Fire Dept. Coffee Vanilla Bean Bourbon Spirit Infused Coffee Review Header

Fire Dept. Coffee Vanilla Bean Bourbon Spirit Infused Coffee Review

In Food Stuff Reviews by Lee Stang and Jim KnudsenLeave a Comment

Fire Dept. Coffee Vanilla Bean Bourbon Infused Coffee
Fire Dept. Coffee


Vanilla Bean Bourbon Infused Coffee


NOSE: Caramel  |  Corn  |  Spiced Cherries  |  Toasted Oak

TASTE: Rye Spice  |  Oak  |  Faint Sweet Honey  |  Green Apple

FINISH: Medium with lingering sweetness and some grain

SHARE WITH: While young, this is a blend to share with your “drink curious” not too judgy friends.

WORTH THE PRICE: I found Ingram an interesting expression. I am generally a Midwest Grain Products fan, and I like to support craft distillers/blenders with innovative ideas. With all that being said, at over $70 for a less than 4-year-old, sourced, blended whiskey, this would be a tough sell for me.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: This whiskey is not a bust. It has interest and depth that you wouldn’t expect by its age. The blending is done well and with the innovative take on aging, I will give it a BAR rating. Try it first, if you can, before you buy. In the fifty dollar range, I would be tempted to go bottle.

OVERALL: O. H. Ingram River Aged Straight Whiskey, I found interesting whiskey. Aged in a floating “rickhouse” at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, in Ballard County, Kentucky. The theory being the gentle rocking of the barrels enhances the aging process. This process has its roots in the river transport of barreled distillate from Bourbon County delivered to New Orleans, with the transformed taste that apocryphally led to our native spirit. Does it make a difference? I have no idea, but there are a lot of people putting barrels on ocean voyages, riverboats, playing music to them, and even aging in cranberry bogs.

I have an issue with brands using invented or unrelated stories to support the “marketing” of their spirits. I don’t see that as an issue with O.H. Ingram. They have family history tied to the river and actually age on floating barges. They don’t hide the source, age, or mash bills of their product. Starting from typically quality rye and bourbon distillate from MGP in Indiana, aging for over three years and blended well, has produced a straight whiskey. It has a surprising depth for a young age. I found it drinkable neat, better with ice, but not particularly suitable for cocktails. My only issue with this product is the price, which is high for what it is. Understanding that the cost of sourcing and barreling probably drives this cost. If you find it in a bar, or you have the resource and drinking curiosity, I would not dissuade you from giving this one a try.

NOSE: Vanilla | Hint of Bourbon | Cocoa

TASTE: Vanilla | White Chocolate  |  Hint of Bourbon

FINISH: I found the finish a little thin with hints of vanilla and bourbon

SHARE WITH: Those interested in Bourbon flavored coffee or flavored coffees in general.

WORTH THE PRICE: Yes! If you are interested in bourbon flavored coffees this would be what you would expect to pay for a limited release, small batch flavored coffee.

BAG, BARISTA OR BUST: If you are a fan of medium roast and flavored coffees especially vanilla flavored you should go for a bag.

OVERALL: If you read our review on the Fire Dept. Black Cherry Bourbon Infused Coffee then you know that a day without coffee doesn't really cut it for me. In fact, I am pretty sure I would give up bourbon before coffee. I hope you will go back and read our last review for more info.

I have never been a huge of fan of flavored coffees however. Like the Black Cherry Bourbon Flavored Coffee , the bourbon is infused into the green coffee beans and then roasted. The flavor is already in the bourbon, so we are talking about a vanilla flavored ‘bourbon” here. The type of “bourbon” is undisclosed so you will have to use your imagination as to which one it is. I have my hunches.

Vanilla and bourbon notes definitely come through on the nose both as you open the coffee bag and after grinding.  Those notes are also present after brewing.  However, in the cup, the smell of the bourbon and vanilla are muted and the taste somewhat thin as well. As a dark roast person it was pretty obvious this was a medium roast.

Since I am a dark roast fan, I purchased a bag of the Fire Department Coffee Dark Roast and enjoyed it very much. Since then I have purchased several more.  I believe I will keep a bag of this in the house.

Note that FDC sells a number of different coffees including different spirits-infused coffees including Bourbon, Irish, Canadian and Cinnamon Flavored whiskey, Rum and Tequila.

Please see the video at this link if you are interested in the small batch roasting process.

Bourbon Flavor Wheel & Tasting Mats

Makes the perfect Fathers' Day gift. Click, Download, and Give.
DrinkCurious Community Large Banner Ad Image
DrinkCurious Community Square Mobile Ad Image

Why should you join the DrinkCurious community?

We could give you many reasons to join, but we think our members say it best. Watch what a few have to say about DrinkCurious and decide if you’re ready to live a DrinkCurious lifestyle.

Disclaimer: Fire Dept. Coffee provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.

Sr. Contributor |

Lee’s bourbon journey started with one mistaken gulp of bourbon and coke as an eight-year-old. While bourbon was always part of his life, Lee followed a beer, wine path for the most part until a bartender poured him a taste of Buffalo Trace about ten years ago. It was at that point Lee’s love of bourbon really took off. Not only does Lee enjoy a good pour of bourbon but he is more than willing and excited to talk about it. Lee believes that bourbon, and for that matter all spirits, is enhanced by the experience of good company, good conversation and good bars. The combination leads to great stories. Say hi to him when you see him. Lee lives in Leesburg, VA, with his wife, best friend, and drinking partner, Patti. You might find her having a bourbon as well. Both Lee and Patti like to read mystery thrillers and travel. Most likely the travel leads to visits to new bars. Read Lee's full profile.

Sr. Contributor | | Website

Jim Knudsen has lived in every region of the United States, traveled the world, and always enjoyed spirits along the way. While he has sampled local spirits in 50 countries on 6 continents, he always comes home to bourbon. Jim is an accomplished global sales and marketing executive, with a degree in Physics from Michigan State University and an MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College. Growing up in Michigan, in a household rich with the experience of enjoying drink. He now lives in Georgia with his wife Karen, the love of his life, his personal editor, and style consultant. When not drinking bourbon he likes to golf, reading, and enjoys professional football and boxing. Actually, these are more often enjoyed while drinking bourbon. His four great kids, with families of their own, have blessed him with 6 grandchildren. While coming to bourbon late in life, he is working diligently to catch up.
Read Jim's full profile.

About the Author

Lee Stang and Jim Knudsen