The beer-inspired coffee trend is going mainstream. Following news that Denver’s Corvus Coffee Roasters is making hopped coffee, Starbucks is now testing a Dark Barrel Latte. The drink, which currently comes in hot or iced latte as well as Frappuccino form, is doused with a dark caramel sauce, topped with whipped cream and made with a coffee syrup designed to taste like “dark Irish beers” (a.k.a. Guinness).
Starbucks is quick to point out that just as the pumpkin spice latte contains no actual pumpkin, this beer-o-ccino contains no beer or alcohol—so adding a few pumps to your afternoon coffee will lead to only a sugar buzz. Starbucks describes the syrup as having a “roasted malt” flavor and explains that latte’s “sophisticated combination offers a delicious complexity that builds with every sip.” If you want to see the full write up Starbucks gave its baristas on the new drink, one of them was nice enough to post it here.
Right now it’s being marketed in locations throughout Ohio and Florida. No word yet on a nationwide launch. Until then, we’ll just have to make our Irish coffee the old-fashioned way.