We already have the taste bud train wreck that is coffee-flavored Patrón, so I guess it was only a matter of time before this would happen.
Starbucks, no longer content with just Gingerbread and Pumpkin Spice lattes, is currently testing out a new drink that supposedly mirrors the taste of Guinness. Dubbed the “Dark Barrel Latte”, the product promises to offer just about everything the wonderful Irish stout does…except, of course, the alcohol. Oookay?
Select Starbucks markets in Ohio and Florida are now test-marketing a new drink called the Dark Barrel Latte, which “highlights chocolaty dark caramel and toasty stout flavors” and is served in a conventional paper cup, not a barrel.
The hot drink is built on a standard base of espresso and steamed milk, but instead of fragrant pumpkin-pie spices, this one gets caramel and “stout flavored” sauce, which baristas have been instructed to tell customers tastes like “roasted malt.” Comparisons to Irish stout are seemingly inevitable, and the chain’s marketing materials say that the flavor was inspired by the “rise of craft beers.” So how does it taste? “Like Guinness with cream it in,” one customer writes. “Yuck,” offers another. There’s no word on when, or if, the drink will go wide, but in the meantime, it sounds like this one would go perfectly with an extra shot of cold-brew coffee whiskey.
I’ve had the amazing privilege of drinking a fresh pint of Guinness straight from the stout’s storehouse in Dublin, so I can say this with great confidence: It was never meant to be a cute and frothy coffee beverage. If I wanted a beer, I’d just grab a beer. Similarly, if I wanted a caramel-drizzled, foamy drink, I’d just get a Starbucks latte. I know you like to f*ck with us, Starbucks, but c’mon now.