Starbucks Whiskey Barrel Aged Coffee

By Heidi Peiper/Starbucks Newsroom

Calling all coffee enthusiasts! Get ready to embark on an extraordinary coffee journey at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery. This is a place where creativity knows no bounds and the art of coffee-making shines in unexpected ways. From across the globe, people flock to this haven, eager to savor new and unique coffee experiences. It is here that the Starbucks beverage R&D team pushes the boundaries of coffee and introduces extraordinary beverages that mesmerize the taste buds.

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Elevating Coffee with Surprising Flavors

The Roastery has been the birthplace of various original beverages that have since become staples in Starbucks stores worldwide. The list includes the beloved Nitro Cold Brew, the indulgent Affogato, and the irresistible Smoked Butterscotch Latte. It is said that there is no better stage than the Roastery to introduce customers to novel coffee experiences. Here, Starbucks elevates their small-lot Reserve coffees in innovative ways, mesmerizing coffee connoisseurs with sensational flavors.

Now, brace yourselves for some exciting news! Starbucks has crafted two exceptional beverages inspired by the Roastery, namely the smooth and velvety Nitro Freddo and the highly sought-after Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cold Brew. These extraordinary creations will make their debut at select Starbucks stores, tantalizing taste buds and satisfying the cravings of coffee aficionados.

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Nitro Freddo: A Cold, Foamy Delight

The Italian word “freddo” translates to cold, and in European coffeehouses, it has long symbolized a variety of cold, foamy beverages. Starbucks proudly presents the Nitro Freddo, skillfully crafted by infusing Nitro Cold Brew with dark caramel. Topped with a delightful layer of dark caramel-infused cold foam and adorned with finely ground coffee, it promises a truly indulgent experience. Coffee enthusiasts are in for a treat as the Nitro Freddo marks the debut of cold foam at Starbucks stores. This delightful creation is now available in over 1,000 Starbucks locations across the United States that feature Starbucks Draft.

Starbucks first introduced cold foam to the world with the opening of the Roastery in December 2014. The Americano Con Crema was the pioneer beverage, boasting a coffee-spiced cold foam topped with a sprinkle of demerara sugar. Since then, cold foam has made appearances in select specialty beverages, including the Nitro Cascara Cloud found exclusively in Starbucks Reserve coffee bars.

“Nitro Freddo showcases the incredible velvety smooth texture of Nitro Cold Brew,” explains Michelle Sundquist from Starbucks beverage R&D team. “The cold foam enhances the natural creaminess of the Nitro Cold Brew, leaving a slightly sweet dark caramel flavor on your lips while allowing the coffee to shine through.”

Starbucks Reserve Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sulawesi: An Ancient Craft Reimagined

The ancient art of barrel aging requires meticulous care, time, and patience. When Starbucks unveiled its first barrel-aged coffee, the Starbucks Reserve® Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sulawesi, at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in March, it quickly disappeared. However, there is good news for coffee lovers who missed out on this extraordinary blend. Starting September 5, the coveted Starbucks Reserve Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sulawesi will be available for the first time in select U.S. Starbucks Reserve coffee bars. Furthermore, it will also make its grand return to the Roastery in Seattle on September 12.

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The journey of creating Starbucks Reserve Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sulawesi begins by hand-scooping green (unroasted) Starbucks Reserve Sulawesi beans into freshly emptied oak-aged whiskey barrels. These beans are then meticulously rotated by hand, allowing them to absorb the exceptional whiskey flavors evenly. After several weeks, the coffee is roasted in small batches, eliminating the alcohol while retaining the distinct whiskey notes.

Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cold Brew, Served Straight Up: Mixology Meets Coffee

In mixology, “straight up” refers to a drink that is chilled with ice, shaken or stirred, and then strained into a glass. Starbucks Reserve Bars present a limited-time offering for coffee enthusiasts to enjoy the Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cold Brew, Served Straight Up. This extraordinary drink combines Starbucks Reserve Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sulawesi cold-brewed coffee with a whiskey barrel-aged vanilla syrup. Shaken with ice, strained, and served perfectly chilled, this beverage is accompanied by a glass of sparkling water for a truly captivating experience.

Jennifer Galbraith, a member of the Starbucks R&D team, explains the magic behind this beverage, saying, “There’s something of a bit of showmanship with the shaking of the ice in the shaker. People hear that sound and know something fun is happening.”

The Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cold Brew, Served Straight Up is available in select U.S. stores with Starbucks Reserve coffee bars, including New York at 10 Waverly Place and 85th & Madison, Los Angeles at 4th and La Brea, the Chicago area at North & Damen, Oak & Rush, and Western & Deerpath, the Bay Area at Stevens Creek & DeAnza in Cupertino, Broadway & Hamilton in Redwood City, and Blossom Hill Pavilion in Los Gatos, Dallas at McKinney & Olive, and Seattle at 1st & University.

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Bringing the Experience Home

For those who wish to elevate their coffee experience within the comfort of their homes, Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle will be launching the Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cold Brew. Slow-steeped Starbucks Reserve Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sulawesi combined with barrel-aged vanilla syrup is elegantly served in a rocks glass with a large cube of cocktail ice. Duane Thompson from the Starbucks beverage R&D team explains the delicate process, saying, “We take the Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sulawesi and slowly steep it, which brings out its softer caramel flavor and vanilla notes. You marry that with the qualities of the barrel, which has the toasted notes from the burning of the sugars and the wood. And then there’s the syrup for a little sweetness, so we’re building the flavors at every level.”

Coffee lovers can also take home a bag of Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sulawesi whole-bean coffee, allowing them to savor this remarkable blend at their convenience. Supplies are limited, so make sure to snag yours before they’re gone.

If you’re a coffee enthusiast seeking unparalleled flavors and a one-of-a-kind experience, Marmalade Cafe invites you to embark on this extraordinary coffee journey. Discover the Starbucks Reserve Whiskey Barrel Aged Coffee collection at the Roastery and selected U.S. stores. It’s time to indulge your taste buds and awaken your senses with the captivating artistry of coffee. Marmalade Cafe