Carlos Fuente, Sr., patriarch of the Fuente family, passed away in early August at the age of 81. Arturo Fuente is one of the titans of the cigar industry, and perhaps one of the most recognizable manufacturers in the world. They make the highly sought after Hemingway, Fuente Fuente Opus X, and 8-5-8 lines. This month to honor the life of Fuente, we decided to try our hands at pairing the renowned 8-5-8 Sun Grown with our regular bourbon lineup. These cigars were purchased at Riverside Cigar Shop.

Michael’s Notes – Cigar was rich and sweet tobacco with a little cedar spice.

Maggie’s Notes – Cigar was earthy with notes of Maple Syrup and Cinnamon.

Four Roses Yellow Label

Michael’s Notes – The smoke took the cherry/date fruit out of the Bourbon but enhanced a citrus flavor while the bourbon really brought out the spices in the smoke. This was my favorite pairing of the night.

Maggie’s Notes – Smoke takes out the stone fruit notes of the bourbon but enhances the citrus. Bourbon brought out a mellowed spice in the smoke. This was my second favorite pairing of the night. Again, Four Roses holds up as an excellent standard cigar pairing bourbon.

Old Fitzgerald Prime

Michael’s Notes – The smoke totally wiped out the flavors of the bourbon leaving a sugar water flavor in the glass. The Bourbon did bring out some more cedar in the smoke. This was number four of the five bourbons in my book.

Maggie’s Notes – Bourbon brings out cedar in smoke, but smoke wipes out bourbon’s flavor. This was a very sweet combination.

Old Grand Dad Bonded

Michael’s Notes – The smoke brought out citrus in the bourbon but not a much as it did for the Four Roses. The bourbon made the smoke a little sweeter with some maple syrup notes and brought out some cinnamon spice. This was number two for me in the night’s pairings.

Maggie’s Notes – The smoke brought out the citrus in the bourbon, while the bourbon brought out the maple syrup notes in the cigar. Upon revisiting this bourbon near the end of the cigar the pairing transformed into a delightful creamsicle effect. This was my favorite pairing of the night.

Michter’s US-1 Bourbon

Michael’s Notes – This was dead last in the pairings of the night. It did nothing for the smoke and the smoke wiped out the flavor of the bourbon.

Maggie’s Notes – Both the cigar and the bourbon pulled out all the wrong characteristics in each other. This was a disappointing pairing.

Eagle Rare

Michael’s Notes – This was number three for the night. The smoke brought out a nice sweet molasses flavor in the bourbon, but the bourbon did nothing good for the smoke.

Maggie’s Notes – The smoke brought out a nice molasses flavor in the bourbon, but the bourbon didn’t do much for the smoke. Overall I’m glad we kept this in the lineup since this was the best Eagle Rare pairing we’ve found so far. It’s encouraging for future pairings.


Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl