I Love the Smell of Cigars & Rum in the Morning
November turned out to be one of the toughest months for me to conduct a cigar and rum pairing. The schedule was full of promotions and activities and whenever I had a few moments, I was too far from my cigars and my rum. On top of this, my best friend became a father on November 29th and did not f ind out the sex of the baby until that day.
As tradition dictates, we had to celebrate the birth of a baby boy with good cigars. As I was getting ready to do the pairing late that day, it started raining and I could not step outside of the house. So I’m sharing with all the readers this pairing which I conducted in less than ideal conditions. It all started with me having to wake up very early on the last day of the month to do the pairing, which reminded me of the movie “Apocalypse Now” and the famous quote by Robert Duvall’s character “I love the smell of napalm in the mornings” or, in my case, “I love the smell of cigars and rum in the morning! ”
This being the 12th pairing of the year, I wanted to make it special, so I looked for a 12 year old rum to get things moving in the right direction. I decided to use Caroni 12 Year Old rum, made 100% in Trinidad, distilled in 2000. This is a rum with a heavy character, bottled at 100 Proof. It features notes of prunes, a dominant dry caramel taste in the mouth, along with well -oxidized alcohol. Definitely a rum for a very special pairing.
For the cigar I selected one from Perdomo Cigars, a Churchill (7x54) from the Champagne Sun Grown line, made with Cuban-seed tobaccos that were all cultivated in Nicaragua, featuring an attractive color and an initial aroma reminiscent of dry fruits and freshly milled white wood. The tobacco opened up nicely and was very inviting.
While the cigar provided very clean aromas and typical tastes of Nicaraguan tobacco leaves, the main character in this play was definitely the rum, but not in an unbalanced form. The cigar provided all the background ambiance needed for the rum to showcase itself while also allowing for the tobacco to be recognized and appreciated. It did, in the words of Duvall “smell of victory.”
I hope you can enjoy this pairing someday, simple yet victorious. I also want to invite readers to submit their own ideas for pairings.
I will select the best and most audacious ideas and will feature them in future columns, so that we all may share from this wonderful world of tobacco and rum.
Philip Ili Barake