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Cigar and Drink Pairing Guide

Ch 1 - Intro - Cigar Pairing

After a long day of work coming home to relax with your drink of choice and a fine cigar is something many people look forward to. However, figuring out which drink to pair with which cigar isn’t always an easy task. It’s best to be sure you’re matching up complementary flavors so that your relaxation time can be taken to the next level of enjoyment.

Here at Cheap Humidors we’ve become experts on cigar pairing so that you don’t have to be. We have a team working together to match up the right essences and figure out how to maximize each parts of the pair. Not only do we offer you humidors at an affordable price that will keep your cigars fresh and ready to be lit, but we also make sure that you know exactly how to enjoy each of them.

Drinks like scotch, whiskey, rum, and cognac will come alive with the different types of cigars that will enhance each one. Now instead of enjoying the two leisure activities separately you can appreciate both at the same time with great ease.

Not only will you learn all about what cigars to pair with what alcohol, but we will also throw some advice your way about which products you may want to begin to add to your collection. While it’s not necessary to have entire study dedicated to your cigars (but hey, if you think that sounds as amazing as we do then by all means, claim the open room you’ve been saving for when the in-laws visit as your personal study) there are a few essentials that you will want to keep in the back of your mind (or in the front of your online shopping cart). From humidors to smoke removers and different tools used for perfecting your cigar experience, we at Cheap Humidors strive to make your cigar experience one of the best parts of your day.

Before we get started, first things first: you need to get to know your pallet. What are your favorite flavors? Are you a sweet person or a smoky person? Do you prefer single malt scotch or blended? All of these are questions you should be asking yourself throughout your process of choosing which pairs to go with because let’s face it, if you hate rum to begin with, you’ll probably still hate it with a cigar in hand. Find what tastes good to you and go from there.

So, get ready to settle in and spend some quality time getting to know your drinks and your cigars. Whether you have one specific drink that you prefer or you want to learn about all of the different pairings, this is a “how to” guide that will give you everything you need to know in order to figure out which duo will be your perfect medley of flavor.

Ch 2 - Scotch and Cigar Pairing

When you’re looking deep into the archives of your liquor cabinet and pull out an old bottle of scotch it may come as a surprise that you might not want to choose the strongest one you have. Throughout the process of fermentation more and more flavor and substance comes with the scotch of your choosing so naturally, the longer it sits, the better it gets. However, with scotch and cigar pairing this could cause problems.

Experts advise you to choose you scotch wisely. While of course you want one that will taste good and feel smooth, you also don’t want to commit yourself to one that will overpower the cigar. Instead, you want one that picks up where the drink leaves off. When drinking a blended scotch like Johnnie Walker Black one of the best cigars to smoke would be a Leccia White or the Kentucky Fire Cured by Drew Estate. The scotch has a typically peaty flavor to it which is complimented flawlessly by the Leccia White or the Kentucky Fire Cured by Drew Estate’s far more smoky tones.

That being said, a different scotch from the same family, such as the Johnnie Walker Blue will have a completely different effect on your taste buds and experience. This is the kind of scotch that in some ways, has it all. The three main different types of flavors found in scotch are sweet, peaty and smooth. Typically a scotch only contains one of these prominent flavors with rare and subtle undertones of the others if they’re present at all. The Johnnie Walker Blue however has all three right at the forefront of your taste buds.

The three tones mix together seamlessly to create an exciting blend. In this case, a Davidoff Millennium cigar would be the right way to go. With its smoothness and fairly average body, it keeps the balance of the blended scotch without overpowering it or losing the cigar in the mixture of all of those different tones.

In general, scotch can be tricky because what taste phenomenal with a single malt may be a catastrophe of flavor with a blend. What’s important to remember is that you don’t want either part to overpower the other. If the cigar is too smoky for the scotch then your pallet will feel disoriented and the experience won’t be quite as enjoyable as it could be. However if you find that “just right” blend of cigar and scotch, then you’re sure to have a relaxing experience as well as refine your pallet a little more. Once you begin pairing your scotch’s and cigars correctly, you may even start to cultivate your own personal taste and figure out what flavors best balance each other for yourself.

