This is the first of two articles written exclusively for AmateurDrammer.com by Daniel Santiago, cigar and whisky aficionado and owner of Jeffrey Street Whisky and Tobacco in Edinburgh.
Daniel is clearly passionate about all things whisky. He works in the industry running his whisky and cigar store in Edinburgh’s old town. He holds whisky tastings regularly and organises cigar events in summer. After graduating from Edinburgh university he decided not to pursue a career in Law, instead choosing to follow his dreams.
During a recent visit to his shop I had the pleasure of meeting Daniel, enjoying a dram and talking with him at length about both whisky and cigars.
Here, he talks us through his first pairing.
Longrow Peated and Trinidad Coloniales
Longrow is a superb whisky in my opinion. It has a gentle phenolic palate, it also has peat but not too much of it. It has some smoke and subtle medicinal notes. Many other notes appear too, I picked up a slight grapefruit oil note. It is followed by subtle lemon-grass flavours and some German Riesling wine minerality also appears on the palate.
The aftertaste reminds me of extra virgin olive oil, chalk and olive brine.
Trinidad Coloniales are splendid sticks. The Coloniales are a size that is not too big nor too small at 5 1/4 inches. The palate of the cigar is rather mild and delicate. It has lovely creamy notes and subtle, very subtle hints of spice. Some nutmeg, a little vanilla sweetness and roasted coffee beans notes appear on the palate.
When I first tried the cigar I thought it was very mild. For that very reason I decided to give it a go with the Longrow Peated.
The cigar with its delicate notes must be given some time to open up. I know some people enjoy hotter smoke from their cigars and they puff away very often. I prefer cooler smoke and to take my time to savour the cigar with every puff.
Once the cigar opened up a little I took the first few sips of the whisky.
I enjoyed the creamy aftertaste of the cigar and how the flavours of the whisky developed on my palate. The lemon grass notes of the whisky became more pronounced. The peat became less pronounced but it worked marvelously with the cigar as it allowed the minerality of the whisky to show in its full glory. The cigar was in no way shadowed by the more robust flavours of the whisky.
The chalkyness of the whisky combined with the creamy notes of the cigar; the sweetness of both the cigar and the malt came together and left an aftertaste that I can only describe as clotted cream-like in flavour with a leathery whiff.
How would I describe this pairing in fewer words?
Gentle peat, lemon grass and clotted cream with chalk dust.
You can read another of Daniels cigar pairing articles later this week.
In the meantime why not follow him on twitter here.