As I sat down to type this, I had every intention of calling this something other than a Week In Smoke – even though that is precisely what it is. I’ve been out of the game long enough that picking up Brian Hewitt’s Week In Smoke torch and running with it seemed a bit out of place. I played around with a few other post titles but none of them felt right. So here we are with Walt’s Week In Smoke – Volume 1 (Patent Pending).
Calling this a Week In Smoke is a bit of a misnomer. I think five cigars in a post such as this hits the sweet spot. The difficulty with that is some weeks I may have upwards of ten cigars while other weeks I may not have any. So while the post title may say “Week in Smoke”, it is more accurately “The Five Cigars I’ve had in the past week or so” or the more elegant and sophisticated “Week-ish In Smoke”.
Jolly Old St. Nochalas and Chai Tea
Last week I was in the mood for a cup of tea instead of my usual coffee. We were out of our regular stuff but my wife had a box of Twinings Chai Tea that she had just picked up at the grocery store. I’m not very adventurous when it comes to tea, so I was skeptical when I dropped the tea bag into a cup of hot water.
With the very first sip, all I could think was “This tastes like Christmas!”. After a few sips, I went to my humidor to load up a bowl of Old St Nicholas Pipe Tobacco. The two paired very well together but there were a lot of intense aromatic spices going on – mostly Cinnamon and Clove.
Soap Box and Elijah Craig
My local cigar shop is very much a Black Label Trading Company Shop. Anytime a new product hits the shelves, it becomes the hot new thing in the store. When the Soap Box arrived, it was recommended to me by at least three of the regulars as something I just had to try. While I’m not as infatuated with the manufacturer as others in the shop, I do like a lot of their stuff and decided to pick up a couple of cigars.
I smoked the first one with a heavy pour of Elijah Craig and found the pairing to be pleasant. The Soap Box wasn’t quite as flavor-rich as I had hoped, it was still a solid cigar. It isn’t my favorite Black Label offering but I certainly wouldn’t turn one down.
Leaf By Esteban and Wild Turkey 101
A little while back I stumbled onto the Whiskey Tribe Channel on YouTube. After a few dozen videos down the rabbit hole, I came across a review of the Wild Turkey 101 and how it was a massively underrated bourbon.
I picked up a bottle of this budget bourbon then promptly reached into the humidor and pulled out the first thing that I thought might pair well with it – the Leaf by Esteban. I was pleased with how the smooth easy-smoking cigar went this this smooth easy-sipping whiskey.
EP Carrillo La Historia and Wild Turkey Rare Breed
After being impressed by the Wild Turkey 101, I made a point to track down a bottle of Wild Turkey Rare Breed. The whiskey by itself was fantastic – it had a bit of bite from the high proof (116) but carried big and bold flavors.
I picked up the EP Carrillo La Historia on a whim a couple weeks back when I stopped in at a new cigar shop (Actually, they are a beer distributor but they have a walk-in humidor with a decent selection given the size). The flavors are heavily nutty with a bit of black pepper and dark earthy undertones.
I wish I could say that the pairing worked well together but they just didn’t. Each are wonderful on their own but not so much together. The flavors seemed to clash and fight for dominance on the palate.
Foundation Connecticut and Coffee
This has become my Go-To Morning Pairing – you just can’t go wrong with a good flavorful Connecticut and a hot cup of Black Coffee.
The Foundation Connecticut reminds me of the Oliva Connecticut Reserve and the EP Carrillo New Wave in the sense that they are all deceptively flavorful cigars. Traditionally, when I light up a Connecticut I don’t expect big rich flavors and Medium Body – but that is precisely what you get with this variety of Connecticut.
If you haven’t tried the Foundation Connecticut yet, I would strongly suggest that you pick one up and give it a shot.