This was the last in our series of ‘easily accessible pairs’. After another recent trip to Miami, we got to meet up and hang out with the guys over at Espinosa and that’s what sparked on this pairing. I was planning to pair this cigar with a scotch already and Erik confirmed that for me. After speaking with Anthony, he recommended I try the Chivas Regal and that’s how I ended up where I did.
About the Drink
This story seems somewhat familiar as it had similar beginnings to Johnnie Walker (which can be read here). It also started out as a grocer back in 1801 and started producing whiskey during the 1850s and in the early 1900s, the brand was introduced to the U.S. market and became we know today as Chivas Regal. During WW2 the whiskey was actually the brand that Frank Sinatra would ask for as well.
About the Cigar
Erik was born in Havana, Cuba and moved with his family to Miami as a baby. Raised in Miami, he inherited his passion for cigars from his father. He began working in the cigar industry in 1997, and over the last 15 years he has been involved in almost every facet of the cigar industry. Working with numerous successful cigar makers serving as Sales Manager, Independent Broker, In-house Sales Representative and owning his own B&M. In 2012 he was able to go out on his own completely which would allow him to create this solid medium-bodied cigar which is “crafted and packed with rich cocoa, pepper and cedar flavoured notes” named the Espinosa Habano.
About the Pair
The Cigar: Contains nicaraguan tobacco but the rest of a secret. Erik refers to the colonel who never revealed his 11 spices and flavours to create the breading on the chicken.
The Drink: On the nose – yeast, oak, sweetness; To the taste – sweet, raisin, ‘typical finish’.
Right off the top, we first tasted the drink and we were pleasantly surprised! We weren’t expecting all that flavour for this price-point. We were able to get the sweetness and oakey flavours as described. After enjoying the looming flavours, we cut the ends of our cigars and lit’up. After taking a few pulls on the cigar, I found the drink to give off some more sweetness that would linger on the tongue. The drink lost some of the sharp punch and helped to make it somewhat smoother. Continuing back and forth, we started to notice more sweetness coming out of the cigar and the finish on the drinks would start to bring out some slightly bitter tones of citrus. Near the end of the pair, two of the members found bitter notes to come out more in the drink and cigar.
So in the end, it was a pleasant pair with a lot of flavours from both the cigar and whiskey. For the price, you get quite a good pair, but just watch out for some of those bitter tones in the end.