A simple message is all it took to start a conversation that would lead down a path of few had gone before. Ragamuffin is always looking for ways to continue to stretch the boundaries of our coffee knowledge. Starting with the bottling of our “Reserve Cold brew” series and expanding into our collaborations with local breweries, we started to become interested in barrel aging coffee. With the guidance of a few experienced roasters, we were on the hunt for some barrels.
“Sour” Jim Crooks is the Master Blender at Firestone Walker Barrelworks in Buelton, California. A simple message of admiration quickly turned into a mutual interest of barrel aging coffee in a sour barrel. Jim was gracious enough to host us at his facility and before we knew it we were jam-packed in a car headed back to Ragamuffin with two Firestone Walker Barrelworks barrels. The first, a cognac French oak barrel used for their UnderCurrants Wild Ale. The second, a bourbon barrel that carried the infamous Double DBA Ale.
The coffee we are releasing is our single origin Ethiopia Kayon Mountain (Natural), barrel-aged in the UnderCurrants Wid Ale barrel. KayonCurrants is the unusual pairing of a Natural Processed coffee aged in a sour wild ale barrel. Freshly brewed, natural red wine notes mix with black currant in a way that can best be described as a wild mingling of bright, fermented fruit notes.
As the cup cools, the flavors shift. The brown sugar and baking cocoa prominent in the natural Ethiopia coffee lay a base for the complex finish. Finally, you will experience the sweet tones of the Barrelworks wild ale, a tart lemon-pith, and an oakiness imparted ver time for the cognac barrel. We hope you enjoy this one of a kind coffee as we continue our efforts to share good coffee!