Okay in no particular order....
Alec Bradley Tempus, I had this while I was in Halifax for a day conference in the park across from our hotel. I lit well, way better then the mundial I had a couple weeks earlier, and have a good peppery hit in the beginning, heading into the second third there was a real smooth nutty flavor coming through and eased into some coffee notes as well. Not a great pairing for my makeshift long island iced tea in a coffee cup haha. But a very enjoyable smoke.
Kentucky Fire Cured and Breton Brewing Red Coat. What a powerful team up! I am not normally a red or amber ale drinker, preferring my beer to be scotch, but I was put on to this by a friend and I have to say it was a fantastic beer. A touch of sweet, clean on the palate and what a knock out with the KFC cigar. I have to say I have never smoked something like this before. It was like someone rolled up an all day smoked brisket and made it into a cigar. All the tobacco for this cigar is smoked in large barns in the US. What that smoke imparts on to the tobacco is a nutty, hickory, rich smokey flavour that seriously cant be matched. I really enjoyed this combo, but really loved this cigar. Now, traditionalists may not enjoy this and this cigar has a strong love it and equally, hate it crowds. But I am def in the love it catagory. I picked up mine in Halifax at Sivets on Barrington street, it has a price point of about 22-24$, but if you are looking for something different, check this out.
Tatuaje Cabinet and a Propeller Pumpkin Ale. Okay I am not a pumpkin spice fan. I feel like the world goes a little crazy for this around this time of year, this stuff is in everything, donuts, candles, coffees, teas, rib rubs etc, etc. So I have been very reluctant to try pumpkin beer, but I keep seeing it on all the cigar pairing feeds and people waxing on about how great it is, finally pushed me over the edge and so I bought some. I thought to pair it with my only Tatuaje cigar that i had recently got from the US. Again i keep seeing posts on Tuesdays calling for TatTuesdays and yes I had a little FOMO haha. So lets pair these two new to me's together and have a scotch on stand by in case this beer was not in my wheelhouse. What a treat on both accounts. The beer was great, i have to admit. The pumpkin is not overpowering but adds just a hint of flavour and sweetness on the end. I was really shocked that I liked it as much as I did, but the cigar was a perfect partner. It lit great, had a perfect draw and had a great nose of cedar and light cut grass. it was not a fast burner by any stretch and had notes of leather and pepper throughout. Played off the sweet beer extremely well, I will be on the hunt for more of these in the future.
La Imperiosa from Crowned Heads and ???? TBH I am not sure which beer this was, oopsie! So lets jump onto the La imperiosa. This is a strong cigar, full of flavor. Im glad I did go with a beer because it would have overpowered a scotch, maybe a bourbon would have been able to stand up also. But, I loved this cigar. I received this one through a subscription service call Cigar Saveur that I came across on the Cigar Noise App ( you should download this if you are in any way interested in cigars). You get 4 premium cigars a month, and for me it is better then the last one I was in because there is going to be at least one boutique cigar per box that I would have no way of getting in Canada. Just found out my brother is going to be getting these now so that is awesome, online cross continental herfs anyone?!?!?! Lots of pepper, earthiness and leather coming out of this one, it was actually a nice day also, so that didnt hurt. My only complaint is the first third burnt really fast, but it posted up the rest of the way through. For my first crowned heads, I would put this and other brands on my to buy list.
Arturo Fuente Grand Reserva and Wayne Gretzky Canadian Red Cask Whiskey (not pictured). So when I was in Hamilton I happened along a cigar shop and liquor store. The cigar shop was Village Cigar Company in Oakville. To be honest like every pre-travel adventure I always search out the food, entertainment, hotel, gym, cigars and comic book places before I go. I contacted the guys at VCC on FB and they were quick with replies, and extremely helpful in making it an easy decision to visit them on my travels. They had mentioned in their last comment that one of the guys working there would help me out. I didnt really think much of it, but, when I got there, they already knew my name and Geoffrey was a fantastic host and extremely knowledgable. So far 3/7 of his recommendations have been on point for what I like. Now while I didnt pick up the Arturo Grand Reserva at VCC, I did pick up the Wayne Gretzkey whiskey while I was in Hamilton. One of my compatriots purchased a bottle and shared some one evening and I was sold that I needed to bring this back to Nova Scotia with me. It was incredibly smooth and the aging for a young whiskey was excellent. I couldnt wait to pair this with a cigar at home. So that I did. I love the AF Grand Reserva in the churchill length. It is at least and 80 minute smoke, it is on the mild side of medium and just tastes great. A little leather, a little nutty coffee it was incredibly good with the great one's beverage. That Wayne, knows his hooch.
Don Pepin Garcia Original and Four Roses Bourbon ( not pictured). DAYUM DAYUM DAYUM this was an amazing pairing. My first but def not my last of the DPG original. It was a fantastic smoke. Had notes of leather, cocoa, spice and wood. It lit well, had a natural draw and changed flavours multiple times. The four roses was a perfect partner as it's carmel goodness really matched well with the cigar on all levels. I am about half way through my bottle of Four Roses as it continues to me a go to for me, so going to have to source another bottle from the US soon......winky winky. haha
Have to have this one again, hopefully be able to find it in Canada somewhere soon.
AJ Fernandez Last Call x 2, the first with Angostura 7yr rum and local Fortress rum. Lets just say this about the cigars, both were good, the price point in Canada is around 14$, which is great considering how much cigars seem to be costing. A perfect cigar if you are just getting into cigars and want something above a CAO brand or Don Thomas. Nothing against those brands i love certain ones, but this will give you a great medium smoke at a cost effective price point. Also white label over red for me. In regards to the two different rums, the Angostura was very good, had a good hit of the sweet molasses. Finding that I am enjoying rum again when its paired with a cigar, on its own, way to sweet for me, but the smoke and the sweet are so nice together. The Fortress was awesome. I love this rum. It is made locally and is really really good. It is more of an amber colour and the carmel notes are off the chart. I wouldnt normally drink rum straight, but you can with this, very easily. Great pairing for both!
Last but not least Comacho Triple Maduro. Just when you thought you had enough maduro, Comacho tripled that sh$t up haha. On this day I paired it with a coffee, mainly because I had to work later in the afternoon, I post everything haha, so didnt want a conflict of interest. Just the same, I had no issues, coffee and cigars are a great match. What a flavour bomb of a cigar! So bold, but I would have to say probably not for everyone. I loved it, maduro's are top of my list, I really enjoy that hit of pepper and dark chocolate when I smoke one. The coffee really served as a touch point for setting off additional flavors throughout. It had a great draw, and nice thick smoke. Another on the get again list for sure.
So there you have it, about a month and a half of cigars and pairings, most I would get again, some wont be in a panic for.
Sean "BigBoyRunning" Ryan