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Cigars and whiskeys have a long and rich history. Each is great on its own, but together, they make the perfect pairing.
There are many different types of whiskey and cigars you can choose, so it might be confusing how to start. Don't worry! We have compiled some of the best duos that you can try for your cigar and whiskey journey.
We're also going to explore why cigars go well with whiskeys and some tips on how you can enjoy the pairing more.
Our Top Picks
Best Fruit and Spice Mix - Kamiki Intense Japanese Whisky & Plasencia Alma Del Fuego
• Richness from various sweet flavors
Best Elegant and Smooth Combo - Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve Bourbon & Montecristo White Series
• Offers oakiness and vanilla tastes
Best Light Duo - Connemara 12-Year-Old Single Malt Whiskey & Romeo Y Julieta 1875 Deluxe No. 1
• Enticing aromas
Why Do Cigars Go Well With Whiskey?
There are various reasons why cigars work well with whiskey, but perhaps the most common is their very similar flavors.
You can find richness, smokiness, essences of spice, and a bit of sweetness. When tasting these two drinks, you will be soothed by their warm glow.
The warmth of a cigar brings comfort to your mouth, while whiskey brings stomach fire to keep away the cold! There are also endless possibilities of various flavor combinations as you are free to pair your whiskey and cigar of choice.
Furthermore, both are meant to be savored slowly. That's why whiskey and cigars are the perfect pair to enjoy a good conversation among friends. The welcoming attitude of both the drink and tobacco make this match such an inviting experience.
1. Angel's Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon & Arturo Fuente Anejo
Angel’s Envy Cask Strength is an exquisite bourbon that exudes a delightful aroma of smoke, leather, and herbs. The flavor has hints to its Port Barrel finishing process that are not overpowering but can be tasted on your palate after each sip.
The Anejo is a rare and valuable cigar that's sought after by a true cigar aficionado. The Arturo Fuente line draws on some old Dominican tobaccos for their exquisite blends while using only the finest aged Connecticut Broadleaf.
These wrappers are carefully stored upright beneath Cognac barrels over time to create an unforgettable experience like no other.
The notes of citrus, cherries, rock candy, and green apple, which are characteristic of Angel’s Envy, give it an interesting profile. But it makes the perfect pairing with Arturo Fuente Anejo, which is creamy and complex.
2. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon & La Aroma De Cuba Mi Amor
Woodford Reserve is a dark-tasting liquid with an aroma that tantalizes your senses with its sweet woody scent. It's also surprisingly smooth on the inside, thanks to honeyed vanilla flavors ending in refreshing mintiness at just enough sweetness level so as not to be overwhelming or cloying.
Meanwhile, the first thing you'll notice about La Aroma cigar is its beautiful shade. The foot of the cigar is much more earthy, with cocoa, among other things.
A mildly sweet beginning leads into robust flavors, including dark chocolate notes intermingled amongst different spices such as black pepper or cayenne chili powder.
The vanilla, tobacco, and cocoa flavors are all present in Woodford Reserve, which compliments the spice and sweetness that you can find in La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor.
3. Balcones True Blue 100 Straight Corn Whiskey & Fuente Fuente Opus X - Lost City
The nose of Balcones True Blue 100 is a study in rich, sweet flavors from apricots to corn and sweet caramel notes mixed with vanilla extract. There’s also toastiness reminiscent of sherry-aged vintages.
What makes everything even more interesting are the tonka beans combined with molasses, honey, cake, then spiced lightly over time. Then it finishes nicely with crisp espresso beans.
Fuente Fuente Opus X - Lost City’s first third presents hints of cedar and honey, while the second seems more like hot summer sun tea with just enough sweetness for it all to seem quite lovely.
This cigar is a heavy, full-bodied one that offers up rich flavors from start to finish. It helps you relax and enjoy your time by giving off an inviting aroma which can be especially beneficial if one suffers from anxiety.
The spice and Sherry-forward flavor profile of Balcones True Blue would go great with the sweetness and richness of Fuente Fuente OpusX.
4. Bulleit Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey & Oliva Melanio Maduro
Bulleit Bourbon has a unique and mouthwatering flavor, in general. The alluring aroma of oak, vanilla, and honey with the infusion spices gives way to wild flavors like smokes that are equal parts sweet or spicy.
It tastes dry with just enough black cherry leather fur left on your tongue for some extra spice at the finish line.
On the other hand, Oliva Melanio Maduro offers leather and medium-bodied smokes that are sure to please. The Nicaraguan makeup delivers notes of coffee beans in addition to black pepper spice at the tail end for added flair!
Wrapped around this masterpiece recipe, you’ll find a lustrous San Andrés wrapper that adds just enough sweetness without being overwhelming on taste buds while still allowing Oliva’s signature flavor profile to shine through beautifully.
