Bowmore bottled its first batch of Single Malt Scotch in 1966 (prior, its whisky was sold as “fillings”). Today, only one cask of that batch remains. This extraordinarily rare bottling aged in ex-bourbon hogshead oak is packaged in a handmade crystal decanter with sterling silver adornments and housed in a handcrafted cabinet made from Scottish oak (its center sporting five hand-laid silver tree rings to mark the decades). Only 74 bottles exist, and a portion of those will be available in the U.S. at the end of the year, at an estimated price (take your seat) of $30,000. If you feel compelled to pair it with a stick, go for something understated, for god’s sake, so as to not mute flavor perhaps a Gisbert Corona or an Arturo Fuente Chateau. bowmore.com/whisky/1966-vintage

 

THROWING SHADE
Of late, there has been such an explosion of great band and box design that it occasionally distracts us from the products within. Such is the case with Under crown ShadyXX, the newest collaboration between the Shady Records music label (founded by Eminem and music manager, Paul Rosenberg, and celebrating its 20th anniversary) and Drew Estate. A belicoso design (typically characterized by a tapered head), it’s five inches long but with a stout 50 ring gauge, with Nicaraguan and Brazilian filler, a wonderfully dark Mexican San Andrés wrapper, and a Connecticut Habano binder. Rolled at the Drew factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, it has a deliciously soft smoke, nutty flavor, damn-near-perfect draw, and the eye-catching box/band design by Drew Estate’s Joey Reichenbach doesn’t hurt any. “Getting this cigar out feels a lot like releasing a great album,” said Rosenberg in a press statement. “[One] that we’ve created and subsequently marketed in some ways. This is just a great luxury smoke, perfect for reflecting on the highlights of the last 20 years.” The 10-count box retails for $104, and is sold exclusively at Drew Diplomat retailers. drewestate.com/shadyxx

Throwing Shade

DOUBLE DOWN!
A Manhattan Upper East Side gem and a throwback to more genteel days of mahogany furniture, buttery-soft leather club chairs, and deep-dish sofas perfect for contemplative puffing, Club Macanudo manages to combine refinement with repose in ways that are often difficult to describe. Open to the public, and with a dress code of collared shirts (preferably under a jacket) for the fellows and similarly business-casual recommendations for ladies, the club sports a terrific staff ready to recommend cigars you might never have heard of, and there’s also a terrific bar and great light fare. Optional is the leasing of a private humidor, in order to be counted among the celebrities and tycoons who require their own smoke stock. The Sunday brunch is a real treat, but for an experience unlike any other in the city (at least any other legal one), stop by on Thursday evenings for “21 for Fun,” wherein high rollers play against the house blackjack dealer to hone skills for their next junket to Atlantic City…or Monaco. 26 East 63rd Street, Manhattan, clubmacanudo.com

Double Down!

MM Bubbles Spread

Sundance for Smokers
Though it’s appreciably more difficult to travel to Cuba now, thanks to restrictions enacted by the Trump administration, it’s not impossible, and cultural and media appeals can still do the trick. One extraordinarily good reason to try was announced in October by cigar maker Habanos S.A. namely its sponsored and 22nd-annual Habanos Festival, which will run from February 24 to 28 in the host city of Havana (of course). Last year, the fest nothing less than the Sundance Festival for smokers attracted tobacco aficionados from more than 60 countries, who were treated to product rollouts, dozens of parties, farm trips to the Partidos region, an award dinner attended by 1,200, incomparable networking opportunities, and a number of auctions of prized sticks and humidors. habanos.com

Sundance for Smokers