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.