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...
Código 1530
A small-batch, family-made tequila goes global for the first time…
The Macallan x Urwerk Flask 2
When Swiss engineering meets Scottish distilling, the result is instantly collectible…
Macallan 40-year-old blended Scotch ($8,000)
The Macallan’s limited release of a 40-year-old blended Scotch ($8,000) from its Sherry Oak line...
That Boutique-y Gin Company launches a new series of groundbreaking gins from innovative craft...
Glenmorangie Pride 1974 ($9,050). Photo by Anna Isola Crolla
Glenmorangie’s new Pride 1974 whisky is a knockout…
Riedel Vinum Extreme Rosé Provence Glass, $69 for a set of two
An exquisite new way to enjoy rosé, just in time for summer…
These blends of rare old malt and grain whiskies elevate the art of blending to new heights…
Glenmorangie Bacalta
This limited edition from the legendary distillery is destined to become a collector’s item…
Photo by Damion I. Hamilton
Cuban cigar legend Montecristo turns 80 with a big party at Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer in Napa...
The 2006 Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is “an all-Chardonnay cuvée, in the style our ancestors created,” says  Taittinger
A classically trained artist, Vitalie Taittinger is furthering her family’s traditions in Champagne…