All things Whisky & Cigars
Port pipes and Piramides
This 6 1/4 x 64 ring gauge Cohiba is beautifully presented with its glistening cigar band, silky smooth and slightly oily wrapper, and flawlessly constructed tapered head. Using my new Caseti Cutter, I cut just a little off the head of the cigar and get ready to enjoy!
[As an aside - I regularly see people cutting too much off Figurado cigars (that’s a shaped cigar ie. any cigar that isn’t the same ring gauge from the head to the foot), removing most of the tapered end and essentially ending up with a Parejo (a straight cigar, with no deviation in ring gauge from foot to head). The tapered head allows for concentration of the smoke entering your palate, and that allows for a more concentrated flavour. I’d recommend just removing half a centimetre (or less if you prefer) from the taper to see what difference it makes to the taste! But back to this wonderful Cohiba… ]
It’s pre-light notes of earth, rich leather and tobacco, with just a hint of pepper subtly conceal the true flavours of this great cigar. After toasting and lighting, flavours of citrus and a sweet fruitiness come to the fore, with nutmeg, creamy leather and hay dancing through the background. The retrohale brings more depth to the notes of grassy hay and leather, along with a tiny amount of coffee.
Entering the second third, the coffee migrates to the palate, but the citrus still leads the way – now joined by honey and saffron. A splendid bitter cocoa coats the mouth and candied orange peel and pepper spice adds to the retrohale.
A noticeable change in strength up to medium/full comes, alongside amplified flavours, as we slide into the final third – leather, cream, a whisper of coffee and a pleasing citrussy twang give way to a lingering savoury finish, with a pronounced nuttiness now weaving through the retrohale. A wonderful cigar, and it shows what I would class as the ‘typical Cohiba flavours’.
This is a cigar I enjoy for a special occasion, and what better whisky to enjoy with it than the refined and exquisite Glencadam 17 Portwood finish. The extra maturation in three select port pipes gives this whisky a gorgeous dusty pink hue and lends this Glencadam its intriguing nose – the plums, vanilla and malt, with a definite port sweetness, are an insight into the complexity of this dram. Lusciously sweet on the palate, plums, prunes, summer fruits and a soft vanilla and toffee laden oak spice opens up to leave an abundantly sweet port-esque finish, with a delicate spice.
For me, this pairing is one of a kind – the citrus and leather notes from the Cohiba combined with the fruit and vanilla from the Glencadam was exceptional, with the pepper from the cigars retrohale perfectly cutting through the sweet tannic finish. I thoroughly recommend keeping the Piramides Extra in your smoking rotation, and can’t speak highly enough of the Glencadam 17yo Portwood finish!
Pop some Pink Floyd on the stereo, then prepare to sit back and lose yourself in 100 minutes of absolute heavenly bliss….
*an edited version of this pairing has previously been published in Whisky Magazine