Cigar Pairing Experiment: Glenrothes Whisky & EP Carrillo Cigars

This is an experiment I have been very anxious to play with: lighting multiple cigars of different strengths and styles, and testing them with multiple whiskies all at once. Normally when I do a tasting the focus is one cigar to one or more whiskies, but this way I was able to experience the subtle differences that come alive when you are comparing flavor notes moment by moment, rather than from an hour or day ago.

The opportunity to do this was born after meeting The Glenrothes ambassador, Ross Hendry, who challenged me to test out how cigars pair with three selections of Glenrothes whiskies. Instead of experimenting on my own and featuring a single cigar and whisky pairing, this time I wanted to include you in the adventure.

As for the cigars, after a special event at Santa Barbara Cigars in Houston which headlined special guest, Lissette Perez-Carrillo of EP Carrillo Cigars– I knew exactly what I was going to be pairing with my whiskies. I adore the Carrillo family and have a great respect for their history in the industry as well as their passion for making the perfect and balanced blend. In the video below, I had the honor of talking to Lissette and learning more about their family, their cigars, and how the two are one and the same.

If you have explored your own cigar and whisky pairings, I would love to hear your results! Taste is subjective, and we all have our own preferences- but there are enough of us out there with common tasting profiles that if you share, someone is bound to discover something new to enjoy.

Cigar and Whiskies featured in this video:

EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut:
Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua

EP Carrillo Core Line:
Wrapper: Ecuador (Sumatra)
Binder:Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua

EP Carrillo Maduro:
Wrapper: Connecticut (Broadleaf)
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua

The Glenrothes Select Reserve, The Glenrothes Vintage 1998, and The Glenrothes Vintage 1994

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3 Comments

  1. Tom P
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 18:20:55

    Did you “open” any of these with water? I find this can offer dramatic different flavor characteristics to the whisky. Especially with milder cigars.
    I also find the peaty Islay expressions generally pair better with fuller bodied smokes.
    Long ashes!

  2. teresa
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 14:43:25

    Tom, it absolutely can- you are right! When tasting I prefer to taste the whisky directly, enjoyment after tasting is a matter of personal preference. I prefer mine sans water most of the time, every now and then I find a cask strength that a drop or two of mineral water benefits. That’s a great point though with the milder cigars.

    I’ve been tempted to play with an Islay tasting.. I love the taste of the sea and the smoke of the peat. The Octomore from Bruichladdich has been a challenging one to pair with, ha. Definitely more experiments to come :)

  3. Tee
    Dec 30, 2011 @ 21:41:55

    Teresa,
    Loved your review of the Glenrothes and EP Carrillo cigars. I can’t wait for more!
    Would love tossed a similar tasting – 3 spirits, 3 cigars – with sipping rums.

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