We understand that sometimes it’s hard for our followers to find a specific spirit that we’ve paired. Maybe it’s a vintage release that is no longer available, or maybe it’s just out of your budget. We’ve decided that over the next few weeks we would present some pairs that are easily and readily accessible to anybody who walks into a liquor shop. Having said that, I’ve decided to give pairing cigars and bourbon a spin starting with Makers Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon as the drink.
Makers Mark Bourbon
To be honest, I’ve never had Makers Mark. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? So I decided I wanted to try it. I’ve read lots of great reviews, and heard a lot of positive feedback with this spirit in terms of pairing well with cigars. Makers Mark is unique in terms of not using traditional a rye in their process. Instead, they decided to use red winter wheat. All of their Bourbon’s are aged in charred white oak barrels that spent 9 months outside. Including 2 winters. They say the winter months help eliminate some of the bitter tannins in the barrels, thus eliminating it from your Bourbon! Fun Fact: The red wax is actually trademarked by Makers Mark! No other company is able to seal their bottles with wax because of this!
Off the nose we found the Makers Mark had a fruity / citrus aroma to it, there were some floral notes and the drink definitely had a smokiness to it. After tasting: the consensus was this is a strong and powerful drink. The smokiness we could smell was definitely apparent. We found some charred wood and sweet caramelized notes, with hints of coconut. The coconut lingered amongst the short smoky finish.
C y B Cigar
Joya De Nicaragua cigars was the first premium handmade cigar manufacturer in Nicaragua. They located in the city of Estelí, manufacturing and marketing internationally renowned cigars. A change from Joya’s tradition of producing Nicaraguan puros, the CyB is made up of tobaccos from four different countries. This cigar has a Ecuadorian Habano Wrapper, Dominican Republic binder & Nicaraguan and Peruvian Fillers.
The pre-light nose was gave aromas of sweet grass and very mild / light fresh tobacco. The cigar smelled very inviting. Not to mention visual aspect. The construction simply looked beautiful. The dry draw presented us with the same sweet grass we picked up off the nose, however we could also taste some mild pepper notes. After Lighting we found this cigar to have a light to medium draw with moderate smoke. The cigar gave us an even burn with a nice thick white ash. Some members of the group even said the cigar resembles a Hoyo De Nicaraguan cigar in its flavor profiles. There were some nutty notes, maybe pistachio, I personally didn’t pick up a specific nut. However, 2 other members did. The cigar was medium in body. We did notice one thing that was consistent amongst all 4 of our cigars. There was a hole through the centre that ran down the full length of the cigar. This did not affect our burn, draw or smoking experience. So we do not think it was a big deal, it was just interesting to see that it was present in all of our cigars.
About the Pair
After having the drink with the cigar we found the makers mark was still sweet, but the finis lingers a little more on the centre of our pallets, it was a charred taste. The cigar didn’t really change too much, although the smoke did feel a little creamier and definitely smoother. After this one change, the cigar was consistent throughout the entire pair.
With the drink being as powerful as it was, we found that the cigar didn’t get lost. The group decided the Makers Mark was a good pair, and that the cigar stood its ground and paired quite well. I would undeniably recommend grabbing a few buddies and giving this pair a try.
Check out our other cigars and bourbon pairings.