Having enjoyed the standard Redemption Rye in the past, I picked up the Rum Cask Finish bottle on a whim this summer. It was a minimal investment, and I've been exploring various "finished" whiskeys of late. The aroma gives off basic rye notes of spice and sweet fruit and caramel. Even at a low 94 proof, I get some alcohol tingle in the nose. The flavor profile is rather uninspiring with initial alcohol sharpness, merging into cinnamon and a sweet mix of brown sugar and molasses. There's a "young" harshness marking the flavor profile. Only in the finish do I detect a note of the rum influence.
I had first smoked the HVC 10th Anniversary last July. At the time I noted repeated burn issues, both uneven burns and difficulty keeping at the burn actually going. I was hoping a few months in the humidor would help. The 6 1/2 x 50 Toro is a Nicaraguan puro with a Nicaragua Jalapa Corojo ‘99 wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan Corojo ‘99, Corojo 2012, and Criollo ‘98 fillers.
Upon lighting I get a vanilla blend of earth, nuts, leather, and a bit of cedar. The smoke feels "heavy" and leaves some dryness behind. For a while the burn seems to go along fine. The stick is very light and loosely packed, with some very soft spots near the middle. Eventually the smoke production slows and I am forced to relight. Cleaning off the ash I notice an off-center hollow space in the roll. Relighting seems to take and the burn continues. Despite my initial relief through the first half, the situation stays the same for the rest of the smoke and I am frequently touching up the diminishing burn. That does nothing for the flavor, or my relaxation. I eventually gave up on the cigar with a couple inches left.
Well, these things happen I suppose. I knew going in the selections would both need to redeem themselves. While the flavors of neither were bad per se, they both left a lot to be desired. Perhaps if one or the other had proven exceptional, it would have boosted the other. I still have most of the bottle left, and a few of the cigars on hand. I'll probably give both yet another go at some point. Although not at the same time.