Ahh—the pleasure of a cigar! Few things are as relaxing as the soft smoke of fine, hand-rolled tobacco passing through your lips. But what is a cigar to a distinguished person of leisure such as you—without the appropriate beverage to pair with it?
What works well?
Many classic cigar pairings work well with cognac, single malt whisky, bourbon, rum, rye, and port. But today, the art of perfect cigar pairing has evolved to include a larger variety of beverages, like coffee, wine, and beer.
Before we get into pairing cigars, you have to understand a little bit about cigar basics.
The trick to pairing alcohol and cigars is the body
The first step to determining how a drink will pair with a cigar is to match the body. In other words—a full-bodied cigar pairs best with a full-bodied spirit. Light-bodied cigars pair with light bodied beverages, etc. Pairing cigars and drinks are all about flavor harmony. In other words, both the cigar and the beverage stand out, and you can differentiate between the two.
Some cigar aficionados like to call the more mild cigars ‘breakfast cigars’, as they’re so mellow you enjoy them as the morning sun comes up before breakfast with coffee. Some of the lighter cigars include Acid Kuba Kuba, which features a unique mix of Nicaraguan tobaccos under Indonesian wrapper, and Baccarat Toro, a flavorful, mild cigar with hints of cocoa and coffee. The light or “Connecticut” wrappers are the lightest cigars and are nice in warm weather or on a light to empty stomach. Lonsdales and Coronas tend to have a very light smoke as well.
Medium-bodied cigars are versatile and arguably the most popular strength of cigar sold around the world. Mild cigars are great for those new to smoking or as a lovely cigar in the morning after breakfast or after a light brunch.
However, medium bodied cigars are a perfect compromise with more complexity than their mild counterpart but with less strength than a full-bodied cigar. They pair well with various spirits and cocktails and are delightful to smoke any time of day or night. These versatile cigars and are enjoyed by many— from novice to the enthusiast. A great example of a medium bodied cigar is Romeo y Julieta Romeo No.1 TUBOS.
Full-bodied cigars are an acquired taste that is typically developed over time and practice. So if you are new to the world of cigars, we recommend you don’t start off with a hearty full-bodied smoke unless you happen to have a really tenacious palate. A few notable full-bodied brands include Camacho Triple Maduro, Padron 1926, Oliva Serie V, and Joya de Nicaragua.
Peaty Islay whiskies, (ex: Lagavulin, Laphroaig, and Ardbeg)
Heavier Highland single malts
Dark porters or stouts
We’re always happy to help you find the perfect drink to go with your new favorite.