Wine and spirits provide an ideal marriage with a premium
hand-rolled cigar. Like fine wines, exquisite cheeses, or a great liquor, a good cigar is something to be savored and appreciated with unabashed self-indulgence. Truly great pairings come when complex flavors within a cigar and a spirit create synergy. Your choice of beverage depends on personal taste, but it can vary according to the occasion. Sometimes what you want with your after-dinner cigar is the full-bodied, slightly sweet taste of a vintage Port or maybe you want the palate-cleansing sharpness of an aged Cognac.
Kentucky straight Bourbons and Tennessee whisky, although often a bit lighter, also mix well with cigars because of the charred wood flavors that turn the liquors dark brown.
The most popular traditional drink with fine cigars is Cognac or brandy. French Cognacs have solid cores of vanilla and sweet flavors derived from long years of oak-barrel aging. The crisp, clean flavors of the distilled wine keep the palate alive for the smooth, spicy flavors of a hand-rolled cigar.
American brandies are often slightly fruitier, but display the same complex
flavors that come with barrel aging. Pair cigars with Fruit Brandy and serve in chilled glasses, putting a portion of fruit in each glass.
Because of the woody characteristics they acquire during long barrel aging,
Port is a traditional partner for a great cigar. The sweetness and alcoholic power of vintage Port blends perfectly with a full-bodied smoke, even younger vintage Ports are appropriate because their strong tannins stand up to a spicy smoke. Non vintage styles such as tawny Port also complement a cigar nicely.
They seemed to talk to each other, as the rum woke up and the cigar gained power.
Aged rums, with their slightly sweet profile and burned molasses flavors, can smooth out a cigar.
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
In the world of spirits, single malt Scotches are superpremium products that have the complexity and depth of flavor to stand up to a cigar. The smoky quality of a fine single malt, derived from the smoked peat used to filter the spirit, marries perfectly with a good cigar.
Single barrel Bourbons
Single barrel Bourbons have the complexity and depth of flavor to stand up
to a cigar.
The small batch Bourbons are bottled at a higher proof level, which gives them a backbone of strong flavors, and they marry well with medium- and full-bodied cigars.
Complementary wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, both from California and Bordeaux, and Rhine varieties such as Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre.