Our selection this week is Alec Bradley Connecticut Tubo, a mild to medium bodied toro (6 x 50). It has a smooth Connecticut Ecuador wrapper and a mixed filler of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. This is mild enough to be a nice afternoon smoke, but rich in flavor with notes of cedar and earth. The packaging includes the ever popular metal tube. Golfers and boaters love the convenience of the tube – no crushing in the golf bag or in an overnight bag. Also, the tube protects the cigar in place of humidification, perfect for someone on the go.
Because this cigar so perfectly embodies summer, Don is pairing it with the cheerful and crisp Geary’s Summer Ale. Brewing right out of Portland, Maine, Geary’s does summer right with rich, spicy hop tang, similar to a German Kölsch. This is an easy-drinking golden ale with aromas and flavors of caramel, buttered rum, herbs and a dry finish. It comes in a can, so it can be thrown together with your Tubo for a relaxing day out on the course…or wherever!
Each season, the crew at Geary’s, in partnership with the Maine College of Art awards a scholarship to the student who submits the best new design for the Summer Ale packaging. This year’s winning design includes crashing waves and sunshine, practically begging to be enjoyed on the beach! Cheers!
Introducing the Montecristo #2 Torpedo! Many consider the famous Montecristo cigar brand to be the finest cigar in the world. Montecristo is among the youngest (the most recent addition was the Cohiba in the 1960’s) of the traditional Cuban cigars. It was founded in 1935. The #2 is hand rolled in the Dominican Republic and finished with an elegant Connecticut shade wrapper. This refined cigar starts mild to medium and remains consistent throughout the entire smoke. Note the rich, creamy palate of wood, leather and a touch of spice.
At 6 x 50, the #2 has the same roll as the familiar Toro shape, but with a tapered head, hence the Torpedo designation. Before the advent of radio, it was common for the rollers to be informed and entertained by a reader of lector. Legend has it that the rollers’ favorite story was the Count of Monte Cristo. To this day, the Montecristo cigar brand emblem carries a pattern of swords and majestic fleur-dis-lis, a symbol of the period’s French monarchy.
With adventure and romance in mind, we’ve decided to pair this fine cigar with an even finer single malt, Ardmore Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Since 1898, Ardmore has been creating smoky, traditional scotch that perfectly expresses aromas of the natural highland peat fires. They use handcrafted Oregon pine fermentation vessels for deeper, smoother flavors of creamy peat tang, ripe fruit, and soft vanilla. Take your time with this pairing to note the complexities in each…trust us, it’s worth it.
Tempus cigars are manufactured and distributed by Alec Bradley Cigars, a relatively new brand among premier cigar companies. Founded in the mid nineties, Alec Bradley produce a full line of outstanding quality cigars. The Tempus line has been rated a “94” and recently was placed among the top 25 cigars of the year. This robusto Tempus Terra Novo (5 x 50) is medium to full-bodied with a rich semi-sweet finish. As you smoke, it reveals complex flavors of dried fruit, cedar and touches of leather and coffee. Very impressive!
Just to make sure, Don smoked one last evening. He would highly recommend pairing this cigar with El Dorado Dark Rum from Guyana. On the bank of the Demerara River, local sugar cane is crushed, pressed, and boiled to create molasses. This unique flavor creates the base for all of the El Dorado rums. El Dorado uses a wooden Coffrey Still from 1880, it is the last of it’s kind in the world and the years of delicious rum distilled in this unusually tall still imparts a unique flavor to the rum. They refresh the still with new wood, small sections at a time to preserve the essence of the rums. El Dorado also utilizes a Double Wooden Pot Still and Single Wooden Pot Still from 1732, these stills create deliciously dark and rich rums.
Enjoy this pairing outdoors and on the water! Cheers!
Alec Bradley Tempus Terra Novo $7.99 El Dorado Dark Rum $14.99
The weather is heating up…and so it cigar season! An array of brand new cigars just arrived at Bottles and we can’t wait to light them up. This week, Don is smoking the rich, medium-bodied Onyx Reserve Toro Maduro (6 x 50). The Onyx is boxed pressed for an easy draw smoke and the aged Maduro wrapper provides a sweet finish.
