This post covers how people like to pair highly-rated cigars with drinks. Some people enjoy a cigar or drink alone, and some prefer to order them together for an enjoyable experience.
Cigars are usually paired with a glass of Scotch and are smoked after dinner or as an evening activity. Sometimes cigars have additives that can intensify certain flavors and increase the nicotine absorption rate, so it is essential to research which beverage will best complement it.
Drinks That Pair Best With Cigars
Before choosing a drink to pair with your cigar, you should consider the cigar’s strength. Some people use lighter-flavored cigars for a better wine or beer experience. A more robust flavor in the cigar can overpower a delicate wine or ale, which doesn’t do well when paired with a strong-tasting cigar. If you will be smoking after one drink, it’s best not to mix drinks and smoke the same brand simultaneously.
Preferred Cigars: Maduro Wrapped Cigars, like Davidoff Nicaraguan Series or Oliva Connecticut Reserve. These cigars have a nutty and earthy flavor that many people enjoy with a stout beer. The flavor of the cigar pairs well with the dark stout beer. The cigar is mild in comparison to the Dark beer, so it is not overpowered by it. On the other hand, the cigar engulfs a full-bodied stout beer and makes it milder with its smoothness and sweetness.
Preferred Cigars: Havana Club or Oliva Serie O Maduros. These two cigars are generally medium-bodied and full-flavored and are best paired with a good-aged rum. The Havana Club Maduro will provide more of an oaky essence to the drink while the Oliva Serie O Maduro will add a more Cuban spice flavor to the drink.
Scotch Or Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Preferred Cigars: Ashton Cabinet Selection or Padron 3000 Series. These cigars make a great pairing with both drinks. The Ashton Cigar is a perfect cigar to pair with an Irish whiskey, such as the Emerald Cask 20 Year Old, which is smooth and sweet. The Padron 9000 Series has a spicy-sweet flavor that goes well with the sweeter scotches or malts.
Preferred Cigars: Gurkha Cellar Reserve or Padron 2000 Series. These cigars are medium-bodied and rich in flavor. The cigar is more on the sweet side, which works with vodka. The darker Padron 2000s will complement the darker flavors of a well-aged vodka better than the lighter 2000s.
Preferred Cigars: CAO La Traviata or Padron 3000 Series. These medium-bodied and full-flavored cigars are best paired with a dry gin such as Bombay Sapphire. The CAO La Traviata is milder than the Padron 3000 Series and pairs well with a sweeter gin.
Tequila & Mezcal
Preferred Cigars: Davidoff Churchill No. 8 or Padron 2000 Series. These cigars are medium-bodied and have subtle flavors that pair well with tequila and mezcal. The lighter 2000s will pair well with a sweeter tequila while the darker Churchill No. 8 will go well with more complex aged tequilas such as an AVO Silver and Gold, which has a rich flavor of grapefruit, citrus fruits, pepper, sweet spices, and caramelized sugariness.
Cognac & Brandy
Preferred Cigars: Padron 3000 Series or Ashton VSG. These cigars are medium-bodied and full of flavor. The Padron 3000 Series pairs well with any brandy, but the Ashton VSG pairs best with Armagnac, such as the Delord 10-year. The Ashton VSG goes well with the brandy and has a smooth finish.
Why Do Cigars And Whiskey (Or Bourbon) Go Together?
While both drinks are made from fermented grain mash, each spirit has its unique flavor and taste. The smoke from the cigar and the whiskey complement each other well since both have a distinct aroma and flavor.
A milder cigar will pair well with any drink, especially if it is a light wine or ale. The flavor of the cigar won’t overpower the flavor of the drink but will add to it. While stronger cigars have more additives to give them more power, strength, and body, they are usually not favored when paired with drinks.
If you choose to pair a stronger flavored cigar with whiskey, you may want to try smoking only part of it; and let the second half steep while you savor your alcohol.
Does It Matter What Kind Of Whiskey?
Whiskey is made from a fermented grain mash, and there are two main types: rye whiskey and corn whiskey. The difference in taste comes from the amount of time that the distilled liquid was in an oak barrel.
While blends are usually made up of at least 51% corn, bourbon must be at least 51% corn with a maximum of 79%. The remaining percentage can be any grain mash, but most bourbons have rye added to them to give it more spice. Bourbon is aged for at least 2 years in new oak barrels.
Preferred Cigars: Padron Series 1926 or Serie R. These two cigars, which are medium-bodied and full-flavored, pair well with both whiskeys and bourbons. The cigars have more of a woody flavor and a bready taste than a sweet tobacco flavor. Both cigars have earthy undertones that complement the whiskey, which tends to be sweeter than the other liquors mentioned in this post.
Do Cigars Pair With Wine?
Yes, they most certainly do. Some cigar manufacturers recommend pairing cigars with wine. When choosing a wine to pair with your cigar, you should consider the tobacco leaf wrapper. Since there are different wrapper leaves and therefore flavors that come with the cigars, it is best to research what wines work best with those flavors. Some cigars are made of the same types of tobacco as some wines and can be paired accordingly. If you don’t want to take the time to research various brands of wine, there are a few cigars that go well with all different types of wine.
Preferred Cigars: Ashton Cabinet Selection and Liga Privada No. 9. The first cigar, the Ashton Cabinet Selection is a medium-bodied and medium-flavored cigar that pairs well with a medium-bodied wine. A good pairing would be a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot that isn’t too sweet or too dry. The Liga Privada No. 9 is a very full-flavored cigar that pairs well with bright red wines, such as Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon or Beaujolais.
Tatuaje Black Label Petite Lancero. This cigar has a sweet, oily, and smooth flavor that most people prefer with a glass of red wine. The wine tends to be more full-bodied and complex while the cigar is medium-bodied and smooth. The sweet flavors in the cigar pair well with the sweetness of the wine, making both have a smoother taste than on their own.
Can I Pair Cigars With Coffee?
Coffee is an acquired taste and can change flavor depending on where the beans were grown, how they were roasted, and what type of grind was used. Cigars can also go well with coffee, especially if you choose a medium-bodied cigar that isn’t too sweet.
The flavors in the cigar will make a nice compliment to the coffee, but don’t be surprised if some of the flavors are activated by the aromatics in your cup of Joe. For example, since wine and coffee are made from fermented grain mash, it may make sense that cigars contain many of their aromatics.
Preferred Cigars: Ashton Cabinet Selection or Davidoff Aniversario Robusto. Both cigars are very smooth and have hints of sweetness that go well with coffee. They are both medium-bodied cigars that pair well with most coffees.
Tips For Pairing Cigars And Drinks
- Always choose a milder cigar to pair with a stronger drink.
- Try to smoke the same brand of a cigar with your drink.
- Be sure that you are drinking enough water to make sure that your body does not become dehydrated.
- Drink slowly so that both the cigar and the drink last longer.
- When choosing a cigar to pair with a drink, it may be best to choose one that is made of the same type of tobacco as the spirit.
- If there is too much competition between the drink and the cigar you are smoking, then choose another cigar.
- When preparing for your next pairing experience, consider what you drank during your last one. Then compare it to what you are drinking now and decide if another pairing experience would be better suited for you.
- Pairing cigars and alcohol may take some time for experimentation, but there is certainly a perfect pair for everyone.
Drink Pairings Are Personal
The same drink can be paired differently with different cigars. Many times, the cigar of choice will dictate which drink will pair best. Each person likes different flavors. When you are preparing for the perfect pairing experience, consider what you drank during your last one. Then compare it to what you are drinking now and decide if another pairing experience would be better suited for you. Keep trying new pairings until you have found the “Perfect One”.