Starbucks has announced the launch of its whiskey-infused coffee, the Starbucks Whiskey Barrel Aged Sulawesi. Whiskey lovers will now be able to enjoy a cuppa made from coffee beans which have been stored and aged in oak whiskey barrels. Currently, the beverages have been introduced in the Seattle Roastery.
Starbucks has prepared the unique infusion by filling unroasted Starbucks Reserve Sulawesi coffee beans into the recently emptied American Oak-Aged Whiskey barrels, acquired from Woodinville Whiskey, Co. The beans have been stored and frequently hand-rotated for several weeks, to ensure each bean has come in contact with the whiskey-touched oak barrel. In a news release, the R&D officer at Starbucks, Duane Thompson, revealed that the whiskey-infusing process took “time, care, and patience,” which would ensure the delivery of a “distinct experience that stays true to the specialness of the coffee while imparting the complementary, distinguished flavor of the oak-aged barrel.
The unroasted beans, once aged are roasted by the Starbucks master roasters, during which the alcohol from the whiskey evaporates. Thompson has assured that the aroma and unique whiskey flavor remain in the coffee. He asserted, “You get those earthy notes mingling with the oak to create a cup that’s unlike any other."
Thompson started aging coffee in whiskey barrels as a hobby, about four years ago. The new Starbucks Whiskey Barrel Aged Sulawesi was a product of his experimentation.
Starbucks will be offering two specialty beverage options with the new Whiskey Barrel Aged Sulawesi. The hot Barrel Aged Con Crema, where the brewed beans are mixed with barrel-aged vanilla syrup and topped with cascara sugar cold-foam, is a good choice for every whiskey lover’s hot java. Those looking for a cold brew can order a Barrel Aged Cold Brew. The slow steeped coffee again gets a shot of vanilla syrup, and the preparation is cooled with a large cube of ice in a glass and served as a sidecar. Thompson considered the cold brew to have a beautifully rounded flavor as the caramel flavor came through from the barrel combining with the vanilla, building “flavors at every single level."