Scotch-friendly blends?

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by LifeOfRiley, May 6, 2012.

  1. LifeOfRiley

    LifeOfRiley Member

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    I'll be getting together soon with a friend whose enthusiasm for single malt scotches is the same as mine is for pipes. The converse is also true: he's dabbled in pipes (former cigarette smoker), and I've dabbled in scotch.

    He's planning to bring some of his high-end stuff. Any suggestions about what might go well with some of that $50 a bottle hooch? I was thinking an English.
     
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  2. DMWyatt

    DMWyatt Member

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    I don't know a single thing about Scotch, I've never drank a drop. I do, however, drink a lot of Bourbon, Jack, and Irish whiskey. I generally pair them with a cigar or a Va blend. Englishes and Balkans seem to overpower several nuances in the whiskey blends I drink. For English and Balkans, I generally pull out coffee or beer (I'm not much of a beer drinker, so I'm not searching for nuances and flavor in beer like I do whiskey).
     
  3. Jayson H Bucy

    Jayson H Bucy Member

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    I agree that any thing with Latakia or even Perique might dull the nuances of a great bottle of Scotch. Aro's might leave too much residue as well. A good Virginia or Burley or a VA/Bur might be a good option.
     
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  4. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    Here's the thing...you'd think that latakia blends would go well with Scotch. To differing degrees, they're both smokey, so the flavors should compliment each other, right? Wrong! Thing is latakia is smokey in a campfire and incense kind of way, and peated whisky is smokey in a creosote-tar-medicine kind of way. Both are good on their own, but in my experience smoking pipes when I was still drinking I found the flavors were both quite strong in nature and fought with each other a lot. It was disharmonious to say the least.

    Now, you might be able to get away with a very lightly peated whisky like Auchentoshan, or a good quality mild blended whisky coupled with an Oriental-forward blend with only a tough of latakia - something like RRR or EMP. I still think it would likely result in a little disappointment, though.

    A good Virginia/burley blend with a decent backbone to it is probably the best bet. Some dark fired Kentucky would add just a bit of smokey goodness which may not fight with the peat so much as latakia does. You might try some of the GH and SG offerings, particularly the unscented stuff. Ropes, unflavored flakes, and GH's Kendal Dark or Dark Birdseye should all do fairly well. Full Virginia Flake would probably be a no brainer, but would be better with a milder whisky like Auchentoshan, Dalwhinnie, or something similar in nature, than it would be with a robust and super-tarry Islay like Laphroaig or Ardbeg.

    Some of the Cornell and Diehl and G.L. Pease blends should go really well with Scotch. JackKnife Plug/Ready Rubbed, Old Joe Krantz, Night Train, Haunted Bookshop, maybe even Exhausted Rooster.

    Keep in mind this is all based on personal experience and memory - you may love latakia with peatsmoke. I never did. Also keep in mind I haven't had a drink in nearly 9 months, and with the exception of a couple weeks last summer haven't had much to drink at all in over a year. I also didn't prefer pipes for most of my drinking career, preferring cigars for most of that time. I also love strong flavors - if the sauce didn't disagree so strongly with me, I would think a glass of medium-strong tasting Scotch and a big bowl of a robust, Kentucky-heavy blend would be a marvelous way to relax at the end of a long day. Many people prefer milder flavors, to which end something like a nice bowl of a light VA like Orlik Golden Slice and a glass of Auchentoshan might be a much better choice.

    Food for thought, hope it's been in some way helpful!
     
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  5. buistd

    buistd Active Member

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    If your friend is only an occasional pipe smoker it may be best to steer clear of some of the stronger blends that Nesta mentioned. Not sure getting nicotine sick from a rope would add much enjoyment to the evening!

    Like Nesta I too no longer drink and was never a pipe smoker when I was on the grog. That being said I can imagine that if you can get your hands on something with that fresh-baked bread taste to it you couldn't go far wrong. C&D Three Friars has it in fairly large amounts. I am no tobacco tasting expert so couldn't tell you which particular component of that blend gives it the bready taste - hopefully someone else can step in.

    I can imagine that a nice tart, citrus-y Virginia would also bring something good to the party. So if it was me I would find something with a citrus-y Va, and a bread like quality.

