April 14, 2016

Pairing Glenlivet Founders Reserve & Punch Cigars

Many of our followers are based out of the good ol’ US of A and generally don’t have access to Cuban cigars like we do.  There is one Cuban cigar however that’s even tricky for some of us to get – Punch.  The official importer Havana House doesn’t supply them due to some naming issues, and so stores than carry them have to get them through a less reputable source.

I chose this drink because of the notes recorded by the manufacturer to be honest.  And even though I have a preference for pairing Cuban cigars with Highland Scotches, I calculated that the differences – and similarities – would be a great fit for this cigar.

Punch “Punch”

The box I purchased was around 5 years old at the time and so the cigars had a bit of age to them.  On the nose the cigar is quite light and it’s hard to distinguish anything significant.  The wrapper is fairly light coloured.  The dry draw delivers sweet grass and vanilla notes.

The first puffs are surprisingly woody consisting of cedar and oak.

Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve

The Founder’s Reserve was created in created as an homage in the style of whisky created by founder George Smith.  Generally speaking, it has replaced the 12 year with mixed reviews.

Opening in 1824, Glenlivet was the first (legal) distillery in the Speyside region.  This Scotch is matured mainly in American oak ex-bourbon casks.  The bottle is adorned with the signature of George Smith.

The drink on the nose is fruity – apples, peaches, sweetness, and a hint of raw sugar.

The Pair

After taking a puff of the cigar the drink becomes oaky with a layer of honey.  After the drink the cigar remains fairly consistent but with a touch more oak than before. The combination is smooth and sweet.

It was a good pair but I would try this cigar with a woodier and smokier scotch.  Perhaps the Laphroaig Quarter Cask would be a better choice.  Give it a try and let us know!

– David