25 Jun 2013
[This is part 1 of our A-Z Bourbon Guide. Read part 2 here.]
StogieGuys.com is, first and foremost, a cigar publication. Every day for seven years, we’ve published an article written to interest the informed cigar smoking reader. Our only editorial bias is pro-cigar; we are opposed to tobacco taxes, smoking bans, and cigar regulations.
Despite our narrow focus on cigars, over the years we’ve written quite a bit about bourbons, given how well they tend to pair with a fine cigar. To that end, here’s a StogieGuys.com guide to bourbon. (This is part one, with part two coming tomorrow.) In addition to a link to the full write-up, I’ve included my take on the defining characteristics of each whiskey.
Obviously, this isn’t every bourbon available (and we’ll certainly be adding to our Spirits articles with more bourbon write-ups in the future), but it’s a pretty thorough overview of what’s out there. To that end, here is the Cliffs Notes version of our coverage of bourbon. And of course, each article has a few recommended cigar pairings:
1792 Ridgemont Reserve – Dry and oaky, with spice and fruit flavors.
A.H. Hirsch Reserve 16 – Basically impossible to find now (think $400+) but very refined and very special.
Angel’s Envy – Deliciously sweet and refined with fruit notes from the port barrel finish.
Basil Hayden’s – Mild, sweet, easy-drinking spirit, though you can get better for the price.
Booker’s – Thrilling and powerful, yet refined, barrel-strength bourbon from Beam.
Buffalo Trace – Balanced, easy-sipping, and an affordable ($22) standby.
Bulleit 10 Year Single Barrel – Spicy with lots of vanilla. Very lively.
Corner Creek Reserve – Dry and woody, with just enough vanilla.
Elijah Craig 18 Year Single Barrel – Tremendous bourbon for the price (~$40) that sadly has been discontinued.
Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage – This edition (1998) is simultaneous clean, balanced, and complex. Also a great value ($25).
Four Roses Single Barrel - Classic balanced bourbon with equal parts sweet and spice.
Four Roses Small Batch – Great combination of richness and value. Very balanced.
Eagle Rare Single Barrel – Hard to beat for the price ($25). Well-rounded, sweet, and plenty tasty.
Elmer T. Lee Single Barrell – Not quite the richness of Blanton’s but similar and nearly half the price.
Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch – Phenomenal value at $15 with good balance.
George T Stagg – A rare (now very hard to acquire) bourbon with serious intensity and full flavors. Worth seeking out.
Hudson Baby Bourbon – Aged quickly in mini barrels, it’s fresh with sweet corn, wood, and lots of fire.
Hooker’s House Bourbon – Finished in pinot noir barrels, it has a soft, fruit edge.
Tomorrow you can see part two, which includes a wide range of offerings from large and small bourbon companies. And of course keep an eye out for more additions (I see a couple prospects on my shelf, pictured above, as I write this). And, in the meantime, check out our general guide to pairing spirits with a cigar.
photo credit: Stogie Guys