Saturday, March 23, 2024

Four Roses Small Batch, Oscar Valladares 2012 Sumatra, and Friday

Friday couldn't come soon enough. Sure, I had a quiet birthday celebration earlier in the week with a few friends, but the week was still long. Friday evening was cool, but not uncomfortable, which made for pleasant sipping and smoking on the screened porch.

For this long-awaited repast I selected the bottle of Four Roses Small Batch Select. As the smoking accompaniment I dug out an Oscar Valladares 2012 Sumatra in Toro that had been in the humidor for a couple of months. Requisite photo done, I grabbed the Kindle for some reading and headed outside.

Four Roses Small Batch Select is made of a blend of six of the ten mash bills used by Four Roses, in various combinations, for its bourbons. The bourbon is bottled at 104 proof. There is a touch of alcohol on the aroma, if you look for it. Mostly it consists of sweet, dark fruit and oak. When sipping, spice notes kick off the flavors. Dark fruit and a vanilla sweetness join in. The bourbon is flavorful and well-balanced. Spices and candied fruit notes linger in the creamy finish. 

Oscar Valladares 2012 is a line of cigars from the same Oscar Valladares the brings us the Leaf by Oscar cigars. The 2012 branding pays homage to the year Oscar Valladares started his cigar company, after decades of working for Rocky Patel and General Cigar. The cigars are made in Honduras.

The Oscar Valladares 2012 Sumatra Toro is a selection from the January Luxury Cigar Club mailing. It is a 6 x 52 box pressed cigar, wrapped in Ecuadorian Sumatra leaf, with Honduran tobaccos used for the binder and filler. The light brown wrapper felt dry in the hand. Cutting the cap revealed a wide open draw, a bit more open than I prefer but useable.

I got a mild spice in the opening puffs. This was soon joined by a sweet blend of honey and molasses, with a creamy butter impression coming in. Smoke production was copious. As the burn progressed and the cigar warmed up, some tobacco notes joined in. However the flavor notes were pretty consistent throughout the 70 minute smoke. I did relight the cigar twice, perhaps from my own inattention caused by intermittent reading and day dreaming.

When I first went out to the deck, I set the propane heater in place, but I did not have to use it. The temperature hovered around 60° and there was no breeze. The smoke was finished before the sun fully set, making for a rather pleasant kick-off to the weekend.


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