Finding the key to perfectly pairing a glass of whiskey and a cigar is like finding the key to life. Once you figure it out, you’ll wonder how you made it so far not knowing. Here, you’ll find why cigar and whiskey pairs so well together, as well as some of our recommended pairings.
Cigar and whiskey pairs well together because both are meant to be savored slowly. Enjoying a cigar while sipping a glass of whiskey neat is the perfect experience to pair among conversation with friends. The warmth of a cigar brings comfort to your mouth, while whiskey sparks a fire in your belly to keep away the cold.
Cigar flavors tend to lean more toward coffee, spice, nut, wood, chocolate, and earthy notes. The most notable premium tobacco is grown in places like the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and San Andrés, Mexico. In fact, a cigar’s flavor is directly determined by where the tobacco comes from, how long it’s aged, as well as its wrapper leaf or binding.
Similar to cigars, the tasting notes of different whiskeys are influenced by the barrels they age in. The style of whiskey (bourbon, American, Canadian, rye, etc.) also plays a big role.
While there’s no secret formula for pairing cigars with whiskey, there are different takes on how to do it best. Some experts recommend pairing two with similar qualities – strong whiskey with a strong cigar, mild with mild, etc. While others believe that there is no nuance to this strategy, instead leaving you with flavors that overwhelm the palate and compete with one another. Or in the case of mild cigars, providing a pairing that’s left flat and uninspiring.
No matter which pairing style you choose, we advise you to pour yourself a finger or two of your chosen whiskey, swirl slightly, and take in the aroma before sipping. Cut and light your cigar, then, take your first puff.
Read on for tasting notes from whiskey connoisseurs, Michael Veach and Matthew Kohorst, on each of our distinctive whiskeys.
Grains: Corn, rye, wheat, malted barley, Carolina Gold Rice, and oat.
Nose: Vanilla, oak wood, and hay stack.
Taste: Vanilla, marshmallow, lemon zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Finish: Long and dry with oak wood, brown sugar, and tobacco.
Grains: Wheat, malted barley, and Carolina Gold Rice.
Nose: Vanilla, citrus, melon, and oak wood.
Taste: Vanilla, lemon zest, baking spices, and oak wood.
Finish: Long with oak wood, cardamom, and citrus.
Grains: Rye, wheat, and malted barley.
Nose: Rye grass, pine resin, vanilla, plum, black cherry, and oak wood.
Taste: Rye grass, vanilla, brown sugar, raisins, and oak wood.
Finish: Medium to long with oak, pine nuts, brown sugar, and spice.
On your next trip to the distillery, stop by the Mercantile to see what cigars we have to offer. You can find Padron, Cohiba, Arturo Fuente, Montecristo, Macanudo, Oliva, and Nub just to name a few, right inside our Humidor. Enjoy your cigar and whiskey outside, or take a few with you to savor at home.