Last night, The Bourbon Society member Willy Wallace invited several of us over for cigars and whiskey. I volunteered to make a pot of vegetable soup and brought some whiskey. Walley and Shay furnished the cigars and Walley furnished the location - the ultimate "man cave" in his basement with wide screen digital TV, a fantastic turntable with a huge collection of albums - jazz and classical, comfortable chairs and couch and whiskey and cigar humidors in every corner, so it seemed. Doug joined us and brought many bottles of whiskey and Wayne came with a bottle of Basil Hayden and roses for Mrs. Walley who allows her husband to have this "man cave" to share with his friends. (Good touch Wayne! I wish I had thought to do something similar to show my apprciation). There were several other people there as well but I am terrible with remembering names, especially when I am drinking and smoking cigars. With the sound turned off, the football games were on TV (U of L finally won one and looked better than last week) and classical jazz albums on the stereo, we partook of cigars and whiskey.
The idea was to look at three different cigars: a mild smoke, a medium bodied smoke and full flavored, robust smoke, and find a good whiskey to drink with that cigar. I think I was the only one who took this to heart and tried to keep notes and such as the others were all enjoying them too much to concentrate on such academidc matters. Even so everybody had a great time and learned some about cigars and whiskey. Here are my notes and I do hope you will forgive if spelling or names of the cigars because I was distracted often.
The first cigar was the mild smoke. Shay supplied me with the cigar and I picked three whiskeys - something light, a medium bodied whiskey and a robust full bodied whiskey.
Cigar - Davidoff 3x3
Taste: Very light with a sweet spicey smoke that tasted of cloves or
cinnamon and a little cedar.
Light whiskey: Mellow Corn: the corn whiskey has a light candy corn flavor I like but added little to nothing to the smoke.
Medium Bodied whiskey: Bourbon Society bottling of Four Roses Single Barrel, unfiltered: The sweet spicey flavor and finish of the bourbon added great demention to the smoke. It seemed to get better as the cigar burned down.
Robust Whiskey:Second bottling of Red Hook Rye: The fruity sweetness added demention to the smoke making it very spicey.
The best pairing was the Four Roses. The Red hook was too high of proof to enjoy straight and enjoy with the smoke that lasted for almost an hour. The Mellow corn simply did not add to the smoke at all.
Cigar: Monte Cristo Petite Edmundo
Taste: Slightly grassy with a tea and sorgum sweetness witha hint of cedar.
Light Bodied: Basil Hayden: very thin flavor does nothing for the smoke. I should have picked a different light bourbon since I always consider Basil Hayden a brown vodka.
Medium Bodied: Hermitage bourbon 80 proof from the 1970's: Avery creamy finish that complimented the smoke adding sweetness.
Pappy 20: Very good but the wood from the bourbon overpowered the smoke.
The best pairing was the Hermitage. The sweet creamy finish added sweetness to the smoke without overpowering the cigar flavor like the Pappy 20.
Cigar: A Fuente 46 Anejo
Taste: very powerfull with cedar wood, chocolate and coffe with a little sherry fruitiness toward the last half of the cigar.
Light Bodied: Old Charter Classic 90: candy corn sweetness in the finish adds a needed touch of sweetness to the smoke.
Medium Bodied: Elmer T Lee: Alittle pepper spice and oak wood complimented the smoke flavors.
Robust Bodied: Second Bottling of the Willett Rye: Very spicey whiskey finish enhance the cedar wood in the smoke.
This cigar went well with all choices of whiskey but I had to say the Old Charter is what I enjoyed the most. It added to the smoke flavor without overpowering any subtle flavors.
There were many other whiskeys being poured and since each cigar took about an hour to smoke, I tried a few of them with each cigar. I did not take notes but there are a few that deserve mention.
The Old Taylor Bonded from the 60's went well with any cigar. It was a sweet caramel and wood finish that was like cream on the palate and complimented smoke very well.
Doug brought several single malts and the heavy peated Lagavulin went well with a robust cigar. He had an Irish there as well that was very good with a light bodied cigar, but I don't recall the brand. I brought a Bushmill's single cask, cask proof that was also very good with all cigars, but I think I enjoyed it best with the medium bodied cigar.
All in all it was a very good night with good cigars, good whiskey and good soup made even better because of good friends.
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873