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My Favorite Cigar

Cigar aficionados describe their smoke of choice
May 23, 2022 | By CA Editors
My Favorite Cigar

Fred Noe • Distiller

CAO Gold Torpedo

Like many of us, Fred Noe, master distiller of Jim Beam whiskey, had his first, not-so-enlightening, cigar experience when he filched cheap cigars (in his case Roi-Tans and Antonio y Cleopatras) from the stash of his father. “Way before I should have,” says Noe. But years later, he had his ah-ha cigar moment at the Big Smoke in Las Vegas, when he was a panelist at Cigar Aficionado’s first Bourbon seminar. “That’s what really got me into them,” he says. “Until you sit down and compare cigars you don’t really see the difference.”

Noe also got a sense of how well Bourbon and cigars go together. He counsels that a medium-bodied whiskey is a great pairing with a medium-bodied cigar. His favorite is a CAO Gold Torpedo. He enjoys the balance the two provide. “You get similarities and pick up other notes like chocolate and deep sweets,” Noe says. “It’s sure not like water and gasoline.”

Noe is the seventh in a continuous line of Beams who have served as master distillers for the whiskey. His father, Booker Noe, created the groundbreaking Booker’s Bourbon and now he is custodian of that brand. His own son, also named Fred, is ready to continue the legacy. “He is the future,” says Noe.

Read Next: My Favorite Cigar (Fred Schrader)

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