Many of our customers ask about pairing premium cigars with their favorite alcoholic beverages. As Certified Retail Tobacconists, we are always happy to give a suggestion. Here are a few helpful tips when you are pairing your favorite smoke with your drink of choice!
- Don’t let your drink overwhelm the flavor of your cigar and vice versa. On alcoholprofessor.com Maggie Kimbral makes the following suggestion, “What we found was that it’s far more complicated than simply taking an ‘opposites attract’ approach, though that is a great place to start. For sweeter or earthier cigars, we discovered it’s better to pair them with something bold and spicy; while for spicier cigars, a whiskey that is heavier on the caramel side tends to compliment the earthiness of the cigar well.” She goes on to suggest the following method for best judging your pairing,
- Take a puff of the cigar and roll the smoke around in your mouth.
- Take a sip of that first whiskey in your flight and roll that all around in your mouth as well. How does the smoke match the flavor of the whiskey?
Take a sip of the whiskey and roll it all around in your mouth, followed by another puff of the cigar. How does that whiskey mingle with the flavor profile of the cigar?
For wines, we found that Reds tend to pair the best and we agree with the advise of Master Somollier Brahm Callahan from his Eater.com interview when he states, “ love Amarone with cigars because it has acid, tannin, lots of alcohol and tons of bold flavors that can stand up to a cigar. It’s definitely an aggressive wine, so it needs an aggressive cigar to really make it shine. A cigar like Padron Imperial is a seriously bold smoke. All the tobacco is sun-grown with a maduro wrapper, so there is some sweetness.…..Amarone is floral (dried roses, violets), savory (smoke, char), earthy (tobacco, leaves), while still having sweet fruit (ripe, lush cherries; plums, blackberries). As to what doesn’t work with cigars, I would stay away from wines that don’t have enough personality, body or intensity to stand up to a cigar— so Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, etc. and lighter reds like Gamay or New World Pinot.”
If your favorite beverage choice is beer, rum or whiskey there are a myriad of resources available online to help you choose a pairing that may work for you. Keep in mind that it’s all personal preference and that you ultimately decide what pairing works best for you!