It is actually rolled at the same Dominican factory that makes Romeo y Julietta and Montecristo. The Onyx, however is rolled with a complex blend of Dominican, Nicaraguan and spicy Peruvian tobacco. The smoke is long (approximately 1 hour) with smooth, rich espresso flavor.
“Over the years, this has been one of my favorite after dinner cigars. I would pair this cigar with a dark, rich rum straight up. This is a high quality smoking experience from start to finish.”
The Onyx will pair well with a dark rum. We have enjoyed it with Amrut Old Port Deluxe from India, which pairs especially well with several different cigars. But today we’re drinking Clément Rhum Select Barrel, which is distinctively smooth while it’s soft vanilla notes compliment the sweet finish of the cigar. With this pairing you’re in for an intense aromatic experience of aged oak and spice.
This week’s cigar selection is Ashton ‘Churchill’ from the Dominican Republic. Ashton is a mild to medium-bodied cigar sporting a flawless Connecticut shade wrapper. When the Levin family smoke shop of Philadelphia planned the Ashton line, they commissioned the renowned Arturo Fuente cigar family to make the cigars. This blend is known for its exquisitely rich flavor and spicy aftertaste.
This smoke would pair very well with J.P. Wiser’s Canadian Rye. Typically, Canadian whiskies have a distinct smoothness. Unlike a Scottish single malt, the clean heat during the distilling process leaves a lighter and less smoky result. J.P. Wiser’s Canadian Rye is rich with strong notes of caramel, vanilla and toffee.
Plan to sit down for a while with this combo because a Churchill, approximately 7 x 50, is larger than your average cigar. Smoke one and you will quickly see why Ashton has become one the most popular high end brands on the market.
Ashton ‘Churchill’ – $12.99 J.P. Wiser’s Canadian Rye – $26.99
Spring is in full swing and Don is lighting up a new cigar this week. The Acid ‘Blondie’ Natural from Nicaragua is a Petit Corona (5″ x 42), relatively thin and small making for a short 20-minute sweet smoke. It is smooth with notes of honey and cream plus a delightfully sweet aroma. The finish is more robust but generally makes for a milder, every day cigar.
Because of the sweet aromas and taste, this cigar pairs beautifully with the apéritif, Byrrh Gran Quinquina. Quinquina is a type of apéritif wine that usually contains quinine and cinchona bark from South America and known for it’s medicinal purposes. In 1873, Byrrh Gran Quinquina was created by a pair of French brothers following the traditional South American Quinquina recipe, while including notes of coffee, orange, cocoa, all matured in French oak casks. The result is a balanced apéritif of fruit and spice, served on ice–Refreshing!
Find the pairing in store: Acid ‘Blondie’ Natural $6.99
Byrrh Grand Quinquina $19.99
Welcome to Don’s cigar pick of the week, just in time for The Masters golf tournament this weekend! Each week this spring we’ll be featuring a new cigar pick from Don Schmidt, our wine, scotch and cigar connoisseur. Don has been in the beverage industry for over forty-two years and is a Rhode Island living legend. One of his favorite pastimes is sipping a wonderful wine or scotch and smoking a fine cigar on a beautiful, breezy Saturday afternoon.
This week Don is smoking Romeo y Julietta 1875 Exhibicion #3 from the Dominican Republic. A great way to kick off cigar season, this is a medium bodied Toro-shape with rich, smooth flavor and a spicy finish.
Don is pairing it with Compass Box ‘Oak Cross’ Malt Scotch. The Oak Cross Whisky Co. is known for creating small batch Scotch whiskies in an approachable, but experimental way. Oak Cross is a vatted malt, combining French and American oak aging to create a lush vanilla aromas with a touch of clove spice on the palate.
Together, the Oak Cross and Exhibicion #3 (with maybe some aged cheese, or almonds!) create an excellent springtime digestif full of soft flavors and a slight twist of spice.