Cigar Pairing – Find Your Perfect Cigar & Liquor Combination

Jeff Miller
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Types of alcohol that works well with cigars

When pairing cigars with cigar accessories such as a cigar cutter, cigar ashtray or cigar humidor, take a second to think about how you want to taste your cigar once you’ve cut and lit it. Each cigar has its own flavor profile, and a certain pairing can emphasize or de-emphasize each cigar’s characteristics.

Sweet Cream

A sweet cream pairing will enhance the flavors of sweet and creamy cigars. Lighter, sweeter liquor choices include Irish Cream, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Rum and Coconut cream. Whiskey, Scotch and Brandy can also be great options.


A spicy pairing enhances the flavors of full bodied cigars and helps to balance out a cigar’s harsher tones. Choose a spicy liquor that can stand up to the cigar’s strength. Good choices include aged tequila, Aged Rum, Mezcal, R1B, Bourbon, Corn Whiskey, Armagnac and Sherry.

Cigar and Scotch Pairing

There are so many flavors when it comes to a good cigar, and so many ways to smoke it. There are times when I want it earthy, like a darker roast coffee. But then again, there are times when I want a brighter flavor that seems more exotic and maybe even sweeter.

What that means is, it isn’t enough to just find a good cigar … you need to find the right cigar for you at that moment. Saying you want a good cigar is a bit like saying you want pizza. A good pizza is only good if you really like pizza.

There are a number of good scotch selections available, both in a blended style and whisky. This list will give you a great place to start that doesn’t overwhelm you.

Oban: “Bottled like a coastal mist, Oban is a fine whisky from the distillery of the same name, on the west coast of Scotland. There are honey and pear flavors, and suggestions of Brie and asparagus. Enjoy this unusually complex whisky in a complex way: with a cigar.”

Cigars and Whiskey Pairing

The pairing of cigars and whiskey is a suitable combination. It gives you the taste of both smooth mellowness and the strength and the niceness of the whiskey.

Cigar and whiskey pairing is a breeze if you know what you like. There are already combinations of cigars and whiskey that you can pair with; know the basics.

Cigar and whiskey pairing is like different dishes on a table. You need to understand how you like your food to go, and likewise understand how you like your beer or your whiskey. For instance, if you are one who is a fan of bitter tasting cigars, then you want to contrast it by drinking something sweet and tasty, like sherry.

Don’t forget to consider the region where you are getting the whiskey from. It’s best if you pair it according to the way people in that region like it. Like a fine cigar, it’s also best to pair it with the local taste of the area.

You also want to consider your age and the time of day to really enjoy the cigar and the whiskey. You may want to relax and smoke a really good cigar after a hard day’s work, but never ever have a few shots before lighting your cigar unless you want to trade punches with yourself. The same applies with the morning – which leads us to our next point.

Pairing Cigars With Rum

If you are like most cigar lovers, you’re always looking for a cigar “lover” or someone who has similar taste to you. With rum, it’s the same, and for good reason. The pairing of a cigar and rum is one of the all-time great combinations.

Then why is it so great? First of all, it’s a balance of flavor, body and age. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the only great pairing – but it’s one of the most balanced potential pairings you can imagine.

When it comes to cigars and rums, it’s common to prefer a certain type of rum with your favorite cigar. For example, I love a big cigar and I also prefer a rich, dark rum like Cockspur, which most people would agree is better served with a pipe, cigar or brandy. It’s ok, but perhaps a little over the top.

Cigars and Cognac Pairing

Hey, who doesn’t like a fine cigar and glass of cognac?

Cognac is a well known liquor loved by all and enjoyed by many as a way to relax and wind down after a long day’s work. It is made using a unique blend of grapes including the rare Ugni Blanc, Colombard, and Folle Blanche grapes. Then it is aged in oak barrels to lend it its sweet character.

Some of the favorite cognac brands include Remy Martin, Hennessy, and Courvoisier, but you can also try a cheap bottle of cognac and see if you can taste the difference.

Here are some tips on how to pair your cigars with cognac.

Suggested Cigars:

Cohiba Esplendidos

Esplendidos use a rare wrapper grown in Cuba, making them smooth and creamy, with a slightly sweet finish. They have a beautiful rose gold color that lasts and lasts.

Montecristo Gran Cru No. 2

This cigar is the only proven example of the Montecristo No. 2 ever being produced for high-end customers in Europe. The limited edition Montecristo Gran Cru No. 2 was created in honor of Hennessy’s 30 years of partnership with the Montecristo brand.

Partagas No.

Pairing Cigars With Beer

The cigar and alcohol pairing options for cigar drinkers is nearly limitless. You can pair a cigar with any distilled liquor, including the several types of ready-to-drink cocktails. You can pair a cigar with a glass of wine, or even with champagne.

