There are plenty of options when it comes to coffee-flavored beer. Samuel Adams makes one of several coffee-flavored stouts, while Lagunitas has a stout crafted to taste like cappuccino on the market. Duck Rabbit also makes a milk stout with a latte-esque flavor. But have you ever wondered why there are no options when it comes to beer-flavored coffee? Well, now, thanks to Starbucks, that is about to change.
The coffee giant is now reportedly testing a beverage crafted to invoke the taste of a stout beer (for those of you who aren’t beer connoisseurs, stout beer is a dark beer made using roasted malt or roasted barley). The new coffee-beer beverage, known as Dark Barrel Latte, is now being served at select locations throughout Ohio and Florida. It has been reported that the beer specifically seeks to mimic the taste of Guinness. Guinness, an iconic Irish dry stout, is brewed in Ireland and dates back to 1752. It boasts a unique burnt flavor derived from roasted, unmalted barley.
Starbucks reports that the drink, which is topped with whipped cream and caramel, derives its beer flavor from a “chocolaty stout-flavored sauce.” While the beverage may be crafted to taste like beer, it is a completely nonalcoholic beverage. The drink is reported to have a “roasted malt” taste and comes hot, iced, or as a Frappuccino.
Consumers took to Twitter to provide their feedback. Initial reviews appear to be mixed. “The Dark Barrel Latte really does taste like beer and coffee,” one fan tweeted. Others, however, were less than impressed. “It is supposed to taste like malt vinegar?” one asked. “Severely disappointed … The Dark Barrel Latte is horrid. Bring back my Salted Carmel Latte to Ohio, PLEASE,” another consumer begged.
Many consumers will be wondering whether or not Starbucks will be expanding this beverage to stores across the country. Yet Starbucks has been mum on the subject. “We’re looking forward to learning more from the test, but do not have additional information to share on future availability of this product in our stores,” said a Starbucks spokesperson.
Many industry experts contend that this could be a good way to bridge the gap between morning and evening customers as the brand begins to offer alcoholic beverages, such as wine and beer. Others have pointed out that this could be Starbucks’ response to increased competition. McDonald’s, for example, has also begun to offer a Pumpkin Spice Latte, formerly Starbucks’ unique signature drink.
Article by Jason Duncan, CEO/Founder of ManagerComplete.com. ManagerComplete is an online software application that helps multi-unit franchises manage operations effectively. Follow him on Twitter for latest updates.