A new cigar smoker, a seasoned one, and anyone in-between can learn how to obtain an excellent taste even when they’ve never tried it before. Whether it’s cigar and bourbon or Arturo Fuente Hemingway short maduro with cognac, your taste buds will tell when two great tastes combine to give you excellent results.
Pairing your cigar with anything you like is no different from what your taste buds do when choosing which wine to combine with your meal. The tip of your tongue rarely fails the tasting test. It’s the same skill used by alcohol distillers. A cigar-pro can smell a tobacco leaf and place it by origin, type, and how well it’s fermented.
How Pairing Works
The rule of the thumb here is coupling like with another like. The stronger cigars blend with stronger wines. On the other hand, lighter wines with milder cigars.
Similarly, aged wines have bolder aromas and have a stronger taste than younger ones with young alcohols paired with newer cigar flavors. As such, matured cigars should be matched with age wines.
Whenever you pair your cigar with something else, you’re seeking to find a combination that will work in harmony yet be able to differentiate the two.
Pairing cigars with drinks
Some of the best alcoholic drinks to pair with cigars include bourbon, port, cognac, rum, and single malt whiskey. White spirits have been alleged not to go so well with the likes of gin and vodka. This is because the cigar overlaps these drinks. On the other hand, certain beer flavors and brands make an excellent match with cigars.
This is the oldest drink to be paired with cigars, most likely because they’re taken after meals-the combination blends naturally. Pay particular attention to the age of your cognac bottle. Ignore pairing cigars with VS designation-It’s the lowest category of age and won’t just blend. Very Special Old Pale designated cognac seamlessly blends with cigars.
Scotch or bourbon
These two are considered premium products that withstand the flavor of any cigar on the market. Bourbon is termed the universal donor to cigar pairing. It is usually the first call any time a drink is offered to you, and you’re clueless on the nature of the cigar. Bourbon’s typical flavor consists of honey, maple syrup, caramel, charred wood, nuts, and assorted fruits.
Bourbon brings a twist of sweetness to the dark toast of a cigar. Even milder cigars withstand the strongest bourbon-thanks to the cigar’s lush barrel notes.
Brandy and cigars have a natural chemistry that has seen the two stand the test of time. Floral, fruity brandy brands demand milder cigars.
How to compliment various factors when pairing
Bitterness-Blending red wine and cigars are the most popular combination among revelers. Red wines have rounder flavors and are more aromatic than whites. This feature gives reds an excellent base for pairing with full-bodied and medium cigars since reds have a slightly bitter note which complements the smoky, rich puff in cigars.
Flavor blending- Complementary flavors make a great combination. For instance, cigars with almond hints go well with sweetened-cherry taste wines, while a cigar with leather or pepper hints blends seamlessly with an earthier red wine.
Selecting a cigar
If possible, talk to a tobacconist in your locality to help you choose the best cigar or your preference. A tobacconist takes the time to listen to you and learn your tastes, preferences and helps you buy what they already know.
Always keep good notes in your pocket-sized notepad. Jolt down the model, the marker, trim level, and line. Do not forget the cost.
Cigars are hailed for their robust, imposing, complex flavors. Before lighting, take a cold draw and jot down the impressions you have. Write the impressions after every quarter of the cigar. This will help you make comparisons because the initial first light may not have given you an accurate impression of the cigar.
Smoking a cigar takes at least an hour or more, thus the need to have accompaniment to sip on throughout your leisure time. This is ample time to help you take enough notes to guide you when purchasing the next cigar packet.
Pairing a cigar with wine can leave you dehydrated. Your mouth will feel drier if you paired with a dry wine. So, ensure you always take some water in-between to keep your throat and palette fresh.
To every rule, there’s an exception. If you’re smoking a cigar you’ve not tried before, it is always wise to start by blending the body of the spirit and that of the cigar. Let your taste buds give you the results of what you’ll adapt as a perfect combination.