Barrel Aged Coffee

My Story

Barrel Aged Coffee

My Idea for coffee began long before I realized it.


As a young kid, I was always around coffee like most of us growing up.  My dad was a 5 to 6 pot coffee drinker on a daily basis. The coffee he enjoyed was from your typically big box store.  


I enlisted with the Marine Crops in the 1990's and enjoyed serving my country.  Once my enlistment was served, I came home to start my new life as a young man. Soon after I was home, my dad was diagnosed with cancer and within the year he died.  


While working in my bourbon barrel craft studio, inside the James E Pepper Distillery, I was drinking coffee from one of my dad's coffee cups.  It dawned on me, why didn't I have my own coffee. I wanted a coffee to share Kentucky's story but doing so with a Buffalo Trace Distillery bourbon barrel. 


My struggles with my coffee were very trying and of course, the struggle was the teacher and the secret sauce which taught me everything about hard work.  Part of my struggle was missing my dad and wanting to feel connected to him mainly due to me not having a close relationship with him.

Several years prior, my barrel aged coffee did not taste the way I thought it should.  In the beginning, mainly due to not having something to gauge my coffee against, folks would visit and drink my barrel aged coffee; however, was not enjoyed as I thought they would. It did not have a taste from the barrel I had imagined. Many folks did not believe it was possible to get the flavors of the barrel in coffee.


It wasn't until I was backing out of my driveway and noticed my neighbor having a green plastic fiberglass type of compost barrel situated on a tubular stand.  He was composting leaves for his garden, in which he built square boxes for his vegetables.  This observation inspired me to purchase a concrete mixer.  I purchased the concrete mixer at the local Harbor Freight store in Lexington, Kentucky.


Approximately 6 to 7 months after the initial thought, folks started noticing a big difference with the taste of Kentucky's first real barrel aged coffee.

 Barrel Aged Coffee


All of my Arabica coffee beans come to me from Antigua Guatemala, which is the Highland region of that area.  The Guatemalan bean has been proving to be one of the best beans to savor a true taste of coffee under high heated temperatures.  As well, the Guatemalan bean has proven itself to be the best, not just for me, but with the people who enjoy my coffee in their own home or with their friends.


My Bourbon barrel coffee is roasted inside a 64-year-old Probat German built gas, belt fed, drum roaster.  When my coffee is roasted, there are no whistles or bells that indicate when my coffee is finished; just as my handcrafted bourbon barrel gifts, my coffee is crafted by honing in on our natural gifts; I use sight, sound, scent, and taste. 


My coffee is roasted weekly and only in small batch as so the quality is never compromised and balanced in every cup. Freshness trumps quantity, Freshness makes quality!

My process is simple, it began with a dream and a lot of hard work.  The secret sauce in this instance is not giving up.  Most of my process is very proprietary due to the struggles I endured to craft my passion. So I leave the rest to taste!


Below are the available coffee flavors I offer:


Kentucky Bourbon:

You will taste and enjoy Kentucky in every cup. Your palate will pick up a hint of Buffalo Trace Kentucky bourbon; not too harsh or bitter, just a gentle splash.


Caramelled Barrel Aged:

Your palate will pick up more notes of the caramelized sugars and hints of spices, as well, as the bourbon barrel wood releasing those tannin sugars from the soaking of Buffalo Trace bourbon, which sleeps inside the barrel.


Bourbon Ball Barrel Aged:

 For those chocolate and pecan lovers; only a hint of Buffalo Trace bourbon will hit the spot. The balanced taste of these will curb that sweet tooth in which we all crave in our coffee. 


Bourbon Cinnamon:

If you like cinnamon with a hint of bourbon, this will sure kick off the buffalo into gear. You are sure to enjoy this barrel aged coffee. The nose in this cup will surely kick that stuffy cold.


Cowboy Barrel Aged:

 My favorite!  The cowboy coffee is so awesome with its natural notes of caramelized sugars and vanillas with a shot of bourbon. On the nose, you will experience a sweet smoky scent, but the taste is crisp on the palate. It won't put hair on your chest, but it will give you the get-up and go to ride that horse kind of feeling.


Pumpkin Barrel:

(Seasonal only- August through December) Having just a sprinkle of bourbon with your pumpkin coffee is the best. We handcraft this like no other. It has a little extra kick of cloves and pumpkin spices in it to wake up your nose with a little nibble from Buffalo Trace bourbon.

Chocolate Chipotle:

Notes of pepper spice and chocolate with a hint of bourbon, which sleeps inside a Buffalo Trace Distillery bourbon barrel.

Butterscotch Cream:

The classic taste of melted butter with fresh cream goes perfect to a delicious cup of coffee. Enhance it more with a hint of sugar and cream for a delightful treat and a hint of Buffalo Trace bourbon. A fantastic way to start your day or finish a meal.

Butterscotch Pecan:

Fine hints of butterscotch flavors married perfectly with toasted pecans. The full-bodied pecan is a perfect delight in your coffee. The butterscotch and bourbon flavors hit the pallet with a subtle and balanced profile that is tasted in each exceptional sip.


One of the newest sensations of Kentucky Knows is the Bourbon Barrel Aged Praline. With an infused flavor of bourbon butter brown sugar with a slow-roasted pecan is surely a taste to indulge.

Crème Brûlée:

Hints of toasted marshmallow flavors of caramelized sugars with a smooth crème flavor that reminds you of that famous decadent dessert. Treat yourself to a five-star dessert with each cup.

Bourbon Mint Chocolate:

Featured coffee for Christmas. Merry Mint-mas and enjoy a fresh brew of Kentucky Knows Coffee. Perfect during those chilly mornings. Bring warmth to your day with notes of rich chocolate and a kiss of mint under the mistletoe.

Barrel MO-KY:

(Pronounced barrel moka) This is a 35-year-old hot chocolate recipe.  Although it's not my recipe, it is one to share with your family.  use (1) one - (3) three scoops with your hot bourbon barrel coffee, water, or milk.  Or, for your family experience, use (1) one gallon of milk and place into an approved container. Place it in the microwave to heat for (15) minutes, transfer to a crockpot, pour in 12 ounces of our Barrel MO-KY, stir from the bottom up, pour, and serve over marshmallows in your own cup.



For the lovers of fresh roasted coffee and not the fan of bourbon, then this coffee is definitely for you. 

Coffee Roasting

The Art of Roasting Coffee

My coffee is made using the senses, like any artisan craft, using my eyes, ears, nose and taste

My coffee comes from 100% Arabica beans from Antigua, Guatemala. My beans are roasted inside a 1952 German gas belt-fed drum Probat coffee roaster. My coffee is roasted to the second crack, which is a medium city roast.