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Bourbon and cigars

sacjward

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Time of past OR future Camino
July & August, 2024
I am a bourbon and cigar lover! I plan on walking my Camino this summer and was wondering if the bars & restaurants along the Camino Frances had Bourbon available? I am not fond of wine and wouldn't mind relaxing with a bourbon on occasion after a long day's walk. Also, what are the "rules" for cigars in the towns and in the outside areas of the Albergues? And are quality cigars available along the Camino?
 
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Honestly, I've never seen cigars in outdoor albergue areas. Cigarettes sometimes, but usually at a wide and respectful distance from main groups of people. In outdoor restaurant environments it might be more common?

Never looked for bourbon...but my father-in-law loves cigars so I try to find special ones for him abroad. A quick search reveals a good cigar shop/club in Santiago de Compostela. It seems the history of cigars does go deep in Spain. That could be a nice moment of celebration for you at the end, and maybe other cities along the way like Pamplona have similar places. Good luck and Buen Camino!
 
I am a bourbon and cigar lover! I plan on walking my Camino this summer and was wondering if the bars & restaurants along the Camino Frances had Bourbon available? I am not fond of wine and wouldn't mind relaxing with a bourbon on occasion after a long day's walk. Also, what are the "rules" for cigars in the towns and in the outside areas of the Albergues? And are quality cigars available along the Camino?
Pretty much any decent sized town will have a Tabacaria with a range of cubanos.

I do have the odd cigar; but (as it should be); it’s outdoors only and downwind of everyone else.
 
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I am a bourbon and cigar lover! I plan on walking my Camino this summer and was wondering if the bars & restaurants along the Camino Frances had Bourbon available? I am not fond of wine and wouldn't mind relaxing with a bourbon on occasion after a long day's walk. Also, what are the "rules" for cigars in the towns and in the outside areas of the Albergues? And are quality cigars available along the Camino?
I am also a bourbon drinker but on the Camino have trended toward beer, wine and Orujo. That said, in any decent sized town you are likely to be able to find bourbon in a hotel bar.

I am starting my next Camino on April 3 and will report back on Bourbon on the Camino :cool:
 
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Jack Daniels is technically not a bourbon, but a Tennessee whiskey. Or so I've been told.
I looked this up. Jack Daniels calls itself a Tennessee whiskey and from what I've read a Tennessee whiskey meets the requirements to be called a bourbon. Tennesse says that if bourbon is made in Tennessee and is charcoal filtered before being poured into the oak barrel it can be called Tennessee whiskey. It's a way of competing with Kentucky which comes to mind when bourbon is mentioned.

Read a few of the replies here to the question "Is Jack Daniels technically a bourbon?":
 
I looked this up. Jack Daniels calls itself a Tennessee whiskey and from what I've read a Tennessee whiskey meets the requirements to be called a bourbon. Tennesse says that if bourbon is made in Tennessee and is charcoal filtered before being poured into the oak barrel it can be called Tennessee whiskey. It's a way of competing with Kentucky which comes to mind when bourbon is mentioned.

Read a few of the replies here to the question "Is Jack Daniels technically a bourbon?":

I've been reading your link and some others as well. It's been a hoot! It reminded me a lot of some old threads here about who is and who isn't a true pilgrim. I especially liked this comment:

"Scotch is a way of making whisky.
Bourbon is a way of making whiskey.
People make absolute shit versions of both.
People make amazing versions of both."

Isn't it a funny old world!
 
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While a militant non-smoker, I have talked with US pilgrims who expressed their delight and wonder at the cigar selections in most estancos. One said that Estella had a better cigar selection than his home town of Athens, Georgia. I don't know if that means something, but I just hand it on for your interest.

You might think of some of the Spanish brandies for a change-- Carlos III seems to be well-thought of.
 
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I can’t speak for the bourbon, but puros cubanos have a closer historic connection to Spain.

On the subject of drink, Spain is wine country and the range and quality available is exceptional. Stick to the crianzas and reservas and you’ll not go far wrong. I have, however, asked for a Rioja in Ribiera country and been given what el dueño thought was better. And he was right. Somewhat like with beer in the UK, ask what the locals drink.

On an early Camino I arrived somewhere after Foncebadon covered in snow and called it a day. A couple of glasses of tinto were €2 each, and very drinkable. I gave in and said I’d have the rest of the bottle whereupon I was given a euro back as the ‘locals’ price was only €3.
 
