After smoking cigars for years, it becomes pretty hard to find a tobacco that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. I’m not talking about higher quality or more unique examples of the same tobaccos, but truly novel styles — like a familiar wine grape from an entirely unfamiliar country. Enter the Florida Sun Grown…
@floridasungrown is a Cuban seed corojo grown in Florida. A rejuvenation of that state’s tobacco industry, the project is bringing some truly incredible tobaccos to the premium market. The effort is headed up by @coronacigarco founder Jeff Borysiewicz and their tobaccos are present in some fantastic cigars, including the @drewestatecigar FSG and a handful of limited edition @davidoffcigars .
I was fortunate enough to smoke a few puritos (cigar on the left) prior to taking the Drew Estate FSG for a spin. Puritos, or farm rolls, are a loosely rolled cigar comprised of a single tobacco, often with the same priming. Incredibly unique… sweet and rich like a hot barnyard. Works beautifully in the FSG alongside the Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Brazilian tobaccos. Paired with Booker’s Backyard BBQ. Bookers never disappoints!
Pairing one of Mossburn’s newer releases with this (quite old) @myfathercigars El Hijo from I think 2011. The whisky is a cask strength bottling of Blair Athol distilled in 2007. This whisky is delicate and nutty, which is pretty typical for Blair Athol, which uses cloudier worts and short fermentation times for its whiskies. It pairs nicely with the deeply aged flavors on this cigar. Absolutely lovely.
Turns out gummy bears and wheated bourbon are awesome together (seriously, try it). This is the entry level Weller, Special Reserve, which is surpassed by Weller Antique 107, Weller 12 year, and William Larue Weller (part of the now extremely rare @buffalotrace Antique Collection). I like the Special Reserve mostly for cocktails, and now for ridiculous pairings like this one. The book, Drunken Botanist by @amystewart, is AWESOME, especially if you’re interested in the botanical side of cocktails (and it helps to have an amaro obsession). Finished this whole journey off with the @tatuajecigars 09 la verite which has really blossomed in its maturity. Fantastic!
Wheated bourbon, which is just bourbon containing some amount of wheat in the mash bill, can be so decadent. This is a store pick cask strength @makersmark. They do a cool thing where they allow stores to add custom oak staves to their barrel picks. I’ve had several of these and the @fishpawsmd pick is one of the better ones, loaded with sweet caramel and soft fluffy richness. Paired with a @romacrafttobac intemperance BA XXI petite lancero, which is a Nicaraguan/Dominican/Indonesian wrapped with Brazilian Arapiraca. Have loved this cigar and have burned through almost a whole box. @chiefhava this is one of your best!
I’m a sucker for barrel aged beer and wines from the Rhone valley. This gigantic beer from @thebruery combines both masterfully. It’s exotic and unusual and I love it. Balance is impeccable between the acidic, tannic grapes (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) and the sweet, nicely barreled imperial stout. Pairs very well with the @avocigar Syncro Fogata.
Afterword: once again, Cally wants me to mention how I am displaying these consumables on the table I made.
When you’re compelled by unique experiences, few sources are better to look to than independent bottlers. IBs don’t make spirits, but instead purchase whole casks to bottle and sell. They are often labeled with the distillery of origin, though some are “secret bottlings” that are labeled with unnamed distillery and may only note hints as to the origin. Distilleries may have several reasons for wanting to sell one-off casks, but typically it’s to make money off of barrels that are outside the house style or are inconsistent with official bottlings. This means that quality can vary significantly, and the reputation of an independent bottler rests with their ability to pick fantastic barrels. @singlecasknation is one such independent bottler, and I’m drinking their @catoctincreek 3 year rye finished in white wine barrels at cask strength. Absolutely loving this pairing. The whiskey reminds me of my mom’s kitchen around the holidays; so many baked goods coming through on the palate! And of course, @drewestatecigar ‘s liga privada no. 9 is playing nice with this cask strength rye.
Afterword: Cally wants me to add that this table was made by hand by me and I used pocket joints to get it just right.
At least three people have asked me about ‘infinity bottles’ lately. The basic idea is to pour the last bit of an almost finished whisky into a bottle and over time it evolves into a one of a kind blend. If you keep them refreshed, they are a living blend, kind of like the solera method but with different components instead of just different ages. The creative folks at @barrellbourbon have done this but with an entire barrel of whiskey, hence ‘infinity barrel’. This particular one is a blend of Tennessee whiskey, Tennessee rye, Indiana whiskey, 100% Polish malted rye, Single malt scotch, Single grain scotch, Scotch whiskey, and Irish whiskey. It’s ridiculously complex and hedonistic and I love it with this cookies n cream white chocolate from @wildophelia.