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Cigar Pairings with Rick Rodriguez (video)

Rick Rodriguez, head blender for CAO Cigars, imparts his philosophy on pairing cigars with beverages.

Transcript:

Hey, guys. I’m Rick Rodriguez, the head blender for CAO. I get asked often, “What do you pair your cigars with?” And that is a very hard question to answer because everybody’s palate is unique. The beauty of anything you eat, you drink, you smoke is because you enjoy it. And so to pair a cigar with a product or a beverage that you enjoy, maybe the next guy wouldn’t enjoy that pairing.

Pairing, to me, is dependent on the style of the cigar. If I have a full body cigar, I know the spirit that I want to pair that. If it’s a dark beer, a rich good dark creamy beer, or if I want to have a scotch or some bourbon, I want to pair the right cigar with those liquors. So to me, the best pairing and smoking cigars is coffee. I think coffee cleanses your palate every time you drink a sip of your coffee, so every time you intake your cigar it’s going to be cleaner and you are going to get more flavors from that cigar. I don’t care if you pair your cigars with coffee or a bourbon or a beer or wine, you pair it for yourself and if you like that pairing, continue with that.

I don’t smoke, I don’t eat, and I don’t drink for anybody else but myself, and I think that is the same philosophy you guys need to live by because I smoke, I eat, I drink for my palate, for what I enjoy, so who am I to say you’re wrong when you pair your cigar with a good beer or you’re wrong when you pair your cigar with a good wine. If it works for you, it works for you and I’m okay with that.