|Dram Cask No. 1 Toro|
At the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show, C & C Cigars announced a new line of cigars called Dram Cigars for Whiskey. Whiskey and Cigars have been in the news lately as companies like Asylum Cigars and Drew Estate currently have projects that involve tobacco aging in bourbon barrels. The Dram for Whiskey does not involve infusion-like process. Instead the line introduces four distinct blends – each meant to be paired with an appropriate type of whiskey. Today, we take a look at the one of these blends, the Dram Cask No. 1. This is a milder cigar designed to be paired with a lighter whiskey. Recently I had an opportunity to smoke the Dram Cask No. 1 in a toro format. Overall I found this to be an excellent milder offering, and a cigar that pairs nicely with a lighter whiskey as designed.
In a press release announcing Dram for Whiskey Cigars, Joe Chiusano, founder of C & C and creator of the blends explained the concept behind the project:
“We were sipping scotch and smoking cigars one night in the Dominican Republic and the conversation turned to what could we do to make the cigars pair even better with the whiskey we were drinking. We talked about how we could make that great night even better and Dram Cigars for Whiskey was born.“
In terms of the name “Dram”, it refers to a “pour of whiskey”. In terms of the line, there are four offerings:
Dram Cask No. 1 (Connecticut Shade wrapper)
Profile: Mild to Medium strength cigar with a creamy profile.
Pairing: Designed to be paired with whiskeys that have a citrus and woody profile.
Dram Cask No. 2 (Corojo wrapper)
Profile: Medium strength cigar with a complex profile.
Pairing: Designed to be paired with whiskeys that have a spicy and woody profile.
Dram Cask No. 3 (Habano wrapper)
Profile: Medium plus strength and a spicy profile.
Pairing: Designed to be paired with whiskeys that have a spicy and woody profile.
Dram Cask No. 4 (Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper)
Profile: Medium to Full strength and a spicy profile.
Pairing: Designed to be paired with whiskeys that have a smokey and woody profile.
|Dram Cask No. 1 Toro (Top), Dram Cask No. 2 Toro (Middle)
Dram Cask No. 3 Toro (Bottom). Dram Cask No. 4 Toro not pictured
A note on this assessment: Normally when assessments are done on Cigar Coop, they are not done with a pairing. However, because this cigar is specifically designed to be smoked with a whiskey, a pairing was also done with this assessment. For this assessment, I used one of the recommended whiskeys for the Cask No. 1 – Dewar’s White Label. This was described as being a whiskey with a citrus and woody flavor profile. The cigar assessment and rating will not incorporate anything from the pairing and look at how the cigar stands on its own. Pairing notes are included separately in the assessment.
|Dram Cask No. 1 Toro and Dewar’s White Label|
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Dram Cask No. 1 Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
While the cigar is listed as a “Double Connecticut”, no other blend details are officially disclosed other than the Connecticut Shade wrapper.
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Binder: Not disclosed
Filler: Not disclosed
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
The Dram Cask No. 1 is available in four sizes. The cigars are packaged twenty cigars per box.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 52
Gigantor: 6 x 60
Churchill: 7 x 50
The wrapper of the Dram Cask No. 1 Toro had a classic light brown color that you would expect from a Connecticut Shade wrapper. The wrapper had somewhat of an oily complexion to it. The surface is slightly bumpy. There were a few visible veins and a visible wrapper seams.
The band has almost a parchment feel to it. It is white in color with gold trim across the top and bottom. The gold trim is accented with some blue. On the center of the band is “DRAM” in large gold font. Above that text is a blue and gold image that resembles a cocktail glass. The top of the band has the text “DOUBLE CONNECTICUT” in blue font arranged in a slightly curved fashion. Below the “DRAM” text is that text “Cigars for whiskey” in a small blue cursive font. Below the cursive font is a gold and blue horizontal divider. The lower section of the band has the text “Cask #1” with a vertical divider to the right of it. On the other side of the vertical divider is some additional text providing information on the cigar. The descriptor is in a dull gold font while the description is in a blue pseudo “handwritten” style font. This text is as follows:
Whiskey: Citrus / Woody
Strength: Mild Plus
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting the Dram Cask No. 1, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw provided a mix of cream, wood, and a slight citrus note. While this wasn’t a revolutionary flavor profile for a Connecticut Shade pre-light draw, it still was a very good one. At this point, I was ready to light up the Dram Cask No. 1 and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the Dram Cask No. 1 Toro started with some rich cream and wood notes. There also was a slight citrus component in the background. The retro-hale produced a subtle woody spice through the nasal passage. The cream notes moved to the forefront early. Meanwhile the wood and citrus notes alternated in intensity in the background.
During the second third, I still found the cream notes to be primary. The wood notes were a close secondary note. At this point, I also picked up a subtle herbal spice note in the background. A little more distant were the citrus notes.
The last third of the Dram Cask No. 1 found the wood and herbal spice notes move into the forefront. Meanwhile the cream and citrus notes were secondary. This is the way the flavor profile held until the end. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
I found the Dewar’s White Label to be a whiskey that tasted as advertised. It provided mostly a citrus note with a slight woody note to it. I found the citrus and wood from the Dewar’s countered the citrus and wood from the Dram Cask No. 1 perfectly. In addition the creamy notes complemented this particular whiskey very nicely. Both the Dram No. 1 and Dewar’s brought out each other’s best qualities.
Burn and Draw
With the attributes of burn and draw, I found both scored nicely with the Dram Cask No. 1. The burn was good enough to garner our highest “exceptional” rating. The burn remained straight throughout the smoking experience – requiring only occasional touch-ups. The burn line itself was sharp. The resulting ash was charcoal gray in color. The ash was on the firm side and came off the cigar in nice clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Dram Cask No. 1|
The draw was also excellent. It was not too loose, nor was it too tight. It made for a low maintenance cigar to puff on from start to finish.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Dram Cask No. 1 is positioned as one that is on the lighter and milder side. From a strength perspective, this is one of the mildest cigar I have had in some time. I assessed the strength level as “mild” from start to finish. As for the flavors, they are not going to weigh heavy on the palate. I assessed this as a cigar being in the mild to medium-bodied range. When comparing strength versus body, I gave the edge to the body. Overall I found the milder strength and body worked well with this flavor profile.
As I mentioned up from, I felt the Dram Cask No. 1 did what it set out to do – namely provide a cigar experience that pairs well with a lighter whiskey. I found the milder bodied flavors of the cigar meshed very nicely with the lighter flavor of a spirit like Dewar’s White Label. The one thing that really was nice is that the cigar really stood out nice on its own. If one is looking for a cigar on the milder side that delivers an excellent milder experience, the Dram Cask No. 1 is a nice option. This is a great cigar for a novice cigar enthusiast. As for the experienced ones, if one appreciates a cigar milder smoke, this is one I’d recommend. Whether novice or experienced, I’d also encourage anyone to try the recommended pairing with a lighter whiskey. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d smoke again – and would also pair with the recommended whiskey. This is worthy of picking up a fiver.
Body: Mild to Medium
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
News: C & C Cigars to Launch Dram Cigars for Whiskey
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer (Associated Whiskey purchased)
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