I managed to spend the last night of the old year at Highland Cigar Company, around good friends, family and fantastic drinks. I met Rick Baumgartner of Kristoff, and Garrett Damore of AVO/Davidoff, may be setting some things up in the future with these two gentlemen.
They’re really knowledgeable about the cigars they sell, and they’re both passionate men too.
Drink of the Night? (Before the Champagne of course!)
Blood and Sand:
1 oz Scotch (In this case, Cliff used Johnny Walker Black)
3/4 oz Cherry heering
3/4 oz Sweet vermouth
3/4 oz Orange juice
¼ oz Lemon (Classically, not an ingredient)
Mad Moulton was on FIRE New Years Eve, making those cocktails like a boss. I’m a fan of savory and this classic cocktail had enough balance and froth that made it look as pretty as it tasted. My preferred cigar was the ACC S.E. 12 Year to ring in the new year, but I had a chance to re-taste the Kristoff GC – and it indeed is lighter than presumed, with cocoa and coffee notes, slight bite but a smooth draw and a solid, medium finish. I had the Robusto.
Tuesday, June 27th || Join us for a very special rendition of Spirits and Stogies featuring @johnniewalker scotch and @ajfcigars. With special guest @ajfdon representing A. J. Fernandez cigars. You won’t want to miss it!
When I was looking for an introductory single malt scotch whisky, I’d asked another customer at Greens Package store on Ponce (Midtown Atlanta) and he’d suggested the Aberfeldy 12 year. Said even his wife drank it.
For a single malt that’s 12 years old and priced at under $30 I have to admit, it was a solid purchase. Notes of honey and spice characterize this cigar friendly malt, along with a bit of peat.
I’m not normally a fan of huge peat but this wasn’t that. A highland region whisky, it was a smooth sipper from start to finish. The balance in it was exceptional for the price. I half expected it to need a cube like some of the other whiskies I’ve been drinking, but it didn’t. I never did get a chance to test that out, however.
The first scotch whiskey of the year is a solid one. And a happy accident on my part as the purchase price was mixed up at the store and I had low blood sugar so…
$67 plus tax at Greens Package store on Ponce. 40% ABV.
Aberlour 16 year Double Matured Highland Single Malt
Aged in both sherry and oak casks brings a uniqueness not unheard of in Scotland to this whiskey. The two types of casks are filled and held to age for at least sixteen years before being married.
The flavor profile of this scotch is as follows:
Definite vanilla wit hints of smoke and spice follow up a medium sweet finish with very little burn. That may be cinnamon. This is definitely a sipping scotch
This would pair well with a rosado or something from Don Pepin Garcia. Maybe even the new blends by La Rosa de San Diego. I have had a few of their robustos and found them quite enjoyable. The sweetness from the whiskey would balance out the pepper bomb that is Pepin, but there are a number of other fine cigars out there which would pair stellarly with Aberlour.
While in Atlanta, I’ve been checking out Highland Cigar Company, usually going on Sundays. Last week, the 28th of June, the folks there hosted Simon Brooking, from Beam/Suntori and we tasted some nice Scotch Whiskies.
Simon’s a knowledgeable guy about both Whiskey and the history of many different brands, plus the wet past of Scotland. His tales were amusing, his toasts, heartwarming and jokes, well any good Scotsman would be proud. Plus, for once, I wasn’at the only one wearing a kilt at Highland 😉
Now, onto the juice.
Three different scotches paired well with the Antonius Robusto – a mild to medium bodied Dominican cigar that had been rolled and “forgotten
about” for about 8 years. The blend had more power than expected, but was mild enough that a novice smoker could enjoy it, along with it not balancing well with the whiskies. To be honest, I was shocked that the cigar paired so well with an Islay whiskey, but that’ll come up in my notes shortly.
The first whiskey was Auchentoshan 3 Wood. Matured in Bourbon, Oloroso Sherry and PX Sherry casks, this scotch had really refined flavors and a lovely finish with a pleasant finish. I found it balanced and it blended well with the Antonius, complimenting the wood notes of the cigar. This was a favorite at Highland, due to the lovely, sweet finish.
Next was the Bowmore 12 year. Listed as an Islay, I found this to be rather pleasant compared to what most folks think of when someone says Islay Scotch. The mild citrus notes came upon me at the end of the drink, along with mild peat and sea.
Last was the Laphroaig Select – a masterful blend of various scotches hand picked by a “select group” of tasters. This is honestly the lowest peated scotch they make. Peat has been a bone of contention for me for years, due to the effects it has on my stomach (I suppose I could drink less but where’s the fun in that? LOL!) But this whiskey shows reserve on the smokiness, adding more balance and less of that gasoline taste that tends to put drinkers of whiskey off. The finish of the Antonius went very well with just enough backbone and intensity to compliment the Laphroaig and not be overpowered.
Overall, the Antonius was a solid choice for this whiskey pairing. Balanced with wood notes, hints of spice and vanilla appeared on the palate. Firm in the fingers, the draw was delightful. A cold draw brought in flavors of cinnamon and baking spice. Construction was also solid, though I forgot to get pictures for the blog.
There were two other whiskies we’d tasted but sadly, my notes are not legible – typical of being a published romance novelist. They were both Laphroaig, however, and wonderful in their own right. I’d lit up a second cigar at this point.
