Cloudy Spirit: New Year’s Pairing

By: Michael Thomas

Welcome back to ten20 magazine as well as Cloudy Spirit. Happy holidays and happy New Year to all. I hope you all are doing well. Are you ready for another pairing? I know I am. So, let’s jump right on in.

This month’s pairing will consist of the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012, and the Wilderness Trail Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey.

The Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 is from the My Father Cigar line located in Nicaragua. Using home grown fillers and binders from Nicaragua, and wrapped in an Ecuador leaf. It comes in three wrappers such as Habano, Broadleaf, and Sumatra. All three share Nicaraguan components, but the Sumatra has a distinct display of black pepper, expresso and cocoa powder flavor. We have a chance to try a pairing with the 9th ranking according to cigar aficionado in 2012.

The Wilderness Trail Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made from a mash bill consisting of 64% corn, 24% wheat, and 12% malt barley. It is distilled in a copper pot, and put into the barrel at 110 proof. It is aged between five and six years in barrels that have been toasted and charred #4. The whiskey is proofed to 100, and released as a single barrel product after aging. This bourbon has a profile that starts with a thick mouthful with a moderate amount of heat following, a crème brulee- type vanilla, and a lingering bold brown sugar note.

This month’s pairing will consist of a bottle from barrel 16H21B. Needless to say, I’m going to be very conservative with this bottle. Due to the understanding that the single barrel bottling can vary from any given distillery. Since we have a specific bourbon in the house. Let’s go all out, and pair it with the distinct Sumatra version of the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012.

So after smoking the Cojonu, the pepper flavor is extremely present throughout the entire smoke. When you introduce the bourbon during your smoke is when things get interesting. The mouthful is equally present, and you get a feel of harmony within your mouth. The bourbon seems to tone the pepper, expresso down and compliment the mouth feel.  Like I said “harmony.”

More information on the pairing profiles can be found at and This month’s pairing derives from Sam Rittenborry. He is a sales associate at Habana Port Cigar Merchant located in Baton Rouge, La Perkins Road location. If you’re in town, I suggest you stop by. You won’t be disappointed.

In closing, it is a pleasure to deliver yet another pairing on our leisure journey. I hope you set goals for this year and not resolutions because people tend to complete goals more. Stay safe, stay smoky, and stay healthy.

I am Michael Thomas and I’ll see you all next month.

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