View Full Version : An All Kentucky Pairing!
I just lit up a Black Patch Cigar Co. Reserve Maduro. I acquired it on the festival lawn. This cigar is supposed to pair a Kentucky Sungrown Broadleaf Maduro with Dominican binders and filler. Decided to pair it with a pour of Four Roses Single Barrel. I will let you know how it wa when I am finished.
Black Patch "Reserve 2003" Maduro Caldwell
We found this cigar at a booth on the Kentucky Bourbon Festival Lawn while wandering around on Saturday, and decided to buy one on a whim. Now it gets the full review workup, now lets see if it was worth it:
Size: 5.5" X 52
Wrapper: Kentucky Broadleaf Sun Grown
Binder: Cibao Olor
Filler: Dominican Republic South Bonao Pilato Cubano, Villa Gonzales Seco, La Vega Carbonell/Havana Seed
Appearance: As you can see in the photos above, this is a bit of a rustic looking cigar. It isn't the smoothest cigar you have ever seen but it is not nearly the worst either. the wrapper is dark like french roast coffee, and equally as oily. Further perusal showed that the cigar was reasonably firmly packed and there did not seem to be any soft spots.
Pre-Light: Clipped very easily with my Credo Synchro Cutter. Nosing this cigar revealed a richness and some tangy notes, as well as a note that resembled charred oak barrels. The prelight draw was just right and revealed notes quite similar to the initial nosing.
Burn/Draw: This is an aspect where this cigar really shines. This cigar burned like a dream, long and slow and cool. the burn line was light and forget, it never really wandered much farther than the photo shown above, and this is a very good thing. The draw was just perfect, forgiving but providing just enough resistance to keep the burn cool. This cigar produced volumes of bright white fragrant smoke (earthy, and oaky with a sweet offsetting tanginess.). As far as the ash is concerned, it was light grey and a tiny bit flaky, but it held as long as I wanted it to.
Flavors: This was one intriguing cigar, where you have to put your preconceptions regarding American Cigar Tobacco aside. One might be tempted to discount a cigar with a wrapper from Kentucky, and this would be a mistake. For the baseline flavors, you have all the basics of any good maduro cigar. There are notes of coffee and earth, chocolate and a tangy note that provides a pleasant counterpoint and keeps the cigar from getting dull. this cigar is medium full in body and medium in strength. There is also some woodiness, and I think that this might be what makes this cigar special.
In most of the cigars I have smoked to this point, when I have mentioned that there was a woody note, it was usually cedar like in nature. That is not the case with this cigar. This cigar has a not that tastes almost exactly like that of toasted oak. Like the oak in bourbon barrels. I wonder if this is intentional, being the wrapper leaf is from Kentucky. Either way, this not definitely lends itself to being a bourbon drinking cigar. Overall this cigar reminds me very much of a richer, more refined version of the Helix Maduro (perhaps a bit stronger and with that fascinating oak note), which if you know me is not a bad thing. In my formative cigar days I went through several boxes of the Helix. Overall if you want a change of pace with your morning coffee or favorite Kentucky Whiskey, try this out. It has given me hope for the possibilities of American grown wrapper leaves from places outside the Connecticut River Valley.
PS The Four Roses Single Barrel is everything I could have hoped for, but thats for another post. . .
Great review Tom. I was at that stand but did not buy any. I think that Fricky might have purchased some though.
Boy would I really like to know what he bought, and his impressions.
I bought a cigar at that stand and I'm not a cigar smoker. I was passing through on Friday and stopped at about 4:00. Very few booths were open, but this guy was, so I bought a cigar.
a reward for being open! whatd you get? Did you smoke it? Whatd you think?
I have not smoked it yet. I don't remember which one I got. I took what he recommended. It was the thinner of the two thick ones, I think. $5.
I was very disappointed that the KBF tent wasn't open. I wanted to buy some pins as souvenirs. They had the flaps up for a while but dropped them. Four Roses, Wild Turkey, and Jim Beam had their gift shops open. Some of the crafty tents were open.
I wanted to stay, but I had to get back to Louisville.
