It’s 8 p.m. on a Saturday night. After finishing a delicious lamb dinner, the perfect end to the evening is found in the billiards room. So down into the basement I go, past the laundry room, sewing room, workshop, and into my richly decorated destination. To the left is the bar. Glasses made of Austrian crystal stand neatly in a row. And in the centre are many crystal decanters with various libations. Tonight I opt for scotch. Glenfiddich. 15-year-old.
I pour some into my glass and head to the other side of the room, to my humidor. I pop open the maple-wood lid, and marvel at my collection, which rests on a lining of Spanish cedar. Tonight I’m in the mood for a flavorful and smooth cigar, so I opt for CAO Italia.
I take a seat on the over-sized couch. I sip my scotch. At first I taste cinnamon; as I swallow, vanilla lingers. I place the glass down, and remove the cigar from its wrapper. I run it in front of my nose for a quick sniff. I admire the well-constructed binding.
The cigar is a mixture of tobaccos. On the outside is tobacco from Honduras, which takes on a black-brown colour, typical of maduro cigars. The filler tobaccos are from Italy, Nicaragua, and Peru.
I grab my cigar cutter, snip the top off, and light it with a match. I quickly draw the first few puffs to get a good burn going. The initial taste is a mixture of coffee and chocolate.
I take another sip of scotch. In edition to the cinnamon I also taste hints of ginger — but it’s not bitter. It tastes sweet, due to the vanilla.
For those not familiar with scotch, let me give you a little breakdown. First of all, only whiskey made in Scotland is scotch. There are many regions that produce it, and each has its own flavour characteristics. Some have a very smoky taste, some earthy, some citrus, some floral, some on the chocolate side.
In the case of Glenfiddich 15, a Speyside scotch, there is no smoky flavor. I would describe the flavour’s base as floral with hints of fruit.
I continue to puff the cigar. As I reach the second-third I begin to taste cream and caramel, with subtle hints of dark coffee. This cigar is very smooth.
Like scotch, cigars come in a wide array of flavours from spicy to full-bodied, to fruity and creamy. Many cigars I’ve had have strong tastes of black pepper either at the beginning or the end, but so far this one does not, which makes for a creamy and pleasant taste. I notice, too, that the CAO Italia has a nice, white ash that grows to over an inch in length before you need to tap the ashtray.
The experience of tasting the Glenfiddich 15 with the CAO has been very enjoyable. The flavors of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and cream go very well with the cinnamon, vanilla, and sweet ginger.
Next on my list, I will try Appleton 12-year-old rum with a Partagas Black Label cigar.