Pairing Cigars & Alcohol – Stalla Dhu Cask Strength Glenrothes Late Hour Port Finish

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 used to have the Diplomatico series but Mombacho no longer exists. 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.

Stalla Dhu Cask Strength Glenrothes Late Hour Port Finish

The Glenrothes distillery is a Speyside single malt Scotch whisky distillery founded in 1879. The Glenrothes distillery is located in the town of Rothes in the heart of the Speyside region of Scotland. The distillery sits beside the Burn of Rothes, hidden in a glen on the edge of the town.  The Glenrothes is renowned for the quality, structure and flavour, the result of over 140 years of whisky making tradition. Since its opening, the whisky from the distillery has been one of the most sought after on Speyside.

This Stalla Dhu Cask Strength Glenrothes Late Hour Port Finish explains a lot in the name. It is cask strength, 64.2% ABV, which is strong. And it’s finished in a Tawny Port cask, which should add some sweetness to the whisky. It is a limited edition, this was bottle 213. The spirit was bottled in 2022 and the cask number is 222/01105.

Neat

As always I try the spirit first in a Glencairn glass. There is ethanol on the nose, with dried summer fruits, which most likely comes from the tawny port casks. The drink itself packs a punch, summer fruits and sweetness from the port, combined with liquorice, a little salty flavour, and barley. The high alcohol content is clearly noticeable. Even though the flavours are solid, with a long and sweet finish that has some orange hints, this whisky will still put some hair on your chest. This whisky needs something strong, I would recommend the Rocky Patel BDS for example, or Alec Bradley’s Double Broadleaf.

In a rocks glass, the nose is milder, there isn’t as much ethanol as in a Glencairn. The whisky tastes even sweeter, again, ripe red berries, summer fruit, with a bit of pepper, a bite and a whole lot of character. This whisky is the perfect drink someone who’s looking for a mix between a sweeter whisky and a stronger whisky. Lovers of Sherry finished and Port finished whiskies will love this, but lovers of strong bold whiskies will like it just as much. Take a Tatuaje Reserva and you have a great pairing.

Old Fashioned

The nose is all about orange, as expected. The sugar brings extra sweetness, but takes away from the ripe fruit flavour while the bitters of the Angostura create a bit more contrast to the sweetness. To be honest, I prefer this whisky neat as it seems better balanced without the added sugar and the bitters. But it does make a very interesting old fashioned though and one that can put you on your ass if you’re not careful. The cigar that you are pairing this with has to have body to stand up to the high ABV of this drink. Mi Querida triqui traca from Dunbarton comes to mind, or the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 or Dark Corojo, or maybe a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero.

And now for the Old-Fashioned recipe:
1 sugar cube
3 dashes of bitters
2 oz or 60 ml of whisky
orange peel
Put the sugar cube in a highball glass, add the dashes of bitters and a splash of water. Muddle the sugar cube. Add ice and the whisky. Stir for 10 seconds, then add an orange peel.

Bourbon Colada

I know, I know. This is a scotch and not a bourbon. But honestly, after doing so many whisky pairings for cigarinspector.com I am running out of whisky cocktails to make. I’m open to suggestions, so please comment with nice whisky cocktails to make for my next pairing. This is a cocktail I found on the Jim Beam website, and because of the tiki style drink with the pineapple juice, I feel that a cask strength whisky could add a little more oomph.

The whisky shines through on the nose, with some coconut. The coconut is also dominant on the palate, but the strength of the whisky makes it stand up against the creamy sweetness. There is even a hint of chocolate, but where the comes from heaven only knows. The barley notes mix well with the cream and coconut, but the pineapple seems completely overpowered. It probably brings the sweetness but the pineapple flavour is lacking. With the coconut and pineapple, this should be a Tiki cocktail, but the flavours don’t fall under the Tiki flavours at all. I think this cocktail will go well with an Aganorsa Rear Leaf or a Cohiba Robusto.

And now for the Bourbon Colada recipe:
1½ ounces or 45ml of whisky
¾ ounce or 22½ml of pineapple juice
½ ounce of 15ml of cream of coconut
¾ ounce or 22½ml of whipping cream
Add the liquids in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a Collins glass filled with crushed ice.

Inspector X

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