Pairing Cigars & Alcohol – Ron El Rumbo Premium Cuban Añejo Oro

Pairing Cigars & Alcohol – Ron El Rumbo Premium Cuban Añejo Oro
Date: September 2023
Author: Inspector X

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 flavour 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 until Mombacho dissolved. 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.

Ron El Rumbo Premium Cuban Añejo Oro

Ron “El Rumbo” is distilled in Cuba and the base is Cuban sugar cane from the sun-drenched sugar cane fields of Cuba. That’s where its character comes from. The alcohol is distilled in one of the Islands oldest distilleries, the molasses settles in for the first year of aging of the “Aguardiente” (Aqua Vitae). This is followed by two more years in American Oak barrels, after which “its course” is set. The rum is then shipped to Wales, to the Snowdonia distillery where it undergoes aging Solera style in French cognac barrels. The final product is a golden rum with an ABV of 40%

Neat

The best glassware to taste a new spirit is a Glencairn glass. So that’s the glass I used for this rum. The nose has hints of cocoa, toffee apple, vanilla, fudge and you can smell that the rum was aged in cognac barrels. The rum is smooth, slightly smoky with a warmth of cognac. The finish has notes of apple and pear. A slightly sweeter cigar would work well, so either a creamy Sobremesa Brulee or something with a Maduro wrapper would work great.

Parasol

The nose is mainly lime with a hint of banana. The rum and pineapple are not present in the nose. The rum is present in the flavour though, with added sweetness from the banana and pineapple, balanced by the lime. The lime is a bit too strong though, and therefore this cocktail calls for a strong, full bodied and earthy cigar. Something like the Gatekeeper from Alec & Bradley, La Promesa by My Father Cigars, or the Ashton VSG series.

And now for the Parasol recipe:
2 ounces of 60ml of aged rum
¾ ounce or 22½ml of Banana liqueur
¾ ounce or 22½ml of lime juice, freshly squeezed
½ ounce or 15 ml of pineapple
Pour all the liquids in a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Ron Collins

The Tom Collins is a very famous cocktail, and so popular that there are a lot of variations out there, inspired by the original Tom Collins. The Ron Collins is one of those cocktails that draws from the Tom Collins.

The nose is lime with a little hint of toffee from the rum. Even though there is only a little bit of lime in this cocktail, it is overpowering. The simple syrup isn’t strong enough to balance the acidity of the lime out. The notes of the rum are creating a nice backbone to the lime. The cocktail is neither here nor there. Any medium bodied or stronger cigar will do, I smoked a Capricorn by Steenbok, a figurado. Steenbok is a Dutch brand of Honduran made premium cigars, worth a try if you can find them.

and now for the Ron Collins recipe:
½ ounce or 15 ml simple syrup
1½ ounce or 45ml or 2 oz of Ron El Rumbo
½ ounce or 15ml of lime juice
Soda water to top
Add the lime juice, simple syrup and rum in a highball. Fill it with ice and top up with soda water. Give it a gentle stir and enjoy.


Inspector X

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