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A cigar and whiskey pairing

JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
How lucky am I?

When I came home from work last Friday evening, I found a package waiting for me. For Christmas, the wife gave me a box of 12 month old Robania Famosos early because she wanted me to put them in the humidor. I burned one yesterday afternoon and paired it with the Jefferson’s Presidential Reserve 18 year old bourbon that Mr. Thantos gifted me.

Magnificent! It was a perfect pairing.

Jeffersons Presidential Reserve is a wheated bourbon (which indicates that wheat is used instead of rye) from the old Stitzel-Weller distillery that has produced the Pappy Van Winkle line. Because it is a wheated bourbon, it’s a departure from my “comfort zone” because I’m a big rye fan, so I was just a little bit skeptical of the credentials of this bourbon. Boy, was I wrong. I found the predominant flavors to be wooded oak with caramel and apple, while a hint of cherry, cinnamon and creamy vanilla played in the background. It was incredibly smooth with perfect balance; an absolute delight. This is a bourbon that should be savored slowly, never rushed; a perfect sippin’ whiskey. Highly recommended.

These Robanias are almost the same color and texture as a Padron ’26 natural – just a tad lighter, and not as smooth as a Padron’26. The wrappers are a little bit rougher, with more predominant veins than the Padron ‘26. They are well constructed, with no soft spots along the body of the cigar, and have a great “feel” in the hand. The pre-draw was nondescript, with maybe a faint hint of walnut, but not much else. It lit easily with my torch, and never needed a touch-up. The only burn issue was that it wanted to follow one of the veins of the wrapper, but it never tunneled, and burned slowly for about an hour. It never burned completely straight, but it held an ash for almost 2”.

The Famoso started out very mild with just a touch of grassy walnut, and I poured about an ounce of the Jefferson’s over ice with just a little too much water. The mild body ever so gradually began to increase in strength, and by the time the cigar had entered the second third, the walnut was completely gone. A burnt honey, was prevalent, which paired perfectly with the caramel of the whiskey, so I poured another 2 ounces of Jefferson’s straight, with a single ice cube.

Entering the final third, the bourbon and the cigar were just fantastic together. The bourbon was no longer "in front" of the Famoso, they were paired equally. The Famoso was a solid medium body now, and the honey was almost all gone, replaced with an earthy caramel, and the whisky and the cigar melded together like nothing I've ever tasted. It was just perfect. I really did burn my fingertips. I didn’t want this cigar to end, it never got “bitter”, it only kept getting better and better and better. Now I understand why Rip recommended the Don Alejandro.

It lasted just about an hour and I only had two pours (about 3 oz.) of Jefferson’s. I can’t thank Mr. Thantos or my wife enough for this guilty pleasure. Am I lucky or what!

Comments

  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Glad you liked the VR, a box of each is not my list lol
  • rzamanrzaman Posts: 2,650 ✭✭✭
    You are very lucky David. All Robina cigars are full flavored. the famoso comes with smaller ring gauge so puff them gently and you will enjoy the intense flavors and aroma even more. I just got a gift of the same bourbon with two special release Nicaraguan cigars. I heard great things about this bourbon. Enjoy the gifts...Congrats!!!
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    rzaman:
    You are very lucky David. All Robina cigars are full flavored. the famoso comes with smaller ring gauge so puff them gently and you will enjoy the intense flavors and aroma even more. I just got a gift of the same bourbon with two special release Nicaraguan cigars. I heard great things about this bourbon. Enjoy the gifts...Congrats!!!
    If you like good bourbon, you're going to love that Jeffersons, I sure do.
  • I know next to nothing about pairing drinks with cigars, but you seem to have a pretty solid grasp on the concept. What would you recommend for Jameson, if anything at all? One of my personal favorites and it's not exactly expensive as far as whiskey/scotch can be.
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    OldBlueEyes2012:
    I know next to nothing about pairing drinks with cigars, but you seem to have a pretty solid grasp on the concept. What would you recommend for Jameson, if anything at all? One of my personal favorites and it's not exactly expensive as far as whiskey/scotch can be.
    Well, of all the Irish whiskies, Jamesons is hugely popular. Unfortunately, I don't drink it very much, so I really can't say. My feeling is that you ought to go with what you like, pay attention to the flavors, and find cigars that pair up well with the whiskey you like to drink. My personal tastes in Irish whiskey is just a little bit "exotic" because while in Dublin a couple of years ago, I fell in love with a couple of whiskies that are difficult to get in the States. Sorry I'm not much help with your question.
  • JDH:
    OldBlueEyes2012:
    I know next to nothing about pairing drinks with cigars, but you seem to have a pretty solid grasp on the concept. What would you recommend for Jameson, if anything at all? One of my personal favorites and it's not exactly expensive as far as whiskey/scotch can be.
    Well, of all the Irish whiskies, Jamesons is hugely popular. Unfortunately, I don't drink it very much, so I really can't say. My feeling is that you ought to go with what you like, pay attention to the flavors, and find cigars that pair up well with the whiskey you like to drink. My personal tastes in Irish whiskey is just a little bit "exotic" because while in Dublin a couple of years ago, I fell in love with a couple of whiskies that are difficult to get in the States. Sorry I'm not much help with your question.
    Oh, it's not a problem in the least. You were very helpful actually. I suppose there really is no cut and dry answer, so I'll sit down and try a few things soon. Thanks!
  • ToombesToombes Posts: 4,506 ✭✭✭
    Excellent review, David! Your description of the cigar and whiskey have my mouth watering. Unfortunately, I'm on shift and can't imbibe but I think one of the sticks in my travel humi shall soon meet it's fiery end.
    Congratulations on receiving such wonderful gifts! You are indeed a very lucky man.
  • Just had a Tatuaje red label with a glass of Johnnie Walker Black Label and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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