Embajador Tequila Pairing at Torch Cigar Bar

[*FTC Disclosure: Brands appearing on the Tequila Aficionado Wild Wild West 2017 Tour were vetted as Brand of Promise(c) Nominees and paid a nominal fee to be included.]

Spark Me Up!

Across the vast Desert Ridge Marketplace on trendy High Street in Phoenix is nestled the fashionable Torch Cigar Bar.

Embajador Tequila’s freshest customer provided them an early evening time slot for a tequila and cigar pairing that did not disappoint.

Torch Cigar Bar

Torch Cigar Bar is the new gold standard in cigar bar and lounges.  A lovely, spacious lounge with a contemporary feel, plush furnishings and a warm, inviting atmosphere.

For fine cigar and spirits lovers, Torch is considered a sanctuary from hectic schedules and day-to-day concerns.

Wide Selection

Billed as having over 200 premium cigars and over 200 total spirits, shelf space at Torch is scarce, but…

There’s always room for passion and craft tequilas.

Bar Manager, Chris Cuestas, describes Torch’s growth in Phoenix, and his plans to expand the tequila and mezcal choices.  [Editor’s note:  Chris also makes a mean espresso!]

Cigar Expert Extraordinaire

Torch’s Cigar Maven, Shannon Horton, shares her options on pairing puros with each of Embajador’s expressions.

Inside the Humidor

Replete with personal lockers for members to stash their prized sticks, Torch’s state-of-art humidor is designed as a shrine to fine tobaccos.

Here, Shannon explains her recommendations for Embajador’s anejo, the Caldwell Eastern Standard Midnight Express.

Embajador Tequila and Cigars:  A Perfect Pairing

Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager for Embajador Tequila, explains his reasoning for approaching Torch in the first place, and why small batch tequilas make perfect sense in this environment.

Save Your Sanity

As Jon Harrington, co-founder of Torch, puts it–

“…save your sanity in an insane world….”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaNqBVYjMlX/?taken-by=tequilaaficionado

Visit Torch Cigar Bar and save your sanity.

The Añejo Way of Life With Señor Rio Tequila and Cigars by M.A. “Mike” Morales

I admit, I have a soft spot for Señor Rio tequila.

A snifter of Señor Rio añejo on the patio.
A snifter of Señor Rio añejo on the patio.

Sure, it’s produced at the famed La Cofradía distillery (NOM 1137), where its flagship tequila, Casa Noble, grabs all the headlines these days.  And the co-founders, Jonathan Gach and Debbie Medina have a great love for tequila and a great love story, too.  And, yes, it comes in a helluva pretty bottle.  But those aren’t my reasons for my affinity to the brand.

It’s their exclusive cigars that pair so well with Señor Rio tequila that bring a smile to my face.

In The Beginning…

Waiting to be lit.
Waiting to be lit.

I was first introduced to Señor Rio Cigars when CEO, Jonathan Gach, sent me a pair that were infused with Señor Rio blanco tequila.  It was a novel idea at the time since tradition dictates that cigars be paired with wines and darker spirits.  Naturally, these were meant to be enjoyed with Señor Rio blanco and its fragrant smoky bouquet and long finish.

The concept of pairing cigars with blanco tequilas compelled  me to seek other blanco tequila and cigar combinations that ultimately lead to my recent article in Cigar Advisor.

Completely hooked, I couldn’t wait to spark up these newer versions of Señor Rio Cigars that Jonathan was kind enough to share.

Pure Elegance

Señor Rio's presentation dresses up any occasion.
Señor Rio’s presentation dresses up any occasion.

Simply placing the Señor Rio bottles outside on the patio table dresses up any occasion and calls for your fanciest lighter, ashtray and crystal snifters.  One whiff of the big, veiny Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and I couldn’t stray from tradition.  A snifter of  Señor Rio añejo was in order.

From the very start, this stick had all the signs of a handmade gem, lighting beautifully, drawing smoothly and burning evenly with a nice ash.  The combination of the Honduran and Dominican filler, along with the Connecticut broadleaf binder made for a tequila lover’s delight.

Nice ash.
Nice ash.

The hints of leather, wood and nuts courtesy of the wrapper blended nicely with Señor Rio’s initial sweetness. The cigar’s light spiciness (cloves) enhanced the nose and married graciously with the aroma  of the añejo.  Moreover, the cigar’s easygoing softness didn’t interfere with Señor Rio’s medium-to-long finish imparted by its aging in used French white oak barrels for two years.

With the reposado, however, the pairing was more evenly matched.  Aged only six months in used French white oak barrels, it does not have as long a finish as the añejo and this fusion was a duel of the senses.  Each commanded my attention with every sip and draw.  While at times the añejo seemed to step aside, the pairing with the reposado demanded to be noticed.

Up close and personal with Señor Rio tequila.
Up close and personal with Señor Rio tequila.

Once Señor Rio blanco was served, it was comparing night and day.  Everything I had experienced throughout my enjoyment of the cigar was brought to bear with the blanco.  It was a Wimbledon tennis match at Centre Court between two distinct athletic styles where your taste buds are the line judge and the crowd cheers with every volley.

The Añejo Way Of Life

Enjoying the Añejo Way Of Life.
Enjoying the Añejo Way Of Life.

You don’t have to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation (or of a tequila brand or online tequila media company, for that matter) to enjoy Señor Rio.  The pure elegance of its bottle presentation and the tequila’s flavor profile alone can take you to your happy place, what I call “the añejo way of life.”  Coupled with a Señor Rio Cigar, and your trip there will be that much quicker.

Sadly, these puros are not available for retail, yet, and are primarily used at special events and promotions.  But, as Jonathan Gach puts it, “I have been a cigar smoker for 37 years and along with tequila, this is another passion of mine.”

On the positive side, Jonathan is contemplating some exciting future plans for Señor Rio that includes the addition of even more enticing tobacco blends to go along with his stellar tequila.

In the meantime, look for Jonathan and Debbie and the whole Señor Rio tequila crew at your nearest cigar bar and liquor store.  It’ll be your shortest route to the “añejo way of life.”

Jonathan Gach and Debbie Medina, founders of Señor Rio tequila.
Jonathan Gach and Debbie Medina, founders of Señor Rio tequila.

For more information on Señor Rio, visit them here.
At Facebook.  On Twitter @senorrio .

senor rio


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