Bold Bean x Seelbach's Amburana Finished Coffee|
I'm convinced all great ideas come after barrel tastings. A few months ago I was selecting barrels in Kentucky with my friend Brian Beyke. He threw out the idea of finishing coffee in a new Amburana barrel. With Brian's extensive background in both coffee and bourbon this made sense. I love coffee and I love bourbon. On paper, I should love coffee finished in a bourbon barrel. But, every time I try them they still taste a little too boozy as a regular cup of coffee. The idea of aging the coffee in a barrel before it had bourbon in it would prevent that. Would it change the flavor? Since Amburana is such a strong flavor, I thought this would affect the taste profile. But, would it be good? Questions and ideas were running through my head. I reached out to one of my favorites coffee roasters in Jacksonville, Bold Bean. They're bourbon enthusiasts as well and loved the idea. After I dropped the barrel off, it was time to figure out if this idea could work!
Bold Bean started by adding a few pounds of coffee to the empty barrel. They pulled a half pound from the barrel every few days. After 10 days we had a tasting/cupping of the beans at 0, 3, 5 and 10-days rested. We needed to answer two important questions. First, did the Amburana barrel imparted flavor. And second, did the coffee get better the longer it was in the barrel. Thankfully, the unanimous winner was the 10-day rested coffee! We decided it was worth scaling up and added 80 lbs of coffee to the barrel. The coffee rested for 31 days while the barrel was rotated 3 times a week. The finished coffee is delicious! It's tasting notes are wild, jammy fruit, malted barley, dried cherries.