I began drinking scotch recently after a (forced) hiatus due to cost. When I popped into my local package store, I thought it was time to make the switch back to the first brown spirit I truly fell in love with.
$40 later, I’d picked up Glen Moray 12 year Speyside.
Let’s start with the basics. After peeling the foil from the bottle, I pulled the cork and took a huge whiff, inhaling lovely notes I’ve associated with Scotch – Vanilla and sweet spice. I’d had a bit of excitement building since it’s been way too long since I could enjoy a bottle of Scotch.
The pour – Very smooth, showed colors of pale green/gold. Once in the glass, my sight was confirmed. I have a tasting glass that I use for the nose and buildup, which pretty much confirmed notes of fruit, some raisin and very light oak notes. The feel of this whiskey is very light in body, smooth as well with the burn at the back end just being light enough to let you know it’s there but not overwhelming.
Truth be told, I never thought I’d pick up fruity notes in a Scotch but Glen Moray 12 Year Speyside has them. They’re light, but obvious honestly. The vanilla lingers on a medium finish.
Adding water (three drops) opened the scotch up mulled fruit and charred oak.
Overall, a drinkable, everyday affordable 12 year Scotch from the Speyside region of Scotland.
First off I want to say I’ve been a scotch drinker for a very long time but the scotch we normally drink, made by William Grant is a great blended drink but it’s just that. For the price, it works for our household right now since we’re not living in extreme decadence *g*
However when an opportunity arises to not only experience a Pure Indulgence moment but to share it with the world, and for FREE, I say let’s take it! On the night of May 3rd, we were invited to a private tasting with about fifteen others at Le Colonial in San Francisco.
The restaurant itself is an older style building with a definite feel for exquisite food and clientele. Our private tasting was held upstairs by a man named Nicholas Pollachi, one of five Balvenie Ambassadors in the world who charmed us with humor, education and of course his Scottish accent. Sadly I didn’t get any video of this like I did with the Los Gatos Cigar Tasting. But here are my notes on five different releases:
First up: Balvenie 12 year Doublewood -Aged not once but twice. First in bourbon casks typical of how whisky is kept, and then a second aging occurs in more impressive oloros sherry casks giving the 12 year a slight sweetness. More often than not this is what I’m drinking at Occidental with my cigars.
Next: Balvenie 15 year single cask – This particular juice has hints of vanilla and oak from the Bourbon cask it was aged in. It’s a slightly dryer scotch with a nice finish and some floral notes on the nose.
The 14 year Carribean Cask -I had the privilege of tasting this at Occidental a few months back and was wowed. The nose had hints of things you’d normally associate with quality rum. A medium finish complimented the floral flavors on the nose and palate. Even better was the fact that this particular scotch is very easy to drink.
The Portwood 21 year – For fans of port, this particular offering has just the perfect nose, smells of porn infuse into the scotch from the barrels it was aged in. With an easy mouthfeel, this particular scotch is smooth with a floral back end on the palate with port-like notes and a light smokiness.
Lastly, we sampled the 17 year peated cask – This is for fans of the peated whiskies. The process used to achieve is rather unique in that it’s not a true peat malt offering . A good amount of smokiness followed by a soft nose, compliments this whiskey. This is a dryer style offering.
Overall, the tasting was fantastic and even better, Nicholas is a cigar smoker so when he returns to San Francisco we’ll have him on Radio Dentata’s Pure Indulgence.
I had this at Occidental last Thursday night and all I can say is WOW! What a light scotch. Pronounced vanilla flavors with a really light body make for an easy drinking scotch from one of the most well known scotch producers of the world.
Light golden in color with an equally light yet somewhat floral finish, it makes for the perfect pairing with a Tatuaje cigar or an easy transfer from bourbon to scotch.
Got to try an a good scotch tonight at Occidental. They have a great list of scotches, whiskeys and bourbons along with a nice wine and beer list. The Glenrothe 1991 is a light amber colored scotch with a nose typical of Speyside single malts.
A soft entry entices the palate with nuts, heather and very soft caramel that opens up as the whiskey aerates. More pronounced caramel flavors round out the smooth whiskey with a medium to fuller finish.
A few drops of water helped smooth out the peaty flavors on the back of the palate. I enjoyed this scotch with a Padron 7000.
Retail runs around $80 for a 750 ml bottle. I’d probably pair this better with a more oily cigar like Tatuaje or the Torano 1959 Exodus in the future.
I was given the opportunity to try this robust Islay scotch Thursday while a good friend was visiting.
The Bruichladdich is a golden colored scotch with not a lot of peat. The heat level is there definitely and will keep you warm but it’s not so overpowering. This is a smooth scotch with light smoke and peat compared to most normal Islay single malts. The balance of body and oaky vanilla sweetness.
A nice finish compliments this 12 year whisky.
From the website: There is no chill filtration, no coloring added and the whiskys are bottled naturally.
Paired this with a CAIN cigar and god company. The CAIN cigar had a much better profile than the last time I smoked one but that’s another review I’ll do for another night.
at 46% ABV this is a little lighter than what I’m used to (Glenfiddich or Grants Blended) but a nice way to wind down the evening or celebrate good company!