|Dram Cask No. 2 by C & C Cigars|
At the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show, C & C Cigars announced a new line of cigars called Dram Cigars for Whiskey. This line introduces four distinct blends – each meant to be paired with an appropriate type of whisky. The blends are not infused but blended specifically with a pairing in mind. Today, we take a look at the one of these blends, the Dram Cask No. 2. This is a corojo wrapper offering designed to be paired with a woody tasting whiskey. For this assessment, we pair the Dram Cask No.2 with Defiant American Single Malt Whisky. Overall I found this to be an excellent cigar and one that pairs nicely.
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
As mentioned, we have selected Defiant American Single Malt Whisky made by Blue Ridge Distillng Company located in Bostic, North Carolina. The whisky is made with all natural ingredients consisting of barley, yeast, pure water (direct from the Blue Ridge Mountains), and white oak. Instead of using oak barrels, white oak spirals are inserted into the whiskey as it is aging.
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 whisky, a pairing was also done with this assessment. We selected Defiant Whisky because it does offer the woody flavors matching what Dram Cask No. 2 was meant to be paired with. This cigar was smoked both with and without a pairing. Our assessment rating and rating will not incorporate anything from the pairing and strictly look at how the cigar stands on its own. At the same time, we also will provide a separate set of notes on the pairing.
|Pairing Dram Cask No. 2 Toro and Defiant Whisky|
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Dram Cask No. 2 Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
While the cigar is listed as a “Double Corojo”, no other blend details are officially disclosed other than the Connecticut Shade wrapper.
Binder: Not disclosed
Filler: Not disclosed
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
The Dram Cask No. 2 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 Dram Cask No. 2 Toro has a light coffee bean color with a slight rosado tint to it. Upon closer examination, some darker marbling can be seen on the surface. There is a light oily sheen on the wrapper. While there are some visible veins and visible wrapper seams, I considered the Dram Cask No. 2 Toro to have a smooth wrapper.
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 COROJO” 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 #2” 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: Woody / Spicy
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting the Dram Cask No. 2 Toro, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. After successfully removing the cap, I moved into the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw of the Cask No. 2 provided very woody profile with a mix of oak and sweet cedar notes. Overall I considered this to be a good pre-light draw experience. At this point I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The start to the Dram Cask No. 2 Toro delivered some notes of red pepper, wood, cream, and corojo sweetness. With corojo sweetness, I define it as a cross between natural tobacco sweetness with almost a cherry component. The corojo sweetness and cream notes became primary early on while the red pepper and wood became secondary flavors. Meanwhile the pepper was prominent on the retro-hale.
Later in the first third, the cream notes receded into the background while the wood notes surfaced in the forefront. The wood and corojo sweetness alternated in intensity as to what was the primary note – and I gave the edge to the corojo sweetness in the first half.
By the midway point, a bread note surfaced and became one of the primary flavors. Meanwhile, I still found the wood and corojo sweetness alternating, but now the woody notes seemed to have an edge. The pepper and cream notes were secondary.
By the last third, I found the bread and wood notes to be the primary flavors. The pepper increased, but didn’t become overpowering. There still was corojo sweetness and cream in the background. This is the way the flavor profile came to an end. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
For the pour of whisky I used, I had it straight. The Defiant Whisky had a very unique flavor. Overall I found it had notes of wood, toast, and vanilla. I also found the Defiant Whisky to have a nice smooth lingering effect on the palate and this played a key role into how it paired with the Dram Cask No. 2. After I sipped some of the whisky, I took a draw of the Dram Cask No. 2 cigar. I found the lingering effect of the Defiant Whiskey complemented and enhanced the wood and corojo notes from the cigar very nicely. At the same time, drawing on the Dram Cask No. 2 made the Defiant Whisky even smoother on the finish. I found the Dram Cask No. 2 and the Defiant Whisky to bring out the best of each other’s qualities.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the Dram Cask No. 2 to perform well when it came to its burn. The burn line did remain on a straight path. There were some touch-ups needed along the way from a cosmetic standpoint of the burn. The resulting ash was a charcoal gray with a darker slant to it. The ash was not overly tight, but I wouldn’t categorize it as a loose ash either. The burn rate and the burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Dram Cask No. 2 Toro|
From a draw standpoint, I found the Dram Cask No. 2 to be a low maintenance one. The burn was not too tight, yet not too loose. This made the cigar a very easy one to derive flavors.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the Dram Cask No. 2 is not going to be an overpowering one. I assessed this cigar as maintaining medium strength throughout the smoking experience. As for the body, I assessed this as a medium to full-bodied smoke. Some might consider this a medium-bodied smoke, but when factoring in the retro-hale, I felt it took this cigar to a medium to full-bodied level. When looking at strength versus body, I gave the edge to the body.
Overall, I felt that the Dram Cask No. 2 achieved what it set out to do – namely deliver a cigar that will pair well with a whisky with a woody profile. In terms of the cigar and the whisky, I enjoyed both individually. I did find when I combined the two with a pairing, the total experience was greater than the sum of the parts. As I mentioned in the pairing notes, drawing the cigar after letting the whisky finish on the palate worked beautifully. The medium strength and medium to full-bodied profile of the Dram Cask No. 2 did not overpower the flavors the whiskey either. This is a cigar I’d recommend for either the experienced or novice enthusiast. It’s a nice cigar for a novice looking to go to something medium to full. As for myself, this is something I would smoke again – and not hesitate to pair with the Defiant Whiskey. The cigar is easily worth a fiver.
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
News: C & C Cigars to Launch Dram Cigars for Whiskey
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer (Dram Cigars), Whisky Provided by Defiant Whisky.
Stogie Geeks Episode: n/a
Stogie Feed: n/a
Note: Dram uses the spelling “Whiskey”. Defiant uses the spelling “Whisky”. We kept the appropriate spellings for each entity.