I paired The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty with a Padrón 1926 Series No 6 and the Glenfiddich 12 Year. Admittedly, I thought to myself that I probably shouldn’t pair the Padrón, a full bodied cigar, with such a light and fruity Scotch. I thought that the contrast might be a nice one. I also thought the Glenfiddich would go well with the book. (Don’t want a pairing review? Stand alone reviews here: The City of Brass Padrón 1926 Series No 6 Glenfiddich 12 Year)
I was heartily wrong on almost all counts. The Padrón 1926 Series No 6 and Chakraborty’s tale of djinn were a perfect pairing together, while the Glenfiddich was the odd man out. This is because I was looking forward to the No 6 and The City of Brass with high hopes based on reputation but neither delivered on this promise.
The City of Brass started off as highly entertaining with a witty female protagonist named Nahri; much the same way the Padrón started off with strong flavors of woodsiness and nuttiness. However, by the second third of both I was incredibly disappointed. The characters of Chakraborty’s book began to become two dimensional and the information dumping became tiresome. The characteristics of the No 6 became stronger and tarry, with a slight heat about the burn which was unpleasant. The final third of the book ended with a bang that I couldn’t have cared less about when it happened. The final third of the No 6 was nothing but an overwhelming taste of tar and heat, so much so that I couldn’t nub it.
On the other hand, the Glenfiddich met the benchmark of its reputation as a reliable Speyside. It was pleasant to the smell, with floral and fruity notes. Its golden liquid tasted delightfully the same but as the taste lingered on the palate it turned to butterscotch and oak. There was a mellow finish in contrast to the overly action-packed ending of the book and the hot burn of the cigar.
As it turns out, my pairing fell as flat as the characters in the book. I was wrong about the things I looked most forward to and wrong about which items would go best together. In fact, the only thing I had been right about was that I shouldn’t have paired the Padrón with the Speyside.
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