboard Booze - Marks & Spencer Gold Crème Brûlée Liqueur

Be honest. Who would have put money on me once again failing to follow up on an article I said I’d follow up on? It would have been the canny man’s bet, but it seems I find global pandemics quite the motivator. Who knew? So now, it’s time to pull up a chair, pour a stiff drink and join me as we explore the second selection for Back of the Cupboard Booze series.

After trying the absolute abomination that was Prince Bishop (which has become my new insult of choice. If someone annoys me, I’ve started besmirching them as “A right Prince Bishop”), I decided that I really needed to add a touch of class to things for this week’s edition. I went into full magpie mode – flocking around the house to find the chicest and shiniest beverage I could. After ruling out a particularly bling bottle of aftershave for being “toxic” – I was left with only one viable option. It wasn’t just any option though. It was an M&S option.


 Marks & Spencer Gold Crème Brûlée Liqueur

Marks & Spencer Gold Crème Brûlée Liqueur

It’s so shiny

Have you ever wanted to try a classic dessert but in entirely liquid form? Nope – me neither – but here we are. In case you’re not aware, the crème brûlée is the dessert that is responsible for every third household in the United Kingdom owning a mini blowtorch. There is no other reason. Even I have one! To be fair, I think I borrowed it from a friend to I use for an article and never returned it. Sorry Dave. I promise I’ll get it back to you one of these days.

We’re already streets ahead of the Prince Bishop simply because this liqueur actually comes back with some google results. After the trauma of last time, I find comfort in the knowledge that other people have not only tried this but have survived the ordeal. There doesn’t seem to be any reviews though, so I’m going to go ahead and call this an Edinburgh Whisky Blog world exclusive. Probably.

My sleuthing (read – general internet search) has led me to the revelation that the Marks and Spencer Gold Crème Brûlée liqueur is vegan friendly. That’s wonderful and all, but for carrying the name ‘burnt cream’ it seems to involve neither cream nor any sort of charring. I already feel lied to. Beneath its golden shell beats a heart of deceit & betrayal. It is nice you can have it on a plant-based diet though.

What does it contain? The ingredients include demineralised water (minerals aren’t bling unless you’re wearing them), sugar, caramelised sugar (actually listed separately) and alcohol. It doesn’t state which kind of alcohol – just that it has alcohol. Maybe I was too quick in dismissing that bottle of aftershave earlier if that’s the standards we’re going with? It also includes some vanilla, which is the only actual ingredient – apart from sugar – that has been carried over from the original recipe. That might seem like a positive, but it is listed last (which means it is the least used) and is included after the ominously named “flavourings”. There’s also some plain caramel colouring in there too, so at least I’ll be used to that from all the cheap blended whisky I’ve imbibed over the years.

I’m going to have to wait until nightfall to try this. If the sun was to hit the gilded bottle directly, I’d be at the risk of being blinded. Maybe that’s why people who wear bling are always sporting sunglasses – because of the glare.

Collage of Marks & Spencer Gold Crème Brûlée Liqueur

Protective eye-wear was needed due to risk of blinding


Marks & Spencer Gold Crème Brûlée Liqueur
It’s a liar – does not contain actual gold, cream or burntness
£40 for a case of six. Seems to only be available at Xmas (small mercies and all that)

Nose: So very sickly sweet. Not a sincere sweetness – it’s clear that the sweetness is not genuine. It is basically passive-aggressive – so over the top with sweetness that it comes across as almost sinister. For being the least used ingredient there is certainly a lot of vanilla, but it doesn’t smell like real vanilla. It’s like a not artistically talented 4-year old’s crude rendering of vanilla. If you squint your eyes and tilt your head, you can sort of make out what it’s meant to be but it in no way resembles what it actually should.

Palate: Sort of globular. It kind of feels it wants to become one solid mass but just can’t quite muster the energy needed to do it. At first, it’s like shoving a whole fist full of milk bottle sweets into your mouth at once but – eventually – it does begin to taste like crème brûlée. Although it might be the sweetest crème brûlée that you have ever ingested.

Finish: Much like a loud, annoying & overdressed party guest – this liqueur lingers for far longer than it is welcome for.

Overall: It wasn’t awful, but it certainly wasn’t good. I also have no idea how you would drink it. It’d get horribly watery over ice and it would have a very weird consistency chilled and it lacks any balance to be used in a cocktail. I still don’t understand why you might want to drink a crème brûlée. I don’t think I ever will.

It reminded me of the legendary blood test scene in 'The Thing'

Well, that wraps up our second adventure for Back of the Cupboard Booze. It certainly went better than the first, but I think I may have to go get several fillings at the dentist after the sheer volume of sugar that’s been poured over my teeth. Oh, and for those wondering – Marks & Spencers Gold Crème Brûlée Liqueur is completely inflammable. You weren’t wondering that? Just me then. I’ll put my mini blowtorch away now and give it back to Dave.


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