Starbucks rolls out whiskey barrel-aged coffee
Starbucks fans can now enjoy a taste of whiskey in their brew with the launch of the chain’s new whiskey barrel-aged coffee.
The new blend, called Starbucks Reserve Whiskey Barrel Aged Sulawesi, will be available in Seattle for a limited time and is made from an 800-pound batch of green (un-roasted) coffee beans that are stored in empty American oak-aged whiskey barrels.
The barrels are hand-rotated for several weeks to ensure that all the beans come into contact with the oak. The roasting process burns off all alcohol, but the beans are said to still retain the whiskey flavour and aroma.
“Exploring the potential of coffee and marrying non-traditional experiences and techniques together is something we’re experimenting with daily,” said Duane Thompson from Starbucks’s beverage R&D team. “We start with the bean first and go from there.”
The coffee is available in two new specialty beverages and as hand-scooped whole bean coffee to take home.
It features in a barrel-aged ‘Con Crema’, a hot pour-over of Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sulawesi mixed with barrel-aged vanilla syrup, topped with cascara sugar cold-foam topping, and in a barrel-aged cold brew.
“The cold-brewing allows for more caramel flavour to come through from the barrel, along with the vanilla, for a beautifully rounded beverage,” Thompson said. “You get the building of the flavours at every single level. It is complex, but not complicated.”
He added: “It’s a really exciting time to be in coffee. This meticulous process has been rewarding and hopefully it’s an unforgettable taste in the cup for our customers.”
Starbucks isn’t the only brand to link booze and caffeine – Jack Daniel’s unveiled a whiskey-infused Arabica coffee in January this year.