Bourbon Barrel Coffee
Bourbon and beer. Two things we enjoy almost as much as coffee. So, how can we get all of those things into one cup? Well it starts with the bourbon.
To be classified as bourbon, whiskey has to be aged for at least two years in charred new-oak barrels. What this means is that in bourbon production the barrel can only be used once before being discarded. Many of the used oak barrels go to brewers who rest beer inside to impart all the lovely bourbon characteristics to their brew. Such a barrel went to Intuition Ale Works to age their very popular Underdark Imperial Stout. The barrel finally ended up in our hands.
Green coffee is very porous and can soak up flavors and aromas like a sponge. Usually this is detrimental to coffee in that a once beautiful bean can be ruined by improper storage conditions. In the case of barrel resting though we can use it as an advantage. All of those wonderful bourbon characteristics (vanilla, brown sugar, molasses and oak) are relatively quickly imparted into the green coffee. The resulting cup is mellow, sweet and reminiscent of great bourbon.
We have used our Brazil Canaan Estate for these experiments. This even toned coffee has responded well to the process so far.
Once we perfect our method, look for a barrel aged series (to include single origin espresso) of various coffees aged in a variety of wooden barrels.