Cigars & Whisky

Cigars & Whisky

A guide to pairings

Cigars & Whisky | 31 Mar 2017 | Issue 142 | By Christopher Coates

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Have you mustered the courage to try your first cigar and whisky combo? Or are you a seasoned aficionado looking for a something new?

Perhaps you're looking for a pairing to mark a special occasion or maybe just something different to help wind down after a long week.

Whichever camp you're in, we've spoken to the people in the know to help you find a cigar and whisky pairing to fit the occasion.

Aidan recommends

The 'Heavy Hitter' Pairing

Partagas Serie D No 4 and Glenfarclas 105 (60% ABV)

This is not a pairing to be taken lightly. Although the D4 starts off medium to full-bodied, with a mild palate of sweet chocolate fondant, vanilla, and oak, its strength is apparent from the initial draw and only builds as one moves from the first third onward. Spices, such as cinnamon and black pepper, come to the fore as the cigar develops, which balance barnyard notes and leather aromas on the retrohale. The strength continues to build as the cigar heads toward its rich, spicy, and full-bodied finale.

This bold smoke needs to be tempered by an equally robust dram. Bottled at cask strength, the Glenfarclas 105 is a real sherry bomb that pairs perfectly with the D4 by lending a mouth-coating palate full of raisin sweetness, rich cocoa notes and an almost cognac-esque grape note. Rich toffee sweetness and walnuts persist on the long finish. This is a classic, heavy-hitting pairing that won't let you down.

James recommends

The 'In the Summer Sun' Pairing

Trinidad Coloniales and Glenfiddich 21 Years Old Gran Reserva (40% ABV)

The Trinidad Coloniales are great cigars offering a very memorable taste. There's no danger of this cigar overpowering any complimentary flavours as it has a mild to medium strength. The first third releases some light notes of sandalwood, cream coffee and milk chocolate, while the second third develops vanilla and coconut, and the final third has a real cinnamon spiciness. The balance of flavours is perfect and, despite being a very light style of cigar, it's surprisingly complex.

An ideal pairing would be a fruity single malt that can bring some sweetness and spice to the table. The Glenfiddich 21 Years Old Gran Reserva is a great choice as it will compliment, rather than overwhelm, this light style of cigar, while its notes of sweet vanilla, cereal and stewed apple, forest fruits and Jamaican ginger cake bring a balance that makes this pairing one for enjoying in the sunshine.

Christopher recommends

The 'After Dinner' Pairing Bolivar Super Coronas EL2014 and The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve (44% ABV)

Aromas of cedar, barnyard hay, dark chocolate and raisin are instantly present from the wrapper and pre-light draw of this cigar. After lighting, the first draw brings cinnamon, brandy cream and black forest fruit to the fore; followed by notes of anise and maple syrup as things develop. Into the second half, the smoke is noticeably stronger and some white pepper notes emerge, but balance is maintained by the emergence of a sweet marzipan note that persists throughout the final third.

This cigar needs a whisky that can handle a full-bodied smoke and, true to its name, the Cigar Malt delivers exactly that.

The Dalmore's master blender, Richard Paterson, said he had the punchy flavours of the Cohiba Behike and Partagas Serie P No 2 in mind when crafting this dram, which is made up of 70 per cent sherry cask, 20 per cent American white oak and 10 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon cask-matured spirit. The red fruits delivered by the wine cask balance the cigar's strength perfectly. This combo delivers some real after-dinner indulgence that's worth skipping dessert for.

Where to smoke?

La Casa del Habano Kraków

Right in the heart of the old town, this cosy shop and lounge has a great selection of Cuban cigars, whiskies and rums. A perfect place to relax after a plateful of pierogi.

Slawkowska 26, 31-014, Kraków, Poland
Telephone: +48 79 080 2930
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