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Whisky and Cigar Pairings

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Marcus started a discussion

This evening I lit up a Padron 1964 Anniversario Churchill and accompanied it with a few drams of Ardbeg Alligator. Now, these are two of my favorite indulgences - the Padron is creamy and flavorful, and the Ardbeg is just a wonderful mouth of smoke and peat. However, the strong smoke of the Ardbeg overpowered the cigar. I would have been better off with a more sherried whisky (Macallan 12 immediately comes to mind), or even with a good small batch bourbon (Booker's, Woodford Reserve). I would like to know what others enjoy when pairing whiskies with cigars. It is somewhat difficult to pair an Islay, with the powerful smoke, with anything less than a Cuban or a really strong cigar like an Opus X.

12 years ago

9 replies

@OCeallaigh
OCeallaigh replied

@Marcus I LOVE the Padron 1964. My favourite cigar. I usually drink Bourbon with cigars as it tends to have a sweet side that goes well with the smoke to my tastes. I don't usually drink any whisk(e)y that is too special, because with all that smoke floating around, I can hardly experience the whisky.

I very often go with Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek, Wild Turkey 101 or Bookers. If I REALLY want Scotch, I like Highland Park 12 or Sherried Whiskies like A'bunadh or Macallan 12 as you mentioned.

Keep livin it up, Marcus.

12 years ago 0

Marcus replied

Yeah, it is unusual for me to have Scotch with a cigar. As you mentioned, something sweeter would have been much better. I even sometimes go with a VSOP cognac, or my favorite, a B&B. I think with an Islay, you miss tasting any subtleties of the the whisky due to the cigar smoke, and the smokiness of the whisky overpowers the tastes in the cigar.

12 years ago 0

@maltster
maltster replied

I love Whisky and I love the occasional Cigar - classic pairing. As I tend towards full bodies cigars I usually tend to drink a dram which is more on the sweeter/sherried side. Heavily peated Whiskys often overpower the flavours of the cigar and vice versa - you should try a good Rum for your bolder sticks like an El Dorado 15, Zacapa 23 or other Rums on the sweeter side. The sherried and oily Whiskys have a more viscous texture than the smoky ones and soothe the palate after the drying effects of the cigar; I also like Rye and Bourbon (Knob Creek etc). My personal favourites are: 1. Glendronach 15 with Montecristo No.2/Grand Edmundo 2. Rye with Oliva V Series Robusto/Torpedo 3. Clement 6 Rum with Camacho Triple Maduro Torpedo 4. Springbank 18 with Fuente Opus X 5. Partagas Series D No.4 with Aberlour a´bunadh @Marcus, have a look at the net - "sipsmokesavour" , "smokinghotcigarchick" and lots of other sites deal with this subject.

12 years ago 0

@Alanjp
Alanjp replied

I enjoy a glass of whisky with a decent cigar on occasions, however i must admit that my knowledge of the smokes is extremely limited. Friends and family are aware that i do enjoy a cigar so i tend to be brought back single cigars from their holiday destinations! Although recently a friend brought me back 10 hand-rolled cigars from cuba, all wrapped in one big leaf! Anyway i tend to prefer a cigar with a big, strong whisky with a powerful taste, whether that be a heavily sherried taste, or the peaty/smoky drams. I feel that way the two tastes tend to compliment each other and really work towards a great experience. The smoother whiskies that i drink i prefer to keep away from the smokes, allowing them to remain light and easy so to speak.

12 years ago 0

Marcus replied

Just had a great pairing - a vintage Opus X double corona with a Lagavulin 16. The sweetness of the Lagavulin was enough to complement the smoke of both the cigar and the whisky.

12 years ago 0

@Blinkadelic
Blinkadelic replied

Just bought a Gurkha Royal Challenge cigar the other day and it paired excellent with my Auchentoshan 12 . The whisky alone was mediocre , but the smoke really brought it together for me. My first real stoogie/scotch pairing. Wanted to piggy back on this thread to see if others(I know you do) are

11 years ago 0

@Blinkadelic
Blinkadelic replied

Enjoying the two together. My apologizes for the cut off post I made.

11 years ago 0

@HopScotch
HopScotch replied

@OCeallaigh Pardon 1964- my favourite cigar as well! Such a great smoke. I generally pair with bourbon in favor of scotch too.

11 years ago 0

@Bourbondork
Bourbondork replied

One of my all time favorite activities; Cigar and whiskey pairing on a nice evening. I tend to dial back the style of whiskey (no barrel strength or heavy, complex types) in order to enjoy the nuances of my cigar. A high proof whiskey will compromise the palate so I lean toward lower proof when smoking a cigar.

11 years ago 0