Bulleit and Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro are a must-try for those who enjoy their bourbon with a twist. The flavors of this pairing start subtle but quickly develop into something that cannot be ignored by your tongue or nose!
The enchanting aroma from these beauties will have your senses singing long before even taking the first puff or sip.
5. Bushmills 21 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey & La Gloria Cubana Serie D N°5
The rich flavors of the Bushmills 21 Year Irish whiskey reflect its exquisite age. It is matured in a mixture of Oloroso Sherry and Bourbon casks before being aged for two more years on Madeira casks to give it that extra flair. The nose emits rich toffee and honey with spice notes of dark mocha.
On the palate, there are notes of dates, pecans, grapes, and mangoes. Then, it moves into more alcoholic tastes like pipe tobacco sweetness offset by minty freshness in the finish.
Meanwhile, the aroma of spice tobacco fills your nose as you take in a deep breath of the La Gloria Cubana Serie D N°5. Chocolate and vanilla are combined with a cinnamon stick just underneath notes of cedarwood for a stimulating taste experience.
There are many different types of cigars in this world, but the La Gloria Cubana Serie D N°5 has to be the most compatible with the Bushmills Irish whiskey. It's hard to believe this beautiful cigar's flavor wasn't specially made to go with this delicious drink.
6. Maker's Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon & Cohiba
The nose of Maker's Mark is a veritable party in your mouth with notes of spiced honey and mixed peels, some malmsey warmth from strawberries spread on rich oatmeal cookies. There's also hazelnut coffee to keep things exciting as you sip this whiskey through its long finish.
The Cohiba brand is one of the most prestigious brands in Cuba and one of the best cigars in the world made by renowned cigar makers. It's crafted using top-quality materials from illustrious tobacco plants grown on Dominican soil to deliver an exceptional smoking experience.
The whiskey has sweet butterscotch sauce over notes of vanilla beans before tawny oak spice sets it off nicely at the end. It coincides with the fumes from Cohiba's crisp spices and creamy nuttiness.
Thanks to its spice mixture with sweet brown sugar, the flavors are bold without overwhelming like other stronger cigars. It just melts away when you take your first draw and intensifies the whiskey's sweet notes.
7. Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon & Punch
Jim Beam bourbon has a robust and spicy flavor that is perfect for those who love rich spirits.
With hints of mint and oak floating around in it, you can taste the notes of vanilla, which gives this whiskey its unique sweetness. You can notice multiple ingredients being present at once on your palate, but no component takes over or masks any other flavors.
If you’ve been considering a Punch cigar with your favorite drink, we have just the perfect match-up for you. For an even more delicious experience than before, put the medium body of Punch Maduro wrapped between two fingers and take in its toothy flavors from start to finish while sipping on Jim Beam bourbon!
The most complex profile will find molasses sweetness that also has notes of spicey cedarwood, giving it a pretty nice balance.
8. Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve Single Malt & Partagas Serie D No 4
The first thing that hits you when you sip Dalmore Malt Reserve is the rich, warm and comforting aroma of coffee and chocolates. As it lingers around your senses, something else occurs.
Sherry, with a touch of flamed orange-zest, blazes up from its depths before fading away into sweet-tasting notes like honey or molasses syrup on a toast. You'll find a balance between flavors that makes this spirit well-appreciated by many.
The Partagas Serie D No.4 has long been perceived to be one of the very finest Cuban Cohiba Robustos available today, with a captivating flavor experience that will have your mouth watering for more.
The No. 4 Serie D from Partagas is a flawless example of what makes this company so popular: deep and earthy flavors with sweet cedar aromas that fill your nasal cavity on just inhaling the wrapper alone.
While there’s no spice in these sticks, it's their smoothness which counts. There's an aftertaste to remember for years as you enjoy every draw.
The Partagas Serie D No.4 is a masterfully crafted cigar that should not be overlooked. The herbal, earthy notes of the cigar blend perfectly with the summer spice of Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve Scotch Whisky.
9. Kamiki Intense Japanese Whisky & Plasencia Alma Del Fuego
The nose of Kamiki Japanese whisky is spice heavy with black pepper and coriander. Sandalwood hints and earthy peatiness in the aroma transition into sweetness before becoming sour creaminess. There are also strange spices like anise or licorice root for a finish on the tongue.
Plasencia Alma Del Fuego has a smooth, dark wrapper with an earthy and woody aroma. The cold draw is sweet and packs a rich flavor that hits your tongue like cinnamon or even brown sugar from the raw tobacco leaf.
The rich chocolate from cocoa beans comes through nicely in each puff, while dried apricots add their fruity hint alongside chili peppers.
