Smoking and drinking go hand in hand, and the perfect cigar demands the perfect beverage as a complement.
Just as you pair wine and food, you can pair whisky or cognac with a cigar to bring out the best flavors in both.
Cigars and beverages have several important things in common. First, both are created from agricultural raw materials. Where these agricultural products are grown – whether they be tobacco, wheat or barley – can have a significant impact on the flavor. Tobacco and spirits both benefit from the artistry of master blenders who understand how to combine ingredients to optimize flavor, and both are subjected to a meticulous aging process. And, just as with wine and food, cigars and spirits are paired so flavors complement rather than dominate. Here are a few pairings for connoisseurs to try.
Macallan 18-year-old single malt and the Padron 1926 Serie. Macallan is a dark, rich, resiny single malt, sherry-cask matured and redolent of dried autumnal fruit with notes of apple, raisin and apricot layered underneath. The Nicaraguan Padron can stand up to the whisky, with a rich, full flavor and full-bodied smoke that lingers with the Macallan’s finish.
D’Usse XO Cognac and the Montecristo Espada Estoque
D’Usse XO offers the mature character of a Cognac far older than the standard XO, as it’s made from more than 100 eaux-de-vie all aged anywhere from 10-30 years. Flavors include blackberry, apricot and walnut layered over dark chocolate and hazelnut with a lingering finish. The Nicaraguan Espada is made from tobacco from three different regions. The most distinctive depth of flavor coming from the Cuban-seed visa Jalapa 2013.
It’s not just whiskey and cognac that pair wonderfully with cigars. Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum partners beautifully with the Matilde Renacer. One of Venezuela’s most complex-tasting rums, the Diplomatico Reserva offers deep notes of carmelized brown sugar and juicy fruits. Distilled from sugarcane honeys, the rum is aged for as long as 12 years in bourbon and malt whiskey casks. The result is a dark and sophisticated rum that plays well with the semisweet, floral smoke, coffee and spice notes of the Matilde Renacer.
For more information, please read:
Sip This, Smoke That | Robb Report