The Hunt For Whiskey Beans, Pt 2: Whiskeyed Coffee Beer, Take My Mind

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As you’ll recall from the previous article, ol’ Jason took it upon himself to travel up to Denton, TX in order to try Lakewood Brewery’s enchanting concoction known as French Quarter Temptress –a beer made with coffee beans aged in a bourbon-barrel for four months prior to roast- only to find out the patrons were a lot thirstier than I anticipated.

Naturally my desire to imbibe this miraculous nectar was diminished greatly (although I did go to Riprock’s for some delicious hot wings, Hickory Street Lounge to listen to Woody’s Rampage, and rounded out the evening with some Metzler’s to go, so the trip was still worth it!) Then, a scant few days later, I received an invitation to go over to East Side Social Club for yet another tapping of a keg of French Quarter Temptress. As I had already been a sort of harbinger to the pure delicious potential of this beverage, I deemed it necessary to yet again travel an hour’s distance and enjoy me a glass (or two.)

THIS TIME, however, I was going to make damn sure I was one of the first in line.

I first prepared myself for this trifecta of manly goodness by being sure to include a nice Macanudo Portofino and some Robertson’s beef jerky. Not surprisingly, the beef jerky was eaten by the time I rolled into town. I actually arrived a little earlier than anticipated, and the burly, well-read lumberjack behind the bar told me that the keg wouldn’t tap until 7PM, no sooner, no later. And it didn’t matter if I knew the owner (which I do; known John for damn near 20 years, and admittedly was well aware this wouldn’t speed up the process.) So I ordered a beer, a 10% ABV Imperial IPA made by Peticolas Brewery quite aptly named Sit Down Or I Will Sit You Down.

You got to love local craft brews, man.

Anyway, I may or may not have nursed two or three of those before 7 o’ clock rolled around, and I eagerly went up to the bar for my raison d’etre. Just a quick aside: the commemorative glasses they provided with the beer had a fill line that, to the more discerning pessimist, left way too damn much space. Fortunately the owner noticed this as well, and told the bartenders to go ahead and fill it up all the way. So I finally got my first glass. And MY GOD, THE AROMA!!! I seriously sat there for a good ten minutes just smelling it. It was the cleanest, most enticing cold-brewed coffee smell, overpowering any otherwise available scent in the beer. I dare say it smelled perfect. As far as the notion of a hint of whiskey, though? None to be found, actually. Turns out the aging process doesn’t exactly absorb any resonant bourbon in the barrel, at least not to a very noticeable degree. Surely by now you’ve heard of palm civets, right? Those little animals in Indonesia who eat cherried coffee beans and poop them out? Rumor has it a chemical process takes place via their gastrointestinal juices that render the coffee virtually free of any acidic quality. Well, apparently you can achieve a similar degree of success simply by using a bourbon barrel. Only it’s considerably less gross. And cheaper for some reason, I might add.

Finally I managed to get past the looming desire to just sit there and sniff the top of my beer in lieu of actually drinking it.

And yes, it tasted as good as it smelled. I’d also like to point out that my very storied history of beer-drinking has led me to the conclusion that most stouts tend to have a heavy feel to them. The French Quarter Temptress, while still housing that milk stout flavor intensified by bold coffee, actually felt quite light on the tongue, similar to that of a pilsner. And I’m pretty sure I caught a hint of chickory in the mix, which would make sense given its name. All in all, it was a highly fascinating beer. So fascinating I went back for two more, actually.

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