The barrel proof rye from Proof and Wood brands comes in at a respectable 116.2 proof. With an eight year age statement, the sourced whiskey has a mash bill of 95% rye and 5% barley. The label notes it was barreled on December 12, 2014 and bottled June 9, 2023.
The rye pours a bright reddish brown with thick legs that coat the sides of the glencairn. The aroma gives off citrus and vanilla tones, with some sweet caramel. The first notes upon sipping include citrus peel and vanilla. Those divert into creamy sweetness and oak. The finish leaves some pepper and spice, along with the oak. It's a rather pleasant pour.
After a bit of tasting, I retired to the screen porch to enjoy the rye with a cigar. For this evening I selected a Rocky Patel The Edge 20th Anniversary Edition. The cigar has been resting in my humidor for seven months.
The Rocky Patel 20th Anniversary was introduced in 2022 to mark the 20th anniversary of The Edge line from Rocky Patel. The line has grown to a number of blends and sizes and is marketed as a budget line. The celebratory 20th Anniversary features a 10 year aged Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, a Honduran Broadleaf binder, and filler tobaccos from Honduras and Panama. This one is a 5 1/2" X 50 Robusto. The medium bodied smoke has rich notes of espresso, dark chocolate, and nuts. I do enjoy the 20th Anniversary more so than the various "standard" Edge versions I've had.
The espresso and slight sweetness of the cigar paired well with the spicy rye. I found myself frequently tasting both right after the other, rather than letting the flavor of one rest on my palate before bringing in the next. As such, my cigar smoked a little faster than usual, and the glass needed refilling a couple times. The pairing was so enjoyable the cigar was smoke down to a very tiny, but not hot, nub that I held onto with the tips of my fingers. Good to the last drop as they say.