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on March 15, 2011
I've had a subscription to Peet's for years. I find Starbuck's dark roast tastes burnt. I saw this coffee in the Gold Box and decided to try it based on the reviews. It is absolutely delicious; the best coffee I've ever had. I enjoy it in my morning latte. It has a strong, robust smell, but blends smoothly in my latte's and mocha's. Even better, it is ORGANIC and FREE TRADE. How good can it get with the low price per pound and free shipping with Amazon Prime. Closed my subscription from Peets and buying Dark Horse from Amazon from now on. I LOVE IT!!!
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on January 6, 2012
This looks like a pretty decent coffee, but its not suitable for super-automatic espresso/coffee makers. Problem is that the beans are TOO oily. Good if you self-grind... bad if you put the beans in a large hopper and expect them to automatically slide into the grinder when needed... The oil creates a stickiness which tends to keep the beans stationary. 5 stars if rating the coffee simply on the quality of the beans... would be unfair to downgrade the avg because they don't work with my setup.
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on January 6, 2012
I very much enjoy dark roasts. The challenge I find is that many of them are either burnt or overly bitter from poor roasting. This coffee does a very good job of being a strong dark roast that is full of flavor without any hint of burnt or bitter flavors. It is very dark and oily and the small portion that did not fit in my airtight container dried out a bit and was not as strong flavored. That took over 3 weeks though due to the volume of coffee and it was still better than other dark roasts I have tried. I have used this for guests to eat with pies and cake over the holidays and all of them commented on its excellent flavor. A couple who don't really like dark roast did request some cream, but still gladly had multiple cups.

I would recommend this to anyone who:

1. Likes dark roast coffee
2. Doesn't know, and wants to try it
3. Wants to change it up from a medium, or god forbid, a light roast.

It is a good quality product made more so because of the cost
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on November 14, 2013
The Three Sisters blend I received has a burnt aroma right out of the package, but I have given it a week making 3 cups a day (but only drinking 1 or maybe 2 cups a day) and I can't make this blend palatable by any method I have tried. I prefer to use a porcelain cone drip coffee method and make only a cup at a time using a burr grinder and fresh roasted beans. Since so many people raved about this coffee I broke out my retired french press coffee-maker to give this blend an honest trial, but to no avail.

I varied the water temperature all the way down to 180ºF and up to 210ºF and every 5º in between. My taste experience was pretty consistent no matter what I did to improve things. I believe it was Harry Harrison who wrote that there are 5 levels of coffee; Coffee, Java, Káva, Joe, and Carbon Remover. We may have found a sixth.

I am retired Navy so I will claim expertise in the taste of coffee-colored swill so strong you can stand a spoon upright in it. But I wouldn't call this "strong" coffee I would call it burnt. I realize it is fashionable these days to drink dark-roasted coffee, but I tend to attribute this to its use in coffee-FLAVORED drinks being promoted by fast-food chains. You need a strong coffee to overcome all the sugar and milk and caramel and hazelnut and ice that dilutes the coffee flavor. I know Europeans have liked heavily roasted coffee for centuries but that is because of the high usage of the Robusta variant of coffee which does not have a particularly pleasant flavor. The Arabica variety is complex and pleasantly flavorful.

I like my coffee black and unsweetened. If my coffee needs cream or sweetener then I haven't made it properly. (I like espresso, Cuban coffee and café con leche so I'm not entirely opposed to strong or milk infused coffee.) When coffee is roasted there are several stages at which the roasting can stop (look online for more info) anything beyond the "first crack" starts destroying the flavor of the beans and imparting the flavor of the "roasting." First crack is about synonymous with "City Roast." As you continue to roast you reach the "second crack" stage and the oils in the beans start escaping and the beans start being imbued with the flavor of the roasting.

To me the "roasting" flavor tastes invariably like burnt chaff and oil, because that's basically what it is. This blend tastes like charcoal soaked in boiling water. You can often salvage a slightly over roasted coffee by letting it set after brewing, and indeed after 10-15 minutes the burnt smell and taste disappears entirely. I mean that literally, the taste disappears entirely. As I type this I am drinking a fresh brewed cup at 150ºF and I am grasping at words to try and describe the flavor. There is nothing here that I can say is coffee. It's not offensive like it is when freshly brewed. It is nearly tasteless and has the aroma of a disused coffee carafe. There is a mouth-feel that I don't normally associate with coffee (or anything else) and I would say it has the slightest sweet aftertaste that only shows up 10-15 seconds after a mouthful. If I aerate the coffee on my tongue like one might do with a wine I get the flavor of some unidentifiable vegetation that has been boiled. Very mild and unoffensive. But this is not what I expect from coffee.

