A good cigar stands on its own, providing a thorough sensory experience that inspires reflection and relaxation. This experience, however, can be significantly enhanced when merged with the sophistication of an appropriate pairing beverage, and whiskey has long been a top choice for those who seek to elevate cigar enjoyment to new levels.
This gentlemanly preference is, as fictitious tobacco and whiskey fan Sherlock Holmes would say, “elementary” when you consider the similarities between the two beloved vices. Both cigars and whisky offer a warm, slow, and flavorful indulgence that is often best enjoyed in the company of others. To unite the two pleasures is instinctive and tied to the very essence of what makes us human – not our minds but our hearts.
But with a seemingly endless selection to choose from, where does one begin when selecting a whiskey to pour alongside their preferred smokes? We suggest you start with these three excellent options:
The complex, full-bodied and spicy flavors of Four Roses Single Barrel are practically begging to be intermingled with a good cigar.
A Kentucky straight bourbon bottled at 50% ABV (100 proof), Four Roses Single Barrel uses 2 unique high-rye mash bills and 5 different yeast strains to create its unique bourbon recipes. Aged in charred oak barrels, Single Barrel offers a depth of diverse flavors including nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, roasted corn, and caramel. These bold tones make it a great match for full-bodied cigars with complex taste (the Oliva V Melanio comes to mind.) Alternately, a mellower smoke like the Kensington Connecticut Reserve by Alec Bradley will provide a smooth and classic backdrop for this beloved bourbon’s bright flavors to shine on.
A no-nonsense, grain-forward bourbon whiskey distilled from New York corn and finished in new charred American oak barrels, Hudson Whiskey’s Bright Lights Big Bourbon is aged for a minimum of 3 years to achieve a rich taste that’s all of its own.
Produced in BCP’s original home base of Ulster County, NY, Bright Lights Big Bourbon is the first bourbon in history to be produced in New York state. Offering a palate-coating ensemble of vanilla, oak, salted caramel, and cashew notes, the cozy, smoky, and welcoming flavor of the 92 proof BLBB pours well next to a medium-full-bodied cigar with character that leans more towards “sweet” than “spicy”. Try it with a smooth and full smoke Like the Ashton VSG or Aging Room Quattro F55 Maduro.
You can safely attribute a good portion of Angel’s Envy’s unprecedented smoothness and balance to the fact that it’s aged in 60-gallon ruby port barrels made from French oak for up to six years (a practice rarely seen in bourbon production), and the rest to the Louisville-based company’s tireless pursuit of perfection.
Every batch of this 86.6 proof Kentucky straight bourbon undergoes rigorous taste-testing at each step of its aging process to ensure that the finished product’s delicious ensemble of oak, maple, vanilla, and fruity tasting notes is juust right. The medium-full-bodied Caldwell Eastern Standard Sungrown’s tones of earth, cedar, apple sweetness, and fresh pepper meld seamlessly with the Envy‘s dense and sweet profile, resulting in a particularly memorable pairing experience.
And if you happen to find yourself in Northeast PA, all of these popular whiskey selections are served regularly, along with pairing cigars at the Best Cigar Pub.