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Sampler Selection

Best of Both - Fat and Slender 10 Cigar Sampler

€189.60 $220.00 £159.99


Sherry casks, cedar, mahogany, cigar box

Whisky, by definition, is a grain spirit aged in oak casks - and it is the influence of this wood that produces they greatest variation of flavour. Different species of oak result in different flavours, while the previous contents of the cask has a major impact on the style of the resulting Scotch. A whisky may spend anything from three years to thirty years in wood - in some extreme cases even longer than that. Yet there are only certain cases where the resulting spirit can be said to ‘taste of wood’.

The most obvious example is when the whisky has been aged for an exceptionally long time. Conventional whisky wisdom claims that any period of ageing beyond about 25 years is wasted or even detrimental, because the spirit begins to taste more like the wood it is stored in than anything else. As a result, subtleties of flavour built up over years of maturation will be lost as the wood takes over. A certain amount of woody flavours may be desirable, however, not least because it implies that a whisky has spent a considerable amount of time ageing and has likely reached the peak of its complexity. For this reason, single malts over 25 years of age are relatively scarce (not to mention expensive), but often in high demand.

The wood of the cask imparts tannins to the spirit inside: tannins are a compound that produce a dry or astringent flavour, as found in red wine, unripened fruit, black tea…and heavily oak-influenced whisky. This means the flavours in question may be found in whisky aged in wine-influenced casks, such as those which have previously held sherry, port or red wine, as opposed to bourbon; therefore it is not always necessary for a whisky to have been aged for a very long time in order for woody flavours to be apparent. Notes of mahogany, cigar box cedar-wood or varnish are relatively common among the more savoury styles of single malt, such as complex Speysides or some Islay whiskies.

Wood is also a common flavour in many cigars, which can be expected to pair well with a woody whisky: Romeo y Julieta and Montecristo are both excellent examples, while Fonseca and Diplomaticos are good choices among the lesser known brands.


Pepper, cinnamon, ginger, herbs

Aged Scotch whisky is often much softer and easier on the palate than its alcohol strength would imply. So much so, in fact, that sometimes you need something to liven things up a bit. Luckily, a good number of single malts possess lively spicy flavours, some of them in great enough quantities to challenge tequila (naming no names). Others are a little more restrained, but still with the warming tingle of Christmas pudding and mulled wine.

A lengthy maturation, particularly in a large cask (e.g. ex-sherry), generally means more oxygen is allowed into the cask to react with the spirit and develop more complex flavours. These may include spicy flavours - lignin compounds break down over time, releasing more intense spicy notes into the spirit, while the high acidity and relatively low alcohol content of sherry often serve to bring out spicier notes from the cask wood. Clove and cinnamon flavours often derive from eugenols produced via toasting - that is, firing the wood of the casks over a medium heat for anything between 15 to 45 minutes (to be contrasted with charring, where the wood is fired for a very short time over a much hotter flame). Some of the most intense spicy flavours come not from the cask at all, but from the still: a lighter spirit (such as that produced in a tall still) will often have more kick than something more rounded.

Spicy characteristics are generally used to complement other strong flavours, such as dried fruit (e.g. Aberlour) or peat (Ardbeg), but the style is probably best showcased by the expansive and varied Highland region. Highland malts generally eschew excessive subtlety for bold and full flavours, and so often showcase strongly spicy styles. The best examples by far are in the Northern Highlands: Glenmorangie has a light spice that is perhaps better described as herbal; but a small distance to the north, Clynelish and Old Pulteney provide a salty, firey yet still sweet style that prickles all over the palate. Their eastern counterparts, such as Glen Garioch or Glendronach, retain a gingery warmth that it is not so much restorative as elixir.

The strength and spark of such potions pairs very well with similarly lively cigars: Partagas is an obvious match, as is Ramon Allones; but the peppery notes of a Cohiba or Bolivar will also go very well.

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Best of Both - Fat and Slender 10 Cigar Sampler

The best of both sampler offers a robusto (or hermoso size) cigars with a smaller and/or thinner...read more

Tasting Notes

This sampler includes one of each of the following cigars:

Montecristo Edmundo
That classic Montecristo 'twang', backed up with an almond nuttiness, cedar, orange peel, charred oak and crushed coffee bean.

Montecristo Open J.
An earthy smoke, with notes of lightly toasted coconut, leather, baking spices and just a suggestion of milky coffee.

Romeo Y Julieta Exhibition no 4
Initially woody and herbal, before developing a spicy and sweet edge, with notes of gingersnap cookie, cedar, honey, baking spices and dark chocolate

Romeo Y Julieta Petit Julieta
Woody and leathery, with accents of cedar, coca, sweet earth, and just a hint of spice.

Partagas Serie D no 4
A decadently rich cigar - earthy and strong with notes of crushed coffee bean, salted peanuts, honey, pepper spice, leather and wood.

Partagas Short
Toasty and woody at first, then developing notes of nutty marzipan, espresso beans and a ground red pepper spice

Bolivar Royal Corona
A floral, spicy and woody smoke that becomes richer with pistachio notes, earth and black pepper.

Bolivar Corona J.
A leathery, earthy smoke with a strong coffee bean impression and a sweet-and-spicy finish of dark chocolate and fresh jalapenos

Ramon Allones Specially Selected
Wonderfully floral and earthy, showing lots of lemon-pepper zest, woodiness, fresh leather, aniseed and a subtly chalky finish.

Ramon Allones Small Club Corona
Very creamy, with toffee and caramel notes, accented with nutmeg, cracked black pepper and leather

Product Info

Best of Both - Fat and Slender 10 Cigar Sampler

The best of both sampler offers a robusto (or hermoso size) cigars with a smaller and/or thinner counterpart from the same brand.

One for the day and the other for the evening. A perfect match.


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Delivery Information

Robert Graham uses reputable courier services and we ship worldwide. Within the UK we aim to deliver within 2 working days. International delivery times vary depending on destination. After your purchase has been processed, you will receive an email notification with your delivery tracking number.

The shipping costs vary and depend on the weight of your parcel. Use our calculator to estimate the shipping cost for your purchase.

We strongly recommend taking on transport insurance for your purchase. You will have an option to do so at the check-out.

Note: Regrettably we cannot ship cigars or any other tobacco products to the USA and Canada.

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