In choosing my pair, I really wanted to go for something we hadn’t tried before. We have had people asking us to do a JD pairing and we really wanted to make that work for you guys! So, for this pair, I was planning to go with a Tennessee theme, which included some kind of Tennessee whiskey or bourbon and then a cigar to match.

The Drink: Jack Daniels Single Barrel

There is some great information out there about the history of Jack Daniels, but here’s a glimpse of it. Jasper Newton Daniel was born in 1850. He ran away from home after his father was killed in the Civil War and was taken in by a local preacher who was also a moonshine distiller. In 1875, he started his own distillery after getting some inheritance from the death of his father. The square-shaped bottle was introduced in 1897, to convey a sense of fairness and integrity. In 1911, Jasper died due to blood poisoning, leaving the company to one of his nephews (Motlow) since he didn’t have any children of his own. Unfortunately during prohibition, production had stopped but came back in 1938.

What they have to say about the drink

We hold ourselves to the highest standard when crafting and selecting Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel. In fact, just one out of every 100 barrels are set aside to mature in the highest reaches of our barrelhouses, where dramatic temperature changes cause the color and taste to deepen further. Each barrel is hand-selected for its one-of-a-kind flavor, robust taste, and notes of toasted oak, vanilla, and caramel. It’s not easy making a whiskey like Single Barrel. But easy never interested us in the first place.

On the nose: Sweet Vanilla, caramel character

On the palate: Expresses at the back of the palate, Oak, longer finish and ‘creamy’ mouth-feel

The Cigar: Crowned Heads Four Kicks

Crowned Heads inadvertently came out of the merging of General Cigar and CAO. After the merger and relocation of the company from Nashville, TN to Richmond, VA, John Huber left the company as the “Director of lifestyle marketing” to start his own line of cigars. In August of 2011, the company announced their partnership with E.P. Carrillo for the blending of their new cigars and they also announced their production of their new cigars.  We were really looking forward to pairing their cigars with Jack Daniels.

Side note:  This cigar is actually named after the song “Four Kicks” by Kings of Leon

Construction 5 x 50, Habano Ecuador wrapper, Nicaragua binder and fillers, medium-full strength

The Pair

We decided to start with the drink and, upon tasting the drink, it definitely had a ‘sharper’ taste than some of the other stuff we’ve been drinking lately. The most prominent flavours being oak and citrus.

The drink after the cigar: After smoking, the drink seemed to tame down a little. The smokiness and oak stuck around, but the sharp finish diminished to smooth it out more.  There’s a lot of citrus on the flavour which some group members didn’t enjoy.

The cigar after the drink: Found the cigar got really creamy and smooth

Final Thoughts

This pair works, but it seemed like there was potentially a better pair available out there.  The then paired this cigar with  Basil Hayden Straight Bourbon and actually enjoyed this combination a bit more.  If you’re interested in pairing cigars with Jack Daniels whisky, give this a try!

– Josh