Thursday, November 24, 2022

A Bourbon and A Smoke to Kick Off the Holiday

The past week saw an abrupt change in the weather, with very cold temperatures coming in suddenly. While not bitterly cold, the quick switch from warmer temps made the change all the more jarring. Thankfully, the weather returned to more "seasonable" temperatures in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, at least for a short time. On Thanksgiving Eve, I took advantage of the weather to enjoy a cigar and bourbon on the deck — while running only one of the propane heaters!

I selected a Southern Draw Manzanita in the Robusto size. This is a cigar I've enjoyed in the past, and recently acquired a new supply. They'd been resting in the humidor for about a month, the minimal time before I'd consider lighting one. A reddish-brown Habano wrapper covers a Habano binder, with Corojo and Ligero fillers. The smoke has an earthy base with bold dark chocolate and cedar notes. A kick of peppers concludes the profile. Southern Draw cigars never disappoint and this is one of my favorites.

As an accompaniment, a grabbed a bottle of Russell's Reserve 10 Year Bourbon. I've had this bottle for some time but hadn't revisited it in a while. The aroma on this is, well, bourbon. It's got classic notes of vanilla and caramel. Sipping brings on more of the expected notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak. Like the kick at the end produced by the cigar, the bourbon has a nice, and lingering, rye kick in the finish. At just 90 proof, the Wild Turkey product is an easy sipper, that comes in bigger than its $40 price point. 

As a pairing, the combination was enjoyable. Frequently I'll pair higher proof bourbons with bold cigars. I did find that the boldness of the cigar subdued the bourbon flavors somewhat. I had started smoking the cigar before pouring the beverage, and noted the muted spice from the bourbon. However, I did enjoy a late night pour after the cigar, to appreciate the whole profile more.

Have a Very Happy Thanksgiving Holiday!


  1. I don't know if you're a rye whiskey kinda guy, but try to find some Basil Hayden Dark Rye. Holy moly, it's good, and it pairs with a strong-ish cigar perfectly.

    1. I actually have an old bottle of that on the shelf. It's the old labeling when they called it Basil Hayden's. (possessive form) I haven't revisited it in a while, but will do so soon. Cheers!


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