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The perfect match: The ultimate cigar & whiskey pairings

The ultimate cigar & whiskey pairings

There are fewer things in life that offer more luxury than a good cigar. Except, perhaps, a good smoke and a cold glass of something to help the flavours mellow. The drink of choice for most cigar aficionados? The finest drink, of course; whisky.

A fine cigar deserves a fine whisky, and there is a lot of choice in this category. One could live a lifetime and never find the perfect match; however, the fun is in the trying. There is a world of flavours to choose from in the medley of fine whisky and cigars on offer, but some are better matched than others. But, how do you determine what makes a good match?

Enhancing flavours

When pairing cigars and whiskies many question which they should choose first, the cigar or the whisky? Generally speaking, people choose the cigar first and then match the whisky flavours to that particular smoke. When you are first starting out, but fast on the way to being a cigar aficionado, this may be a case of experimenting what works best for you.

The ultimate cigar & whiskey pairings
Close up of cigars in open humidor box

Typically, you should avoid a whisky with a more smoke-tinged flavour. This will only bring out the nicotine in the cigar and not meld well together on your palette.

Together, whisky and cigars do not enhance each other. Rather, they create a whole new experience which floats together in your mouth to create a wholly new experience. The perfect matrimony of these two luxuries is exactly why many aficionados can be found with both hands occupied whenever they enjoy a good smoke, as the cigar and whisky are too good together to keep apart.

Pairing suggestions

As a rule of thumb, you are best pairing a mild whisky with a mild cigar and the same for middling or stronger flavours. Such pairings tend to complement each other best upon your taste buds.

For starters, you can begin with a mild cigar and then choose the whisky to pair it with. A Montecristo Open Master is a mild cigar from Cuba, it has a smoking time of around thirty minutes and makes for a pleasant smoke for beginners. A smoke with a touch of spice, this is a quite round-flavoured smoke with a woody taste that persists throughout the cigar. Undertones of coffee finish this taste experience. For such a smoke, a light whisky with opposing flavours is needed.

The perfect liquid match to the Montecristo is the Glenmorangie Ten Year whisky. This is a milder whisky, one that you may recognise from its distinctive orange-gold bottle. The mildness of this whisky allows for the flavour to seep through every sip, as a delicious cream, toffee and even tones of lemon zest hit your palate. The depth of this flavour is achieved due to the fact that the Glenmorangie brand can boast the tallest copper distillery pot in all of Scotland. The lighter, zestier, tones of this whisky match against the darker flavours of the woody Montecristo. Perfectly swirling together to create a sweet and savoury taste sensation.

A fine cigar deserves a fine whisky

However, if this is not what you are looking for, then stronger flavours can also be found by pairing your cigar to a whisky. The whisky in question: Redbreast 12 Year Irish Whisky. This is the last twelve-year-old single pure pot whisky still available on the market, a fine whisky that deserves a fine cigar to match its defined flavours and full-bodied richness. The flavours of this whisky include ginger, liquorice, honey, and toffee.

To match these sweeter flavours, a more robust cigar is needed. One cigar which may match these deep flavours is the Bolivar Royal Coronas, a full-strength cigar that also finds its origins in Cuba. This is a brand known for its rich flavours that reach their peak after a few years of aging. This particular cigar has a touch of chocolate, coffee and leather tangs which create a strong flavour on the taste buds. These stronger flavours contend with the Redbreast well and are best for someone looking for a rich taste experience.

Of course, if you are unsure where to start with your whisky and cigar pairings, then why not venture to an event where you can find expert advice? Many cigar fans, both beginners and cigar aficionados, can be found throughout the year sampling the best offerings at JJ Fox Events. From trying the very best cigar and alcohol pairings to celebrating the birthday of Sir Winston Churchill annually, there is an event for everyone. Better yet, expert advice is always on hand to enable the very best advice and guidance for your cigar journey.