Heavenly Tastes Paired With a Devil’s Brew

What’s Up Yukon’s editorial staff reminds you that tobacco can be harmful in all its forms.

Mark Twain once said, “If I cannot drink bourbon and smoke cigars in heaven, I shall not go.”

Ah yes, there is something about that pairing that sends connoisseurs into a dream world. Today I will explore this world.

Rather than go for traditional Kentucky bourbon, I’m going to go a different route, with Jim Beam’s Devil’s Cut bourbon. I will be pairing it with a cigar called Perdomo Champagne Reserve.

As you can guess, judging by the names, there is quite the contrast of flavors — which is what I’m going for. The light, creamy, “angelic” Perdomo is paired with a hellish bourbon that has traces of hot cinnamon.

Before starting the cigar I have a sampler glass of the bourbon to become more acquainted with the taste. The fi rst thing I notice is how smooth it is. I suspect this is due to Devil’s Cut’s six-year aging process.

The smoothness is followed by a spicy cedar and a tart cinnamon candy taste. It’s not overpowering, but definitely adds a bold character. Now for the pairing.

Perdomo is a household name in the world of cigars. Based out of Nicaragua, Perdomo makes many varieties. To celebrate their 10th anniversary, the company created a cigar called Champagne Reserve. I have chosen the 6 x 60 size — thick and long.

The one thing that stands out for me regarding the Perdomo is the Connecticut shade tobacco wrapper. The tobacco that is used to fi ll the cigar is dark brown, but the wrapper is a light golden brown — typical of the growing conditions in Connecticut. The overall result is a sharp contrast.

The cigar is beautifully constructed and flawless. This cigar starts with a light spice and wood taste, but then quickly transforms into a beautiful cream taste, accented with vanilla.

Time to add the heat. I take a gulp of the bourbon, which I decide to drink neat.

Yes, I know, I am asking for trouble. But no sense adding “holy water” to something meant to be wicked. The rich creamy taste of the cigar is perfectly balanced by the intense bourbon. Heaven and hell have found a way to co-exist; Archangel Michael can take the night off.

The creamy taste is consistent for most of the first and second thirds of the cigar. Occasionally a nutmeg taste comes up. Then the last third is a bit of a change.

The cream has gone back to the spice from the beginning. Now it is stronger, and seems to be mixed with a wood and a black currant taste. As the spice persists, I can feel my eyes starting to water. I am convinced my smooth cigar has become possessed by dark forces. The bourbon isn’t helping. I am a trooper, and will finish what I started.

Pairing this portion of the Perdomo cigar with the Devil’s Cut is quite the nefarious flavor experience. For the masters, you will enjoy this trip into Dante’s ninth circle of hell, but will be able to return to the light. For those who are not familiar with bold spice fl avors, this pairing may leave you speaking in tongues.

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