Thursday, July 11, 2024

A (Very) Hot Smoking Time

We were on the road for eleven days to end June and begin July. There were many fun times while we engaged in other interests, but sadly no opportunity for enjoying a cigar. We did make a brief pass through Frankfort, KY, which included a stop at the Buffalo Trace Distiller to shop and do a morning tasting.

After a long day spent catching up on things around the house upon our return, I was looking forward to relaxing with a cigar. Alas, we're in the midst of a summer extreme heat wave, and the screen porch was hovering over 100°. I noticed after dinner that the thermometer needle had dropped below the 100° mark. Close enough.

Grabbing a Foundation Aksum from my travel humidor, I turned on the fans and tried to make the best of it. (I traveled with cigars, just didn't get to smoke them.)

The Foundation Aksum is a 5 x 50 Robusto cloaked in a very dark Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper leaf. The binder is Connecticut broadleaf and the filler tobaccos hail from the Jalapa and EstelĂ­ regions in Nicaragua. The cigar is a bold, full bodied smoke with rich notes of sweet espresso and dark chocolate predominating. Black pepper, and dark cherry and raison notes blended throughout. This is the same cigar previously released as Foundation Metapa. A trademark issue prompted the rebranding.

After getting settled and adjusted to the heat, I poured the remaining bit of Wilderness Trail Bourbon from my travel flask. (I also traveled with bourbon, but didn't need to pour from the flanked often since other sipping opportunities did abound.)

Wilderness Trail is a wheated bourbon. The distillery releases in small batches of 18 barrels, after 5-6 years of aging. Strong aromas of vanilla and caramel waft from the glass. There's a pleasing oak presence which joins the vanilla and caramel. A hefty dose of cinnamon and pepper spiciness rounds out the finish. That spicy heat makes a flavorful match for the robust cigar.

Perhaps some less "hot" flavor choices for the pairing may have been better for the very warm temperature. Still, the one hour break was welcome and enjoyable.


Thursday, July 4, 2024

Independence Day

A thought for today.

For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.
— Thomas Jefferson, letter to Roger C. Weightman on the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, 24 June 1826.

This ending to Jefferson's last letter is worth remembering today.