Ovenbird Whisky Aged Coffee


The nice thing about becoming obsessed with flavour, as I am with the flavours of whisky and beer, is this obsession transfers to the other parts of the culinary world. Coffee, like whisky and beer, seems to be expanding into all sorts of different versions and styles. A whole new product for me to obsess about!

Now, I am not going to pretend to know lots about coffee, but I have found some of these fancier coffees, mainly tasted at Brewlab have a boozy taste. I love the taste and complexity of good black coffee, so my eyes lit up when I saw Ovenbird Whisky Barrel Aged Coffees. I spoke to Davide, the owner of Ovenbird Coffee to find out a little bit more “We season low dense beans from Ethiopia and Honduras inside Auchentoshan and Laphroaig barrels for weeks. We rotate the barrels daily. The barrels have been just emptied so we retain all the flavours from the wood casks. Then we roast the beans accordingly. Each origin has got it own profile so the knowledge of roasting is essential

My favourite is the Auchentoshan 12 week in cask, as when I brewed it, my kitchen filled with lovely, fruity, sweet whisky notes. When tasted, it had enough of the rich coffee notes, balanced with fruity, sweeter notes from the whisky. The Laphroaig had oaty notes, but was quite a light coffee, and the 18 week Auchentoshan was a slightly richer coffee note, but it actually had strangely less whisky notes. Bit of spice, with cinnamon and nutmeg, but as I say, I think the 12 week is probably the favourite.

One thing I have to do though is brew them all using the same method, as I brewed the Laphroaig in the cafetiere, whereas I brewed the other two using the Italian coffee maker. I think it could really boost up the Laphroaig. Will report back.

Now, I know there may be some comments on the price, but I think like a nice whisky, this is a bit of a treat. I bought the first pack I got as it combined two of my favourite things, and also got some free samples at a trade show. Something definitely for Christmas. The flavours are so powerful, it is probably not an everyday coffee. But on Christmas morning, perfect. Or just on a rubbish day at work when you need a pick me up.

Chris Hoban

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