Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Paired with Old Weller Antique
I was really excited about this pairing line up. After smoking the Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 and remembering how much I enjoyed it. I was ready to pair it with a spirit. The first one that came to my mind was this Old Weller Antique. Out of the gate I wasn’t a huge fan of this bourbon, but it’s grown on me since. So I went with the hybrid pairing method. I already had the cigar picked out, and with a bit of research and some intuition I chose the spirit that I wanted to pair with this cigar. There you have it, mad science at it’s best.
My initial thoughts on this pairing were optimistic. I was very excited about the possibility of what I could experience with this combination. I knew that the earthy and savory notes from the cigar needed something that wouldn’t drown them out, but instead accentuate them. I didn’t want to have another pairing like the CAO Flathead & EW Single Barrel. I had a good feeling about this pairing though. I believed the spice and sweetness of the Old Weller Antique would mesh well with the cigar and create a great pairing. So enough chit chat, let’s dive in and see if it happened.
Instead of just cutting this bourbon with water, I dropped a big ole ice cube in it. For one, I wanted to chill it, and secondly, I wanted to cut it a bit as well. For me this really opened it up and let it pair easier with the cigar. It wasn’t going to be as dominant a spirit as if I had left it uncut. Plus it gives the Old Weller Antique a chance to let some more of its sweet aromatics flow out of the glass while I’m sipping. So it’s a win win all around!
The Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 starts off perfect. Nice draw, tons of smoke and just burning like a champion cigar. Very similar experience to the one I reviewed, minus the issue with the cap. Once I get about 1/8″ into the ash I begin my pairing tasting. I take a small drink of the Old Weller Antique and let it coat my tongue and then roll it down the back of my throat. I take a couple of good puffs on the cigar and then hold the smoke in my mouth and slowly retrohale. This pairing is working really well together. Nothing is combating each other, they’re playing off their own strengths and it’s quite enjoyable.
Out of the gate with that first sip of the Old Weller Antique I’m hit with a familiar spice. However, because it has opened up some I’m also met with a nice sweetness. I take that first draw on the cigar with my mouth coated from the bourbon and instantly the spice is covered and mellowed out. The earthiness from the cigar has thrown a fire blanket on my tongue to take the heat away from the bourbon.
As I let this pairing sit and stew, it created a flavor bomb on my tongue. I’m trying to pull out what flavors I’m experiencing. The first one that comes to my mind is this meaty, savory, honey flavor. It’s as if I’m eating a slice of brisket that has been marinating and smoking in a honey based sauced. You get the sweetness, the savory, and just a hint of spice all rolled into one. It’s incredibly mouth watering and delicious. I haven’t had brisket in over a month and that’s exactly what it reminded me of. Very interesting pairing for this first third! I hope it keeps it up because that means I’m going to have to get some brisket at some point soon!
As I continue on into the 2nd third of this pairing I’m still thoroughly enjoying the Rocky Patel Vintage 1992. Just like the previous one I reviewed this cigar seemed to really hit it’s stride during the 2nd third. It began to open up and expand it’s flavors while keeping an incredibly consistent smoke bellowing out of the barrel. Needless to say I’m loving life right now enjoying this pairing.
The Old Weller Antique continues to have that sweetness and spice playing off each other which is a nice combination in it’s own right. These two just continue to pair well. The bourbon hasn’t changed too much flavor wise, but the cigar seems to be floating back and forth between dominate notes as it’s maturing throughout the length of the barrel. It’s making for an interesting experience to say the least. I’m thankful that my taste receptors haven’t burned out yet. I think that’s probably do to the fact that I cut the bourbon as much as I did with the ice.
The Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 has shifted from that dominant earthy note to something more salty, savory and nutty. It’s interesting how it’s flip flopping flavors right now. I didn’t really pick up on that in my initial review. So I’m glad I caught it this time. The flavors are still very harmonious, not combating each other even after the change in flavors from the cigar. I am beginning to pick up a hint of bitterness from the cigar. So I decided to purge it and that cleaned up the flavors fairly well. There weren’t any incredible flavor combinations like the honey soaked brisket from the first third. It was just a solid third of great paired flavors.
Wrapping it up. The bourbon is running low, the cigar is burning slow and it’s just about time to call this pairing done. I have to say, I’m enjoying this pairing quite a bit. Probably more than I initially expected that I would. I had a feeling that it would be a good pairing, but I’m more than happy with how it turned out. The Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 is just a solid cigar and the Old Weller Antique has shown me it’s complexity, depth, and flexibility as a spirit.
This third brought out some even more unique flavors. It’s as if the cigar went back to it’s roots to finish off the flavor experience. On my last couple sips of bourbon I had a nice deep retrohale of the cigar and I was floored with the flavors. There was this incredible combination that hit me. On the retrohale I was hit with a very strong herbal tea flavor coated with savory notes and then on the back end that honey appeared. So if you can imagine drinking herbal tea with honey in it and have a meaty note lingering all throughout. Then boom, you have the flavor bomb that I experienced. That sweet honey flavor just really ties everything together and makes this pairing so enjoyable. It brings life to the earthiness of this cigar and adds a new dimension to the flavor complexity. It was very exciting!
Well I think I ended this pairing on a very high note! The beginning and end were incredible, the 2nd third was great, but there has to be a slight relief from the flavor intensity. You can’t just ride that flavor wave at the peak the entire time. I thoroughly enjoyed the overall experience. It really opened up my eyes to how versatile this Old Weller Antique is, and it solidified to me that this Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 is a well rounded cigar that can fit into almost any smoking situation.