Pairing: Still Austin Cask Strength with RomaCraft Intemperance
Bourbon: This bourbon hits many points in color, texture, aroma, and notes. For this pairing, we’re going to focus on the tasting notes.
For me, it has incredible texture and oils with a long finish. It opens up with buttery honey notes that remind me of graham crackers that I snuck from the kitchen. There are also some subtle coffee notes and black cherries as the body opens up and finishes strong with spice that will linger and linger.
Cigar: RomaCraft has made its name well known in the cigar world with its smokes. The Intemperance fits the bill with strong earthy and leathery notes with black coffee notes and some black ground pepper at the back end.
Pairing: When paired together, the smoke brings out the coffee notes in the Bourbon and enhances the pepper to the front that stays with you throughout the sip. The experience is the same when taking a cigar draw after a sip. The honey and fruity notes of the Bourbon bring out a creamy note in the smoke that wasn’t as strong before while also enhancing the pepper notes at the back of the draw.
This is a very enjoyable pairing that I would recommend.
Ardbeg An Oa paired with Honor Among Thieves from Sinistro Cigars.
I have been a fan of both Sinistro and Ardbeg for some time, so it only made sense to do a pairing of an expression from both. I had my first Ardbeg Whisky about five years ago, the Ugidail. From then on, I knew I would be hooked on their expressions and had to try more. My first Sinistro was Mr. White, and that quickly spread out to other blends they had and eventually the Honor Among Thieves. Upon choosing this pairing, since I was familiar with both blends, I concentrated more on the pairing and how they interacted with each other. We will explore Sinistro’s Honor among Thieves and Ardbeg’s An Oa for this pairing.
This blend from Sinistro with its Brazilian Maduro wrapper opens with some cocoa, grassy notes on the nose, and cold draw. These notes continue into the first third of the cigar, with the cocoa transitioning into milky chocolate notes and nutty cashew notes remaining throughout the smoke. The cigar finishes strong with white pepper notes that are even more prominent at the back and retro.
What draws me to Ardbeg is its presence of a smokey bouquet that doesn’t overpower the earthy forest pine notes. The smokey peaty notes continue at the front of the sip and smooth into a charred toasted marshmallow flavor that reminds me of roasting marshmallows on the campfire. The An Oa has an oily buttery feel in the mouth and finishes strong with some white pepper notes.
The cigar brings out cherry notes at the front, toning down the smokey notes to a subtle presence while strengthening the pepper notes at the back, reminding me more of red than white pepper. The Scotch brings out more sweet, nutty notes at the front of the draw, whereas before, they were more present near the middle body of the draw. The peppery notes also move forward and are more prominent, strengthening the cigar’s body into a full-bodied smoke. This pairing was enjoyable and recommended. Other pairings for each could include a full-bodied cigar to pair with the An Oa from Ardbeg while staying away from the full peaty Scotches with the Honor Among Thieves from Sinistro.
Clos De La Butte Muscadet paired with a Mil Dias LE 2021
I was challenged the other day to pair a cigar with white wine. Let me tell you that my experience with white wines is still minimal, but I’m not one to avoid many challenges. Upon accepting this challenge, I had to approach it a little differently than I have other pairings and chose a white wine, learned about the grape, and then chose a cigar I was familiar with.
For this pairing, I chose the Clos De La Butte Muscadet from Eric Chevalier. The Muscadet is a lighter-bodied dry white wine which presents a challenge in pairing because you don’t want the cigar to overpower the notes of the wine. The cigar I chose for this pairing is the Mil Dias LE 2021 from Crowned Heads. So, let’s get into the notes and see how this turns out for us.
The Muscadet opens up with a nice bouquet with Oakey, grassy notes that also have subtle floral and fruity notes. On the palate, the wine opens up very crisp with strong citrus notes and a bit of acidity, refreshing on a hot summer day. As the body opens up, you may notice that a bit of the Oakey grassy notes is present with hints of green apple and pear, bringing you a nice medium finish to close out.
The Mil Dias has long been one of my favorite cigars, so for me, there wasn’t any question about choosing the LE 2021 for this pairing. The cold draw on the cigar has a lot of leathery notes, reminding me of opening a brand-new pair of boots you just got home from the store. On the initial draw, I got some creamy, nutty notes similar to cashews with some fruity notes at the back of the palate and into the retro that reminded me of an apple pear.
The cigar brings the pear notes to the front of the wine while continuing throughout the body and toning down the citrus and acidity of the Muscadet. The wine retained its nice crispy, refreshing bouquet and notes throughout this pairing. When taking a draw from the Mil Dias after a sip of the wine, I noticed that the Oakey grassy notes were more prominent while toning down the creamy and leather notes presenting a nice change but not surprising to the draw of the cigar. When pairing a cigar with white wine, you will want to choose your pairing carefully so as not to overpower the wine or the cigar. For your white wines, I would recommend a lighter to medium-bodied cigar, but also, feel free to experiment with your pairings. You never know; you may find something you enjoy, as I have in this pairing.