Horse Soldier Reserve is the distillery's barrel strength expression. The nose is strong with dark caramel, sweet maple, along with hints of vanilla and fruit. Even as the glass sat next to me on the table I could smell the bourbon goodness wafting up, the aromatics enhanced by the 124 proof. The flavor profile carries charred wood, dark fruit, molasses, and some cinnamon. I get a late fruit note in the finish. There is a bit of lingering heat that remains in balance. I should really pour this one more often, especially with a robust cigar. I posted more information about Horse Soldier bourbon in a previous post.
The cigar for the evening was the Veritas Three Blends. I was given one of these a couple years ago and enjoyed it. It's been a smoke I've been wanting to go back to. I found the Three Blends, as well as a couple others from Veritas, at the cigar lounge recently.
The cigar has a partial box pressed shape. The foot end of the Three Blends is box pressed, and the cigar transitions to a standard round shape towards the cap. The 6 x 54 cigar also grabs your attention due to the tri-colored wrapper. It is made of Sun Grown Ecuadorian Habano, Habano Maduro, and Connecticut leaves. The binder is Mexican San Andrés and the filler is a mix of tobaccos from Jalapa, Ometepe, Condega and Esteli. The roll is a little rough around the edges but the cigar is well filled and burned flawlessly. Given the unique shape and the complex wrapper, it must be a challenging cigar to create.
Three Blends is a full flavored cigar producing strong pepper right out of the gate. As the smoke progresses, the flavor mix adds espresso, wood, and nuts. The pepper remains but the other flavors claim equal billing. There's some vanilla sweetness that shows itself in time. I found this to be a flavorful and enjoyable smoke.
The robust flavors of both the bourbon and the cigar to played well together. The generous flavor array offered by the tobaccos were not overwhelmed one bit by the strong bourbon. It's a pairing I look forward to repeating.