Saturday, October 21, 2023

The Approaching Season of Cold Weather Smoking

It's no secret I am not a fan of cold weather. Deep down, I think it's mostly the early sunsets that affects the mood the most. Smoking on the deck in the dark AND cold can dampen the spirit. Fall is not bad, but it portends the coming of winter. 

This time of year I am slow to adapt to the changes. However, once I settle in with the drink and smoke, it's generally not so bad. I'll turn on the flood lights, crank up the propane heaters (and sometimes supplement with electric heat lamps) and it's pleasant enough. Shorter smokes will soon become the norm.

Earlier this week on a cool evening I gathered my resolve and I ventured out with some Woodford Reserve Double Oak Bourbon and a Fratello DMV Maduro Selection Delaware.

The Woodford bourbon is always an easy choice. It's got that "classic" bourbon flavor and pairs well with a cigar. With smooth, sweet oak notes, mild fruit and vanilla, and a mild bourbon heat, it can go down too easily if one is not mindful.

The Fratello DMV Maduro Selection had been hiding in my humidor since late 2020 when the limited release debuted. The series consisted of four varieties, labeled Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and DC. Released as a limited run of 600 12-count sampler boxes, it was a followup to the original Fratello DMV series released in 2018. Each of the 6 x 50 sticks has the same binder and filler tobaccos, but a different wrapper. No specific blend details were made available. Most of my box is long gone now, but I still have a few individuals on hand.

The slightly aged stick burned exceptionally well. I recall some consistent burn issues when I initially smoked them right after their release. The oily maduro wrapper shined in the glow of the porch lights. The cigar was medium, venturing into full flavored, with roasted nut, espresso, and cedar notes. There were interesting and pleasant charred meat and tobacco flavors persisting on the palate.

Despite the coolness, and I did need to crank up the level on the heater near the end, the time on the deck with a cigar and bourbon was quite pleasant after all.


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