Marsette Monsoon Coffee Liqueur Review, Recipes & Pairings

Cigars and Alcohol. Two luxury products that go hand in hand, and sometimes even meet on business level. Aging tobacco in whisky, rum, or cognac barrels is a practice several brands do to achieve extra flavor to the wrapper for certain lines. The famous bourbon brand Maker’s Mark has their own cigar, sold in tubes with the signature wax coating. Drew Estate works with Pappy van Winkle and used to make Kahlua cigars. Mombacho has the Diplomatico series. General Cigars works with Sazerac, which resulted in Fireball cigars, Weller by Cohiba and collaborations with Buffalo Trace. And there is the Diesel Whisky Row, a collaboration with Rabbit Hole Distilleries. Fratello Cigars also sells craft beer. Most famous are probably the Cuban collaboration between Martell Cognac and Cohiba. Dominique London, the European retailer with more than 20 shops in the UK, Belgium, Switzerland and the Canary Islands takes it one step further. They bought a distillery in Wales and produce whisky, gin, rum, vodka and liquors. They were kind enough to sponsor Cigar Inspector with samples so we can write about pairings.

Marsette Monsoon Coffee liqueur

I must admit, I am part of a minority. The minority of people that don’t drink coffee. I don’t like it and have never liked it. Strangely enough I do like the flavor of coffee in ice cream, cakes, cigars, and candy. Oh, and I make an exception for Cuban style coffee. Those darn strong, yet sweet shots of coffee. They make me run around like a Duracell bunny, but it’s so good. One of the best versions I had was with Nicaraguan coffee beans at the Joya de Nicaragua factory, but that’s a side step. The Marsette Monsoon Coffee Liqueur is made Monsoon Malabar beans from India. The beans swell up in the monsoon rains which allows the master distillers at Snowdonia to play with the robust aromatic flavors. The liqueur is hand crafted, copper distilled and made in small batches. The alcohol percentage is 19%.

As with the Foragers Clogau gin, I had to use a knife to get rid of the thick layer of wax. I must say, I do like the signature wax, I just wish there was an easier way to remove it. At first, I tried the liqueur neat, straight up in a shot glass. Not as a shot, but just a small glass to try it. The aroma is coffee, strong coffee without any alcohol smell. The liquid looks a bit thinner than the most famous coffee liqueur in the world, Kahlua, but is on par with other high end coffee liqueurs such as Mr. Black. The first sip said enough, this is way better than Kahlua. A slight creamy mouthfeel with lots of coffee and hits of cocoa and vanilla. What a delight and what would this pair great with a Padron 2000 or Cimarron Maduro. I need to buy both cigars soon and try my own recommendation.

The first cocktail I tried the Marsette Monsoon Coffee Liqueur with is a Black Russian. It’s a simple cocktail but with the right ingredients it’s very nice and a classic for a reason. As for the vodka in the cocktail, I opted for the Ybet Premium Welsh vodka from the same distillery, Snowdonia. The vodka is potent and slightly overpowers the coffee liqueur in the 2 to 1 recipe that I use. There are other, tweaked recipes that use equal parts of booze.  The aroma is still coffee, flavor also but milder with a vodka bite. A medium bodied cigar can stand up to this although a full-bodied cigar won’t overpower this as long as it’s not a very peppery smoke. It’s spirit forward so a mild cigar would not be the best pairing.

Black Russian Recipe:
2 oz of 60 ml Ybet Premium Welsh Vodka
1 oz or 30 ml Marsette Monsoon Coffee Liqueur

Pour the drinks in a mixing glass with ice and stir to combine. Then strain over ice in a highball glass. You can also build the cocktail straight in a highball glass if you don’t have a mixing glass. Optionally you can garnish the Black Russian with a cherry.

 If a Black Russian is nice with Marsette, how about a White Russian? Plus coffee and cream goes well with chocolate right? Lets make the White Russian with Ybet Chocolate Vodka. On the nose there is nothing, but the flavor makes up for it. It’s a chocolate coffee milkshake, but thinner. Or a melted mudslide cocktail, which would also be great with the Marsette. It’s creamy and smooth yet you can feel the alcohol from the vodka. The chocolate is very subtle under the cream and the coffee. Coming up with a pairing for this cocktail is hard. It can’t be a creamy cigar, as the cocktail is already very creamy. A cigar with lots of coffee notes or chocolate notes would also be too much of the same, white a lot of pepper would clash. Alec Bradley’s Black Market would fit the bill, or maybe a Montecristo No.2 for the lovers of Cuban cigars.

White Russian Recipe:
2 oz of 60 ml Ybet Chocolate  Vodka
2 oz or 60 ml Marsette Monsoon Coffee Liqueur
2 oz or 60 ml of heavy cream (or half-and-half)

Pour the alcohol in a mixing glass with ice and stir to combine. Then strain over ice in a highball glass. Then add the cream on top and stir gently. You can also build the cocktail straight in a highball glass if you don’t have a mixing glass.

Bonus cocktail, a shot so no pairing:
Alaskan Duck Fart Recipe:

½ ox of 15 ml of Marsette Monsoon Coffee Liqueur

½ ox of 15 ml of Baileys Irish Cream
½ ox of 15 ml of Stalla Dhu whisky
pour the Marsette in a shotglass. Carefully pour the Baileys on top with the use of a barspoon so you get 2 distinct layers. Use the same technique to layer the whisky on top of the Baileys. This is a fancy looking layered shot with a similar flavor profile to the White Russian.

Inspector X

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