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Bourbon Barrel Coffee

Bourbon Barrel Coffee FAQs

Coffee Facts

February 1, 2023

Taste profile of bourbon barrel aged coffee beans

What is bourbon barrel coffee?

Bourbon Barrel coffee beans are green coffee beans that have been rested in the spent casks of American oak whiskey barrels and infused with the flavors of bourbon. Once they’re full of whiskey aromas, the beans are roasted and ready to make into a delicious cup of coffee.

Does bourbon barrel coffee contain alcohol?

No, you’ll be fine to drive! The green beans will absorb some of the alcohol during the aging process but it’s almost entirely burnt off when the beans are roasted in our drum kiln. While we can’t completely guarantee that there’s not a trace of booze, it will be so minimal as to be negligible. You can’t get drunk from barrel aged coffee!

Does the coffee taste like bourbon?

Oh yeah. That’s what we’re going for – the green coffee absorbs all the delicious flavor and aroma from the barrel it has been aged in. We use a variety of bourbon, malt, rye or rum casks to complement the taste of the beans and skillfully roast them to the peak of their potential, meaning you get all the best of both coffee and whiskey essence.

How long is it aged?

After 45 days packed in an airtight barrel we will do our first test roast to see how the beans are developing. If they’re ready at this point then we’ll go straight to roasting and if not they go back in until they are – sometimes up to 60 days. The climate, the weather, altitude and time of year all affect how long it takes and nature can’t be rushed. We think it’s better to take our time and make it right.

What is the difference between bourbon barrel coffee and flavored coffee?

A flavored coffee has flavoring added after the beans are roasted in the form of syrups and other chemicals. With a barrel aged coffee bean the aromas are infused into the bean before it is roasted making it an integral part of the character of the coffee. To use an analogy close to our hearts; it’s like the difference between marinating your fried clams before you cook them or adding the hot sauce afterwards.

What type of coffee do you use?

We use the highest grade specialty coffee from around the world; from Ethiopia, Sumatra, Rwanda and Colombia. Each bean is graded at the farms and washing stations at their country of origin and each has its own distinctive character and aroma which we pair with the tasting notes of the barrel for the optimum coffee experience.

Why focus on single-origin coffee?

While some roasteries will blend their beans for a uniform product, we like to let the unique character of the individual coffees shine. As with wine grapes or hops in beer; the climate, soil and elevation of where a coffee cherry is grown all contribute to the final flavor of the bean. Ethiopian coffee can be delicate and lemony, Colombian is packed with chocolate and nut aromas. Rwandan beans have berry and toffee and our Sumatran has a spicy tobacco note that pairs perfectly with the bourbon barrel it is aged in.

How do you roast bourbon barrel coffee?

We roast on an American Made Loring Smart Roaster with built in afterburners which gives us an incredible level of detail and analysis of the roasting process and allows us to really hone in on the detail of each roast. The built in afterburners remove chaff smoke and other harmful emissions meaning we have a clean and flavorful cup of coffee every time.

Where do you get your barrels?

Our friends at Bully Boy Distillery, Sons of Liberty and Thomas Tew (plus a few others) give us their used American Oak casks once they’re finished with them. The unique character of white American Oak barrels retains plenty of the character of their incredible Bourbon, Malt, Rum and Rye and the charred interior of the barrel imparts a natural sweetness that we don’t want to waste. Our very first Barrel Aged Coffee was made in a spent cask of Sons Of Liberty bourbon.

Why are all your options whole bean?

Sure, you can purchase any of our coffee ground. But, your best bet is to grind it yourself. We don’t want to waste any of the efforts of the incredible growers, distillers and roasters that have all gone towards making your coffee as delicious as it possibly can be, so we encourage everyone to grind fresh. If you only use a little at a time, our K-Cups are a perfect way to preserve freshness without sacrificing quality.

Find your perfect bean!

The good news is, you don’t have to choose. Our mixed boxes have a selection of all our barrel aged coffees and make a perfect gifting idea.

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