Although it has only recently received GRAS status (GRAS 22), furfuryl ethyl ether has been known in some circles for decades. Research through the US Patent database shows that Firmenich has had a handle on this compound for quite some time. In 1972, a patent titled “Flavor Modified Soluble Coffee” (3,702,253) was granted. The Firmenich claims state that although not directly related to coffee flavors, the use of furfuryl ethyl ether either singly or in combination with other compounds may contribute desirable flavor notes.
DeRovira notes that the furyl compounds are natural by-products of fermentation.
As a result, one would suppose that this compound should be found in rum, tequila, brandy, barrel aged wine and rice wine—and it is. Philip Spillman has attributed the presence of furfuryl ethyl ether in wines to the oak wood barrel. It has been flagged as an off note in beer, contributing to the stale note with other nasty actors.