One of the many things I love about Louisville is that business owners know how to turn a passion for bourbon into a place where people feel at home. You see it at places like Haymarket Whisky Bar, where you can feel completely comfortable going to learn about bourbon and listen to live music. Right across the bridge in Jeffersonville, love for Kentucky’s Native Spirit combines with a passion for fine cigars to create a relaxing and welcoming place to celebrate the arrival of the weekend.
Friday night, Riverside Cigars and Match Cigar Bar partnered with Kyle Henderson of Angel’s Envy and Jonathan Drew of Drew Estate to host a dinner catered by Dean Corbett. Included in the ticket price was a bottle of Match’s Private Selection Angel’s Envy bourbon and a selection of various Drew Estate cigars. Additional prizes were raffled off after dinner and the atmosphere was both jovial and relaxed.
Dinner consisted of three bourbon-infused courses. The first course was bourbon braised pork belly served with pickled blackberries, arugula crema, and sorghum gastrique. The main course was a bourbon-bung smoked tenderloin with cannellini mustard greens and bacon hash with watermelon radish and bordelaise. Dessert was bourbon pecan chocolate cheesecake, bourbon sauce, chevre ice cream, and berry compote. In Kentucky, bourbon is a food group.
After dinner, Kyle Henderson talked briefly about Angel’s Envy’s history and products and then turned the floor over to Jonathan Drew.
I had known a little about Drew Estate’s products and mission before this event, and Jonathan Drew has always been one of my heroes in the cigar industry. His company has played a large role in preventing the decimation of coffee bean farmers by offering them fair market price for coffee beans. They roast the coffee beans and use them in the aging of tobacco leaves to create a cigar that is infused instead of flavored.
Drew Estate produces a wide range of products. They started out with Acid cigars and now make many different lines, including the rare and highly sought-after Liga Privada series. My go-to cigar is a Liga Undercrown, and there are four Drew Estate cigars in my personal top ten. This is a company that offers something for everyone in every price range.
What’s more impressive to me than their offerings is the way they run their business. They have an on-site health clinic for their employees for everything from stuffy noses to mammograms. Every employee gets life insurance to help their families in the unfortunate event of their death. What blew me away was that they offer paid maternity leave. The way they take care of their employees is evident in the quality of the products they are producing.
In addition to taking care of their people and creating quality products, Drew Estate also supports charities. They donate cigars to Cigars for Warriors, a charity that sends cigars to our troops deployed in conflict zones. They also support TECHO, a charity that builds homes for families living in extreme poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean. (Click here to donate.)
I love to learn and I relish opportunities like this to talk to industry leaders about their products. This is likely to become a yearly event at Match, so I highly recommend checking it out next year.
Photos Courtesy of Drew Estate's Facebook page and Maggie Kimberl