Saturday, May 27, 2023

Kicking Off The Long Weekend

It seems the longest weeks are the ones leading up to a long weekend. But finally Friday arrived and preparations for the evening got underway. I finished the lawn maintenance chores early, and prepped the fire pit before dinner. 

I was looking forward trying out the Calumet Farm 10 Year Bourbon I had picked up a few weeks ago. That, along with a Padrón 1926 Serie 9 Natural were set in place, so once the fire got going the sipping and smoking commenced. 

This is my first exploration of Calumet Farm bourbon. When I was shopping out of state a few weeks ago, the store had the 8, 10, and 16 year expressions. I've read mixed reviews of the Calumet line but have been interested, so opted to go with the 10. The ten year was of average price for the age, and ten year bourbon is often a sweet spot. I was pleasantly surprised. I found moderately bold notes of charred wood, caramel, and some honey sweetness. The finish was a little spicy bit not overwhelming. My impression was of an enjoyable "classic" bourbon. Now the 16 year expression is tempting me.

Colleen inquired if I'd make a Mint Julep for her to sip while we enjoyed the fire. Of course! She had picked up a few fresh herbs for cocktails this weekend. It's a simple drink, so even when it was time for a refill, setting the cigar down to go inside and mix another didn't even require touch up to the smoke. (Even if I did accidentally use some whole ice cubes instead of chipped.)

The Padrón was a fine smoke as always. I don't smoke them frequently enough, still there are often a few in my humidor. The 1926 Serie 9 Natural is a Nicaraguan puro in a 5 1/4" x 56 box press format. It's a well-constructed cigar with a moderately firm pack. The 1926 is medium to bold smoke with creamy notes of coffee, nuts, and chocolate. The burn is razor sharp throughout with a persistent ash.

It's was a beautiful evening, and since we had an early dinner and were outside in the very early evening, we got to enjoy a lot of bird activity at the edge of the wood. It also meant there was time for another smoke and a bit more sipping. The second smoke for the evening was the Liga Undercrown 10 by Drew Estate

The Undercrown 10 features a Mexican San Andrés Maduro wrapper, Habano Connecticut binder, with Brazil Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Habano leaves as fillers. The creamy smoke features rich espresso, some cocoa sweetness, and a hint of dark fruit. As a medium-bodied smoke, the cigar paired well with the bourbon also.

I don't think I could have asked for a more enjoyable evening. The weather was great, as were the cigars and drinks. Of course the company could not have been better. And there are still a few more days to do more of the same.


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