Pairing Review: Daughter of the Blood, Don Carlos Edicion Anniversario 2015, and Proper 12

I thought that this would be a good pairing. I thought the full-bodied and spicy Don Carlos Edicion Anniversario 2015 would match up with dark and mysterious characters within the promised dark fantasy that was Daughter of the Blood. I hoped for a complex flavor profile in the Proper 12 that would reflect an intriguing plot. I was incredibly disappointed.

Daughter of the Blood is the first in a series about dark, powerful, and mysterious characters striving for survival in a dystopian world. Similarly, Proper 12 is a first attempt at making whiskey by MMA champion Connor McGregor.  However, Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario 2015 is a solidly established smoke by Fuente.

The book is full of unrealized characters who have magical abilities that fluctuate with the needs of the plot. Likewise, Proper 12 is full of unrealized potential in that it drinks like a very young whiskey – but where the book characters are all smooth and silky, the whiskey is rough around the edges. The Don Carlos is a semi-complex mix of tastes that keep the interest while not being too demanding.

As the book progresses, the worldbuilding does not solidify into anything satisfying. It shows potential to become something truly interesting but never develops. The Don Carlos doesn’t develop additional flavors but does interchange which flavors come to the forefront as you continue to smoke it. The smoke, on the other hand, remains entertaining.  Once you get past the kick to the throat that is Proper 12, you do get to enjoy a fruitiness that’s actually fairly well balanced between a sweet and bitter profile.

Honestly, beyond this, I struggle to find parallels between the book, the drink, and the smoke. The book is generally bad, the cigar is superbly good, and the drink falls somewhere distinctly between good or bad. Usually I can find some alignment in the flavor profiles with the writing style but I am at a loss to do so with this pairing. There is no nuance in the plot that mirrors the complexity in the Don Carlos, no character that bears that same punch as the Proper 12. Therefore, I declare this pairing an utter failure. It goes to show not all things come out as expected, or hoped for.  

Have you ever experienced a dud pairing? A bad selection of wine and food? Of Cigar and Scotch? Tell me about a time you just wish you hadn’t in the comments!

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