    My Uncle Stan is my pipe smoking hero. He is also a big whisky drinker. He pretty much only ever smokes a 50:50 mix of Condor and St Bruno and he always seems delighted with life when he's got a pipe full of that and a glass of whisky!

    Let us know what you settle for in the end. Enjoy the evening - it sounds like it'll be great fun.
     
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  6. Dunlibi

    Dunlibi Member

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    Can't go wrong with a bowl full of Condor or St Bruno, as Nesta says, to paraphrase, with apologies, two smokies, malts and latakia, Too smoky.
     
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  7. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    Condor! St. Bruno! :D

    I almost suggested something of the sort, but think that pairing something like that with a whisky could potentially be tricky. It makes a lot of sense, though, to me, that these types of tobaccos wouldn't likely have been so ubiquitous in the past if they tasted terrible with a glass of whisky!

    I think a lot of the GH offerings make terrific substitutes for Condor and St. Bruno. Best Brown #2 and Kendal Flake are pretty close to St. Bruno as far as I'm concerned, and Dark Flake is pretty close to Condor. Heck, so is Irish Flake, if you smoke it in a bowl ghosted with some of the flowery type blends. I think all of these traditional scented (whether lightly or heavily) flakes would probably go best with a mild spirit, though. Blended or else a low-peat malt whisky.
     
  8. Rodfather

    Rodfather Active Member

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    I am a Laphroaig lover and I most always pair it with the boldest English I have, they were made for each other.
     
  9. Baccy Bert

    Baccy Bert Member

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    I'd go with a dark VA, I usually smoke St.Bruno or Condor with Isle of Jura & Glenfidditch
     
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  10. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

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    I agree with nesta. However, I'd recommend smoking
    first, THEN move on to the single malts. That way
    you CAN pair a lat blend with an Islay, or OGS with
    some Dalwhinnie, etc.
     
  11. Mington

    Mington Well-Known Member

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    As a long time scotch drinker, I would answer the title to this thread as.....
    Aren't they all scotch friendly?:byg:
     
  12. SouthBound

    SouthBound Active Member

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    Famous Grouse goes well with almost any non-aros.

    Forum Running
     
  13. Thunderhorse

    Thunderhorse Member

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    I like to have peterson sherlock holmes when I drink expensive scotch, they really compliment each other, the scotch seems to bring out all kinds of flavors in the sherlock holmes! I mean smoking it without the scotch its good, but not awesome and then you take a mouth full of scotch and another puff and its like a whole new baccy. I know lots of people dont like sherlock holmes, say it bites, doesnt taste good, so on so forth but I really like it, smoke it slow though. I havent been smoking long though so take my info or leave it it dont matter to me haha
     
  14. buistd

    buistd Active Member

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    So what was the final decision?
     
  15. Ronv69

    Ronv69 Active Member

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    Laphroaig is a great whisky that will stand up to any tobacco!
     
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  16. Dimik

    Dimik Active Member

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    Can't believe my eyes! Latakia doesn't go with whisky?! Are you joking?
    For me it complements whisky perfectly, especially the peaty Isla or fruity/sweet highlander malts.
    I guess it really depends on what you like. For me there is no such thing as a good virginia, so I stick with Latakia and burley heavy blends and enjoy them with a dram. Latakia is smoky and sweet and goes well with either smoky or fruity malts. Burley is bready and nutty and goes well with more sweet whisky. At least for me.
     
  17. Brooklynsmoker

    Brooklynsmoker Member

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    Ronv69 has got it right.Laphroaig goes great with any of 'em.I like the cask strength personally,Be it Virginia,burely,Latikia it all goes well with the "Water of life".
    If you got the money a Lagvulin is simply incredible.
     
  18. Ronv69

    Ronv69 Active Member

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    I keep trying the other Islay's, but to me Laphroaig 10 is the Godfather dram!
     
  19. Ronv69

    Ronv69 Active Member

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    Interesting comment. Note that Ardbeg Ugeadail IS smokey in a "campfire way" so it might go with the latakia. I spilled some on my hand once and after it dried it smelled like my clothes after cooking over a campfire.
     
  20. Crusader

    Crusader Member

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    Personally I have found Peterson Irish flake to be great with both genere of Scotch. I also really like CD Atlas Balkan with Glenmorangie 10 yr. it lends a bit of smokiness to the fruity notes and blends well. Also both are quite affordable!
     
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