Fire Department Coffee Review: Canadian Maple Whisky
With Labor Day comes the unofficial transitions from Summer to Fall, and with it the flavors we enjoy in the food and drinks we have. For most, it’s about switching from summer fruits, to fall favorites like pumpkin and caramel. For boozers like myself, it means switching from gin and vodka to bourbon and dark rums. We also put down the iced cold sweet tea (A Southern thing) and move on to warm flavorful coffee. In fact, we’re pretty big on our coffee, I think I’ve mentioned more than a few times, being from the birthplace of coffee, it holds a special place in my heart. So when we heard about a brand that was marrying together two of our favorite things (coffee and booze), we just HAD to give it a try.
Today we’re sampling a Canadian Maple Whisky infused coffee from Fire Department Coffee (FDC). Fire Dept. Coffee is a veteran-owned business based in Rockford, Illinois (Shout out to Illinois from a Chicago kid!) Ran by both active and retired firefighters, FDC is inspired by the bean that helps keep firefighters stay alert and energized on those long shifts. Every order is roasted in Rockford by a team of firefighters, first responders, and coffee lovers. And ten percent of net proceeds are donated to help provide essential resources and assistance to first responders who have been injured on the job, mentally or physically, or who are facing other serious health challenges. The uniqueness of their brand comes in the ability to have their own innovative method to infused the taste and aroma of your favorite spirits with premium quality coffee beans. Essentially, they’ve created the perfect non-alcoholic beverage for both the coffee lover, and day-drinker. Now that we know a bit about them, here’s what we thought about their coffee.
First Impressions: Before checking out their website we assumed it was a RTD (ready to drink) blend, but we were pretty excited to see this is the real deal, hand crafted ground coffee in a beautifully packaged take home bag. Each expression including the two we received (Canadian Maple & Coconut Rum) has their branded logo on the front, with brewing instructions on the side. It’s worth noting they have a little something for everyone including light, medium, and dark roast lovers AND bourbon, rum, and tequila fans.
Nose: When they say they’ve perfectly infused the aroma of the spirit, they nailed it. Whiskey and maple are perfect complimentary notes for freshly ground coffee and in this case, when you open the package there are strong coffee notes, with sweet undertones of maple syrup and whiskey. Once brewed the aroma profile changes up a bit. The hotter the coffee, the less notes of whiskey we could detect, and the maple is almost nonexistent. That being said, we sniff the bag daily and yes, I acknowledge that’s weird but let’s not judge mmk?
Taste: Full transparency, I’m a HUGE fan of dark roast, so I was a little hesitant in trying a medium roast that I may be a bit bias and it ruin the experience, but THIS medium roast is fantastic. I will just assume it’s the blend of maple whiskey that really makes it work. The actual whiskey and maple flavors are not strong but are apparent which is good or bad depending on your expectations with this. For us, we weren’t expecting a coffee flavored whisky, but a maple whisky flavored coffee. Let the coffee do its thing (and it does!) and then enjoy the maple whisky featured accents. That’s exactly what you get here. Like our experience with the aroma, the flavor too changes depending on the temperature of the coffee, and how you “sweeten” up your coffee. Sugar and sweet creams help to bring out the sweeter notes in the coffee I that’s your thing.
Price: $19.99 / 12oz Bag
Is it worth the price? Considering the going rate for your average brand coffee, and even higher price for craft brands, this is on par for the course. Double points for being both a premium flavored coffee AND booze infused. With many varieties and sizes, pricing varies on their many expressions.
Final Word: Consider this variety the perfect pumpkin alternative for coffee fans. The beauty of FDC infusions are you get all the flavor in a non-alcoholic beverage but can make it your own with a splash of your favorite spirit. As we mentioned, we’re dark roast fans, and we’ll be trying one soon, but even we were impressed by the flavor and blend in this medium roast expression. I can easily see myself drinking this before work, and after work adding a little “extra” to spike it up. The flavor is spot on, the caffeine kick is refreshing, and since we’ve opened it, we’ve had a cup almost every day of the week. Is this the only infused coffee brand on the market? No. Is it the best we’ve had so far? Yes. Needless to say we’re a fan and we’ll be looking into their subscription service they offer.
For more information on Fire Department Coffee, their brands, and how to purchase their products, visit their website at https://www.firedeptcoffee.com/