Singlemalting Whisky Blog # 159 – Cuba “aaah”

After spending my first week in Cuba I thought a getting back into the swing of it blog might be in order. Safely tucked away in my luggage were some cigars and of course a couple of bottles of Cuban rum.
Today we are going to do a pairing with the Ron Santiago de Cuba 12 Year Old and the Hoya de Monterrey Elicure No. 1
The Rum – Ron Santiago de Cuba Extra Anejo 12 Year Old at 40% ABV
Ron Santiago de Cuba is seen as the best Cuba has to offer for rum and was said to be Castro’s favorite. Distilled in the old Bacardi plant that was abandoned during the revolution the Cuban distillers have deliberately designed this to pair with the best Cuban cigars.
Tasted in my San Francisco World of Whisky Hornblower glass that I thought might be more open for the light and yet rich style of the Santiago de Cuba.
Colour: Wow really deep rich colour with a real redddish hue. Apart from my week in Cuba I had not had the pleasure of trying Ron Santiago de Cuba rum before so I know very little about it apart from the fact that it was highly recommended to me by every local I spoke to about rum.
Nose:  Cherry Cobbler, Vanilla beans and pineapple syrup. A hint of Cuba Libre (rum and cola) here.
Palate:  Much lighter fruits than the colour would imply. Fragrant tropicana abounds with caramel squares, candied orange peel and a dusting of white chocolate flakes all without being overtly sweet.
Finish:  The soft caramel covered tropical notes continue with banana, papaya, coconut and pineapple all making appearances. Warming and long, this is a great finish.
Worthy of adding to any great spirit collection this is a super delicious rum. So with the initial notes out of the way it is time to light up my Epicure No. 1 and see how it all comes together.
Robusto size (my favorite) and coming in it’s own cedar lined tube which helped it survive the transit back home perfectly. Could probably use a touch of time in the humidor but I can’t wait. Touted to be a lovely mild cigar it should pair magnificently with the Ron Santiago de Cuba 12 year old.
Colour:  Lighter leaf on this cigar and lovely uniform colour from top to toe. Double banded with a night tight feel to it with just a touch of give on the pinch test.
Nose:  Has that Cuban earthy note to it like a stroll through the barn.
First draws:  Used a V cutter which is my preferance. I do also like a punch but has to be a perfect draw for that so I tend to use a V with new cigars that I have not tried before. No pepper notes here as right out of the gate I get soft fruit and creamy milk chocolate.
First sip:  Oh yeah yummy combo here the Ron Santiago tropics are accented by the mild and consistent flavor of the Epicure No. 1.
If the Ron Santiago 12 were a heavy molasses style rum this would not be the right cigar but as it is a balanced lighter rum this is perfect.
Ongoing this is a very consistent and lovely smoke. Draw is perfect and burn is even and holds tightly to the ash. I am torn between my next draw or my next sip as both are delicious.
Wish I had a box of each as this would be a fabulous Summer time staple out on the deck. At least Calgary Spring has been good enough for me to be outside writing this (was snowing last night). It has warmed up a treat and the sun is shining brightly as I sit on my back deck enjoying these amazing Cuban passions.
Thanks Cuba for introducing me to some of your finest. I will be back.

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