Well, thanks for all your input. Kind of got away from my original question though…I was just wondering if bourbon and cigars were readily available along the Camino Frances. Don’t care for wine don’t like cigarettes…I just enjoy a good bourbon and a nice cigar occasionally.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Jack Daniels is technically not a bourbon, but a Tennessee whiskey. Or so I've been told. And what about Spanish brandy?
Brandy was going to be my suggestion too to mix it up a bit. I met an Aussie who had brandy as his Camino vice and I have to say the couple I had with him were decent
 
Well, thanks for all your input. Kind of got away from my original question though…I was just wondering if bourbon and cigars were readily available along the Camino Frances. Don’t care for wine don’t like cigarettes…I just enjoy a good bourbon and a nice cigar occasionally.
Sorry to have troubled you.
 
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Just to add my two cents. You will find that any whisky or scotch are much more expensive than the wine. If that is not an issue for you I saw whisky offered in every bar I can remember. It won't be a large selection, but they will have something. I like my bourbon as well, but while in Spain I switched to brandy. Brandy made in Spain can be very cheep and good. I can't help with any cigar information as I am a non-smoker.
 
No trouble, just restating my original question
You will find bourbon, ask for your brand or just whiskey, in any bar you visit. Cigars are available but not popular on the Camino because of the smoke which many have chemical sensitivities to.
 
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Well, thanks for all your input. Kind of got away from my original question though…I was just wondering if bourbon and cigars were readily available along the Camino Frances. Don’t care for wine don’t like cigarettes…I just enjoy a good bourbon and a nice cigar occasionally.
Cigars are easy. Bourbon will be available in larger cities but it’s not that popular here as locals tend to drink local. It’s not that easy to get French wine for example.
 
You will find bourbon, ask for your brand or just whiskey, in any bar you visit.
Spain is neither bourbon nor whisky nor whiskey country. The best you'll likely find on the Camino would be Jack Daniels or Bushmills, and whilst I am no bourbon expert so won't comment as to that, these two are both decidedly inferior to any good single malt or single cask Scotch. I guess Ballantine's is also acceptable for mass-produced stuff. You might be able to find a Glenmorangie or something, but that's still mass-produced even if it is single malt.

For something Spanish, look for these maybe ?

Cigars are available but not popular on the Camino because of the smoke which many have chemical sensitivities to.
I am a non-smoker, but even I know that cigars are better in Spain than in any other large European country -- barring certain specialty tobacconists in London, Paris, and Monte-Carlo (which I suppose technically makes Monaco the best cigar country in Europe, and also good enough for bourbon and Scotch, but well ...).
 
A brand of bourbon is available in just about any Spanish bar: it's called Four Roses. The label says it's from Kentucky, but I have my doubts... back in my American days I was a fan of nice bourbon. This is just OK, but when I get the yen, it's there for me. (Bars in larger towns sometimes have Maker's Mark, but you have to look for it, and then you have to tell them how to serve it.)

As for cigars, I walked my first camino is with a Dutchman who smoked an elegant little cigar each night after dinner. When his Dutch supply ran out, he tried a Spanish puro from the estanco... he never went back to the originals! When I go to visit, I always bring him a supply.
 
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A brand of bourbon is available in just about any Spanish bar: it's called Four Roses. The label says it's from Kentucky, but I have my doubts... back in my American days I was a fan of nice bourbon. This is just OK, but when I get the yen, it's there for me. (Bars in larger towns sometimes have Maker's Mark, but you have to look for it, and then you have to tell them how to serve it.)

As for cigars, I walked my first camino is with a Dutchman who smoked an elegant little cigar each night after dinner. When his Dutch supply ran out, he tried a Spanish puro from the estanco... he never went back to the originals! When I go to visit, I always bring him a supply.
 
Four Roses is definitely a Kentucky Bourbon. There are at least 4 different versions, the cheapest version isnt the best but the others are ok.
 
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It has been my impression (as a Kentucky resident) that the bourbon opportunities are occasional in Spain. I almost never saw much of a bourbon selection, if any. I also enjoy a cigar and was somewhat disappointed in the lack of selection (casual selection) available. I was able to find some cigars in SdC and was satisfied with the wine / beer options everywhere because I'm more of a beer kind of guy - who has a son who is a bourbon "connoisseur" so I do enjoy a good bourbon now and then (almost always with a cigar...). I guess I've become, because of the above comment, a bit of a snob about bourbon. [I've been that way about whisky (spelling intentional) for a long while - it's just a personality disorder.... ;-)) ]
 
Seeking the familiar when traveling likely means that you will miss out on the opportunity to discover something that you enjoy even better.