With all of these new cigars to try, you’re going to need somewhere to store them. Try out one of Cheap Humidors' Addison 40 Count Glass Dome Humidor. With the glass dome you’ll be able to show off your new cigar collection in style.

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Ch 3 - Whiskey and Cigar Pairing

Whiskey and cigar pairings is a classic match made in heaven. Most dark liquors are safe to test out when trying to find the correct cigar pairing, but whiskey makes it easy on you. For the most part it’s best to stay away from the smoky whiskeys and instead opt for ones like Speysider which has a richer flavor. The cigar in turn will balance out the richness of the Speysider with its smokiness giving you a pleasant harmonious experience.

Some people may prefer the smoke on smoke experience and for those people we would suggest trying out Ardbeg. While the taste is typically a sweeter one, make no mistake, this is one of the smokiest whiskeys you can get your hands on. The caution in pairing this with a cigar is that the huskiness of the drink will either overpower the smoky cigar or will give you an overwhelmingly rough flavor which many people are not fans of. However, if you’re all about going for outside of the box pairings, testing out this one is a must.

A classic whiskey and cigar pairing is the Gentleman Jack and an Ashton Estate Sun Grown cigar. The Gentleman Jack adds a little twist to the typical formula since it is aged past the normal amount that Jack Daniels is aged, giving it an edge. Its smoothness mixed with the fruity tones and the underlying spice is a perfect counterpart to the Ashton Estate. The Ashton Estate cigar uses a very rare Sun Grown wrapper that has its own unique characteristics. The cigar in turn ends up having more prominent tones of spice, but it also is silky smooth. These two fraternal twins end up fitting as cozy as puzzle pieces giving you just the right amount of smoke, spice, sweetness and smoothness mixing into the perfect medley on your pallet.

The silkiness of the Ashton Estate paired with the Gentleman Jack will have you puffing out smooth clouds of smoke all afternoon. Instead of having to deal with a room that is so smoky you can’t see the cigar or drink in your hand right in front of you, add a smoke remover to your collection. With the smoke removing ashtrays from Cheap Humidors, any undesirable smoke or second hand smoke is a pest of the past that you will no longer need to worry about. Not only can it remove the unwanted smoke from your home but they can also be used in cars for days when you just can’t wait to get home for your cigar or for when you decide to take one on the road with you. 

Ch 4 - Cognac and Cigar Pairing

Cognac and cigar pairing is one of the most famous ways to enjoy the two types of pass times. Cognac is a classic drink that balances the smoky essence of a cigar perfectly. Part of what we find most appealing about cognac is that for the most part, it pairs well with almost any type of cigar which in turn makes your life a lot easier. Instead of stressing out about finding specific types of cognac and even more specific types of cigars that will go well together, you can choose from whatever type of cigars you already have and instead spend your time stocking up on cognac and relaxing. However, we do have a few variations we’d recommend trying out.

One of the most common cognac’s to enjoy with a cigar is the Courvoisier which is a French cognac that has such subtle undertones that it ends up being delightful with just about every single type of cigar. Since you’ll now be able to extend your cigar collection due to the fact that you’re afforded the ability to enjoy almost any type of cigar you’ll want to think about investing in a good cigar cutter. At Cheap Humidors we offer a variety of cutters all the way from punch cutters to our Colibri V-Cut Cigar Cutter and our Single Blade V Cutter. Both are sleek and small enough that they won’t take up much storage space. With so much variety you’re sure to find one to your liking. Check out the rest of our V-Cutters here .

While you may not need to find one specific type of cigar for every cognac, we do have a suggestion for you to try. The Ramon Bueso Odyssey tends to pair flawlessly with the Cigar Club Cognac as long as you’re looking for an equal parts arrangement. While at first it may surprise you, you tend to settle into the flavors blending into one cohesive experience. Since they are of equal weight it tends to feel a bit throaty but that doesn’t take away from the pleasure of both.

