Back in March, the Starbucks Roastery and Tasting room in Seattle debuted an innovative new coffee; Whiskey Barrel Aged Sulawesi. Green beans from Sulawesi were stored in used whiskey barrels from Woodinville Whiskey Company, and over the course time, the flavor and aroma from the barrel absorbed into the green beans. During the roasting process, the alcohol is burned off, but the identity of the whiskey remains. With unmistakable notes of whiskey, this is a cup of coffee like no other.
This was a small batch project, over 4 years in the making. Only 800 pounds of green Sulawesi beans were used for this first batch. These beans would later be roasted and sold as whole bean at the Roastery and also used to create two new drinks; The Barrel Aged Cold Brew and the Barrel Aged con Crema. Since there is such a limited amount of this coffee, the whole bean sold out very quickly, but the Roastery continues to offer these two beverages as part of their spring-summer line up. I was fortunate enough to not only get a few pounds of the Barrel Aged whole bean, but I was also in Seattle and got to try both drinks. They are absolutely incredible, and I actually really enjoyed the Barrel Aged cold brew with a sidecar of Mora vanilla ice cream. Barrel Aged cold brew float, delicious!
Since this coffee was only sold in Seattle in very limited quantities, I wasn’t able to share it with as many people as I’d hope to. Last month the Roastery released a small amount of whole bean at the scoop bar, presumably for SCA visitors, and I was lucky enough to get some. That was very good timing, as I had a meeting with a few district managers. Everyone was so excited to try this coffee. I prepared it as a cold brew, which I think is the best way to drink it. I used my standard ratio; 1 part coffee to 4 parts water. This is perfect for this coffee, you don’t want it to be too strong, because the whiskey flavors are dominant. This is a coffee that I don’t think needs anything to pair with it, the uniqueness of it is enough, but I decided to reserve a bit of the cold brew to make a “cold brew caramel”. I made this up on the fly, and to my surprise, it actually worked!!!
- ½ cup cold brew (I used whiskey barrel aged sulawesi)
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- pinch of kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- As I mentioned, I made this on the fly, and it came out ok. I think with a few minor adjustments it could be even better. I'll try to update this as time allows.
- In a small saucepan, heat the cold brew and the brown sugar until it is thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes over medium heat. Allow mixture to poil, and then add the cream and butter. Remove from heat, stirring until smooth. Add salt and vanilla extract. Store in a mason jar to cool.
- Once cooled, ou can use this to fill chocolates, or put on top of ice cream! It's caramel sauce, so you know it's going to be delicious!
I get so many comments on the large ice cubes I have used in my tastings! These are called king cubes, and you can buy them on Amazon!