Recently I was contacted by John Speights of Cooper’s Cask Coffee about reviewing a new coffee they are producing……from coffee beans aged in whiskey barrels. As a dedicated coffee drinker (almost as dedicated as I am to drinking whiskey) I jumped at the chance.
John send a bag of their coffee beans with a letter explaining the product. Simply put they use fresh green unroasted coffee beans and age them in a recently emptied single malt whiskey barrel. They are them given a medium roast. They have found that these particular beans, and the medium roasting, maximizes the flavor and aroma of the original bean and the whiskey. It is an intriguing process.
The beans he sent were very fresh, having been roasted just a week before they arrived at my door step.
I met with three additional coffee drinkers from the River City Whiskey Society for this tasting and the process begun. Opening the bag released a unique and fantastic aroma. Very earthy. Hints of vanilla. Very bold.
Prior to being ground we each put a full bean in our mouths to get the initial taste. Immediately the taste of whiskey was noticeable. Not to strong but more than a simple hint.
When freshly ground the aroma was amazing. The high quality of the product was obvious at this point. This was more than just coffee with a hint of whiskey. It was a myriad of flavors coming through. There was the initial vanilla as well as wood, tobacco, caramel and (you may think this is a little weird) dried fruits.
Once the coffee was brewed the aroma was just as good as the ground beans. Now for the tasting. We first tasted the coffee black. Lots of flavor. It was bold yet quite smooth. Not bitter like some black coffees can be. The vanilla aroma now came through as a very delicate flavor while the earthy flavors came forward. And although the taste of the whiskey was not obvious, you taste its influence.
We did experiment by adding a little creamer. The great taste was still there but it was not as bold.
Then, of course, we added a bit of Irish whiskey. Oh yeah!
We give this coffee high marks all around. From the initial aroma to the final tasting, it was a unique and exceptionally enjoyable experience. If you are looking for a new coffee to try make sure you contact the folks at Cooper’s Cask Coffee (www.cooperscaskcoffee.com). They have hit a homerun with this one!