So, here I was a few moments ago, outside on a park bench near my home, a Glencairn-glass of Tamdhu NAS in one hand, a cigar in the other... when I noticed something startling.
The cigar seemed to have shifted my palate considerably. Before, Tamdhu was a lovely full-bodied dram, sweetish, earthy... a nice, inexpensive dabble into the single malts. As I enjoyed my cigar with it (A Backwoods, the 'damn-ugly-but-damn-tasty' ones,) when I noticed that my glass was suddenly overflowing with orange.
It was the strangest thing, I had never had that happen before.. maybe because I haven't often had a dram with a cigar. The Tamdhu had suddenly become overflowing with orange, both in the nose and the taste. An interesting effect from the cigar? It wasn't at all unpleasent, merely an interesting surprise.
Note: This isn't one of those bastard 'flavoured' cigars, nothing of the sort. Simply delightful tobacco.
Anyone else have similar experiences?
I usually try and go for something big, bold and aged well to stand up against a cigar.
Recent combos are Trinidad Reyes or Monte No 5 with Glen Moray 30, Whyte and Mackay 30, Auchentoshan 21, and Glenlivet 18 (but only with the Trinidad). And if you can give Monkey Shoulder a go, can work very well.
I've found Port finishes don't work very well, they go much better with a bit of chocolate.
And of course get a coffee to go with it as well, the perfect trinity , the bitter coffee and cigar can really highten some notes from the whisky.
Gov wrote:How does the Islay whiskys pair up with a medium smoke?
During my experiments it just doesn't work. Nothing with any peat or smoke, I guess there is enough smoke in the cigar, and the peat is strange. You can get some very bizzare flavours coming through. For me it has to be big, fruity and sweet with no peat or smoke.
I agree that you should avoid Islays with a cigar unless perhaps you're smoking a light, mild blend.Â I know that I've had pretty good success with the Dalmore Cigar Malt and mid-bodied cigars, like a ToraÃ±o, but the Dalmore isn't an expensive or overy complex malt so that may make it a good match.
I also agree that bourbon is a better companion for a cigar.Â Or a martini.Â Or even a beer.
Now if I could just find more time to experiment. . .
But for my palate, I prefer cold, refreshing drinks with cigars.
I will usually start my smoking session with an old fashioned. muddle a sugar cube and a few dashes of angostura bitters in an old-fashioned glass. drop in a few ice cubes and fill with 10cl of rye (Wild Turkey for me). Skewer an orange slice with two morello cherries, stir it gently and drop it in.
The subtle notes of spirits are tough to detect through the cigar smoke, but the fresh fruit and orange peel make a great companion.
Towards the end of my session, I may switch it up with a brandy alexander.
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