Anyone who reads these Musings for any length of time, knows I am no fan of cold weather. It takes me a few weeks to accept and adapt to the season change. After a celebratory dinner recently I was in need of some "digestive" time. And it was cold outside.
For the evening's chilly repast I grabbed a warm bourbon and a robust smoke -- Horse Soldier Reserve and Black Label Trading Company Viaticum Lancero.
The Horse Soldier Reserve is the distillery's Barrel Strength expression. This is one I enjoy often with a robust cigar. The bourbon is bottled at 124 proof. The nose has dark caramel, sweet maple, along with hint of vanilla and fruit. When sipping I get charred wood, dark fruit, molasses, and a cinnamon like spice. In the finish an interesting fruit note comes up, reminiscent of dark cherries and plums. The 124 proof imparts some heat to mouthfeel, but it is very balanced by the flavor notes, and not overwhelming in the least. Summarize all that to say it's right on target for my flavor preferences.
Black Label Trading Company makes a bunch of full bodied, flavorful smokes. The Viaticum line is a variation of their Last Rites series, with the same tobaccos put together in a modified blend. It features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a Honduran binder from Honduras and fillers of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos. This lancero is an attractive 6 3/5 x 40 stick. The tobaccos create a robust blend of creamy chocolate, coffee, and cedar. It's full bodied but very balanced. The Viaticum makes a worthy companion to the hefty bourbon flavors.
Sitting under the infrared table lamp, and in front of the portable propane heater, the hour spent with the smoke and drink was quite bearable. I might just survive these cold months.