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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Trader Joe's Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee

Come on now, sing it with me!

"Roll out the barrels, we'll have a barrel of fun...."

Wait, you're not singing. What's the matter? Not awake enough and need more coffee? Or not "loose" enough and need a stiff drink?

Well, why not have both? Here's a fresh mug of Trader Joe's Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee.

Of course, this new TJ's boozy barrel inspired brew is non-alcoholic...but man, is that tough to tell from all appearances. Most bourbonic products are plagued by a decided subtlety that leaves hardly a trace of Kentucky's finest contribution to man this side of George Clooney and Louisville sluggers.

But, not here. No, not at all. The beans themselves weren't overly aromatic in a boozy way, but once Sandy and I had our steaming cups...whoa. I'd be scared to make this at work for fear of being called down to HR. One wrong waft sent awry and someone would report it, it's that strong.

Tastes that strong too. I'd say brewing the coffee at suggested strength tasted like a whole shot was poured into each mug. The outcome leaves something to be desired. The coffee itself is mellow and smooth, a little on the sweet side without offering too much if any bitterness that either coffee or bourbon can have. But it's absolutely heavy on the bourbon notes, really heavy, which brings me to my next point...

This coffee's discombobulating. I swear, it plays mind tricks with me. I taste booze, my mind senses it and tells my body I must be drinking booze, even though I'm not...thereby helping negate any positive lift I may get from drinking my coffee. I need my coffee for caffeine, dang it.

At least there's not a decaf version as of yet. That'd be really pointless. Bourbon inspired coffee without either alcohol or caffeine? Pass!

There's a whole write up on the side about how it's a two-year aging process with careful bean rotation to ensure each bean comes in contact with the bourbon barrels...sounds a bit OCD and overboard, but hey, the process worked. I cannot imagine a coffee tasting any more like bourbon, or bourbon tasting any more like coffee. It's a weird, imperfect marriage.

Sandy and I had high hopes, and while not completely crashed, we're both down on the bourbon coffee at this time. There's some potential if we mix some regular coffee beans in, we'll have a more pleasant experience. Also, instead of a morning cup, this has more of an afternoon/after dinner kinda feel to it. More mellow. Made poor Sandy feel a little ill afterwards, though she did say she'd be willing to try again.

Anyways, not an awful speculative buy at $10 for the canister, which is mid-range for TJ's prices. If you don't like it, you can always return, no problem. We are considering it but want to experiment first. Any suggestions, please share. Until then, we're going with some low marks here.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee: 4 out of 10 Golden Spoons

19 comments:

  1. What method did you use to brew it? I'm curious if making it into a cold brew might change the boozy character

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    1. French press and hot. Cold brew might be worth a try!

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    2. It was, unfortunately, dreadful as cold brew. I returned mine :(

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  2. I recently came across recipe for a Coffee Infused Old Fashioned, so that could be a potential experiment :) https://www.worldmarket.com/blog/recipe/pecan-coffee-infused-old-fashioned-recipe/

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  3. Bourbon coffee flan or panna cotta? Might be good with some whipped cream on top.

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  4. I would keep this on hand for sure as a dessert coffee (with some whipped cream) or to use in a cake or pie for Thanksgiving. Bourbon coffee pecan pie? Yesplease!

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  5. I feel like this needs to be mixed with some cocoa powder for a coffee/chocolate/burbon thing and then topped with a gob of whipped cream for a wintery afternoon.
    Decaf would almost make more sense here so it could be an after dinner thing.
    Ttrockwood

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  6. How about mixing these beans with half of their Sumatra roast beans? That seems like a good marriage. Rich, smooth,deep with less intense bourbon-ness?

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  7. How about mixing these Uber bourbon beans with half of Trader Joe's Sumatra beans? Theoretically you will get a rich,deep & smooth coffee with a less intense hint of bourbon. I am actually going to try this.

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    1. Sounds like an idea worth trying. Only reason we're holding on to it is because we want to find a way we like it!

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    2. I think the coffee is excellent. I drink it black with no sugar.

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    3. Same here. Just not for me as is.

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  8. "Most bourbonic products are plagued" heh

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  9. I absolutely love this coffee. Then again, I really love bourbon. I drink it black, but on occasion I pour in a little of the Bourbon Barrel maple syrup to give it an extra bourbon kick.

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  10. I saw this and thought it was clever (but deceptive) marketing. "Bourbon" is a coffee varietal, a type of bean. It has nothing to do with alcohol.

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    1. From Back of the can; "We start with freshly emptied 2-year aged Kentucky Bourbon barrels...We hand rotate the barrels to ensure the green coffee makes contact with the flavor-packed charcoal....the roasting process naturally burns off the alcohol..leaves the imbued flavor of the bourbon...."

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  11. Ah nevermind...coffee beans a thin jacket of bourbon residue from an aging barrel. The ad must be sexier than the product.

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  12. I gave this coffee a whirl. I haven't been able to drink whiskey/bourbon/scotch family of booze since an unfortunate college bender ages ago. This coffee might get me back on that train. I find it yummy, but it does taste heavily of bourbon.

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  13. I don’t drink very much alcohol. I am not sure if I ever have had bourbon. BUT I LOVE THIS COFFEE! Is it boozy? I’m not sure. I used to have a weekend latte (16 oz) with a shot of Irish Cream which I liked very much, and that was boozy. I stopped the Irish Cream lattes when the calorie count and sugar amount (5 teaspoon equivalent in 3-oz shot) was pointed out to me. Also some of the flavorings in the Irish Cream (the most popular brand) are not disclosed by the producer, and I have always wondered about them.
    What I also like about this coffee is that it is imbued, with real bourbon (and charcoal), and not some kind of food laboratory flavor additive like castoreum or other fabricated “natural” flavoring.
    Buy it, it is a wonderful option from regular coffee and would make a fabulous dessert coffee, although honestly since I have discovered it, I have been drinking an awful lot of it. I have had it French-pressed; black (sweetened with Stevia), in lots of lattes (with Stevia), and from a dripped coffee maker; (milk with Stevia).
    Some comments are that it is too strong. If that is your case it is always easy enough to lessen the strength. Note that there are no comments about it being too weak.
    I find that the flavor of my lattes made with this coffee remind me of a really good nutty cinnamon roll. But hey, that’s me.
    I love it. 5 out of 5 beans.

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