This is a very nice combination. The cigar actually goes well with any bourbon but exceptionally nice with it's name sake.
I met Eric McAnallen, the owner (and his wonderful wife), at a party thrown by The Bourbon Review. He brought along a box of Amos and they were great. He was gracious enough to give me a few for the road.
Nice guy and seems to know his cigars.
I know almost nothing about cigars but was wondering. Kentucky has been a major tobacco producer since the earliest days of European-American settlement there, but it's never had a cigar industry to my knowledge. I assume (correct me if I'm wrong on any of this, because I genuinely don't know) that almost all of the crop has always gone to cigarettes. I guess my question is, what is the present state of tobacco agriculture in Kentucky? Could Kentucky develop a premium cigar industry?
I've never smoked much, but I always love visiting the tobacco pavilion at the Kentucky State Fair.
I'm no expert either but I know a little.
The primary crop in Kentucky is Burley Red Tobacco. Its air cured, as opposed to flue cured, on sticks, in barns.
The primary use is for cigarette production.
In the past, it was mostly for domestic use, but the international market is growing faster than the domestic market is contracting.
Since the tobacco settlement and the collapse of the price support system, production in KY is down considerably. (I don't have a statistic) Money from the settlement was used to buyout tobacco quotas. Quotas were granted by the government to produce a certain number of pounds of tobacco.
Farmers were part of a cooperative that auctioned the tobacco to cigarette companies.
When the prices were high and supplies low, money was put away to support prices when supplies were high.
Cigarette companies buy directly from farmers now, destroying the auction business that supported warehouses in Lexington. The tobacco auctions are now a thing of the past.
The cigars are not made from this tobacco. My understanding is that they are made from tobaccos that are Broad Leaf.
I certainly recall the many Kentuckians who had a little tobacco allotment, their pre-determined share of the price support system, which was passed from parent to child and often subdivided, like a vineyard in Burgundy, until many of the plots were tiny, although the tobacco grown on a few square yards of land could yield a few thousand dollars a year. I knew one guy in Cumberland County, and I'm sure this was common, who was a subsistence farmer and hunter whose sole source of cash income was odd jobs and his tobacco allotment.
I also have seen, in Kentucky, vast fields of tobacco, which is quite a striking sight, as the tobacco plant, if one is not familiar with it, looks like something from another planet.
Kentucky Burley tobacco is famous in pipe smoking circles. Much if not all of the pipe burley in the world emanates from Kentucky. Few cigars are puros (made from tobacco coming from the same area) due to the desire to create levels of flavors. Often the very specialized and expensive wrapper leaf will be chosen to bring to the party a specific flavor so as to create complexity and levels of flavor. For the record there were cigars being rolled in Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania well into the mid 20th Century. Most of these were cheap machine rolled cigars made from short filler. Many were also flavored with flavoring agents. Although I would love to see a domestic cigar industry reemerge in Kentucky this is much easier said than done. Had rolled cigars are deceptively simple. The fact is that they take dedicated farmers willing to take the huge amount of effort to grow cigar leaf that has to be essentially flawless. The farming of wrapper leaf is tremendously labor intensive. Then there is the post farm fermenting, aging and manipulation of the leaf to produce the desired flavors. This takes years of aging, turning, bundling, wetting, drying, etc The rolling of hand rolled cigars is quite literally an art form that takes a trained artistic hand to accomplish. That art form would have to be taught and fostered to maintain a steady flow of rollers. In the end a Kentucky cigar industry would be nice but would face a huge amount of problems to deal with.
Thanks, MJL. Very interesting.
As I have stated in another post the easiest and cheapest way to sample Kentucky tobacco is via some of the brands of pipe tobacco that I mentioned in that post. I can verify that there is a distinct affinity between Bourbon and Kentucky grown pipe tobacco.
Quality hand made cigars are produced in Kentucky.
Kentucky Gentleman Cigar Company is located in Lawrenceburg KY.
Good folks and great cigars!.
Allen has been a generous sponsor and donor for many local events.
They make the Blanton's cigars and many other varities. Custom orders and blends are available along with special packaging.
Schedule a visit the next time you are in the area.
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