The taste of Kamiki brings forth fumes from dark fruits such as figs mixed perfectly harmonized by notes like raisins, then turns peppery.
And the perfect cigar for this whisky features a subtle blend of sweetness from Alma del Fuego, along with its green tea, sandalwood, and cedar flavors.
10. Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey & Padron 1964 Anniversary
The first thing you notice when tasting Knob Creek is the rich aroma of brown sugar and vanilla. On the palate, notes include clove, nutmeg, black pepper, and oak wood flavors with just enough sweetness to make them inviting without being overwhelming on your palate.
Padron 1964 Anniversary is a complex and full-bodied smoke that will leave you wanting for more. This top-rated cigar has cayenne pepper flavors with earthy notes and cinnamon sugar.
They all come together so sweetly without being cloying at any point due to the natural sweetness of these aged tobaccos from Nicaragua, which have been gracefully aged until it's time to let them loose on you!
The copper and amber-hued spirit and the cigar pairing on your palate will give you the embodiment of accessibility. Combining them accentuates consistent caramel-like flavors exceptionally well while complementing each other's taste profiles elegantly unlike any before!
11. The Balvenie Caribbean Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky & Jc Newman The American
The Balvenie Caribbean Cask Single Malt is made with rich flavors of tropical fruits and creamy toffee.
It has notes that make your mouth water, such as passion fruit, apple, and mangoes, giving it an extra kick from the orange flavor in the background. The whisky finishes by lingering on vanilla's sweet taste, giving light hints like perfume over time.
JC Newman The American's subtle notes of toasted rye and leather deliver a fantastic smoking experience. As you take your first puff on this deliciously flavorful cigar, the flavor profile becomes prominent.
There's plenty of hazelnuts that shine through towards the midsection as earthy dominance continues with a bit of sweetness. Notes from clove buds are sparsely sprinkled throughout; however, leather never gets lost among all those other great tastes found here.
Pairing JC Newman The American with your favorite scotch whisky can be an enlightening experience. Go for a robust and full-bodied Scotch, like Balvenie Caribbean Cask single malt.
12. Eagle Rare Bourbon Whiskey & San Cristobal Revelation
Eagle Rare Scotch has more delicate whisky expressions that are complex and robust and a balance between the rich aromas that it embodies.
Along with hints of toffee, orange peels, and honey, there is also an understated leather note resonating from almonds and cocoa, which makes this whiskey perfect for any occasion.
If you're a medium-bodied cigar lover, the San Cristobal Revelation is perfect for your taste buds. It delivers excellent fumes with notes of leather and cedar that provide smoothness with nuances such as creamy sweet caramel notes from Nicaraguan tobaccos grown on Garcia family estates in Estelí - all handcrafted to produce an amazing stick!
With this combination, the cigar and bourbon flavors are brought together to create something exceptional. The complexities emerge in your mouth with each sip and puff while they linger pleasantly on your taste buds for hours after you've taken them down.
13. Jura Seven Wood Single Malt Scotch & Camacho American Barrel-aged
One of the best single malts on earth, Jura Seven Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky, has a nose made up of aromatic notes from summer meadows that lead into chocolate-covered raisins and rich oats. Hints of menthol follow with hints of strawberry and raspberry jams. The palate is creamy yet fresh as well.
Coffee flavors are initially swamped with cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper, but they're soon overtaken by crunchy apples and pears that roll in alongside freshly squeezed orange zest.
The Camacho American Barrel Aged cigar appears dark chocolate bar brown, with minimal veins and a light fuzzy texture. This cigar also displays the oiliness that can be found on its surface and leathery aromas coming from within it. The nose, in this case, contains wet oak flavors alongside whiskey notes.
This Honduran cigar brings a new level of aromas and flavors with it, but pairing it with Jura Seven Wood Single Malt Scotch just seems to make sense. This delicate spirit has floral and fruity notes that enhance the cigar's flavor profile in ways only aromatics like Scotch whisky can do!
14. Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve Bourbon & Montecristo White Series
Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve is a rare find that combines the best of both worlds. It has an elegant aroma with notes from caramel, corn, and vanilla, while also delivering a prominent flavor in terms of leathery oakiness. Its complexity showcases some fruity esters on top for good measure.
Made from the best tobacco leaves, Montecristo White is a cigar with an elegant and smooth flavor. This cigar has notes like almond roasted onto sweet coconuts as well earthy floral fragrance and a vanilla bean finish.
The blend of the Nicaraguan binder leaf and Dominican long-filler tobaccos with medium-bodied smokes pair with the rich taste of Pappy Van Winkle. May it be after dinner or before work, this cigar is the perfect companion for this whiskey. This combo is an ideal choice for those who prefer a more balanced smoke!
