We have a good friend of the family with whom we frequently enjoy good food and beverage. It also was this friend who introduced me to scotch many years ago. Since my tastes turned more to bourbon, I've in turn introduced him to that particular spirit. He is an occasional pipe smoker, but had no interest in cigars.
During a visit a few weeks ago, I offered him a taste of the Old Elk Cigar Cut Bourbon that I had recently picked up. The new expression from Old Elk is a blend of bourbons finished in sherry, armagnac, port and cognac casks. The new blend is said to be designed to pair with a fine cigar. While we were enjoying the drink, my friend remarked, "If you found a cigar to pair with this, I'd have a cigar."
Challenge accepted! Although pairing cigars and bourbon is generally not too hard, I decided to give it serious thought. This could be a "make or break" deal. One evening I was enjoying a Rocky Patel LB1 when inspiration struck. Although I was pairing it with a different whiskey at the time, the LB1 hit me as the perfect candidate.
The Rocky Patel LB1 is a medium bodied smoke with easy notes of coffee, cedar, earthiness, with just a touch of spice. There's a muted sweetness in the finish. It's flavorful enough to be interesting and would stand up to the sweet aspect of the bourbon. It would not be too bold for the new smoker, and at the same time flavorful enough to keep the interest going. The 5 1/2" x 50 Robusto size would be perfect.
A few weeks later we sat down to enjoy the cigar and bourbon. Needless to say it was a hit. I now have new smoking companion. We've since enjoyed a different cigar and bourbon pairing. Since we frequently get together for food and drink, I suspect cigars will also be a regular thing. All thanks to a good bourbon.