Australian coffee roaster and distiller Mr Black has teamed up with Vermont’s WhistlePig to launch a new whiskey barrel aged coffee liqueur. The new offering is made from 100 percent specialty arabica coffee.
To create new spirit, WhistlePig shipped some 10 Year Straight Rye Whiskey barrels to Australia, where Tom Baker experimented to determine the ideal aging process. The coffee maker/distiller chose the Vermont spirits brand after meeting the WhistlePig team at an industry event in 2019, where they bonded over their respective craft spirits. The makers are said to have found that the two brands complemented each other in the flavor department.
“The rich spice of Whistlepig Rye pairs astonishingly well with Mr Black,” said Baker. “They’re like long lost brothers, raised in different countries but united once again.”
Baker explained that they start the new spirit with its base … Mr Black, the premium coffee liqueur. The aging process needed to last long enough for the flavors of the barrel to seep into the liquor, but not so long that the spirit would lose its strength.
Since oxygen is the enemy of good coffee, the barrels were constantly topped off … a process more in line with winemaking than whiskey distilling. Baker has a former winemaker on his team, and through careful experimentation they were able to determine that six months was reportedly the right amount of time.
The result is a blend of bold tasting notes – rye, oak and coffee form an balance of truly special flavors. Rich, dark, and oily, the liqueur features distinct coffee aromas enriched by oak, honey, vanilla, cloves, with a hint of smokiness. On the palate, expect generous cold brew coffee, complemented by the rich rye spice of WhistlePig. This leads into a long-lasting and mouth warming tannic finish.
“This is one of the biggest spirits we’ve ever made,” said Baker. “It’s Mr Black turned up to 12 in terms of flavour and texture – it’s a spirit for a spirit’s drinker, intense and delicious.”
“WhistlePig is a brand with such a sense of place up there in Vermont. We’re a world away down under in Australia, but working our mitts off to make it in the USA,” Baker added. “We loved the idea of bringing our home and our future together in a bottle.”
Just 2,400 bottles of Mr Black x WhistlePig Barrel Aged Coffee Liqueur have been created and are priced at $59.99 per bottle.
For more information, head over to the brand’s official webpage.
Last week, WhistlePig followed up the launch of its first estate grown whiskeys, FarmStock Rye and Bourbon, with the launch of RoadStock Rye Whiskey. The new offering was created on the road and finished in All-American barrels.
In December, Moët Hennessy established a partnership to exclusively bring WhistlePig to consumers in selected markets in Europe and Asia. As part of this partnership, the LVMH-owned drinks company acquired a minority stake in the Vermont-based whiskey brand.