Monday, March 4, 2024

Cool Evening With Hamlet Tabaquero and Knob Creek Rye

March 1 marked the first day of "meteorological spring." The actual start of spring is still three weeks off, but the days are getting longer and warmer. The bulbs are sprouting in the garden, and the birds in the trees are active. And it's pleasant enough for a smoke on the deck. 

For this evening repast I grabbed one on my favorites, the Rocky Patel Hamlet Tabaquero, accompanied by a bottle of Knob Creek Single Barrel Rye.

The Hamlet Tabaquero is from my slowly shrinking stock I purchased in September 2020 upon hearing the line was being discontinued. The 6 x 52 Toro  has a San Andrés wrapper, a Nicaraguan filler, along with San Andrés and Brazilian Mata Fina double binders. The previous ones from this box have had some minor burn issues, but after 16 months of resting, the performance has improved. The balanced flavors of creamy sweetness, milk chocolate, cedar, and oak still present themselves well. With half the box gone, it's getting more difficult to light up one, but I know the flavor will change over time, and they are great right now.

The Knob Creek Single Barrel Select Rye is a VA ABS pick, with a barrel date of June 13, 2016 and a selected date of January 31, 2023. I purchased the bottle in July 2023. The 6 year old rye is bottled at a respectable 115 proof. The nose is deceptively mild with cocoa, vanilla, and citrus. The proof and robust flavor profile truly shines in the sipping. I get a moderate amount of rye spice. Butterscotch, cocoa, along with some cinnamon and nuttiness join in as I roll the rye across my tongue. A spicy heat lingers for a long while in the finish.

The Tabaquero and the high proof Knob Creek Rye made for a flavorsome combination. I was pleased how neither the smoke nor the rye dominated, but instead complimented each other quite well.


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