Even the most seasoned spirit connoisseurs or cigar aficionados are sometimes flummoxed when it comes to pairing drinks and smokes. This is because they are dealing with two very distinct areas of expertise.
A cigar master may be able to identify the type of tobacco and its country of origin simply by smelling a certain stick. A master distiller, on the other hand, can sniff a whiskey sample and describe in detail a multitude of flavors contained in the drink. But not everyone is a master of both. The pairing process is also fairly subjective and depends on a person’s unique tastes and preferences.
If you’re looking for that perfectly harmonious duo, here are a couple of examples:
My Father Bijou 1922 Torpedo Box Pressed Cigars and Hennessy XO Cognac
This My Father Bijou cigar was created by Jaime Garcia in honor of his father, Pepin. Le Bijou 1922 cigars are strong and dark, a Nicaraguan blend that uses Cuban-seed wrappers referred to as Oscuro. The cigars have a combination of power and finesse that bear an uncanny resemblance to the taste of dark-chocolate raisins with a sweet-and-salty finish.
Hennessy XO Cognac is dark amber in color with notes of ethereal grapes, candied orange, toffee, and toast. It bears the aroma of nutty rancio, similar to port wine during the maturing process. It is an 80 proof brandy that creates a rollercoaster of sensations.
Balance defines this pairing of cigar and spirit. The bodies of the cigar and drink match perfectly, with each element bringing a note that complements the other. The chocolate taste of the cigar balances the lingering cocoa note of the brandy. The fruity taste of Hennessy boosts the hint of raisins in the My Father Bijou smoke. The slight charcoal essence of the cigar is counterbalanced by the sweetness of the Cognac. It is not a stretch to call this a match made in heaven.
Ramon Allones Specially Selected with Facundo Exquisito Rum
Ramon Allones Specially Selected is not the biggest name in Cuba, but it has a devoted fan base because of its full-bodied tobacco. It is the most recognized vitola of the Ramon Allones line. The cigar produces a puff layered with earthy espresso beans and notes of citrus and marzipan.
The Facundo Exquisito Rum is considered the most expressive of all rums. It is a blend of seven to 23-year old rums sourced from the family’s private reserves. It is highly aromatic and sweet, but quickly shows underlying complexities of lavender honey, mocha, Assam tea, and fresh tobacco.
The cigar and the rum complement each other for an exquisitely relaxing experience.