Glenmorangie The Lasanata Single Malt Scotch Whisky:
Spirit Stats Age: 12 years Region: Highland ABV: 43 percent

Padron 1926 40th Anniversary Natural Torpedo
Cigar Stats Size: 6 1/2 x 54
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

 

Throughout the years, humans have celebrated special occasions. The birth of a child, a recent personal or professional success, an anniversary, or as is the case this month, the turning of a new year, are all popular occasions. And with that, I would like to welcome you as we celebrate the new year in style! I wanted to select a cigar that would share some semblance with the special event we are honoring, and I landed on the Padron 1926 40th Anniversary. I was saving one for a special occasion, and what’s more special than the first Cigar & Spirits pairing of 2015?

The 1926 40th Anniversary Padron comes dressed in a luxurious Nicaraguan-grown Habano wrapper. A box-pressed torpedo, it is firm to the touch while the tobacco beneath the wrapper rustles ever so gently. It’s also a puro, as the binder and filler are both Nicaraguan in origin. My spirit selection to enjoy opposite the Padron is “The Lasanta,” a single-malt Scotch whisky from the Glenmorangie distillery. Aged 12 years, the Lasanta spends the initial 10 in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being moved to Oloroso and PX sherry casks from Spain for its final two years. The result is a complex spirit with a distinct flavor and beautiful golden mahogany color. When poured, its aroma fills the air.

WARM BEGINNINGS

Lasanta is from the Gaelic word for “warmth,” and on the cool winter evening I enjoyed this special pairing, I was counting on the Lasanta to live up to its namesake. With my glass ready, served neat with a splash of water, anticipation was high. A quick swirl of the spirit revealed a rich and complex nose offering notes of citrus, dark fruit, honey and chocolate. Raising my glass, I took my first sip to find that the Lasanta does indeed live up to its name. A smooth and gentle warmth embraced my palate, as the balanced and well-rounded spirit offered a slow and elegant delivery of flavor and texture. Velvety and smooth, the texture was outstanding as flavors of fruit, nuts, chocolate, spice and vanilla combined in a most wonderful fashion.

Long and elegant on the finish, the Lasanta ended with a note of sherry, vanilla and a lingering spice. Nearly beside myself with the Glenmorangie Lasanta, I almost forgot about the Padron 1926 sitting by my right hand, waiting for me to put fire to it. I carefully picked up the cigar and took in the aroma: rich tobacco, earth, spice and fruit were all perceptible, wafting from the foot of the cigar. The pre-draw of the Padron 1926 40th Anniversary was in line with the aroma, offering notes of earth, unsweetened cocoa and mulling spices. The Padron was effortless in lighting—it seemed as if the cigar lit itself, begging to be enjoyed. The initial draw produced a generous amount of smoke with an immediate affluence of sweet-dry spice. The spice hit right in the middle of my palate, where it was long lasting with a mellow pepper finish.

EXQUISITE PROGRESSION

Through the first third of the Padron, the flavors remained mellow and medium full-bodied, offering notes of sweet spice, leather and tobacco. The Lasanta paired with it effortlessly as the complementary flavors mingled to create a depth of complexity and a masterpiece of a pairing. I progressed to the second third of the Padron, when it opened up to showcase a full body and full flavors of sweet spice, espresso, fruit, earth and vanilla on the finish. The pairing remained exceptional as the creamy smoke of the Padron was washed down by the warm amber liquid of the Lasanta. The final third of the cigar arrived as a linear expression that was a culmination of everything that had come before it.

Rich and complex, the Padron 1926 offered so much more than what I thought possible from an already impeccable cigar. It presented an earthiness punctuated by a continuous sweet spice that was not overbearing or underwhelming, while simultaneously releasing notes of dark fruit. Following next were deep notes of tobacco with complementary nuances of espresso, coffee and chocolate that lingered with a creamy vanilla finish. While it offered several complementary flavors, the Glenmorangie Lasanta provided some poised contrast to an already bountiful palate with its warmth and finish. Long enough to clear the palate after a few puffs from the Padron, it is truly the catalyst that forms this remarkable pairing.

The Padron 1926 40th Anniversary is a tough act to follow—it may be the best cigar that I have ever paired for Cigar & Spirits—and I’m happy to say that the Glenmorangie Lasanta, is indeed, a spirit worthy of its mate. Consider both for any special occasion—or how about now?


Benjamin Winokur is a Certified Tobacconist Apprentice and the founder of CigarJedi.com. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @CigarJedi.

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