After an early dinner, with the temps hovering a low 60°, I grabbed the St. Augustine Port Finished Bourbon, along with a CAO America cigar.
The bourbon was one I picked up on a whim. I was intrigued by the port finish, and wanted a "souvenir" from the local area. (It was that or a gator head.) I also like the old school bottle style. I've found these finished bourbons generally pair quite well with cigars. St. Augustine Distillery sources port wine barrels from the local San Sebastian Winery to finish their straight bourbon. The barrels then go back to the winery to finish more port wine. Yeah, technically it's a "port-style fortified wine" but no need to be pedantic.
Bottled at 102 proof, the bourbon is an attractive ruby color. The aroma brings notes of dark fruit, caramel. In the appearance, aroma, and flavor profiles, the port influence is unmistakable. The flavor is bold and rich. Dark cherries, fig, and raisons come to mind. There's also a creamy caramel sweetness underlying the fruit. The finish is long, as black pepper comes to the foreground and lingers. I found it a rather enjoyable drink.
The CAO America is a cigar I've not smoked before, and only recently picked up a few to try. This Potomac vitola is a 5 x 56 Robusto. The red, white, and blue label color scheme sits on a barber pole wrapper of Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro with a thin strip of Connecticut Shade tobacco creating the barber pole effect. The wrapper covers a Brazilian binder, which in turn hides fillers from Dominican Republic, Italy, Nicaragua, and the USA.
The cigar is medium bodied with notes of leather, nuts, milk chocolate, and cedar. The flavors are consistent throughout the smoke. The smoke production was rich with an even burn. I enjoy cigars that put out copious smoke without requiring touchups. The plentiful smoke brings lots of flavor to the palate. The ash was solid and the cigar finished with just three, long ash sections left in the ashtray, and no flakes on my lap.
The cigar and finished bourbon paired well together. I enjoyed about a 45 minute smoke before reaching the warm nub. Retiring inside, the St. Augustine Port Finished Bourbon merited another pour for both Colleen and I to enjoy as a late night libation.