There is nothing better than smoking a quality cigar whilst enjoying your favorite tipple. When it comes to pairing cigars and drinks, there are a few important factors that you need to consider. It is very important to understand what the difference is between the strength and body of a cigar. Body describes the flavor and texture of the smoke, but just because you have a full-bodied cigar, that doesn’t necessarily equate to strength.
In this guide, we will explain what you need to consider when pairing five popular drinks so that there will be the perfect pairing for everyone.
Whiskey and Cigars
Probably the most famous of all pairings, whiskey and cigars go together like…whiskey and cigars. No matter whether you like scotch, bourbon, single malts or blends, there is a whiskey and cigar pairing for you. The experts at Gotham Cigars explained that whiskey compliments cigar perfectly because it has its own inherent smokiness and is aged in different kinds of wooden casks which give each whiskey its own character and flavor notes. Full-bodied cigars pair perfectly serious Bourbons and also with single malt scotch from the Highlands. Lighter cigars can be most enjoyed with Irish whiskeys and lighter-bodied Bourbons.
Wine and Cigars
Cigars and wine go perfectly together, and when it comes to pairing them, the most important thing to consider is the body. Tobacco and wine have both gone through their own unique aging process which usually dictates the body. When pairing wine and cigars, you must match the body, because a wine with less body will be overpowered by a cigar. Generally speaking, the best wines to pair with cigars are darker, more serious reds such as Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon, as they have the strength to compliment a cigar. Port also pairs very well with a cigar because it is both full-bodied and has a sweetness that works perfectly with the smokiness of a fine cigar. Lighter white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay simply do not have the body to stand up to a cigar.
Beer and Cigars
Whilst many people will never look past a cigar and whiskey pairing, true beer lovers will argue that sipping a beer with a cigar is a far superior combination. Perhaps one thing that is in beer’s favor is that there is such a wide variety of beers, you are sure to find one that matches any kind of cigar. Similarly to wine, most people find that the darker the beer, the better it compliments the strength of a fine cigar. Dark beers, stouts and strong ambers are most commonly paired with cigars as they are full-bodied and are not overpowered. Many people find that a lighter beer, however, can also work well as it provides a platform for the flavor and body of a fine cigar to really shine through.
Brandy and Cigars
This is another classic pairing, perhaps most famously enjoyed by legendary British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who would pair his cognac with a Romeo y Julietta. One reason why brandy and cigars is such a good pairing is that it conveys a sense of absolute luxury. Drinking cognac especially, which is usually regarded as the height of luxury, is only made even more luxurious when enjoyed with a fine cigar. When looking for the best cognac to pair with cigars, as a general rule, the older the cognac, the fuller bodied the cigar. Cognac also has similar properties to port and its sweetness perfectly compliments the smokiness of a cigar.
Rum and Cigars
Many people argue that the best cigars and the best rum come from Cuba and so this is the pairing of choice for many people. As well as Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua are amazing cigar producers and also cultivate world famous sugarcane that is used to make the finest rums anywhere in the world. When it comes to cigar and rum pairing, the darker and more aged the rum, stronger and fuller-bodied the cigar can be. Different rums have different notes of sugar, vanilla, citrus and spice and finding the perfect pairing can be a delightful journey. Fine rums can complement, challenge and balance the smoky notes of cigars in a way that no other spirit can.
A fine cigar with a quality tipple is truly a match made in heaven and with so many different options, it really comes down to personal preference, Spirits, wines and beers can all make great cigar pairings but it is really important to pay attention to the body and strength of both. Experimenting to find the perfect pairing is a really fun experience and will open your eyes to some wonderful combinations.