As I look over the Amazon description and the packaging there is no mention of Arabica OR Robusta beans. So these may very well be low quality beans over-roasted to destroy the brightness (acidity.) You might like this sort of thing but it's not for people that enjoy breakfast blends or medium roasts. I have uploaded a photo of the beans I received.
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on November 25, 2015
This is really my favorite brand because of the quality: the bean, the roast, the freshness, the oiliness, the affordability, and the caffeine content when medium ground. It is stronger tasting because it is a dark roast, than a lightly roasted organic bean that costs less. But it is a good tasting darkness if that is my preferred value in a coffee that kicks ass.

I really just wrote this review to post the picture of Kick Ass vs a store brand whole bean that ends up costing as much as this premium coffee. I store my Kick Ass in a sealed container after opening the bag. I had some store brand bean I'd bought for the two days I had to wait for delivery. I poured the remains beside the Kick Ass. The difference was obvious. ( I have no idea how long the store brand sat in transit and on the store shelf.) Amazon sells so much Kicking Horse Whole Bean Coffee, Kick Ass Dark Roast that I know it is fresh.

I could see the difference obviously, but I'll state the obvious about the appearance. The Kick Ass looks fresh, dark, and oily. The store brand looks dry, lighter color, older and no sheen.

I had been compromising to save money but no longer. When I add it up, by buying 2.2 lbs from Amazon I get a better deal than I can on anything at my grocery. And it is a coffee that I really enjoy the taste with a caffeine content I prefer. And the cost is the same.
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on August 15, 2014
usually, kicking horse coffee is quite good. kick ass dark compares favorably with french roast beans from peet's or the now defunct coffee connection, which was bought out by starbucks. this time, however, it tasted like the worst of supermarket sludge. absolutely ghastly. maybe the roaster needed cleaning or maybe the wrong bean was bagged, but the taste was definitely off. ended up mitigating my damages by mixing these beans with the remnants of previously bought beans. based upon my experience, will experiment with other french roast brands & maybe go back to kicking horse or maybe not.
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on April 22, 2014
This is a decent coffee but do not expect any huge amount of difference in caffeine compared to your current brand. Seem to be the main difference is a slick marketing campaign, nice packaging, and a much higher price. I recommend San Francisco French Roast.
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on July 25, 2015
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on December 30, 2015
Been purchasing Kicking Horse Whole Bean coffee with the Amazon subscription for at least 2 years. The pricing has gone up over $10 for the 2.2 lb bag in these two years. Through I enjoy the convenience, this increase in price is not longer worth the value. I find that even the Three Sisters, the medium roast is overly roasted. I really don't think this is superior coffee. So for the increase price and OK coffee, I give this 3 stars.
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on August 16, 2011
I hate mornings. Picking out the right coffee is very important to me. I have tried just about everything Starbucks makes with mixed outcomes.

The Amazon community steered me in the direction of this Kicking Horse product with overwhelmingly solid reviews, and I have to say they did not lead me wrong. The beans have a heavenly smell out of the bag (but the aroma of the coffee itself was more muted.) The taste is dark and full, but as many commentators pointed out, does not come with an acidity or burnt taste frequent to many dark brews. To me, this is a simple, straight up coffee that does exactly what it is supposed to. The downside is that it lacks a distinctive, exotic, or exquisite flavor. If that is what you are looking for, this probably is not the product for you.

But if like me, you have given up trying to have your coffee do too many things wrong and come up short, this seems to really get the job done well. I find myself enjoying it black-- no cream or sugar needed for a very drinkable and enjoyable coffee such as this.

Prime shipping and low cost with subscribe and save makes this coffee about $1/pound cheaper than Starbucks brews, depending on the bean.

Great Aroma
Favorably priced to other high end coffee

Lacking in exotic taste (if that is your thing)
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