Cigar: La Flor Dominicana Oscuro Ligero
Appearance: Deep chocolate with some coffee hues; slightly oily wrapper w/a few distinct veins.
Aroma: Chocolate and cassia, oak and leather. Typical of oscuros, but not as sweet-scented as some Iíve had.
Pre-light draw: very bitter chocolate, old leather, earthy. A bit of cinnamon again.
Flavor: creamy bittersweet chocolate, cinnamon and sugar toast, a bit of coffee with cream and perhaps one sugar.
Finish: Creamy and rich, loaded with sweetness and a robust coffee flavor.
Overall, a full-bodied and rich smoke, with tendencies toward bittersweet chocolate (always a good thing).
Bourbon: Eagle Rare 10yr/101
Appearance: Deep amber-orange; dense legs in the glass make it look nearly caramel-thick
Aroma: Demerara sugar, orange peel, and toffee that could seem rumlike are balanced by a remarkably rich allspice character and a fair bit of oak, as well as the scent of old leather.
Flavor: Orange peel again, and caramel rather than toffee. The oak is there, and the spice, but the ten years in the barrel has allowed them to mellow. No red hots, just a beautifully integrated pie spice character and some nice pepper notes. The alcohol comes through, but not overtly. Rather, it pushes up the richness of leather and pipe tobacco that age has brought on. Thereís a fine earthiness to this.
Finish: Long and earthy, punctuated by a return of the caramel. Balance is the operative word here, as it has been throughout.
Well, damnit, Iíve had a couple of pours from this bottle in the past, and enjoyed them immensely. But tonightÖwell, tonight, this is my favorite whiskey. Not as spectacular as a few select drams Iíve had the pleasure of sampling, but definitely the sort of thing I could drink everyday and pour on special occasions, too.
Iíll have to pour this again on its own (no cigar) to make sure, but it looks like being from Texas may pay off (there are lots of bottles of this stashed here and there around the state). I do want to try it apart from a cigar soon, though, because I think tonight has reconfirmed for me that cigars tend to bring out the most rumlike elements of bourbons (and some scotches, too).
I mention it because one of the reasons I bought a pipe last year was that I had pretty much decided that cigars want rum, want it badly enough that they will make other spirits taste like rum. That didnít happen tonight, but some of the character that came through in both nose and palate was rummy. Just curious to see how the whiskey sans cigar comes across next time.
All in all, this pairing was nice, with the bourbon spice contrasting the generally bittersweet components of the cigar. What a great evening.