July 17, 2014

Pairing Laphroaig Quarter Cask Scotch + Blessed Leaf Kairos Cigar

Laphroaig Quarter Cask

I have to say that when I first saw the name Quarter Cask I thought this was just going to be your typical, cheaper, under-aged whisky.  What I found was a great spirit that could easily find it’s way permanently onto my go-to shelf.
Laphroiag was founded in 1820 and helped put Islay on the map long before Lagavulin and Ardbeg  helped to make the region famous.  An interesting side-fact about this distillery is that one of its greatest advocates is Prince Charles who bestowed his Royal Seal upon it. In 1994 the Price crash landed his plane on Islay after overshooting the runway on his way to the distillery!
Laphroaig is known historically for “peat you can almost chew”.  However some say that due to the introduction of chill-filtering and lowering the ABV to a standard 40%, that some of this quality has been lost.  Because of it’s strong peaty and medicinal nose and qualities, during prohibition in the USA this spirit was still able to be prescribed by doctors!  I’m convinced now that a glass a day may just keep the doctor away!  This drink is not chill filtered.
The reason for the name quarter cask is that it is aged in a cask 1/4 the size as normal which allows for 30% more contact of the spirit with the wood.  As whisky is aged in barrels it gets much more complex and absorbs the woodiness, but loses some peat.  This method allows the smokey wood to penetrate the spirit while maintaining the peatyness.
This beautifully clear, gold scotch, has beautiful scents of peat, the smoke from a winter fire, with hints of coconut.  In the mouth you get smoke and peat along with minerality and the essence of the moist sea air where it’s aged.  Has a clean, medium length finish.  It tastes older than it is.  Pick one up.
There’s a great site about this drink here: http://www.laphroaig.com/qc/
And a great review by Ralfy here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpf-era7sh0

Blessed Leaf – Kairos

This cigar came about as a side project by the great guys at Ezra Zion.  This micro-batch of just 4000 cigars is made in Miami in the Casa Fernandez factory.  It’s a Nicaraguan puro with a vintage Corojo 99 rosado wrapper, and fillers from ligero fillers from Esteli and Jalapa.
As you light it you’ll notice an easy draw and mouthfuls of tasty smoke.  Nutty, woody, creamy and then…  white pepper in the back of the throat just to add some excitement!  I found this smoke was decently complex and you could notice the different stages of flavours in your mouth.
You can read about the Blessed Leaf community here: http://blessedleaf.ning.com/ABOUT

About the pair

This was a good combination that brought out new flavours in each other.  The drink brought out the leather in the cigar and cleaned up the smoke making the white pepper more refined. The drink remained the solid, flavourful scotch we began with but new notes of citrus emerged and the smokiness settled down a bit.

It was a good combination that can be had for a reasonable price.  It wasn’t overly powerful for a scotch pairing and for the first two thirds was easy going and easily enjoyed.

Check out our other scotch and cigar pairings

Check out our Ezra Zion pairings.

Blessed Leaf Kairos Cigar Pairing

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