Baranows Emporium Cigar and Spirit Event at La Bodeguita Del Medio

“Viva la Revolution!”

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits

“Good cigars and good booze” was an apt introduction to the Baranows Emporium Cigar and Spirit Event held during BarShow Week. About 30 bar and liquor industry guests gathered on the intimate balcony of Cuban Restaurant and Bar, La Bodeguita Del Medio for a special event that showcased some of the premium collection of Baranows Emporium.

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Lighting up

With the click of lighters and puffs of smoke filling the night air, Ben Baranow of Baranows Emporium introduced a special Cuban cigar, a 15 year old Juan Lopez Selección no. 2. Ageing cigars cuts out all the roughness in the taste and brings to the fore the best in the tobacco, making it very smooth.

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Juan Lopez Selección no. 2 Cuban cigar

The cigar has a rustic appearance with a dark brown wrapper showing some veins and no band. There are mild wood notes and once it is fully alight, I find it has a nice draw. This is not my first Cuban cigar, but it has been some years since I have indulged.

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Guests on the balcony of La Bodeguita del Medio

The Juan Lopez starts out a little strong and full-bodied then mellows a little as it gets towards the middle. It has a predominant sweet chocolate flavour and coffee. Some detect hints of zested orange and wood. It is incredibly smooth and has a complex bouquet. While most cigars change in flavour throughout, this one is known to remain consistent which make it ideal to compare with the spirits on taste.

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Ben Baranow of Baranows Emporium introducing the first tasting

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Cigar and whisky

Cigars are all about flavour and not the smoke. If inhaled like a cigarette, a lot of the flavour will be lost. For maximum taste, it is best to take small puffs, leave it in the mouth for a little while, just as one does with wine, then blow out the smoke.

Glenburgie 18 Year Old

The first spirit on taste is Glenburgie 18 year old, originally from a distillery established in 1810 as Kilnflat in Scotland. It was shut in 1870 and later reopened in 1878 as Glenburgie.  Owned now by Pernod Ricard, the whisky is bottled by Single Malts of Scotland.

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Glenburgie 18 Year Old

Aged in a single sherry cask for 18 years, this whisky is bottled at cask strength and has 62% alcohol. Unusually light for an 18 year old, it is a slightly sweeter style of whisky but one that goes well with the chocolate notes of the cigar.

Mortlach 16 Year Old

The Mortlach 16 year old is a single malt from the Mortlach distillery in Dufton near Glenfiddich. Made in three different sized pot stills and spirits stills, it is aged for 16 years in sherry oak. This is a whisky that is also used in Johnny Walker Black.

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Mortlach 16 year old

Highly sherried with candied fruit, Christmas pudding notes and a hint of smoke, the whisky is a little earthy and very smooth with a long finish,making it the best whisky match for the cigar.

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
L: Embutidos (cured meats) – R: Croquetas de malanga (taro croquettes with aji de gallina sauce)

A couple of delectable dishes from La Bodeguita’s kitchen are served, embutidos (cured meats with arrollado and pickles) and croquetas de malanga (taro croquettes with aji de gallina) which go well with the enjoyment of the Mortlach.

Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Rum

Known as the flagship brand of Baranows, Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Rum from Venezuela is blended from 80% pot still rums then aged for 12 years in small American oak casks.

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Rum 

First tasted at the Sydney Whisky Fair, it has dried fruits and caramel notes and is thick and viscous in mouth. The sweetness and luxuriant finish makes it the best match with the chocolate flavour of the cigar.

Mojito with Diplomático Reserva Blanco Rum

La Bodeguita del Medio is known as “the home of the Mojito”, and Bar Manager, James Carlin, explains the history of the drink and how it is made as close to the original recipe as possible. A special version is on taste tonight, made using Diplomático Reserve Blanco Rum, another rum that was on taste at the Sydney Whisky Fair.

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
James Carlin, Bar Manager of La Bodeguita del Medio

This rum is aged for up to six years with a combination of light and heavy rums distilled in copper pot stills before it is  filtered and treated with charcoal to remove its colour. This creates an oily spirit that is smooth with banana notes and orange zest which gives this Mojito a more luxurious taste.

Elements of Islay Pe3

Known as one of the most sought after whiskies in the world, Pe3 (Port Ellen) was closed in 1982, and in the mid-90s, an annual release of Port Ellen was made. The stills have since been dismantled and it is used as a malting facility by Diageo who use it to supply most of their distilleries and in their blends for King George V, Johnny Walker Blue and Johnny Walker Black .

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Elements of Islay Pe3 

Bottled at cask strength (54.8% abv), it opens up with water and has grassy notes, very little smoke making it the only peaty spirit on taste. A stunning single malt with a long finish but it competes a little with the flavours of the cigar.

Diplomático Ambassador Rum

The final spirit on taste is indeed a special moment. Not yet launched worldwide until October, guests are treated to the inaugural tasting in Australia. The Diplomático Ambassador takes the Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva to another level. A blend of 100% copper pot still rum distillates, it is aged for 12 years with a further two years in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks.

Bottled at 47%, this is a luxuriant rum with evident Pedro Ximénez notes, one to sip slowly and enjoy in the best of company, making it a grand finale to the tasting event.

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Ben Baranow with Diplomático Ambassador

More photographs of the Cigar and Spirit Event below.

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Guests on the intimate balcony

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Presentation and tastings in progress

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Cigars, Mojitos and tweets

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Cigars and Mojitos

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Guests with Cian Stafford (right) of The Loft and Iconic Spirits

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
Mark Kingston of TheLoft (R) and Tim Glasson of Palazzo Versace with Diplomático Ambassador

Baranows Emporium Cigars and Spirits
La Bodeguita del Medio

The Baranows Emporium Cigar and Spirit event was held on Tuesday 13 September 2011 at La Bodeguita del Medio during BarShow Week.

Baranows Emporium
www.baranowsemporium.com

La Bodeguita del Medio
www.www.lbdm.com.au

Photography by @MrGourmantic

Gourmantic attended the event as media guests.

This article is posted on Gourmantic.com. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2014

Baranows Emporium Cigar and Spirit Event at La Bodeguita Del Medio was last modified: July 8th, 2014 by Corinne

Corinne

Corinne is the founder and editor of Gourmantic. An avid scribe, she has taken pen to paper since the age of five. Her repertoire includes long works of fiction, short stories and travelogues. She is a winner of the GT travel writing competition, has judged the Australasian Whisky Awards for 2013 and several cocktail competitions. She is also named in the Australian Bartender Most Influential List for 2013.
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14 Comments:

  1. Great review of the evening MT @Gourmantic: “Good cigars and good booze” was an apt intro to the Baranows Emporium …

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter.

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  6. Ooo, I love those top two pics. :-) They look marvelously Old World. I haven’t had cigars since I left Washington, but hopefully I can have a good one to celebrate my arrival in Australia. :-)

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