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Whiskey for the Sportsman

Jack Bettridge
Posted: August 23, 2013

(continued from page 1)

NOSE: Very herbal nose at first, then starts to reveal candied notes of fruit with cherry and orange.

PALATE: Interesting combination of honey and spice in the front of the palate. The candy and fruit arrive on the back end with a bit of a sparkle and a big dose of sugar.

FINISH: Just when it seems resolutely medium-bodied and bright, some toasty and nutty notes arrive on the finish.

(Note: We paired only the straight Bourbon version with cigar. Both, however, proved able partners in a cocktail.)

CIGAR PAIRING: La Palina El Diario KB II (6 inches by 40 ring gauge, $8.25, 90 Points, August 2013 Cigar Aficionado). Dried cherries and a burst of pepper come through on this long corona, which has a sweet finish that hints of nutmeg. It's attractively rolled, with a three-seam cap. We picked this cigar in the interest of matching the fruit of the whiskey-and weren't appointed. The cherry notes, especially, burst out on both smoke and drink. However, the unexpected dividend came when the whiskey developed a fuller body with rounder, woodier flavors and a deeper finish.

Paul Garmirian Gourmet Series Belicoso (6 1/4 inches by 54 ring gauge, $12.40, 90 Points, October 2013 Cigar Aficionado). A tannish torpedo with a full, open draw. An oaky, white wine note segues into earthy flavors with touches of wood, honey and dampness. The sweetness of the whiskey deepens quite a bit with the addition of the cigar, and takes on a fuller body with more of the barrel becoming evident. The wood on the cigar becomes fuller and more complex as the earthy notes transform into hints of leather.

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