Mr. Black - no I don’t care for the name either - is a coffee liqueur. Think you’ve been there and done that? No you haven’t. This is, hands down, the single best coffee liqueur on the market. It’s made with cold brew coffee using a bittersweet blend of Arabica coffees and Australian wheat vodka. The math means it has half the sugar and ten times the coffee of ‘old-world’ liqueurs, so if you’re a coffee purist, you’ve found what you’ve always been looking for.
Mr. Black got its start in 2012 between fashion designer Tom Baker and distiller Philip Moore of Distillery Botanica in New South Wales, Australia. It took over 230 attempts to come up with the product that won a gold medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London in 2012. But you may not have heard of it. Let’s change that. It was Crowdfunded in Australia, then distributed in the UK, and finally in 2019 has limited distribution in California and New York. Once roasted the coffee is ground, cold brewed, and mixed with alcohol, and left to sit. Then liquid is press-extracted, coaxing out as much raw flavor as it can provide.
What I appreciate about this is the lack of viscosity. This is more in line with coffee with added alcohol, not a thick liquid that leaves a gluey film over your mouth, which is true of the majority of coffee liqueur brands. Yes, the nose is potent coffee, which is good. The resulting effort of deep roasted coffee, semi-sweet without being syrupy, clean without being cloying and simple without being boring. Ideal for after dinner, maybe before dinner, hell, maybe before breakfast depending on your leanings, this is coffee done right, with added vodka, also done right, resulting in an ideal coffee drink unlike anything you’ve had before. ($40/750 ML, and worth every penny).