This is the second 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. You can catch up with his first recommendation here.
Daniel is clearly passionate about all things whisky. He works in the industry running his whisky and cigar store in Edinburgh’s old town. It holds whisky tastings regularly and organises cigar events throught the summer.
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 second pairing.
Glen Keith 19 year old and Padron Natural 2000 Robusto.
This whisky was bottled by Signatory Vintage. It comes bottled at 46% and was matured in Hogsheads.
This Glen Keith has a delicate malty flavour. It is rarely seen bottled as a single malt. There is a smooth spicy undertone to it. White pepper, a bit of nutmeg combined with a creamy, vanilla-cheesecake flavour to it. Overall is a rather refreshing dram with subtle mango-like notes.
The finish is medium in length and leaves a pleasant and gentle malty aftertaste.
Rolled with (Cuban seed) Nicaraguan grown tobacco the Padron Natural 2000 offers at least 25 minutes of smoke. When we sampled this whisky it took us nearly 45 minutes to complete it. This medium bodied cigar has a generous palate of cocoa, freshly-brewed espresso creme and delicate touches of black pepper.
Smoked hot, the peppery flavours may become overpowering, also a strong woody note appears. Smoked slowly (cooler) the cigar has time to show more delicate notes. I picked up a note similar to the aftertaste of a rich hot chocolate made with dark chocolate, cream and brown sugar. The finish is medium-long leaving a espresso-like note on the palate and a note of cedar wood.
I chose this pairing to contrast the delicate notes of the whisky with the darker, spicier flavours of the cigar. The Padron Natural is a superb Nicaraguan stick that opens up almost from the moment it’s ignited.
The chocolate undertones of the cigar become a lot more evident when the whisky is sipped. Dark chocolate (70% cocoa) flavours appear and combine with the vanilla creaminess of the whisky; with these notes combined the aftertaste reminded us of milk chocolate with a generous content of dark chocolate.
The creamy notes of the whisky combined with the black pepper notes of the cigar and delivered a flavour reminiscent of a rich peppercorn sauce.
The malty notes of the whisky where only felt when we weren’t puffing. when they appeared they reminded us of a very dark rye bread.
How would I describe this pairing in fewer words?
Dipping rye bread in peppercorn sauce when our freshly brewed double espresso arrived.
A massive thank you to Daniel for taking the time to write these articles and for sharing his cigar and whisky pairing knowledge with us.