Relighting the Cigar Malt

  • Photo by Martin Eidemak
    Photo by Martin Eidemak
  • Photo by Martin Eidemak
    Photo by Martin Eidemak
  • Photo by Martin Eidemak
    Photo by Martin Eidemak
  • Photo by Martin Eidemak
    Photo by Martin Eidemak
  • Photo by Martin Eidemak
  • Photo by Martin Eidemak
  • Photo by Martin Eidemak
  • Photo by Martin Eidemak

Back in 1998, The Dalmore became the first distillery to create a single-malt scotch specifically for cigar smokers. Of course, this made perfect sense, as there was a cigar boom going on in America—one of The Dalmore’s biggest markets—and the distillery’s master blender, Richard Paterson, was an avid cigar smoker. Appropriately, the spirit was called The Dalmore Cigar Malt. It incorporated both whiskies aged in sherry barrels and ones aged in ex-bourbon barrels. However, when the cigar craze subsided and antismoking sentiment grew, the whisky was eventually taken off the market, much to the chagrin of its many fans, smokers and nonsmokers alike. Finally bowing to consumer demand, a few years ago the distillery brought out a limited-edition replacement for the cigar malt, Gran Reserva, which, however, did not carry the word cigar on its label. Nonetheless, it sold out within a year and was not brought back.

But now, with cigar smoking once again in vogue, The Dalmore has introduced a new and vastly improved cigar malt, The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve ($125). As Paterson notes, it is a completely different single malt from his two previous versions, and was inspired by today’s trend toward fuller-flavored cigars, such as the Honduran Hoyo de Monterrey or both the Dominican and Cuban versions of Partagás. In fact, the bright-red box of The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve and the red band on the bottle’s label are reminiscent of the red band of the Cuban Partagás Serie D No. 4. Befitting a medium-full-bodied cigar, the flavor of the 88-proof Cigar Malt Reserve is packed with citrus, plump red fruit, and vanilla-soaked spices—the result of Paterson’s using 30-year-old Matusalem oloroso-sherry butts for 70 percent of the recipe, then adding bourbon-barrel-aged whiskies for the next 20 percent and topping it all off with single malts aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barriques from the Saint-Estèphe appellation of Bordeaux. Indeed, this is a whisky destined to light up any cigar smoker’s night. (www.thedalmore.com)

From Around the Web...
The Taiwanese whisky house earns its reputation with its new cask-aged expressions…
Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Bourbon ($150)
A terroir experiment yields powerfully good results…
We help you bring home artisanal cocktail batching, the craftiest trend on the cocktail scene…
Byant Park Grill’s private dining area experience will serve Pappy Van Winkle bourbon
Only 20 tickets are available for a special evening with rare bottles of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon...
Master sommelier Fred Dame (left) and vintner Dan Kosta (right).
The industry insiders explain why the varietal’s diversity is such a draw and why ratings are risky…
This Italian sparkling red wine has an illustrious history and is staging a comeback...
Universal Whisky Experience
Top distillers will pour legendary whiskies at this year’s event…
Tyrconnell 16 Year Old ($100)
This new single malt arrives just in time to toast St. Patrick’s Day…
Celebrate March 17 with a round of top Irish Whiskeys…
West Cork Distillers 12 Year Old Rum Cask Finish ($66)
The Irish distillery introduces a limited-edition whiskey finished in rum casks…