Smoky Tryst

Anindita Satpathi        Print Edition: January 18, 2015
Smoky Tryst: Cigar and malt appreciation in the capital
Rocky Patel (extreme left) and Hemant Sureddi (second from right)

What is an apt measure of manliness? Frankly, opportunities to show off strength, courage and chivalry have diminished rapidly.

That leaves us just with the raw basics of style, heaps of which can be found in the last bastion of male indolence - plush trophy rooms.

The symbol of men's temptation, these purveyors of luxurious club culture condensed into hunting story banter, tankards and good ol' ribaldry can inject a strong dose of manliness that will keep you going for a week.

And, while you're looking appropriately brooding, indulge in the finest things that civilisation has to offer to man - single malt and cigars.

Find a warm spot next to the fireplace and let the storytelling commence.

On a chilly January evening, Cigar Conexion hosted 'Marriage of Cigaro' to lend an insight into the pairing of two fine poisons that are worth the addiction.

CEO of Cigar Conexion Hemanth Sureddi is of the firm belief that the industry is on the brink of a breakthrough.

Just as the Indian palate is now appreciative of wines after years of grape permutations, it is opening up to the smoky charm of cigars.

As the sole importer of Rocky Patel Cigars to India, he also elaborated on the lifestyle statement angle of cigars.

Inextricably tied up with the studied practice of luxury, cigars offer a dimension of laidback splendour.

Exploring possibilities beyond the mild and mild pairing, connoisseurs have embarked on a path where the pungency of a strong cigar is complemented by the aroma of a mild single malt.

The Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon sourced from Honduras boasts of strong hickory notes tempered by the earthy Cameroon wrapper.

Hints of coffee and roasted nuts lend to it a full-bodied taste accentuated by soft spice.

In fact, it was the non-Cuban cigar industry that first utilised the distinctive essence of the wrapper as an element of taste, elevating it beyond its ornamental function.

The brash, toothy Cameroon is a case in point. Delicate, yet rich, Cameroon wrappers are, however, not apt for Maduro fermentation.

The Rocky Patel Vintage 1990, snugly encased in a 12-year old Honduran broadleaf, is medium-bodied and gives off complex notes.

Having twice found a place in the Top 25 Cigars of the Year by Cigar Aficionado, this one's a covetable addition to your humidor.

And, its most impressive bit is yet to come.

It has a filler of seven years old Nicaragua and Dominican. It is said that you won't forget the distinct nutty and elegant taste of this one in a hurry.

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