Disclosure: Pull & Pour received coffee samples for this post, however, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.
Switch Coffee Collective is a startup coffee company based in St. Louis. I’ve loved Switch—both their mission & their coffee—from their inception in 2018. I was very excited a few weeks ago when I heard they were already starting to push boundaries and do a barrel-aged coffee. This is their first and is a direct trade relationship they have with Two Birds in Guatemala. After receiving the coffee, Switch aged it in Heaven Hill Distillery oak bourbon barrels.
I’ve only tried three to four barrel-aged coffees in the past, but I think this one has been my favorite. The bourbon notes from barrel-aged coffee can be overwhelming, so I was really happy with the balance found in this coffee. The bourbon notes are especially present in the aroma and aftertaste, but allow the other flavor notes to shine through in the middle. The coffee has some nice, mild citrus acidity and I tasted notes of vanilla, chocolate, oak and pecans. Given the bourbon undertones mixed with the other flavors, this coffee has some really nice complexity as well.
I think the strength of this coffee comes from a lot of different aspects:
- I think the coffee selected for the barrel-aging is perfect. It has a nice, full body with flavor notes that compliment the bourbon notes nicely.
- I think it is roasted perfectly. It is roasted fairly light, so the natural flavor notes from the Guatemalan coffee still are present amongst the bourbon.
- Whatever process/timing Switch used to aged the coffee in the barrels was perfect. The strength of the bourbon notes is really well balanced with the rest of the coffee.
The Bottom Line
Barrel-aged coffees are definitely unique and aren’t for everyone. If you have been looking for a good barrel-aged coffee to try though, I’d highly recommend this one. It is well-balanced, complex and a lot of fun to drink.