Also consider that Bourbon must be imported into Spain and likely subject to import duties passed on the buyer. Why pay more for a limited selection?


-Paul
 
Most towns have tobacco shops that sell puros. You’ll see a lot of Cohiba, some Havana cigars. Be prepared to fork it out. Cigars are more expensive in Spain than they are in the US. but worth it for the experience if you wanna have one while you’re there. Easy to find, but not a huge selection of brands in my experience in december.
 
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Bourbon sold in the U.S. must be produced in the country from at least 51% corn and stored in a new container of charred oak.

Is this fake news?
 
When in Spain, drink what the Spaniards drink... when they want whisk(e)y, it's usually Scotch. Bourbon is not a thing here. Don't expect "selections" of things nobody but you wants to drink.
 
I just enjoy a good bourbon and a nice cigar occasionally.
I'm not bothered by the bourbon, but I do hope you enjoy a 'nice' cigar only occasionally. I have horrid memories of my father's customary Christmas indulgence in a box of malodorous hand-rolled Havanas. The miasma of sweaty feet filled the air as rapidly as it emptied the room of his children, which may have been his intention. Admittedly, it might also empty the albergue of smelly footsoldiers as fast as the Charge of the Light Brigade.
 
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I'm not bothered by the bourbon, but I do hope you enjoy a 'nice' cigar only occasionally. I have horrid memories of my father's customary Christmas indulgence in a box of malodorous hand-rolled Havanas. The miasma of sweaty feet filled the air as rapidly as it emptied the room of his children, which may have been his intention. Admittedly, it might also empty the albergue of smelly footsoldiers as fast as the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Sorry to bring back your haunting memories 😂. Only people who smoke good cigars understand the draw to it…definitely not for everyone that’s for sure. But to ease your mind, cigar smoking (at least mine and all the people I know) is done outside either among like minded people or alone, away from the crowds.
 
Bourbon sold in the U.S. must be produced in the country from at least 51% corn and stored in a new container of charred oak.

Is this fake news?

The Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits, codified under 27 CFR §5.22(b)(1)(i), states bourbon made for U.S. consumption[22] must be:

o Produced in the U.S. and its Territories (Puerto Rico), as well as the District of Columbia[24]
o Made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn[25]
o Aged in new, charred oak containers[25]
o Distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume)[25]
o Entered into the container for aging at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume)[25]
o Bottled (like other whiskeys) at 80 proof or more (40% alcohol by volume)[26]



-Paul
 
I frequently saw Four Roses and I'm told on good authority that the bar in La Faba had Makers. I was able to resupply cigars in any of the big cities and I also picked up cigars here and there from bars/cafes. Enjoy your bourbon and cigars.
 
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A friend of mine and her husband have driven these two "trails" in Tennessee and Kentucky, USA.
They provide a "credential"... called passports.
View attachment 165271View attachment 165272
Thank you. I have noticed these being marketed in UK and I remember not hearing of it before and thinking It looked interesting.

A few experts on here. Any recommendations as to which is the best one to do (low budget!).
 
Absolutely! Along the Camino Frances, you'll stumble upon a diverse array of bars and restaurants, and some likely offer bourbon. To be sure, it's best to ask around once you're there. Regarding cigars, smoking rules differ, but you'll usually find designated spots in towns and Albergues. For instance, I know that no one bothers you if you vape because I use my SpaceMax BX8000 price vape and never had a problem. So you better ask around before lighting your cigar.
 
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I hope you can find Buffalo Trace, a Makers Mark or a Rebecca Creek out in the wilds of Spain!
In wonder if Spain Had access to allocations?
Blantons..while wildly overpriced for a at best mud tier alcohol...
As for tobbacco, was always drawn toward sweet,leathery pipe tobacco aromas
 
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Here in Moratinos we now have Jim Beam as well as Four Roses. We've come a loooong way in 18 years. When we first arrived there was only the white lightning orujo made in Esteban's barn, and the "interesting" local vino tinto made in Manolo's bodega cave.
 

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