Friday, December 22, 2023

Hibiki Whiskey and Room 101 Send Nudes

A mid-week opportunity to enjoy a cigar and a drink arose somewhat unexpectedly. Despite the cold temperature outside I couldn't resist taking advantage. I grabbed a Room 101 Send Nudes smoke from my humidor, and grabbed the bottle of Hibiki Harmony Japanese Whisky I've been eyeing.

I've actually had the whiskey sitting on my shelves for a couple years. Despite the fancy attention-getting faceted glass bottle, it had not been visited recently. I've been wanting to drink it again, but newer bottles kept getting my focus.

Hibiki Harmony checks in at a mild 86 proof. The golden liquid has a pleasing floral and honey aroma. In the sipping, the whisky comes alive. It's light, and flavorful at the same time. Fruit, honey, cinnamon, and a host of other notes blend into a palate pleaser. The finish is clean with a touch of sweetness and heat.  I'm a jaded bourbon lover, but the bright, mild Japanese whisky was most delightful. 

The unbanded Room 101 Send Nudes cigar was included in the November Luxury Cigar Club monthly shipment. I knew Room 101 by name, but that's about the extent of my familiarity. The only description provided was of Nicaraguan binders and fillers. The Toro sized stick appears to have Habano wrapper of some ilk. I admittedly was not expecting much excitement from the stick, and figured it would be worth the risk of lighting it up in the cold.

Immediately upon lighting it, I was hit with a burst of pepper. Wow, I was not expecting that. As the cigar progressed to the halfway point, the spice diminished. It was still there in the back, but balanced by black coffee and woody notes. It remained a flavorful smoke until I had to put it down. While at the start the smoke overpowered the Hibiki a bit, the combo developed into an enjoyable pairing.

One of the banes of cold weather smoking is occasionally a wrapper will crack and explode from the cold, dry air. About the midway point of this cigar I noticed some minor flaking of the wrapper, which the burn easily passed by without any issue. Along about the start of the last quarter, the wrapper developed more significant cracks along its length. At one point I actually heard a "pop" as the wrapper split. It was below 40° at this point, and I was leaning over the propane heater, which may have compounded the issue.

Ah well, my glass was empty and my hands were cold, so I didn't try to salvage the last bit. It had been a surprisingly enjoyable break, and I felt no disappointment with the either drink or the cigar.


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