Kahlua is one of the best known and best-selling coffee liqueurs in the world. It was developed by Pedro Domecq and production began in 1936. Today it is owned by Pernod Ricard, who bought Kahlua producer Allied Domecq in 2005. According to the manufacturer, Kahlua is made from rum, corn syrup, arabica coffee beans and spices (vanilla). Kahlua can be drunk neat or with ice, but it is mostly used in cocktails, of which Espresso Martini and White Russian are probably the best known.
The aroma has coffee, dark chocolate and vanilla in the background. The mouthfeel is thick and the taste is extremely sweet, even syrupy. The taste has aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa beans, only in the aftertaste does the coffee appear. The taste is very soft, but it makes me think if I’m drinking a sugar syrup with coffee and cacao flavour.
With ice, the aroma of coffee is stronger, although chocolate and vanilla are also strongly present. Kahlua is not suitable for drinking neat, it is too syrupy sweet. With ice it is much better, still very sweet but drinkable. But for sure it’s best in cocktails. Kahlua is top-class liqueur in cocktail use, but if you like to drink liqueurs neat, you can find less sweeter coffee liqueurs for that.