Cognac is one of those special types of drinks that will never get old when paired with a cigar. As sort of an “old reliable” if you’re just getting into the drink and cigar matching game then this is a good one to check off of the list. As one of the most common and oldest types of pairings in the games, it’s one that many masters of cigars and drink consider a treasure. So, crack open a good book and relish in the time that you have to spend drinking and smoking among the greats.

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Ch 5 - Rum and Cigar Pairing

Geographically speaking, Rum is the most logically satisfactory partner of a cigar. Since the ingredients that are used to make both such as sugar cane and tobacco, are grown and cultivated in basically identical climates, rum and cigar pairing is an obvious win for all of the alcohol and cigar enthusiasts out there.

This being said, there are so many different kinds of rum that finding one to compliment a cigar can be a stressful tasks. Since rum is made from sugar, it balances the cigar as well as peanut butter compliments jelly. The two completely different flavors adhere to each other perfectly allowing the sweetness to not over power the smokiness and vice versa.

One of the best rums to try out is the Aniversario Pampero. With its exceptionally aromatic spirit, the drinker will be hit with essences surrounding ginger, cinnamon, tea with lemon and cloves. Its full bodied flavor pairs exquisitely with the light to medium bodied Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2. With its prominent tones of cinnamon, cocoa and dried fruit, it delves into a deeper level of enjoyment when paired with the rum. As the rum slowly absorbs into your taste buds, the cigar only grows stronger in its smoky flavor and in turn creates a warm feeling of an ebbing and flowing conversation between the two.

Now, with the help of Cheap Humidors, you can also have a lighter that won’t need replacing once the fuel runs out. Instead of lighting your beautiful cigars with just an everyday lighter, try one of our Blazer CG-001 Butane Refillable Torch Lighters or take a look at our collection of torch lighters.

With rum and cigars being two cuts from the same cloth, many cigars are made so that they’ll pair well with their rum counterparts. Lucky for all of us, the different spirits of rum allow us some variation as well as some freedom when it comes to putting the two together.

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Ch 6 - Cocktail and Cigar Pairing

When it comes to cocktail and cigar pairing, its proven best to stick with the classics rather than getting too experimental. By sticking to the classic we literally mean being a little old fashion (pun very much intended).

With the Old Fashion being such a classic drink, it’s no wonder it pairs perfectly with cigars. Try mixing the drink with two ounces of whisky with one sugar cube, one slice of lemon, one dash of bitters, one cherry and one orange. Now the actual drink process for this one takes a little more time and care than the others. Once you have your ingredients, start off by combining a teaspoon of water with the sugar cube and the bitters and mix them until they’re fully cohesive into one solution. Then mix in your whiskey and stir that well. After all of the mixing is done, it’s time to add in the ice cubes and the lemon, cherry and orange slices.

Obviously this recipe can be modified depending on which flavors you prefer. However, the Old Fashion typically fairs well with a more full-bodied cigar such as the Oliva Serie V. This cigars flavorful essences and smoothness contrast perfectly with the tangy Old Fashion.

Now that you’ll be joining the leagues with the Old Fashion drinkers of the 21st century, you’ll want to be sure you keep you cigar collection neat and organized. Cheap Humidors now has new Spanish cedar trays that can keep your collection perfectly arranged so that when it’s time to enjoy a nice cigar, you don’t have to go searching for the right one. With our new Cedar Cigar Tray with Divider you can keep them arranged as you see fit without running the risk of accidentally misplacing any or putting them in that safe spot you somehow always forget the location of. With the beautiful woodwork you’ll want to keep them out and in the open to show them off and you impeccable sense of organization will only enhance the look.

With all of this being said, we don’t want to deter you from having some fun with the cocktails you try and experiment with. If you want to branch out and try some fruitier drinks and see how they pair with the cigars smoky tones then we say go for it! In general we would advise you taste test the cocktails with more of a coffee, a little bitter, or creamy taste first. With lighter to medium bodied cigars, those types of cocktails are the perfect pairs to enhance the flavors.

