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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Coffee Aged in Whiskey Barrels - I'm Intrigued!

I am always in favor of getting more whiskey into my life, so when I had the opportunity to combine it with coffee, I thought “I’m in!”  No, I’m not talking about coffee drinks or “making my coffee Irish” I recently encountered the guys at Cooper’s Cask Coffee and had the chance to try their product.

First off, let me start with the fact that I am not much of a flavored coffee type of guy.  I don’t like flavored creamers or syrups and normally don’t really care for flavored coffees. I prefer a strong French or Columbian roast and I drink it black.

What attracted me to this product was their processes.  Cooper’s Cask isn’t adding artificial flavors to their coffee beans, they are aging the coffee beans in whiskey barrels. When you place an order, they roast the beans and ship them to you.

From Cooper’s Cask website:

There are many myths about coffee, like dark roasts “will wake me up” and light roasts are weak or how coffee is coffee, just add cream and sugar.  But, it is more than just buying coffee beans online, much more.  Coffee should be enjoyed for its complex flavor, aroma, and small nuances like a fine wine or a smooth whiskey.  Just like the wine and distilled spirits, they both share an aging process in which the medium, oak barrels, imparts some flavor and complementary components into them.


We have taken this coffee to the next level, barrel aging.  Just like wine, bourbon, rum and whiskey are barrel aged to complement the flavors, we have found that barrel aging the unroasted coffee beans in used barrels has enhance and intensify the natural flavor of the beans.  We have skillfully selected a bean with the flavor notes and subtleties that will best match and complement the flavors imparted by the aromas left behind in the empty barrels.

Once a bean is roasted it has a relative short freshness period, usually a week.  After which the flavors start to degrade and oxidize.  Grinding coffee beans accelerates this process even faster.  That is why we only roast what is ordered and fresh.  

From the first moment when I opened to package of my shipment of Bourbon Barrel, I noticed the coffee beans had an additional aroma. At first I found it hard to identify, then I realized it was the bourbon smell absorbed from the aging process in bourbon barrels.

From the first taste you can definitely identify the bourbon flavors. It is very similar to a flavored coffee but without the syrupy sweet taste. I of course drank it black and enjoyed the flavors very much. It tastes like coffee but with additional levels to experience.

More from Cooper’s Cask website:

Many people may ask, “Isn’t this the same as flavored coffee?”.  It is completely different.  Flavored coffee is the process of adding a flavored syrup to the beans after it has been roasted to take on the predominate flavor.  Such flavors are made from artificial flavorings made from chemicals.  While this may be appealing to many people, the true flavor of coffee has been lost.  It is like ordering a fantastic cut of steak that is cooked to perfection and dumping ketchup all over it.  What do you taste?  Just the ketchup and a hint of steak.

If you are a fan of flavored coffees and want to take it up a level, a fan of whiskey and want to try something new, or you want a gift for that whiskey enthusiast in your life, I encourage you to check out Cooper’s Cask Coffee. I don’t think you will be disappointed.


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