Tequila And Cigars
What comes to your mind at first when hearing the word tequila? Acapulco beach, bright sun and bronzed girls ;) or a warm evening at the terrace in a Mexican restaurant with a beautiful lady next to you? A hot and passionate Latino dance in a crowded place should also come in mind while drinking or just mentioning tequila.
Some of us also imagine a glass of fine tequila with a good cigar though until quite recently this pairing seemed weird to the majority of aficionados. Cognac, whiskey, wine - these are the drinks that created themselves a solid reputation while matching with cigars and tequila was not included in this list. And now when this noble beverage takes part in our cigar society, let's enumerate its types:
Blanco ("white") or plata ("silver") - an immature white colored spirit, bottled or warehoused just after distillation, or ripen about two months in oak casks;
Joven ("young") or oro ("gold") - un-aged "blanco" tequila, mixed with reposed or seasoned tequilas, most of them caramel colored, sugar solution, glycerin, and/or oak extract added in such a way as to taste like matured drink;
Reposado ("rested") - undergo fermentation at least for two months, but less than a year in oak casks;
Anejo ("aged" or "vintage") - a minimum one year of aging is required, but less than 3 years in oak barrels;
Extra Anejo ("extra aged" or "ultra aged") - undergoes the process of aging of a minimum three years in oak barrels. This grade was introduced in March 2006.
In order to make some tequila pairings there have been chosen two cigar brands: A. Turrent 6 Generations Robusto leased by Nueva Matacapan de Tabacos S.A. de C.V. in Mexico and the Oliva Serie V Liga Especial Torpedo by Tabacalera Oliva Tabolisa in Nicaragua.
The A. Turrent Robusto is a medium to full bodied cigar introduced recently to celebrate the Turrent family's 125th anniversary as cigar manufacturers. The stick is handmade with a Mexican wrapper and filler, and Nicaraguan binder.
The Oliva Torpedo is a medium to full bodied stick with Nicaraguan filler, a harmonious blend of coffee, bittersweet chocolate and a nuance of cinnamon.
Here are four tequila brands paired with these cigars:
Jose Cuervo's Reserva de la Familia possesses deep dark golden color. The aroma is dominated by nut and apple notes, hints of oak, cinnamon and olive. The palate is magic and surprisingly soft and harmonious with melon, roasted nuts and vanilla. A prolonged clear aftertaste. Tequila's pleasant, round flavor creates a balanced atmosphere to pair well with both stogies.
Maestro Dobel Diamond Tequila is created by Juan-Domingo "Dobel" Beckmann separately from Casa Cuervo where he is the executive director. The spirit is a blend of the Reposado, Anejo and Extra-Anejo tequilas which together create this unique drink. The aroma is filled with delicate, baked agave with the tiniest sweetness blended with earthy hints. The spirit is full-bodied and very smooth; the palate is dominated by hints of oak, notes of vanilla and butterscotch. It has a short sweet honey and a bit of spicy finish. Tequila pairs well with milder A. Turrent 6 while The Oliva Serie V seems to overpower this drink.
Patron Anejo is a spicy spirit with pale gold, honey pine color. It has exotic aroma, with pear and ripen agave hint, a little of vanilla and oak. The flavor is amazing, rich and fine; the finish is long, with bit of sweetness, very pleasant. Though goes pretty well with both sticks, Oliva cigar is much better for this kind of tequila due to their spiciness.
El Mayor is highland agave tequila. The aroma is clean with floral and spicy hints. When tasting it, one can sense full agave savor; the mouth fills with floral and peppery notes. The finish is unobtrusive; still it leaves a pleasant light feeling of heat and at the same time it is dry and clean with peppery nuances. The drink seems to pair perfectly with both cigars as it assumes to bring out sweetness which apparently brings out the honey hints of every cigar.