Rene Castaneda on Cigar Pairings with Rum

Rene Castaneda of Orleans Group knows a thing or two about pairing cigars with rum and in this video he’s kind enough to share that wisdom with us.

Find some excellent cigars to pair here:


Hey, guys. I’m Rene from Orleans Group. We’re talking cigars today, and we’re talking about pairings with cigars and my preference, the rum. So I’m going to talk a little bit about the rums. It usually is my drink to go with the cigars.

Always try to think about this. When you’re talking about rum and cigars, I’m not talking about cocktails, I’m not talking about Cuba Libres, I’m not talking about mojitos. I’m talking about rums that you can drink neat, maybe with ice, so that way the sweetness of the cocktail or the mojito, whatever, doesn’t take over the flavor of the cigar.

There are very good brands out there at very affordable prices like Barcelo from the Dominican Republic, you have Zafra from Panama, you have Zacapa from Guatemala, and there are some rums now that are very sweet, and there are some rums that they take the sweetness down.

If you’re trying a cigar for the first time and you go with a rum, try to stay with a rum that doesn’t have the sweetness, like a Zafra or a Barcelo. If you use a cigar that is medium to full-bodied but you already know the cigar, that’s one of the cigars that go well with the Zacapa. Zacapa is one of the greatest rums that has been put on the market in the last few years. It’s a rum but it’s sweet.

So if you’re trying the cigar for the first time, it’s not a good pairing over there because it’s too sweet and you won’t feel the real flavor of the cigar. So stay away from Zacapa, for example, if the cigar is new for you. If it’s something that you’re familiar that you’re going to enjoy, it’s going to pair well if it’s a medium to full-bodied.

We’re talking about a flavorful, great body on the rum that will go well with any cigar that is medium or medium-plus. On the other ones that are less sweet to cover in a way, that’s the rum that you want to try with a cigar that you don’t know. To taste the rum, to take the cigars, and you’re getting the two flavors without one taking over the other one.

So for this season, the winter, or any time of the year, a rum is always a good, good way to go with the cigars. Remember that both are from the Caribbean, the cigars and the rum, so there is a lot of synergy between the two products.

Enjoy your cigars, and enjoy your rums.

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