Monday, August 7, 2023

Cigars And Bourbon On The Road

We took a long weekend trip to Blacksburg, VA recently to relax, do a little bit of hiking, and of course overindulge a bit on food and drink. Blackburg is one of our favorite "close by" vacations. During the summer, when VA Tech is not in session and the 30,000 students are not present, it still has some of that small town feel.

We had no set plans for the four days, only general intentions, so finding an evening or two to sit down with a smoke was not difficult. The weather for being outside was pleasant even though it was the first time this summer the area had reached 90°! We heard many of the town folk remarking on the hot temperatures, but we found it a nice respite, the low 90° daytime highs still being 9 - 12° degree cooler than we've experienced at home of late.

I bring along cigars and the necessary accoutrements anytime I travel. Often there is no opportunity for that pleasure, but it's good to be prepared. Hotels these days are notoriously anti-smoking, even outside. At one place we stay regularly, the prohibition is well signed, nonetheless I've spotted ashtrays and evidence of both cigars and cigarettes. 

After the afternoon drive and a big dinner I escaped to an out of the way patio with my travel ashtray and an Oliva Serie V. The Serie V is one of my go-to smokes. The creamy chocolate and cedar notes of the cigar goes well with coffee, bourbon, and even beer. On this evening, feeling satiated from the meal at a local restaurant and brewery, my chosen pairing of water was the perfect finish to the day.

On another evening, after a day of distillery and brewery visits, we settled onto the patio to enjoy the cool evening air while I smoked and sipped. This time I brought along a flask filled with Woodford Reserve Double Oak to go along with a Rocky Patel Hamlet Tabaquero

The Woodford Reserve was selected for travel since it's a bourbon that pairs well with most any smoke. The smooth, sweet oak flavor touched with some fruit and vanilla is always pleasing.

When it was announced last year that Hamlet Paredes was leaving Rocky Patel, the company stated that the Tabaquero line was being discontinued. As the Tabaquero by Hamlet Paredes is another favorite of mine, I immediately acquired a box of the cigar in the 6 x 52 Toro size. The Tabaquero blend uses a San Andrés wrapper, a Nicaraguan filler, along with a San Andrés and Brazilian Mata Fina double binders. The creamy sweetness, milk chocolate, cedar, earth, and oak flavor blend is always pleasurable. I've been rationing my supply, saving them for special-ish occasions, but I won't hold them for an extremely long time as I like the flavor profile just it is now.

It was a very refreshing mini vacation. It's fun to get away, but also nice now to be back on our regular eating and sleeping schedules, for a few weeks anyway. 


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