Top 5 Whisky and Cigar Pairings
The allure of sipping on a good bottle of whisky is undeniable. But pairing a fine cigar with your favorite whisky can elevate the experience to another level and bring out underlying flavors you might not have noticed before. The deep flavors of cigars, developed through years of history, are a great complement to the nuanced flavors that exist in any appreciable bottle of whisky.
Cigars and whiskys have a lot in common - both can be smokey, sweet, and have layers of flavor underneath the first taste. Pairing them together might seem counterintuitive, but their closeness in taste profiles can bring previously hidden qualities out of each other.
For seasoned whisky drinkers, few things are more satisfying than finding an enjoyable pairing for your preferred drink. So to help you find that perfect pair, here are some great cigar pairings for a variety of whiskys ranging from single-malt to blends.
At first sip, you will notice flavors of sandalwood, allspice and redwood in this Japanese whisky, imparted by the Japanese oak used during its aging process. Its notes of incense will transport you to a fantastical woody dream that is then finished with brightening acidity. We recommend pairing this with the Romeo & Julieta Petit Royales, the creation of which was based on the most legendary Churchill sized cigars of all time. This petit version still brings with it the classic Romeo & Julietta flavors with sweet spices of nutmeg, cinnamon and cedar, which will perfectly blend into the woody undertones of this Japanese malt.
This is an impressive 12 year-old blend from Hibiki, with parts of the whisky aged in American oak casks that have been seasoned with plum wine. The resulting product is a light but sophisticated blend of fruity and floral aromas rounded out by rich flavors like marzipan, clove and honeysuckle. These exquisite flavors can be heightened with a complex, well-developed cigar like the Joya Cuatro Cinco Doblo Robusto, created to commemorate 45 years of Joya de Nicaragua. With a wrapper that was aged in bourbon barrels for over a year, this cigar brings a subtle fruity sourness to its sweet flavors, dominated by marzipan and rich cocoa, then finished with soft hints of coffee and cuban pepper. The resulting experience is a balanced one full of depth that is uplifted by light fruity notes.
This “no age” whisky, is a blend of 7, 5, and 4 year old malts from 3 types of casks. With a limit of 4,500 bottles produced worldwide and having been matured for 5 years, this is a distinctive, well-rounded single-malt that packs a punch. Its creamier and sweeter notes like vanilla, creamed corn and black currants is countered by woody notes of American oak and burnt twigs. For a cigar that can live up to this multifaceted flavor profile, the Montecristo Open Eagle is a great choice. Often cited as Montecristo’s ‘finest’, the Open Eagle was introduced as a flagship to Montecristo’s “Open” range of cigars. With strong coffee and vanilla notes and a hint of marzipan, the Open Eagle brings a distinct but complementary sweetness to this single malt with a woodiness that never overpowers.
This award winning, iconic 15 year old single-malt whisky is one of the best sherry cask matured malts. Both intense and sweet, this single-malt brings deep notes of dark fruits and honey that finishes with hints of silky chocolate. The La Aurora 107, created in celebration of La Aurora’s 107th anniversary, is a rich maduro that unleashes dark coffee notes supported by stone fruit flavors coming from its aging process. This combination will bring forward the subtle notes of maraschino cherry in this whisky, then remind you of the dark chocolate and orange flavors which all come together for a memorable, velvety taste to last you until your next sip.
This distinctive malt boasts a dense mouthfeel that is counteracted by a lightness brought on by citrusy notes. Distilled using Coffey stills imported from Scotland in 1963, this single-grain whisky yields a combination of spicy and syrupy tastes with enough vibrancy to remain light. This makes a perfect companion for the Placencia Reserve Original Nestico cigar, a half corona that embodies the phrase “great things come in small packages”. Its small size is perfect for pairing with a moderately light whisky, and its high quality comes through in its smooth and creamy flavor. With lashings of cocoa and cinnamon, this cigar is a great complement to the bright syrupy flavors within the Nikka Coffey Malt.