Whiskey Sticks: Sugar Maple, Spice, Broadleaf and Everything Nice

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Christmas and Hanukah are holidays seriously intertwined with rich flavors of sugar, spice and everything nice. So my friends at Suntory/Jim Beam sent me some of their very festive Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon which, if you haven’t had it yet, run don’t walk to the local liquor store and pick up a case immediately. Me and the guys at Fine Cigars in Allen, my home away from home, paired this delicious flavored whiskey with one of our new favorite Texas based sticks, the Quick Draw by Southern Draw: uniquely named for their Southern heritage and a quality process where they draw test every cigar they make. You heard me right folks. Not only do they draw test every single stick, word is they fly their product here from Nicaragua via private jet so that the salt air doesn’t affect the flavor.

The Stick: Southern Draw

Quick Draw Pennsylvania
Broadleaf ?Maduro Wrapper ?
Petite Corona?
Medium Strength, Full Flavor?
Consensus Rating: 4 Star

Backed by Army Vet Robert Holt and the legendary Kale Martin, a Dallas Cigar Icon, Southern Draw has the financial backing, knowledge and quality control to become a national brand. They have partnered with local growers in Nicaragua and local shops all over Texas to launch a very delicious line of three master blended sticks for every palate. Open ended, hand rolled “Rustic” construction like the Drew Estate Nica Rustica allows their sticks to burn true, and with a limited monthly construction of 5,000 sticks per blend, their master blenders are able to maintain a Southern integrity and Shepard like vigilance over their flock.

The Quick Draw Pennsylvania gets off to a great start with very sweet and earthy front-end notes. The double fermented and enhanced Broadleaf Maduro wrapper adds a complexity to this Petite Corona, which complements craft beers and flavored whiskeys with a spicy spectrum of flavor. Sugar Maple, Cinnamon, Star Anise were all tastes in this giants profile, and because of its size they are dispersed through out. At the $5 price point, I expect them to sell well.

The Whiskey: Knob Creek

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Smoked Maple Syrup?
90 Proof?
Consensus Rating: 5 Stars

Knob Creek is becoming an innovative brand of whiskeys that I grow to love more with each tasting. From their Rye to the Special Reserve, they produce very smooth, high proof whiskeys. I wanted to review a flavored whiskey for all the rich cigars and sumptuous delicacies all of us will consume this holiday Season. If you’d ever had Maple Syrup on your pancakes and loved it, you will love the Smoked Maple Bourbon in their line. Tasting like it had a tap directly into a Canadian Sugar Maple, this high proof rendition of bourbon is magnificent. Me and the boys love all the Knob Creek bottles for their easy-to-drink narrow grip and spout. We drank this sweet treat straight from the bottle with our Southern Draws and some of Mom’s Cheddar Cheese Maple Sausage Balls. It was a tasty explosion of sweet, salty and hot oak and the first bottle was gone in 30 minutes between the three of us.

Knob Creek was also very gracious to be our tasting sponsor for our Dallas premier of 21 Years: Richard Linklater. The Whiskey Sticks Podcast along with our sponsors at Fine Cigars enjoyed a variety of tastings from the Knob Creek Whiskeys line the entire month of November. So being a huge fan of the Jim Beam Brand, when I confirmed my trip to Nicaragua, I bought two bottles of bourbon: Bookers and Knob Creek Smoked Maple to enhance my trip (pun intended).

Our first Whiskey Sticks Podcast will be up and running on SoundCloud around the middle of January, so tune in to the show for some Cigar and Liquor industry gossip, pairings and on air reviews in the new year. We will have Justin Parker from Fine Cigars in Allen Texas and Zac Slabaugh from Traditions Cigars in Knoxville kickin’ out some Cigar 101 for all you beginners (like me) and of course, yours truly stirring the pot on everything from sex, current events, and world sociopolitical economics in Latin America and the world of Whiskey and Tobacco.