Ch 7 - Wine and Cigar Pairing

Many cigar enthusiasts don’t typically consider wine to be an appropriate pairing to go with cigars but we believe that where there is good times, there is wine. So, for all of you wine drinkers out there, fear not, we have some advice for you as well.

As far as white wines go, unless you have a specific Chardonnay that you absolutely cannot live without, we would advise you to steer clear of them. Typically they are fairly citrusy and have a high level of acidity and when paired with a cigar, they just can’t hold up. The cigar ends up over powering them in the end and you can no longer taste their flavor. Instead try smoking a perdomo Grand Cru paired with a Vignoles wine. They smooth out perfectly together while giving you that fresh feeling of a white wine.

As for reds, the opposite problem presents itself. Instead you should shy away from a merlot because the full grape flavor will over power the cigar.  Instead try a Penfolds Koonunga Hill paired with a Padron 3000 Maduro cigar. The two blend flawlessly together and you can enjoy a nice tall glass of red without worrying about it being the only flavor your pallet will familiarize itself with.

With all of this new information on wine, you’ll want to be sure to protect your cigars from getting wet at all. Cheap Humidors now offers hard cases for storing your cigars. Feel free to try out one of our Four Cigar Triple Travel Accessories Combo Featuring At Ease Cigars. This combo is one for the books. It includes Four Count Travel Caddy, the Rounded Bullet Butane Torch Lighter, the Guillotine Cutter, and four At Ease Military Cigars of your preferred branch at a price that can’t be beat. Not only will you get four superb sticks to try, but they also commemorate our great nation’s military, ensuring that our At Ease line is as perfect as we can possibly craft.

Now that you know you don’t have to swear off wines once you become a cigar enthusiast we would suggest spending some time experimenting with the different types of wines. Try some darker reds with tangy flavors and add in a few sweet whites while you’re at it. You can’t go wrong with a cigar and for the most part, your love of wine will over power any sort of qualm you may have with pairing it together with a cigar. As we’ve said before, it’s all about your own personal pallet and what tastes good to you. So keep on searching for your perfect balance of cigar and drink.

Ch 8 - Beer and Cigar Pairing

Nothing gets more basic and classic than enjoying a nice cold brew with a stick. When it comes to pairing beers with cigars its become a fairly simple task. With minimal rules to think about when choosing which brew to sip on with whatever stick you’ve chosen, you can take a nice deep relaxing breath.

Again, we would insist you think about what you love the most in a beer and head in that general direction. As long as you can taste the beer still then you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a cigar that compliments it the way you’d like it to. After all, who knows beer better than you?

However, since we’ve still got a few suggestions up our sleeves, we to have a suggestion for you to try out if you’d like some help in the choosing department. Try one of the Alec Bradley American Sun Grown Blend cigars for starters. With its central flavor being fairly balanced, surrounded by a more spicy and rich flavoring from the outer leaf, it ends up coming in as a light to medium bodied stick.

To compliment it, test out the Wild Onion Brewery (Lake Barrington, IL) Pumpkin Ale. Not only will this be a great seasonal enjoyment but it also has a few complexities to admire. At first you’ll be engulfed by the familiar fall flavors and its initial zest. Then as you smoke the cigar, it will bring out all of the best qualities of the beer (by that we mean the sweeter parts).

With the combination of the spicy cigar and the sweet and familiar beer, it’s a pair you’ll want to be trying all year round. This being said, you’ll need to be keeping your cigars in a friendly environment which almost always will involve a humidifier. Here at Cheap Humidors we offer a variety of selections in humidifiers. The Paradigm PSH 3 Humidifier can hold up to 125 cigars at a time. Since it is so low maintenance you’ll be able to enjoy without the stress. It only needs to be refilled every three months and holds up to 75% more water than competitors humidifiers.

