|07/2011 Perfect Storm of Flavors|
Bowmore's Tempest 10 Year Old, Second Release paired with a La Flor Dominicana Cameroon Cabinet Cigar and Chuao's Le Citron Bonbon
We beg to differ with Bowmore, but "Tempest" is anything but tumultuous. Betraying its name, Tempest eschews the raw characteristics of an Islay dram in favor of more balance and refinement for a coastal spirit. While it is certainly robust for a mere ten year old, we think it may be more aptly described as the perfect storm of flavors.
Bowmore was founded by John Simpson in 1779 and has the distinction of being the first recorded distillery on the island of Islay. Today it is owned by Morrison Bowmore, a division of Japanese behemoth Suntory, but this hasn't affected its strict adherence to Scottish distilling traditions. Bowmore's core expressions land in the middle ground of the characteristic Islay flavor profile, between the fiercely peaty Laphroaigs or Lagavulins and gentler lightly peated Bunnahabhain. Phenols typically range from 20 to 25 parts per million, versus the 40-50 ppms of its smokier Islay brethren spirits. Bowmore is one of the few remaining distilleries to have a malting floor on site, with a capacity of 14 tons of barley.
Tempest 10 year old, Batch 2 is a cask strength, limited release expression, exclusively aged in select first-fill bourbon casks. It is a stunning dram, more complex than its years, with a surprisingly creamy texture for its high alcohol content. The nose starts with a honey sweetness mixed with the light scent of sea air and whispy smoke, growing more fresh and citrusy the longer it sits in a glass. The palate is striking with an artful balance of sweet and salty, peaty and spicy notes. Honey, lemon, menthol, licorice and peat all conspire in wonderful swirls of flavor. There is even a hint of caramel before Tempest succumbs to its tangy end, then soft cedary finish. (Click on picture to purchase).
Le Citron bonbon from Chuao Chocolatier is the perfect match to the Bowmore Tempest. The richest milk chocolate you'll ever taste, has enrobed a filling of Meyer lemon caramel. This filling hits the citrusy notes of this dram "spot on" while the caramel mimics the sweetness of this spirit. The wonderful glutinous texture of the filling accentuates the silkiness of the scotch adding to the sensuality of this pairing. (Click on picture to purchase Le Citron bonbons)
When searching amongst the vast offerings of cigar makers for flavor pairings, citrus is often a difficult flavor to find in a cigar. Not so with the new La Flor Dominicana Cameroon Cabinet series. This cigar possesses an amazing flavor combination that makes it a perfect match for this complex, single malt from Bowmore.
La Flor Dominicana is a boutique-style cigar brand manufactured by Tabacalera La Flor S.A. in Santiago, Dominican Republic since 1996. Owned by cigar innovator Litto Gomez, LFD cigars consistently achieve high ratings and accolades for their innovative shapes and blends. From the mild Premium Line to the powerful Double Ligero series, there is a cigar to meet anyone's taste and strength preferences.
The Cameroon Cabinet Series utilizes only aged Cameroon Ligero leaves for the wrappers, and while they are not that pretty to look at, their burn characteristics and flavors are exceptional. Upon lighting, this cigar produces lots of aromatic smoke, has an excellent draw and begins an enjoyable ride of flavors that make this cigar a highlight of any evening. An easy sweetness and spice are the hallmark of this cigar, but what really makes it interesting is the combination of citrus, cedar and pepper that appear throughout the first and second third of the cigar. These flavor notes really engage the palate and tongue, making for a rich and complex experience. The cigar stays within the medium to full range and never overpowers the taste buds. (Click on picture to purchase.)
Joined together with the Bowmore Tempest, the individual flavors in the whisky are further enhanced, and one can easily pick out the citrus and sweet honey notes of the scotch. The cedar and pepper notes in the cigar also combine with the salty, peaty, cedary flavors in the whisky to make for a unique finish on the palate. This is so enjoyable, one has to pour another dram of whisky to stretch out the experience over the length of the cigar. This is an easy and relaxing pairing that has to be experienced. Alone the whisky and cigar are excellent, together, they are exceptional.
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