Barrel-aged coffees have always been a special treat and I’ve had the opportunity to try quite a few over the past few years. I had never seen a barrel-aged coffee aged in wine barrels, so this coffee from Oak & Bond piqued my interest. I recently had the opportunity to try one of their single-origin Guatemalan coffees and was impressed, so I had high expectations for this coffee.
The coffee begins with a rich and decadent aroma that was the perfect mix of wine and coffee. It somehow captured both the smell from pouring a nice Cab and opening a fresh bag of coffee. The flavor is incredibly approachable with deep fruit notes and chocolate mixed with a nice undertone of winey notes. The barrel-aged side of the coffee past the aroma though was much more subdued. The body was big and full—similar to what you’d expect in a big-bodied red wine. The finish was long and slightly boozy, which was a great end to each sip.
The coffee is complex, yet approachable and unique, yet somehow what you’d expect out of a single-origin Guatemalan coffee in a lot of ways. It is incredibly flexible and worked well in all of the different pour over options I tried, but also my favorite barrel-aged brew method: Japanese Iced coffee.
In addition to this barrel-aged coffee from Oak & Bond, I bought their Scotch barrel-aged Colombian coffee. These two were hands down the best barrel-aged coffees I’ve tried to date for a few reasons:
- They are not over-roasted. Many of the barrel-aged coffees I have tried have either been a dark medium to a French roast. I always prefer lighter roasts out of personal preference, but preferences aside, a lighter roast is going to expose more of the nuances in the coffee that get lost in a darker roast. The barrel-aged coffees from Oak & Bond are roasted a light medium and bring out all of the more delicate attributes of the coffee.
- The barrel-aged quality isn’t overpowering. While I like barrel-aged coffees, I’ve left each one I’ve had before thinking “that’s a good once a week coffee” simply because the hard alcohol taste is so overwhelming. With both barrel-aged coffees from Oak & Bond though, that isn’t the case. They have a strong barrel-aged aroma, but when it comes to actually tasting the coffee, it is definitely present, but not overwhelming. They are both coffees I could drink every day.
The Bottom Line
If you have heard of barrel-aged coffees in the past and have been intrigued to try one, there is no better option in my opinion. This is the most complex, approachable and delicious barrel-aged coffee I have tried to date. I’d recommend getting the boxes they offer, so you can try two different ones and compare.