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Issue 39 - Searching for perfection

Whisky Magazine Issue 39
May 2004


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Searching for perfection

perfection The Whisky & Cigar Challenge matches a premium whisky with a premium Cuban cigar to produce the perfect match

It took hundreds of judges, three tasting sessions and events in Glasgow and Havana to do it, but the judges in this year's Whisky & Cigar Challenge, hosted by Whisky Magazine, Habanos SA and London restaurant Boisdale, reckon that this year's winning combination is the
perfect match.

The partnership between Scotland and Cuba through two of the world's finest products – whisky and cigars – is now in its second year, and this time around a first tasting involving retailers, whisky experts and cigar experts was held in Glasgow. From four separate flights eight whiskies were selected and taken to Havana.

There, as part of the Cuban Cigar Festival the list of eight was whittled down to just two.

And then, in a final tasting involving 250 tasters, a final combination was chosen. The winner was The Macallan Cask Strength and Partagas Paramides.

Commenting on the results, Whisky Magazine's managing director Damian Riley-Smith said that it would be hard to find a more perfect matching.

“All the whiskies entered in this year's event were put forward because they worked well with cigars, and there were no mismatches at all,” he said.

“To stand out in this company takes some doing and undoubtedly both the final two pairings were exceptional. The deserved winner was The Macallan, though, and most judges agreed that it made a perfect match to a good Cuban cigar.”

Finest combination: The Macallan Cask Strength and Partagas Piramides

What the judges said:

“A great des...

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