On certain balmy Thursday summer nights, something special happens for an eclectic group of stylish scotch, and cigar aficionados in Toronto. Tucked away in upper Yorkville, Md Bespoke Studio holds private spirit tastings paired with choice cigars.
Related: Men’s style: Sip, smoke and bespoke
What began as an informal gathering of scotch and cigar fans, Sip & Smoke private lifestyle events have been gaining popularity since the luxury pairing concept was introduced earlier this year; one that intersects lifestyle, quality people, and interesting discussions with savoury scotch and cigar combinations.
Fine scotch and cigars
Each Sip & Smoke event is unique; the event in June saw perfect summer weather conditions that complimented the tropical pairings set for that evening on Md’s private outdoor patio. These gatherings always include an educational component, and this event saw presentations by Sean from Watch Finder, who discussed trends in luxury watches, and George from Reign Motors updated clients about the best luxury vehicles to source and invest in.
The star spirit of the week was Glenlivet’s Caribbean Reserve single malt scotch whisky, paired with a cigar selection that included Romeo y Julieta, Cohiba, Montecristo, Partagas, Vegueros, and Bolivar.
This exceptionally special smooth single malt scotch is aged in oak rum barrels that bring out notes of rich caramel and toffee notes and a tropical fruit finish. Sumayya, the Sip & Smoke director, explained that this Glenlivet reserve is sweet tasting with apple and pear on the nose, toffee and banana on the palate, and delicate citrus flavours at the end.
Private, exclusive gatherings
Lee commented that the “caramel and orange notes brings out the Cuban cigar flavour profile” and liked the cigar which preserved the unique “sanctity of the scotch” and brought out the sweetness and the liquor’s caramel flavours. Deryck, who does not care for sweet flavours, noted that his chosen cigar mellowed the sweetness of the liquor.
“What I like is the smokiness of the cigar that balances out the sweetness of the scotch,” he says, noting that spicy Cuban rums also blend beautifully with cigars.
Perfect, everyday scotch
Settimio calls the Caribbean Reserve a perfect everyday scotch. A self-identified “brown spirit man”, he leans towards bourbons and other single malts which he believes brings out more flavours in the cigar. “You get a bit of yin and yang [with scotch and cigar pairings], and experience both on a higher level. A scotch and a cigar will put you in a good frame of mind.”