Now that you’re all set with your beers and humidifiers it’s time to have fun with it. For different times of the year experiment with different seasonally popular beers. One of the best parts about being a beer enthusiast is that there’s so many different kinds to try that are made so many different ways. Now you’ll be able to travel the globe and develop your pallet, constantly comparing the many different kinds of beers you can enjoy with cigars.

Ch 9 - Coffee and Cigar Pairing

Coffee drinking, for many people, isn’t simply a morning pick me up, but instead is a way of life. Many pride themselves on their ability to tell different dark roasts apart and taste the deception of a cup of decaf coffee. This being said, pairing a cigar with your cup o’ Joe will soon become your new favorite part of the day.

Since both cigars and coffee are agricultural products and their flavors all depend on where and how their grown, finding a cigar to match a specific coffee is one that typically can be achieved after a little bit of background research on both products. Often times the flavors of the two end up overlapping each other in a harmonious symphony of flavor on your pallet.

As for our suggestions, try out the Perdomo Habano cigar with a medium to dark roasted coffee. Since the cigar is a stronger one it will translate into a silky smooth smoke while the coffee will accentuate the earthier underlying tones and kick up the zest that lies deep within its leaves. Luckily coffee wise, your options lie wide open. There isn’t truly one type of coffee to suggest, so pick your favorite medium to dark roasted coffee and begin your taste test.

For most people, enjoying a cup of coffee happens somewhere either in a car or near a table. With this, as much as you love your cigars that doesn’t mean you want their ashes all over your interior or house. Cheap Humidors has a line of crystal ashtrays that will save you from a mess later on and instead, will brighten up wherever you choose to enjoy your cigar. One of our favorites is the Four Cigar Tobacco Leaf Crystal Ashtray. This ashtray isn’t like others because of the extra sentimental value it can have. Not only is it visually gorgeous, but it also contains four tobacco leaves that reflect in the crystal to look 3D giving you a futuristic take on ashtrays. It also can be used outside, and who doesn’t love versatility?

As you enjoy your coffee and cigar, remember that this has everything to do with you. Meaning, if you’re not a dark roast kind of person, then choose a lighter roast and find the cigar that floats your coffee drinking boat. And if you are on the opposite side of the spectrum and like a dark roast served black, then stay on the lookout for those cigars that will be able to stand up to the challenge of blending flavors with a coffee as strong as that.

Ch 10 – Conclusion

Whether it’s digging through the wine cabinet to find a delectable red on a Friday night or discovering a new beer just in time for the holiday season to kick off, finding the right cigar for your drink of choice will be a task full of trial, error, and experimentation. Once you find success you will be able to spend more time slowly refining your pallet and then moving on to investigate a little bit more with your flavor mixtures.

Some of the main things for you to remember are that when choosing a whiskey, try to stay away from the smokier flavors as well as picking a hearty beer to balance out the torque of the cigar. However, while this might be all of the suggestions that we have for you as far as how to pick which cigar to try with which alcoholic beverage, what’s most important is that you listen to your own taste buds.

Everyone’s pallet is different and while the majority of people experience these pairings in an enjoyable way, yours might beg you for all of the things that most people would unrelentingly advise against. If that’s true then we more than encourage you to go outside of the box and taste test different types of alcohols with your cigars until you find the pairings that suit you the best. We know we’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: the most important part of this is finding what you like and running with it. If you hate wine but love a good cognac, then that’s the kind of drinks you should be experimenting with. Instead of forcing yourself to keep trying with things you don’t like, flourish with what you do enjoy and keep throwing new ideas of ways to appreciate those pairings.

While we may not know everything there is to know about cigars and alcohol, we do understand that all of you out there are just like us and are simply trying to find new ways to enjoy an old and fun pastime. Lucky for us, new takes on the same ideas are being done daily and we doubt there will come a time where there are no new combinations to try out.

We hope that these tips and small tricks of the trade that we’ve introduced you to (or simply reminded you of) will find you well on your journey to becoming your own personal expert on cigar and alcohol pairings. Should you find yourself with any burning questions (pun most definitely intended) please feel free to contact us today.