Monday, September 11, 2023

Buzzard's Roost Cigar Rye and Rocky Patel A.L.R. 2nd Edition Pairing

I was fortunate enough to win a random drawing in a Facebook Bourbon and Cigar group for a bottle of Buzzard's Roost Cigar Rye recently. I had not heard of Buzzard's Roost prior to this event. The Kentucky company sources whiskey and then uses specifically prepared barrels to finish. From the website,
We start by sourcing the best aged whiskey we can find, but the real magic is in our barrels. We use only brand new, 53-gallon white oak barrels that are carefully toasted and very lightly charred. Each one is designed from the ground up to deliver a specific flavor profile.
We work closely with our cooperage to tweak every parameter of the barrel  - from the seasoning to the charring to the development of our custom toast profiles. All of our barrels are unique and proprietary to our company, giving Buzzard’s Roost a truly one-of-a kind flavor. After resting only a few weeks in our new barrels, the whiskey is purposefully transformed and ready for bottling.
The initial batch of Cigar Rye was released in April 2022 to much success, and Batch #2 followed in late 2022. The mash bill consists of 95 percent rye and 5 percent malted barley, and is bottled at 105 proof. Buzzard's Roost uses all #1 char barrels to finish their whiskeys. The light char allows other flavors from the different barrel treatments to be highlighted. For the Cigar Rye, the charred barrels are smoked over aged tobacco leaves.

Buzzard's Roost Cigar Rye pours a bright amber brown, viscous liquid. Rye spice and smoke greet the nose. A deeper inhalation picks up a trace of alcohol. Upon sipping, a touch of tobacco smoke hits but very quickly there's a sweet and citrus impression coming through. Caramel and a citrus rye spiciness take the foreground. After the sip, the dry leather and smoke note lingers for a long time. The smoke finish is mild and reminiscent of tobacco and wood.

Since the whiskey was unknown to me, I chose to pair it with a known, old favorite, Rocky Patel Aged Limited Rare 2nd Edition. I select one in the limited edition Bala vitola. The Bala is a 5 3/4 x 58 Perfecto that is widest at the foot. It was created for a special limited humidor from Rocky Patel. I don't own one of the $2,500 humidors, but managed to obtain a few of the cigars at a cigar event attended by Rocky Patel last winter.

The ALR 2 starts out with a bold pepper kick. As the burn progresses the profile is quickly joined by espresso and cocoa. The touch of sweetness that lingers in the finish completes the picture. 

The Buzzard's Roost Cigar Rye had a different flavor profile than a lot of finished whiskeys. It wasn't as sweet as a port or rum cask finish. Neither is it a peat smoke finish. The tobacco and smoke flavors of the Buzzard's Roost Cigar Rye complimented the similar profile of the cigar. Additionally, it's an enjoyable flavor that does not overwhelm and could just as easily be enjoyed alone, without a cigar. 

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