Pairings2020-07-29T07:13:23-08:00

Pairings

NESTOR MIRANDA PRIVATE RESERVE LANCERO X PAPPY VAN WINKLE SPECIAL RESERVE 12 YEAR BOURBON

Nestor Miranda has put out some incredible new blends in recent years, and the quality output we’ve received from his Miami Cigar Company has been nothing short of astounding. The Private Label Lancero is an extremely limited release: 500 boxes of 10, totaling only 5,000 cigars. If you can find this cigar, buy as many as you can. It’s rolled in the La Aurora factory in the Dominican Republic, the Private Reserve Lancero has prominent veins, and the wrapper is a bit rustic. Pre-light, there are sweet tobacco and salt notes. On the light, there’s a rich, aged tobacco note, plus the saltiness lingers with earth. This earthy-salty richness reminds me of a potato chip. The Private Reserve Lancero burns perfectly, with the delicious flavor lingering as it burns slowly. To pair with this delicious cigar, I chose a timeless bourbon: Pappy Van Winkle’s Special Reserve 12 Year. The Pappy brand is probably the most-recognized, highly coveted bourbon on the market, and for good reason. The flavor of honey and smoke is an excellent coupling with Miranda’s earthy, aged flavors and these two together are flavorful on the palate with a lingering richness and a dry finish. This is [...]

BUFFALO TRACE CIGAR X MOSSBURN SPEYSIDE SCOTCH

I visited Kentucky in late 2019 and noted there’s a clear connection between bourbon and cigars beyond the obvious relationship. The gift shops and bourbon makers have noticed it as well. There’s a handful of them who’ve developed their own smokes, whether on their own or partnered with a high profile company (see Drew Estate and Pappy Van Winkle). Buffalo Trace has partnered with General Cigar Company and Cigars International to develop their own, and here we have it: the Buffalo Trace cigar. The label and foot ribbon on this stick is classy, as would be expected, and matches that bottle of bourbon on your shelf perfectly. Sold in boxes of 20, Buffalo Trace is a serious cigar, well-built and long-filler. It’s encased in an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, bound with Brazilian Arapiraca leaves, and its filler is Dominican and Nicaraguan. The result is a refined and well-balanced smoke, with some nutty vanilla notes and lingering raw cashew on the palate. And now for something completely unexpected…I decided not to pair the Buffalo Trace cigar with bourbon, but with something from over the pond. Mossburn Speyside Scotch was the choice. This Mossburn expression is a well-crafted blend for those who [...]

Featured Pairings: DREW ESTATE UNDERCROWN 10 X NOLET’S SILVER GIN

For the grand splash they’ve made in the cigar industry these past twenty years or so, Drew Estate has become a worldwide major player on the premium cigar landscape. They’ve marked the anniversary of their beloved Undercrown line with a premium, limited offering branded simply titled “Undercrown 10.” The cigar is modeled after the standard line of maduro Undercrowns, but sports a unique vertical ribbon over the cap to acknowledge this anniversary. On light, the Undercrown 10 provides exactly what I’ve come to expect from Drew: aromatic smoke output. Billows of smoke accompanied by a milder-than-expected flavor profile initially made me think of blueberries. This stick is understated, not showy, but complex and flavorful. Toward the end of the cigar, salted butter and cream took over my palate as I smoked to the nub. I poured a glass of NOLET'S Silver Gin to accompany the Undercrown 10, and it was an exquisite fit. NOLET'S is crafted in the oldest distillery in Holland by the legendary Nolet family. The brand has been lauded for being able to offer sophisticated flavors across the tasting spectrum with their signature notes of rose, peach and raspberry. The flavors are distinct and sit delicately [...]

Featured Pairing: Alec & Bradley Kintsugi X Dos Hombres Mezcal

I’ve had to be conscious of not commiting a typo when I review Alec Bradley Cigars or those developed by Alec & Bradley. Let me clarify. When Alan Rubin’s sons (Alec and Bradley) came of age a few years ago, both young men wanted to enter the cigar world. Obviously, it was organic to the brand because the cigar company was named after them by their father. They’ve been releasing cigars under their brand, Alec & Bradley, which is distributed by Alec Bradley Cigars. It’s in their DNA. The Kintsugi is a stand out blend from the Rubin brothers, sporting an eye-catching blue Japanese-inspired banding. There’s an earthy sweetness on the initial draws, and a surprise of old-fashioned spiced gum drops at the 1/3 point. The Kintsugi continues that spice profile throughout, sometimes sweet, sometimes earth, which builds more toward the nub. As there’s a spiced profile to the Kintsugi, I grabbed a bottle of fresh, tropical liquid to balance it out: Dos Hombres Mezcal–the spirits brand of Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. Dos Hombres is an award-winning mezcal. It’s exceptional in its quality and flavor. Mezcal can range from tequila-like to incredibly smoky, and this [...]

