Ever since our trip down to Miami and visiting Paul Stulac, I have been very excited to finally pair this stick. We are all very big fans of this cigar and all of the ones we’ve tried from the Stulac line so far and this one is right up there! When we were first smoking it, we all thought that the flavours would profile well against a nice tawny port, so I took this opportunity to do something a little extra special. Also, knowing that Paul is a huge port fan was a contributing factor to this pairing.

About the Drink

We have previously paired the Taylor Fladgate 10-year tawny and the 20-year tawny previously, but having got my hands on the 30-year a while ago, we were excited. Taylor Fladgate has a long history in the business of producing port and it’s no surprise that it’s one of our favourites. This tawny is made from grapes of the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior. This tawny is a blend created by using tawnies with an average of 30 years of aging.

About the Cigar

Toro talked about this stick in his entry about visiting Paul Stulac (read here), but the Red Screaming Sun (sweet name) is made of a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, Sumatra binder, and Nicaragua filler and the one we smoked was a toro (5×54). We’ve all had quite a few of them already and each time had a great smoke! Since this was the first time we’ve actually ‘paired’ it, I thought I would ask the guys what they were expecting from this smoke. Here’s the consensus of what we all said:

“Some spice on the tongue off the top; a medium strength, but dark smoke (not white and billowy like Cubans) with consistant flavours throughout. Typically a good burn but sometimes one weird spot but its controllable. Smells of raisin and (oddly) gram cracker.”

The Red Screaming Sun line was debuted at the 2012 IPCPR show last August.

About the Pair

So, it had been quite a while since we had the 10-year and 20-year tawny’s. We loved them, but now with the 30-year within reach, I decided to also bring a 10-year along for comparison. We started off by tasting the 10-year tawny just to get our flavour profiles straight. It tasted wonderful as usual and we could really taste the fig flavour, but we did notice a the alcohol flavour quite strong in it. After a few sips there, we had some water to cleanse the palate a little, then poured the 30-year tawny (enter the Bishop of Norwich – Port etiquette).

Off the top, the smell of the 30-year was full and you could smell the caramel flavours very strongly. It smelled like an amazing dessert that you can’t wait to taste (not so far from the truth)! Upon taking a sip, your mouth explodes with sweet flavours of nut, fig and caramel, and the finish was very long and smooth all the way down. It screamed for more! After taking a few more sips, we then went back and tasted the 10-year and it was amazing to now taste the difference in quality. We really enjoy the 10-year, but after having the 30-year the complexity wasn’t there and the taste of alcohol was much more prevalent. (Disclaimer: We love the 10-year and would buy it again!).

Just as expected (from the paragraph above) the cigar started with pepper on the tongue and mouth (which evened out half way through). It actually reminds me somewhat of the Alec Bradley Tempus off the top (which isn’t a bad thing at all). After smoking the stick for a bit, we then tried a sip of the tawny and it seemed to mellow out the spice a little, but the flavours of the port were still there. It didn’t lose anything at all and even though the spice was mellowed, the stick retained its flavours as well! When trying the 10-year with this stick, it went pretty well, but upon swallowing, the finish brought out a little ‘ashy’ flavour in the throat that lasted momentarily.

We really enjoyed this pair and felt that they held their own! Neither overpowered the other, but they seemed to sing in unison together as the pair went a little longer than usual! If I can get my hands on another 30-year, this stick will be one I’d enjoy having with it again!

Please, give it a try and let us know what you think of it!