Monday, August 14, 2023

John J. Bowman With Crowned Heads Le Pâsittier

The liquid piece of this pairing is an old favorite bourbon, John J. Bowman Single Barrel, from Fredericksburg's own A. Smith Bowman Distillery. Surprisingly it doesn't get many mentions here, despite being regularly poured. The cigar for the evening was a new one for me, Crowned Heads Le Pâtissier No. 50

The John J. Bowman Bourbon comes in at 100 proof, which is right at my sweet spot for an easy sipping bourbon. (Though I truly enjoy high proof whiskies, especially with a strong cigar.) The bourbon is very aromatic with notes of honey, vanilla, sweet bread, and a light fruit hint. Sipping brings out oak, vanilla, dark fruit, caramel, and a bit of spice. The flavors coat the palate with a lingering creamy oak and spice. It's a near perfect bourbon in my opinion, and at a wallet-friendly $40, has a permanent spot on the shelf, as well as a backup bottle or two in the pantry.

The Crowned Heads Le Pâtissier was intitially an exclusive release for the 2021 PCA Convention & Trade Show. The line is now a regular production, in four vitolas. The one smoked here is short robusto designated as No. 50. The 4 3/8 x 50 stick has a dark oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder, and fillers from Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The cigar comes right out of the gate with full flavors of dark chocolate, coffee, and black pepper. The full flavors stayed right to the end, with an occasional charred wood addition. The cigar burned well, and remained cool throughout. I only put it down when it was too short hold.

The Crowned Heads cigar maintained a bold flavor profile but the Bowman bourbon held its own with just enough spice bourbon flavors. The pairing was enjoyable and offered a pleasant end to the evening.


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