Rosemary and I have a tradition of smoking an Alec Bradley, Black Market Filthy Hooligan cigar on St. Patrick’s Day. This year we also had a bottle of Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey brought back from Ireland by her sister, Andrea, when she visited there with a church group last summer. It is a bottle that can only be purchased at the distillery. I like Irish Whiskey and Filthy Hooligan cigars so I hoped that this would be a good pairing.

According to the label, the Old Bonded Warehouse Release is made from a blend of three triple distilled Irish Whiskeys – “Golden Grain, Mellow Malt and Pure Pot Still”. It is an enjoyable whiskey but very light in flavor. It is aged in used Bourbon barrels and Sherry casks. It is bottled at 92 proof which is higher than the normal 80 proof that is the standard for most Irish and Scotch whiskeys. It paired well with the cigar.

The Filthy Hooligan cigar is a medium bodied cigar that is a bit grassy in flavor with some nice coffee and spice notes. The only problem is that the barber pole wrapper can make the cigar burn unevenly, which mine did but Rosemary’s did not. We were on the porch swing and I think that I had the majority of the breeze and that made the difference in the burns. At least that is my excuse and I will stick to it!

Tullamore Dew Old Bonded Warehouse Release

Proof: 92

Age: No Age Statement

Nose: Very light nose with vanilla and oatmeal grain. I had to warm the glass in my hands for a few minutes before I started getting the sherry notes of raisins and hazelnuts.

Taste: Vanilla and malt with a little clove on the sides of the tongue. After warming the whiskey the sherry notes of fruit and nut came out. Tasted with a dried cranberry brought forward the malt and hazelnuts and pushed the clove to the finish. Tasted with a pecan brought a little citrus fruit came forward adding some complexity to the flavor.

Finish: This whiskey has a short dry finish of oak and hazelnut. The dried cranberry added length to the finish as well as the clove spice. The pecan did not add length to the finish but brought forward the oak and hazelnut.

The Filthy Hooligan cigar paired very well with the whiskey. The smoke really brought out a vanilla cream flavor in the whiskey and the whiskey took some of the grassiness out of the smoke. An excellent pairing. I look forward to the next St. Patrick’s Day when Alec Bradley release this cigar.

Photos Courtesy of Michael Veach