Cigar in the right hand, whiskey straight in the left. This is the ideal image of relaxing sophistication. Just like certain wines are better complements to specific types of foods, every cigar has a type of spirit it should follow. In order to get the optimal pleasure out of an epic “gentleman’s” evening, you should first take the time to find that perfect pairing.
Cigar lovers typically stick with brown liquors when looking for that relaxed atmosphere. There is a certain mingling of flavors and aroma that is intensified with darker alcohols. This includes scotch, whiskey, bourbon, brandywine, and even dark rums. These work better with cigars in comparison to vodka and tequila because brown liquors have many of the same flavor notes as cigars. When you want a straight drink to go with those smoking embers, it is much easier to find something to match when drinking dark spirits.
Choosing a Whiskey for Your Cigar
To start with, it should be the other way around. It is much easier to first pick your poison before trying to pair it with a cigar. Whiskey lovers typically have an idea of what the base flavor is for their favorite drink, allowing them to then choose the cigar that best complements it. Figure out whether the whiskey is earthy, fruity, sweet, spicy, malty or floral, and then find the cigar that mirrors that flavor.
Choosing the cigar that suits your drink is as simple as pairing sweet with sweet, spicy with spicy, and so on. Once you have learned that basic rule of thumb, transforming that relaxing image into your reality will be much easier than you expected.
For example, Irish whiskey is notoriously malty, calling for a cigar that hints at charred wood or bread. If your cocktail of choice centers around a peaty Scotch, a stogie with a floral base will accentuate those flavors. Working all of this out may require some planning in advance, and a bit of knowledge, but the payoff will be well worth the effort.
Contrasting Flavors of Whiskey and Cigars
For those with a more discerning palate, contrasting the flavors of your drink with your cigar can highlight those flavors you love, while cutting down on others. This is a trick that takes patience, and a strong ability to discern among the various flavors present in both the whiskey and your cigar. It is an experiment, but one that you will find pleasant to partake in.
Pairing your favorite whiskey with a stogie is driven by your personality and acquired tastes. There is no exacting formula, but once you find a pair that fits, you have created the ideal recipe for a relaxing evening. Not to mention the fun you’ll have during the experimentation process. Alternating between sips and puffs is not just a picture perfect combination, it can enhance your enjoyment of two distinct passions once you’ve discovered the right cigar to go with your whiskey.