Jameson Cigars and Rock Stone Coffee

I consider myself a coffee aficionado as much as I enjoy cigars. If you follow me on Twitter, you already know this. My go to coffee is by Black Dog Coffee Company as I’ve known the owner for many years from Cigar Weekly cigar forum. Also, I really enjoy Brian’s blends more than anything else I’ve tasted, especially the Sumatra and Costa Rican blends. Recently, though, Brad Mayo of Jameson Cigars sent me 4 1 lb bags of Rock Stone coffee to sample along with 2 Red Label coronas and 2 Black Label coronas to pair with. Now, I have a pretty high expectation from coffee as I have enjoyed Black Dog for years, so I was curious as to how these coffee compared to my benchmark of Black Dog. Below, I pair each coffee with a Jameson cigar and I pick the cigar based on Brad’s suggestions he gave me as to which pairs well with each type of coffee. Read on to see my thoughts.

Jameson Red Label and Kenya Peaberry Gethumbwini

This is the pairing that Brad Mayo first mentioned to me to be his a favorite when he asked me to sample the Rock Stone coffee line as it was his favorite combination. The PG blend is milder to me than the Batak which makes it a natural to pair with the connecticut shade wrapper of the Red Label. The PG has notes of berries, a hint of cocoa and a nice floral note. It’s also higher in acidity to me than the Batak which is usually a turn off for me , but, somehow, the PG is very smooth. The Red Label starts off very woody and creamy and it really does match well with the PG blend like Brad mentioned. The creaminess of the cigar cuts through the acidity of the coffee. Half way through the cigar, a nutty flavor has emerged and is more dominate than the woody note now. The introduction of the nuttiness of the cigar enhances the sweet earthiness undertones of the coffee. This pairing is as dynamic as expected.

Jameson Black Label and Sumatra Blue Batak

The Batak roast is a lot more full bodied than the Peaberry Gethumbwini that I sampled earlier. Because of this I choose this blend to try with the Black Label. The Batak has notes of earth, dried plums, cedar with a hint of citrus twang, if that make sense. The Black Label pairs very well with this coffee blend. The first third of the Black Label is woody, leathery with a cocoa sweetness that really complements the earthiness of the coffee. The second third adds a smooth creaminess to the cigar that really goes well with the coffee and adds another flavor element to the combination. The cigar finishes with stonger wood notes that remind me of mahogany with a hint of spice that the coffee seems to bring out. The cigar is finished and the cup is empty, but it was a journey that I would definitely do again.

Jameson Declaration and Sumatra Mandehling

The next coffee in the lot is the Sumatra Mandehling. With this one, I paired it with Jameson’s newest cigar, the Declaration. This cigar starts off woody, leathery and a hint of spice. More full bodied than the Red Label and I think it pairs well with the Mandehling. The coffee does go well with it as it’s a medium roast version. It has notes of earthy, smoky with, I swear, hints of maple syrup. To me, this blend has the highest acidity levels of the blends. I think it would be a great breakfast blend, but, with this Declaration pairing only one thing comes to mind……BBQ. I think it’s the combination of the smokiness of the coffee and the spiciness of the cigar combined to remind me of smoked meats. I like BBQ a lot….it’s what we do in the South and that is what jumps into my mind when I’m pairing these two. Strange, I know, but its really awesome.

Jameson Black Label and Kenya AA Nyeri Karindundu

I think I’ve saved the best for last. I have the last Black Label corona Brad send me and the last coffee I have left is the Kenya AA. I made a full pot of this coffee this morning to start my morning and get ready for the review. Little did I know, I was going to have to fight my wife to get the last cup of this coffee for the review! The coffee is really great. It has notes of chocolate, citrus, dried dates and apricots. This coffee is really amazing. It does pair well with the Black Label, but it mainly brings out the more bitter notes of the cigar. I think the Red Label would be better with this coffee, but, never the less, I have only the Black Label left to pair with. The coffee seems to really accent the cocoa notes of the cigar and make it taste of a more bitter dark chocolate. Also, it really enhances the woody notes of the Black Label and really lets it shine. It amplifies it by about 200%. Really nice combo. This is, by far, my favorite of the Rock Stone coffees.

As a side note, as I’m typing up this review, I’m drinking my last cup of the Kenya AA. I will tell you this, it won’t be my last. So, how do these compare to my favorite, Black Dog Coffee? Well, I really enjoyed these coffees. I do believe that they are about on par with Black Dog. I do give Black Dog the edge, but its close, very close. Its like 1. Black Dog, 1a. Rock Stone. I will say this also though, out of all the coffee’s, my favorite is the Kenya AA Nyeri Karindundu….including Black Dog. Well, that about does it. Thanks for reading and, remember, nothing beats a nice tight ash…or good cup of coffee!

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Nice review, and great timing. I am expecting a shipment of some Declarations and Sumatra Mandehling today! I too am a Black Dog fan and looking forward to checking out the Rock Stone. Thanks!

Good call with the Declaration and Sumatra Mandheling. I am a home roaster and I probably roast my beans a little lighter than the boutique roasters. While I pick up the earthiness in the Mandheling, I also get a dry, baker’s chococlate finish with my beans.

Good to see coffee reviews in here… my fave is the Alamid… strong flavor but smooth on the palette

Thanks, Good to see different types of coffee here.


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