I bought a bottle of Wilton's real vanilla to see what it was like. It smells like Tussin cough syrup...not really the smell of the alcohol but the smell of the medicine itself. Does real vanilla usually smell like that? I haven't used it yet because I didn't want to spoil what I was making. Usually I buy Mexican vanilla and it smells like the artifical vanilla flavorings.
I know what you mean. It has a spoiled smell. I bought it at the tent sale once and just thought it was old. I tossed it. Vanilla doesn't smell like that. I was afraid to use it. I always use the Wilton imitation Clear vanilla in my buttercream. But use Watkins real vanilla in my cakes.
I was wondering if this one was old. It was a really good price...$1.99...but not on clearance or anything. There's a code on the lid but I don't know how to read it or if it's an expiration date.
I can't say I much like ANY of the edible Wilton products.
I just did a sniff test with a bottle of Neilsen-Massey Mexican Vanilla Extract that I have - there's a slight alcohol smell to it, but otherwise it has a deep rich not-sweet vanilla aroma to it. Mind you - it's about $12 for a 4 oz bottle.
If you have a Trader Joe's near you, their store brand of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla is really good and reasonably priced.
Alternatively, you can brew your own vanilla extract by splitting and soaking vanilla beans in a jar with cheap vodka. It takes a while to brew (a couple months before it's strong enough to use) but in the long run, it's actually very economical.