Published on March 21st, 2014 | by Siz0
Baker’s Bourbon & Bodega Digestivo
Here we are again, pairing some bourbon and cigars! I mean let’s be honest, you all love reading these pairings don’t you? Well I hope you do because I love writing them. Today, I paired this Baker’s Bourbon and the Bodega Digestivo. I chose these two on a semi-scientific approach. By that I was thinking, the idea behind the cigar is meant to be consumed after a meal. I had previously had a large meal full of pasta and deliciousness. I was ready to plop down outside in my camping chair and fire up a stogie and some bourbon. So I thought, I might as well try this Bodega Digestivo because Jeremy got to review and I haven’t had one yet. And because it’s meant to be an after dinner smoke, it’s a perfect storm, right? The bourbon was a solid choice because a) it’s bourbon, and b) it’s Baker’s Bourbon which I’m already a big fan of. So yeah, fairly scientific and somewhat natural selection. I’m really excited for this pairing because I love the bourbon so much and I HAD to do a pairing with it before I emptied the bottle by drinking it so often. So I finished off the bottle with this mighty pour that you see in the pictures. Don’t judge me and my love of bourbon. Let’s dive into it because I’m sure you all are getting antsy!
Right out of the gate this Bodega Digestivo comes out strong. The draw is delightful and producing tons of smoke that fills the garage. I swirl the bourbon around and take a swig. The Baker’s Bourbon immediately takes a dominate hold on this pairing. It just starts running away. I made sure to put a big ice cube in here to calm it down and try not to let it run away, but it’s not listening to me. So I’m hoping it begins to open up and not show so much brute force towards this cigar. Near the end of this first third the bourbon does actually begin to open up and allow the cigar to start shining through some more.
Initially the Baker’s Bourbon was strangling the cigar out in terms of flavor. The only thing I picked up on was the sweet caramel and vanilla. Towards the end of this third though the cigar began to show through a little bit more. It provided a solid backbone of consistency to this bourbon and it helped support the depth and complexity that was developing as it opened up. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a ton of unique flavor combinations that came from this third.
As this pairing flows into the second third things began to get interesting. The cigar was still burning great, it got a little wavy every now and again, however the bourbon began to get nice and chilled as the ice cube finally melted completely. As this point it was completely open and the flavor spectrum was through the roof. I had to pull back the reigns to make sure not to drink it all too quickly because I had to leave some for the final third. You know, for science and all.
The flavors really started picking up here. I could taste the Bodega Digestivo developing this nice dark tree bark flavor combined with some hickory smoke. Then the Baker’s Bourbon began combining with it and it was great combination that formed. The pairing got even more exciting during the retrohale. The spice of the cigar kicked up and when my mouth was coated with the bourbon it was like I was tasting a Milky Way with cayenne pepper on it. It offered some nice smooth caramel with a finish of spice that nearly brought tears. It was somewhat painful, yet delicious. I’m a big fan right now, there are some crazy flavor combinations coming out and I’m loving them all!
During this final third, not much has changed. The Bodega Digestivo has been great throughout having a great draw and burn which makes it even easier to smoke fast. The Baker’s Bourbon is flowing freely down the gullet. There hasn’t been any real clashing of flavors thus far which is always nice. I prefer things to be harmonious, that makes it a hell of a lot easier to just sit back and enjoy the pairing instead of struggling to make it through.
I’m not gonna lie. I’m a little let down on the flavors in the final third of this pairing. The bourbon has completely taken over and essentially washed out the flavor of the cigar. As I mentioned in my previous pairing withe Laphroaig 10 whisky, I think that’s why a lot of people tend to lean toward whisky and not bourbon. Bourbon has such a big booming flavor that it can coat your tongue and numb it to the flavor nuances perceived in a cigar. That’s exactly what has happened here. Even though I cut the Baker’s Bourbon it’s still dominating the Bodega Digestivo in this final third. So right now the flavor combinations aren’t too exciting, well at least not as exciting as they were during the 2nd third. I’m getting that strong vanilla and caramel note that is dominate from the bourbon and that’s about all I’m picking up right now. C’est la vie, I’m not going to complain while I sit here and enjoy this pairing. That would just be uncouth of me to do so.
All in all, I’m not disappointed with this pairing at all. It was delicious and it gave me a great ride in terms of flavor. I do wish the Baker’s Bourbon wasn’t as dominate at the end. However, that’s hard to combat when you’re dealing with such a strong spirit. Most of the time in pairings you have one product that’s going to be the star while the other plays backup. That’s exactly what this Bodega Digestivo did during this pairing. It acted as a nice solid background player and was consistent all the way through. It’s hard to say anything negative towards that. If I were to do it over again, I would probably pair this cigar with something a bit sweeter and not as dominate as bourbon so that the cigar stands up to the flavor throughout the entire thing. However, like I said, still a great pairing. If you have a chance to pick up either of these do it. I know the Bodega Digestivo is available online right now. Not exactly sure when it’s going to be spread nationwide. My guess is very soon, so here’s hoping! If you have a bottle of the Baker’s Bourbon lying around I would suggest pairing it with something a bit more full bodied in terms of cigars check out that list here. Either way it’s hard to go wrong with either product, just sit back, relax and enjoy them both!