Order up for The Dude—Starbucks just unveiled a whiskey-flavored coffee perfect for every White Russian and Irish Coffee drinker who’s tired of surreptitiously spiking their mocha-frap. The new Starbucks Reserve Whiskey Barrel Aged Sulawesi was released at the coffee company’s Seattle Roastery on Monday as a limited-edition offering, but we’re betting the brew will prove popular enough to spread beyond the Northwest.
The company ages unroasted Sulawesi beans in used American oak barrels from Woodinville Whiskey Co. before rotating them by hand over several weeks so that the beans soak in all that woody, whiskey goodness. The beans are then roasted as normal, burning off any lingering alcohol but leaving behind hints of whiskey and boozy coffee dreams in the final product. It’s served in two drinks: a hot pour-over and a cold brew mixed with vanilla syrup, served in a carafe with an accompanying lowball meant to resemble a glass of whiskey on the rocks.
According to the Starbucks website, the trial product began as a literal science experiment in an R&D team member’s garage. Considering the aging process takes several weeks to complete and an investment of raw beans, Starbucks’ willingness to follow through on the experiment is a good sign for the taste of the custom coffee—or the stubbornness of the valiant drinkers within the company after the discontinuation of Starbucks wine and beer service. You’ll find us on the next plane to Seattle, just in case this noble little experiment doesn’t take flight out of the Starbucks nest.