I had the great pleasure of attending a scotch and cigar tasting recently featuring The Glenlivet scotches and cigars that were provided by my local cigar shop, Empire Cigars. I have to say that this event was a blast. I learned a ton about scotches and smoked some good cigars. I even left the event with some pretty nice swag. The scotches we were sampling were the 15 year old French Oak Reserve, the 16 year old Nadurra, and The Glenlivet 18yr old. All three are single malts of course. As for the cigars, featured were the Nub Cameroon 358, EO Series 601 Habano Rabito, and the Ashton VSG Illusion.
First up was the 15 yr French Oak Reserve paired with the Nub Cameroon 358. The Nub, well I’ll be honest. It isn’t my favorite, however it performed better than the Nubs I have had in the past and turned out to be a pleasant enough smoke. The scotch was fantastic. The French Oak Reserve is aged for 15 years. It spend the first twelve years of life in an American White Oak recycled bourbon cask with a light medium char. The last three years are spent in a virgin French Limousin [lee-moo-ZAN] Oak casks. Apparently the French Oak is a much softer wood than the American and if the whiskey spends too much time in the French Oak it would absorb too much from the cask and be ruined and probably almost black in color. Finishing a whiskey in French Oak like this is almost as much art as science and is a difficult process to pull off. Any amount of over aging can ruin an entire barrel. We were told that the whiskey is babysat very closely in these final years of aging. The French oak Reserve was my favorite of the night. It is very creamy and smooth with a slightly sweet taste. It has strong notes of Honey and Vanilla and a very smooth finish.
Next was the 16 year old Nadurra. Nadurra is Gaelic for natural. This is an unfiltered, cask strength whiskey. It is very oaky with floral notes and a sharp aroma. This scotch is a fireball. Drinking it straight is not recommended. I tried a sip straight and to be honest most of the flavors were lost to the alcohol burn for me. I added a healthy dose of water which took of that edge and really allowed the floral perfume and oak flavors to come through. It was very good, but honestly my least favorite of the three we tried. This one was paired with the 601 Habano Rabito. A nice full Nicaraguan cigar that went nicely with the strong and aggressive Nadurra.
We wrapped up the night with a very special whiskey paired with a very special cigar. If you are a cigar smoker than nothing needs to be said about the Ashton VSG. It is a top shelf cigar, full bodied, smooth and refined. Well you can use that sentence to describe The Glenlivet 18 year old Scotch. A drop of water helps to open up the aromas of this top shelf whiskey, release a wonderful floral bouquet. A sip delivers a myriad of flavors, floral at first, the finish is more oak and vanilla. This is very smooth and very refined. The only reason I liked the French Oak more than the 18year is the creaminess that the French Oak gave the whiskey which I really enjoyed. The 18 year is a fantastic scotch in its own right as well.
We were all given a very nice double guillotine cutter and a Chivas Regal torch lighter that burns with a green flame. I also received a Glenlivet money clip, all pictured below…
The Crown Jewel of night though was the personalized bottles of the 15 year old French Oak reserve. This is just an incredible souvenier from what was truly an incredible night.
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