In this piece, we outline the top 5 libations to pair and enjoy with a fine cigar.
Though there is no universally accepted ‘best drink’ to pair with a cigar, we devised a list of those we find most agreeable.
There’s something inherently natural about pairing a cigar with an exquisite wine. Much like the tobacco in a cigar, wine goes through its own fermentation process of aging, to arrive at a mild, medium or full-bodied character wine upon completion.
Much like other types of alcohol, when it comes to wine we suggest leaning toward the darker red varieties like Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon, as they typically stand up to the strength of a cigar that may otherwise overpower a lighter white varietal like a Pino Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
Among dessert wines, it’s widely understood that Port pairs very well with a fine cigar.
A great deal of cigar enthusiasts think nothing beats whisky when it comes to pairing a drink with a cigar – but many a beer lover will hotly contest this assertion.
There’s even whiskey barrel-aged beers that offer the best of both worlds.
One big reason why beer pairs so well is modern variety. With today’s proliferation of microbrews, there’s literally thousands of different beer variations to choose from.
What’s more, brewing processes for beer are not as rigid and stringent as say, distilling a Scotch or a bourbon, which are both governed by a bevy of guidelines (pun fully intended) that a distiller must strictly adhere to.
Plus, beers top the list as being the most refreshing, which can excellently offset the heat of a cigar.
Though there’s no wrong answer, we find that beers that are amber or darker in colour seem to offer a greater compliment to a cigar. However, you also may choose a lighter beer to back off and serve as a clean contrast to let the cigar shine through on its own and cut through a cigar’s heat.
Cognac is simply a brandy named after the town of Cognac in France. For this reason, the two are interchangeable when it comes to pairing with a cigar. Armanac (made in the Armanac region of South France) also fits in this category.
One of history’s most famous cigar smokers, Sir Winston Churchill, loved to pair his cigars with cognac.
One reason for such an excellent pairing here, is luxury. Amongst all the spirits out there, cognac is typically deemed the most high end or luxury. In adding a cigar to the mix, you’re pairing luxury with luxury. This is perfect for a special occasion, or as an excellent offering to others, or, whenever really.
HINE Cigar Reserve XO
When it comes to selecting a cognac for your cigar, the rule of thumb is the older the better. The most aged varieties are labelled ‘XO’ or ‘Hors d’Age’ (beyond age). They often exhibit a flavor note quality known as ‘rancio’ that often develops with age which uniquely compliments the taste of a cigar.
Like wine, cognac imparts a nice sweetness that balances out perfectly with a cigar.