Featured Pairing: Hiram & Solomon LIVE2SERVE Rabbit Hole Boxergrail Straight Rye

Hiram and Solomon have chosen to honor Operation: Cigars for Warriors with a special release that benefits the charity 100%. All proceeds from the sale of the LIVE2SERVE cigar go to this organization. Released in 20-count boxes, the LIVE2SERVE has an interesting tobacco blend that makes for a delicious smoking experience. The initial light of LIVE2SERVE gives off notes of pepper and a bouquet of dry spices. Puffing through the first third, there is a great yellow curry note that is the prominent spice of the bunch. Pepper remains throughout the smoke, and the size of this toro makes for a lengthy, relaxing smoking session. The ash remains very tight and clings for inches before it needs to be rolled off. The flavor profile is medium/full to my palate. Rabbit Hole Boxergrail–served neat–pairs well with the LIVE2SERVE. The Boxergrail is a 95%-5% blend of rye and malted barley. This superb spirit has notes of brown sugar with light and fresh citrus notes. The backpalate and finish feature some sour blackberry notes as well. When coupled with the peppery herbaceous-ness of the LIVE2SERVE cigar, the two make for a tasty and exciting palate exercise. 6 x 52 Toro Wrapper: Mexican [...]

Featured Pairings: Falto Lonsdale X Espanita Tequila Añejo

Luis J. Falto has been blending Falto cigars at the La Aurora factory in the Dominican Republic for decades. It remains a niche brand to some, but Falto offers a deep dedication to craft. The brand’s diverse flavors should appeal to most serious cigar enthusiasts. You’d be well-served by getting a Falto in your rotation. The cigar vitolas of Falto are the blends. So, a robusto will have the “right profile” for a robusto, and the Lonsdale has a blend of its own. It’s a traditional method of blending, and that’s part of what makes these cigars special. I spent some quality time with the Falto Lonsdale prior to lighting the cigar. I enjoyed the scent at the foot, feeling the wrapper and giving it some cold draws. I discovered some berry crumble aromas straight off–both nutty and jammy. On light, the cigar met me in that same space, with deeper nuttiness and some sweet cream, too. On occasion, there are flashes of a Dominican earth profile, but all-in-all, the notes stay in line with that crumble I mentioned. A tequila often has the right flavor notes for a pairing of this kind, probably because of the similarly tropical [...]

Featured Pairings: Liga Privada Year of the Rat 2020 X Four Roses Small Batch Select 2020 Edition

When you’re famous for a cigar named the “Dirty Rat,” it’s wise to capitalize on the Chinese Zodiac when 2020 rolls around as the Year of the Rat. It’s a common occurrence for limited edition smokes to celebrate zodiac signs, so it’s no surprise that the team at Drew Estate went hard on this one. Offering a blend that’s slightly tweaked from the original Dirty Rat, this Year of the Rat is a shapely Grand Corona with….is that a pig tail on the cap? It’s something more like a flattened, inverted triangle shape. A beaver tail? The Year of the Rat is sold in limited edition boxes of 10, and I found it to be perfectly compatible with Drew’s other Liga Privada line–a strong, slightly peppery cigar with the signature earthy blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco that Drew does so well. The ash burns tightly and perfectly straight. There’s a sweet, peanut profile as you reach the middle of the cigar. It fuses with the other tastes and remains balanced until the end. I believe a limited cigar should be joined by an equally limited bourbon, so I poured a glass of Four Roses Small Batch Select 2020 [...]

Featured Pairing: Daniel Marshall by Carlos Fuente XXXVIII Anniversary Cigar X Laphroaig 30 Year Old Scotch: The Ian Hunter Story

In many ways, Carlos “Carlito” Fuente and Daniel Marshall represent the upper echelon in the cigar world. They are each master craftsman with vision and meticulous standards. The Daniel Marshall XXXVIII Limited Edition Anniversary Cigar is a once-in-a-lifetime smoke. It represents a celebration of Marshall’s 38th year in the cigar business as well as being his age when his daughter Julia was born. Carlos Fuente (in collaboration with Marshall) created the cigar with Dominican ultra-rare tobacco to honor his friend in a commemorative year. The Daniel Marshall XXXVIII Limited Edition Anniversary is a 6 x 52 torpedo. The cigars are packaged, appropriately, in an artisanal Daniel Marshall desktop/travel humidor made from Macassar Ebony that was designed by Marshall and Fuente. Each humidor contains: • 1 Daniel Marshall by Carlos Fuente 24kt Golden XXXVIII Anniversary Cigar with 2 grams of pure 24kt gold personally rolled by Daniel Marshall. • 7 Daniel Marshall by Carlos Fuente XXXVIII Anniversary Cigars. • 1 Daniel Marshall by Carlos Fuente XXXVIII Anniversary Cigar to be enjoyed in the “Virtual Campfire with Daniel.” A single roller was selected to work with this beauty at the Fuente factory in the Dominican Republic. There were only 12 cigars [...]

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