It’s that time of year again! Time for colorful leaves, cooler evenings, lumberjack flannels, and Luke Skywalker boots. As we say in the south… It’s fall, y’all! Fall is the time of the year when whiskey drinkers start upping their proof and cigar smokers can relax outside without having a heat stroke. So, sit back and relax as we talk about something sweet, something spicy, something warm, and something toasty. Its time for a few great whiskeys that you may just “FALL” in love with this season as well as a few cigars to pair with them.
For those of you that love a little sweetness in your life, Makers 46 makes for a great lower proof fall whiskey. Coming in a 94 proof, this beautiful wheated bourbon is made by adding charred French white oak staves to their original Makers Mark and ageing it for an additional ten weeks to give it more of a sweet and slightly oaky taste. With notes of maple syrup, caramel, and brown sugar and a slight toasty note on the finish, this is definitely a bourbon that you can enjoy while sitting outside with your significant other watching the sun set.
Distillery: Makers Mark
Cigar Pairing: Tatuaje Reserva Broadleaf
The toasted nutty notes and spice from the Tatuaje Reserva compliments the Makers 46 by helping to bring out the sweet caramel and oak flavors from the bourbon.
Nothing says fall like a good rye whiskey. Coming from the Heaven Hill Distillery and at 100 proof, Rittenhouse Rye gives you notes of baking spices, cinnamon, black pepper, with a sweet citrus finish. A very versatile whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye can easily be enjoyed neat, on ice, or in most fall cocktails. If you are looking for a great pour to sip on while sitting in front of the fireplace with your sweetie, look no further. This one will have you relaxing in no time.
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Proof: 100 BiB
Cigar Pairing: Ashton Virgin Sun Grown
For me a great cigar to smoke with any rye needs to be able to hold up to its spices. The Ashton VSG does just that. The cedar and spice notes from the VSG helps to bring out the baking spices and sweetness from the Rye. These two will have you coming back sip after sip and puff after puff.
You can’t think about fall without thinking about turkey. Whether you are looking for something to enjoy on a cool fall evening or a neat poor after a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, Russell’s 10 Year Single Barrel from Wild Turkey is always a great treat. Jumping up to 110 proof and giving you flavors of cinnamon, toasted oak, and spice and leaving you with a long vanilla and chocolate finish and a soothing Kentucky hug. This whiskey is a great choice to warm up your evening from the inside out and leave you ready to snuggle up under a warm blanket.
Distillery: Wild Turkey
Proof: 110 Single Barrel
Cigar Pairing: Matilde Limited Exposure No. 1
One of my favorite cigars, The Matilde Limited Exposure No 1 offers you the perfect mix of sweetness and spice from the Mexican San Andres wrapper that pare perfectly with the cinnamon and vanilla from the Russell’s Reserve. It’s a combination that’s hard to resist.
Last but not least we move into a category that sums up this time of the year perfectly. When you think of fall you think of relaxing outside by the fire on a nice cool evening with your family and friends. You think of making s’mores, telling stories, and enjoying the wonderful time together. Some may be drinking hot chocolate and eating marshmallows, while others are looking for a great pour and delicious cigar to cap off the evening. If you are the latter; I’ve got a great suggestion for you. Raising the proof temperature just a little, Penelope Barrel Strength Toasted Bourbon is 113 proof points of toasted marshmallow, chocolate and caramel goodness. The finish is soft and sweet and drinks easier than most bourbons at this proof. If you are a fan of any of the toasted whiskeys, this one is a must try.
Cigar Pairing: AJ Fernandez Viva La Vida Toro
I think what made this pairing so good was the contrast in flavors. The whiskey had lots of sweet, delicious, toasted notes and the cigar had a lot of hardy, meaty, peppery notes that when sipped and smoked back to back were just amazing. It was a sweet and spicy sensation that kept me intrigued and looking for more.
As always, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to read this. If you have any whiskeys or bourbons or alcohol free alternatives that you enjoy in the Fall, please let me know in the comments below. I love good conversation and being able to hear and learn about what you enjoy. Until next Whiskey Wednesday, if you’re going to enjoy a little smoke & oak just remember, “Life’s too short, enjoy the good stuff”…. and do it responsibly!