As promised this week is a whisky and cigar pairing review. I know I promised to pair something up with the Platte Valley and did give it a go but the cigar I chose fell short of expectation and the pairing was a bit of a disaster.
Instead while getting to know a newfound kindred spirit in Greg from the Holy Smoke club in Calgary I paired up a CAO Pilon with the Angels Envy Port Finish Bourbon.
I will write a full review of the Angel’s Envy later this Summer. This review is more about the Cigar and how well it went with a deliciously balanced bourbon.
CAO Pilon Cigar
The CAO Pilon is a bit of a throwback to tobacco fermenting techniques used in the 19th century. Tobacco leaves are generally placed in a rectangular stack (pilon) which is more cost effective than the old method of a circular configuration. The CAO master blender Rick Rodriguez whose signature appears on the band started experimenting with this old school style of fermenting about 5 years ago and found that it added better flavor and even improved consistency of the aesthetics. Part of this process is the longer fermentation period requiring extended aging time due to the lower temperature.
It’s amazing when you start to get into something a little deeper how much you find there is to learn and how little you really knew. For me this is the world of cigars that I have dabbled in over the years. There is no doubt that the pairing of a Whisky, Cognac, Tequila or Rum can be a magical experience.
Trying to delve into the flavor profile of a cigar is something that I have only really started doing. Before that much like my early whisky journey I kind of new what I liked but didn’t know why. Now I am getting more of an idea of the different ways a cigar can come together and am building a profile for my sweet spot.
Angels Envy Whiskey
The CAO Pilon was really nicely balanced. Not too peppery which can be a difficult flavor when pairing. I used a brand new punch for this cigar over my normally straight cutter. The draw was excellent and even on the front deck in extremely windy conditions I only had to relight it after an extended period of discussion where I had neglected it completely. Medium bodied with delicious cedar notes and lovely mild tobacco. Every time I reached for another sip of the Angels Envy Bourbon was a delight as the silky smooth port finish sweetness only enhanced the soft and even flavors of the CAO Pilon.
I am always looking for medium bodied cigars as I find that the heavier flavors tend to block out the nuance of any delicate spirit. Islay whisky, especially heavily peated drams can even overpower a cigar but are generally a good choice for bold and assertive sticks.
With fantastic conversation the cigar substantially outlasted my two ounces of Angels Envy and if it were not for the fact that Greg was driving back South I think quite a few more ounces would have been the order of the afternoon. The 5 x 52 Robusto lasted a good hour and a half+ of slow and conversation filled relaxation in the Alberta sun.
As for the Angel’s Envy…. well let’s just say that it is an addictive and delicious Bourbon.
More to come next week…