Pairing Cigars And Whiskey: Some Basics You Should Know

Editor’s Note: This is a non-paid guest post. See below the story for more details on the contributor.

Cigars and fine spirits have been matched together since both were first invented.  The bold flavors of aged premium tobacco are only enhanced by the similarly bold flavors and aromas of grains distilled into a premium scotch or bourbon.

Bold.  A strong word, and many cigars and spirits rise to that description, however only the finest can achieve that without being harsh or overpowering.

The method by which premium cigars reach the goal of boldness but without the negative effects is by properly aging the tobacco used in the construction of the cigar.  Similarly, a fine, smooth, mellow scotch, bourbon, or whisky achieves those characteristics the same way, through a long, slow, careful aging process.

image via Thomas van de Vosse/flickr

image via Thomas van de Vosse/flickr

It is this analogous upbringing that produces the ideal combination of cigars and whiskies.

The art and science of pairing is far too complex a discussion for a single blog post, but there are a few guidelines you can observe while on your journey to find the perfect pairing.

First, know your palate.  Know what you like.  Sweet?  Spicy?  This knowledge will help you ask the right questions first, possibly saving you from spending valuable time and money on items not fitting your personal taste.

Second, know your target products.  Scotch whiskies tend to be more smokey, less sweet, while American bourbons lean towards the sweeter side.  With cigars, a darker Maduro wrapper indicates a very strong, flavorful cigar with a little natural sweetness, but a lighter shade Dominican Corojo wrapper offers more spice and is more towards medium on the boldness scale.

As a side note, the wrapper of a cigar provides between 40-50% of the flavor of a cigar, the rest coming from the filler and binder. It is always important to look beyond the cover of the book. Most cigar manufacturers will provide basic information on the construction and characteristics of each item they produce.

The most important aspect of all, however, is time.  Finding the perfect pair is a journey, not just a goal.  There are so many different flavor and body combinations out there to enjoy, it is a world unto itself.  When you add in the fact that taste is completely subjective, the adventure broadens in scope exponentially.

There is no doubt that a fine cigar and an equally fine whisky are a match made in heaven.  The key is finding your little corner of that heaven, and making time to enjoy it.

About the Author, Payne-Mason Cigars

PM logo blkA Payne-Mason cigar begins with only the finest quality, hand selected tobacco leaf, sourced from exclusive plantations across the globe. This tobacco then goes through a process of aging for up t0 8 years, developing a flavor and smooth finish that is unlike any other. Only when ready will the tobacco be delivered to our Master Cuban Rollers who then put hundreds of years of Cuban tradition, treasured family blending recipes, as well as their own heart and soul, into every cigar they create.

No machines are ever involved in the Payne-Mason cigar rolling process, nor are there any shortcuts. Only time, tradition, and Cuban family pride go into our product.

Not only has Payne-Mason focused its efforts on a “world’s finest” level product, but also on attracting the “world’s finest” level customers and clients. Our cigars and accessories can only be found at the most prestigious resorts, golf courses, wineries, and public and private events. Attracting this level of customer requires not only a fine product, but a level of service and support that is unmatched in our industry.

Payne-Mason never compromises, never skimps, never takes shortcuts. This is what our World Class clients and customers expect, and is what we expect from ourselves.

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