Wednesday, May 1, 2024

ODG 114 and Black Label Novemdiales

I remarked on Instagram that just making it to Tuesday can be cause for celebration. It was hyperbole, but I did feel the need to sit and relax after a day of work frustrations. 

Before I even opened my humidor, I had the Black Label Trading Company Bishops Blend Novemdiales in mind to smoke. I still have a few resting since last October and figured they might be hitting their prime. I've mentioned previously that the annual Bishops Blend releases are among my favorite smokes, and this variation from 2023 is especially enjoyable. The Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper, Ecuadorian habano binder, and a complex filler of tobaccos from Nicaragua, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut provide a flavorful smoke from the 5 x 50 Robusto.

The densely packed cigar burned well and provided a full bodied smoking experience. Rich, dark fruit, boosted with bitter espresso were the predominate flavors. There are also strong cedar and pepper spices adding to the excitement.

Pairing the cigar with the Old Grand-Dad 114 seemed to me an obvious choice. The 114 proof bourbon has a high rye mash bill providing a spicy noted in both the aroma and palate. Upon sipping I get a copious brown sugar and caramel sweetness, along with bold rye and cinnamon spices. The 114 proof provides warmth and a long finish.

As predicted, the pairing was perfect. The evening spent on the porch, with warm temperatures and a mild breeze was a fitting finish to the day. I'll plan more of these.


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