Flavor is why we love real beer. Theres no question about it. Regardless of what that flavor is, or what emotions or sensations it ignites, its the real flavor of true beer that drives us to it. But real flavor doesn’t only live in beer. Among my other favorite sources of flavor are cigars and spirits. Both are backed with rich and ripe flavors that defy all categorization and pump your palate full of deep aromatic and succulent flavors.
A couple weeks ago we had a gorgeous sunny afternoon just teasing me that summer is finally here. So my good friend and I sat out on my balcony and enjoyed the Eldorado 15 Year Old Rum with two cigars; La Aurora Barrel Aged Belicoso and the Ashton Classic Majesty.
The El Dorado 15
From Guyana, El Dorado’s rum is crafted from sugarcane which was withstood the test of time since the 16th century. The 15 year old is a blend of Demerara rums which range from 15 to 25 years in age. This award winning rum is available at most all LCBOs, and is my stock aged rum of choice.
It pours smooth and creamy revealing a dark red mahogany spirit with golden amber and garnet shining through it. The nose is a smooth and pungent blast of vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, maraschino cherries, almonds and a touch of orange. A hint of smoke and char glides in the back. Like the nose, the palate shows huge complexity and waves of layered flavor. Creamy sweet vanilla and toffee melt off your tongue bringing dried cherries, orange zest, apricots and a sweet whif of smoke. Its very elegant and warming leaving a oily rich flavor on your palate. Really quite striking and supremely enjoyable.
La Aurora Barrel Aged Belicoso
The name “barrel aged” in this sense is very different from what we would conjure when considering a barrel aged beer. Well, slightly different. The tobacco used to construct this cigar has been aged in used rum casks. The purpose is not to flavor the tobacco, but rather to speed the fermentation and maturation process creating new unique flavors. The Belicoso has a 52 ring gauge and is 6.25 inches long. A dark and slightly oily Dominican corojo wrapper seals in the Dominican binder, and the filler which is from both the Dominican and Nicaragua.
The cigar before lit is sweet with notes of cherry wood and traces of brown sugar, char and tobacco. The smoke is relatively aggressive with rich earthy sweet aromas followed by the wood that I got on the initial nose. The draw is easy and smooth brining a warm bodied smoke in evenly which finish again woody and with a touch of spice and pepper.
This cigar paired just about perfectly with the El Dorado. The wood and spice was a superb match, but the rum still had a sweetness that needed companionship.
Ashton Classic Majesty
The Ashton Classic Majesty would be a big change from the La Aurora’s rich flavors. The entire Classic line of cigars are medium bodied using a blend of three to four year old Dominican tobacco sealed with a golden sand colored Connecticut shade wrapper. The difference in these cigars is blatantly obvious just by looking at them.
The pre lite smell is sweet and soft with hints of dew, sweet earth and soft wood. When lit, the cigar perfumes soft aromas showing very floral lingering flavors. The draw is very easy, almost too easy bringing with it light pine wood, hints of cedar and vanilla with light spice and round soothing charred smoke.
It was a very elegant cigar, but a bit to light for my tastes. It also could not compete with the richness of the El Dorado, however my friend preferred this match. It just goes to show, no two palates are completely alike.