Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Presenting... Glenmorangie and Cigars at Boisdale

I'll be honest. The title of this article is rather a gentlemanly pursuit. And yes, there was only one female. That does not mean that this was not a completely unexpected night of great times. It was fab!

So, on a slightly shivery evening 10 of us, mainly cigar aficionados rather than whisky, sat down at Boisdale Canary Wharf's cigar terrace to get educated. Although mainly men, the average age was much lower than you'd expect, early thirties for most. Apparently, the trend for cigars is going the same way as whiskies; younger consumers are coming in both better educated and looking for more knowledge. 

We started with a fascinating break down of the cigar by Dan Pink of Hunters and Frankau, THE cigar wholesalers of the UK since 1790. He told us that the definition of a Cuban Cigar (still the world's best) is that 
(a) it is made in Cuba!
(b) it is hand rolled and 
(c) it is long filled...

Let me explain. You take apart a cigarette or a cheap cigar and the tobacco inside is all chopped up into shreds. You take apart a Cuban cigar and there are ONLY 5 leaves running the length of the whole thing, amazing! So once Dan had shown us (me) how to cut and light the cigar, this was paired with Glenmorangie Whiskies from the Highlands. 

(FYI The cigar was a Cohiba Madura 5 Genios)

There was the Original, the Lasanta, Quinta Ruban and Nectar D'Or. What was really interesting was that each whisky was the Original with 2 years in an additional finish. So the Lasanta was 2 years in Sherry casks and that added the spicy, slightly lino-y notes. Quinta Ruban - my favourite - was 2 years in Port. This lent a depth of colour and a sweetness. And Nectar D'Or was 2 years in Sauternes casks which I think is too tame a wine to lend much but everyone had their favourites. 

The surprise of the night was that the cigar - a "medium to full" - was really very enjoyable. Yes, I had to re-light it 4 times due to not drawing in smoke enough but as a first timer it was great! And Boisdale are far from the stuffy "Scottish" members club you may be imagining and is a modern airy space with great food and a stupendous bar with regular jazz to boot. Don't hesitate to book a (somewhat pricey) night here if any of this sounds appealing. You will not be disappointed. 

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