The cigar pairing options involve more than the brand and type of cigar, however. You must also consider the taste of the cigar and the flavor of the alcohol. As both the cigar and the alcohol age over time, their flavors will meld together to create a new flavor … one that’s perhaps more complex and satisfying than the initial two tastes. To find your perfect cigar and liquor pairing, you need to experiment with the two and see what you come up with. You might find the best pairing of your life, or you might discover that a cigar and liquor combination isn’t your cup of tea.

Wine and Cigars Pairing

The main ingredient you’ll need when pairing your cigar with your drink is focus. Your first priority should always be to remember the cigar. You certainly won’t want to end up sipping on a fantastic cognac while your Aurora is slowly burning away in the ashtray. No, you’ll want to take your time and really focus on the flavor of what you’re sipping on while you enjoy the cigar.

As for the pairings, you’ll want to go where you’re comfortable. This can be made easier when you know your preference. For example, if you prefer to smoke mild cigars, you may want to go with a light beer or a mild whiskey, like Canadian. Or, if you prefer to smoke a medium cigar, you may want to try a medium beer or an aged scotch. You’ll want to take the same route as far as your cigar preference goes.

Other Cigar Pairing Options

Cigars and other spirits can be powerfully flavorful, but they don’t always mix well. In many cases, a cigar and brandy/whiskey pairing is just too intense. A better option for cigar and liquor pairing is to use the liquor to mellow out the harsher notes of a cigar.

Go for a lighter liquor or spirit such as vodka, Scotch, rum or tequila. These liquors won’t overpower the cigar and will have a more subtle flavor that will help to even out the taste of the cigar. It’s an especially good idea to pair a dark tobacco cigar with a darker liquor or spirit.

If you’re more interested in celebrating with cigars by enjoying them after a meal or with friends, it’s a good idea to choose a milder liquor or spirit. Heavy-bodied spirits and liquors are too strong of a flavor to pair with a cigar.

Also, if you’re using match to light your cigar, you’ll want to choose a contrasting liquor or spirit. In this case, you’re using the cigar and match as part of the entertainment, so the pairing should complement the overall experience.

Cigars and Coffee Pairing

“Coffee” cigars have become exceptionally popular in recent years. These small, mild smokes have a rich coffee note that creates a smooth and flavorful experience. Here are some of the best cigars to pair with coffee.

Montecristo Petit Edmundo

This small, mild cigar has a sweet, coffee-like taste that serves as a perfect complement to your morning coffee. Be careful if you add sugar to your coffee because the sugar may affect how the flavor of the cigar lingers on your palate.

Rocky Patel Java Maduro

This full-bodied cigar is a great choice as an after-dinner cigar. The chocolate and coffee flavors play off each other, creating a unique taste-bud experience. This cigar is ideal for cigar smokers who enjoy full-bodied tastes.

La Aurora Preferidos Colombia

Preferidos cigars are made from a tobacco that has been aged for several years. The long aging process delivers a robust, spicy taste that is revered by experienced cigar enthusiasts. The cigar’s spicy reputation pairs beautifully with bold coffee flavors.

El Rey Del Mundo Reserva Especial

This full-bodied cigar is available in a variety of sizes and is made from three different types of tobacco. The Reserva Especial’s rich, leathery taste provides a rich base for creamy coffee flavors.

Cigars and Cocktails Pairing

Cigars and cocktails pairing is one of the oldest friend-making rituals around. The special camaraderie on a cigar pairing is hard to find anywhere else. However, pairing cigars and liquor has traditionally been a “You can drink what you want, I’ll drink what I want” kind of deal.

Typically, a cigar pairing only features a pairing of a cigar with two different drinks. A good pairing will give you choices to select from the drink of your choice and the cigar of your choice.

While there are some schools of thought that believe cigars should be paired with a spirit and not a cocktail, many are beginning to agree that a cigar pairing is best with a cocktail. This is because a solid cocktail can stand up to the cigar pairing instead of a spirit, which ends on a smokey note.

Final Words

It doesn’t matter what type of smoker you are, whether you’re a cigar, pipe, or cigarette smoker, pairing cigars with your favorite liquors can be a fun and exciting way to experience each cigar to the fullest. While it’s possible that the way you’ve been pairing cigars with liquor, beer, or other drinks all along, it’s worth taking a closer look at the new pairing possibilities that are out there.

If you’re like a lot of cigar smokers, you already have some pairs that you enjoy. Maybe you have a favorite drink, like Scotch, that you love to pair with your cigars. But there are a lot of people out there that haven’t really been pairing cigars with liquor.

If you’re eager to try a new liquor with your cigar, you should start by purchasing cigars with half wrappers. The robust, full-flavored wrapper tends to overshadow the subtle flavors of the liquor when you’re pairing cigars with liquor. If you’re pairing cigars with liquor for the first time, you’re going to want to enjoy your cigars, so try to pick a cigar that matches your favorite drink…a cigar that has a milder flavor profile.