15. Talisker Distiller’s Edition Single Malt Whisky & Perdomo Champagne Noir
Talisker Distiller’s Edition Single Malt is a fruity, complex whisky perfect for Scotch whisky fans. The nose offers up aromas like red fruits and berries along with apricots that lead to an initial crispness on your tongue.
Then, it gives way to sweet flavors accented by sea salt and hints of peat smoke from the Islay region, where these whiskies are distilled. There are also vanilla tones that leave behind its elegant finish long after you've swallowed the last sip!
Perdomo Champagne Noir is a fantastic cigar that's spring-loaded with just enough softness to make for an enjoyable smoke experience without being too tiring at any time.
The wrapper features rich tones of brown from almond-colored leaves mixed in amongst occasional black splotches. Oily sheen reflects light when it catches certain angles, making them sparkle under magnification.
The veins are refined, yet rough spots can still be found throughout this stick. The Perdomo Champagne Noir is versatile, given its balanced flavor. And pairing it with Talisker Distiller’s Edition Single Malt Scotch Whisky is something you definitely should try at least once in your life.
16. Midleton Very Rare 2020 Irish Whiskey & A.J. Fernandez San Lotano Habano
The 2020 Midleton Very Rare is a tempting and complex blend that starts with the tangy sweetness of orange peel and pear before succumbing to spice. There are also hints of chili oil in this whiskey for some extra heat! The charred oakiness from aging adds an earthy balance to each sip.
San Lotano Habano features a complex blend of dark chocolate, cedar, and burnt caramel. It is one long-burning cigar starting as full-bodied before transitioning into spicy notes with a delightful finish. You can taste its complexity as it lingers on your palate for what seems like an eternity.
The smoke from the cigar is a chocolatey sweetness that enhances the whiskey flavor. However, as you progress through each puff, it becomes clear there are many spices present too. This dream pairing is better than you imagine.
17. Joseph Magnus Cigar Blend Bourbon & Davidoff Robusto Intenso
The Joseph Magnus cigar blend bourbon tastes like a classic treat with vanilla, caramel, and toffee on the front palate.
In addition to these flavors, some unique ones stand out more than most spirits - specifically dark fruity tones from plums or prunes, which give way to an exciting spiced oak finish.
You can taste both notes mixed in with other fruit and their distinctive aroma and flavor profile. It's dominated by sweetness and pepperiness that fade slowly over time.
The first third of the Davidoff Robusto Intenso starts with bold spices like cinnamon and allspice. In this part, these flavors lead to notes that are creamy on your palate, like macadamia nuts or something similar in taste, adding interest towards its end.
After this, the nuttiness begins to pull back as intense cocoa develops before transitioning into dark chocolate.
To enjoy the Davidoff Robusto Intenso, you need a bourbon with a vanilla sweetness that can be spiced up by oak wood flavors, like Joseph Magnus. The intense flavor notes of the cigar are perfect for your taste buds when paired with a spice-forward whiskey.
18. J.P. Wiser’s Rye & Davidoff Winston Churchill Churchill
If you’re looking for rye whiskeys that have all the complexity of aged single malts, look no further than J.P Wiser's Canadian Rye Whiskey!
This smooth amber brew hits your taste buds first with notes reminiscent of caramelized sugarcane syrup. It also gives way to flavors like pear and green apple - befitting warmth from roasted rye whiskeys' spices.
The Davidoff Winston Churchill cigarette is a perfect blend of toasted almond oak notes with hints of coffee and earth. The white pepper on the retrohale gives it that extra kick in flavor, while its creamy finish will make you feel like royalty.
The Davidoff Winston Churchill cigar is a delicious and fun way to enjoy J.P. Wiser's whisky. The mild to medium-bodied smoke pairs well with the whiskey, bringing out toast flavors without overwhelming it. Moreover, they allow some spice from both ingredients to shine through clearly.
19. Connemara 12-Year-Old Single Malt Whiskey & Romeo Y Julieta 1875 Deluxe No. 1
Connemara 12-Year-Old Irish Whiskey is an exceptional whiskey with an inviting nose with hints of sweet fizziness, almost like soda water or champagne.
Underneath this impression is earthy peat tones which give way to rhubarb candy sweetness. It also has a light finish with hints of vanilla and tangy fruit.
As exceptional as Connemara is Romeo y Julieta's premium handmade cigars. You'll be captivated by their enchanting flavor and aroma. This is the perfect cigar to enjoy on your next special occasion because they're always fresh, thanks to being sealed in glass tubes!
The Romeo is a tasty and balanced cigar that complements Connemara’s peaty delights with its nougat notes. Nutty wood overtones mingle in the smoke, adding layers of intense leather and pairing well with sweet spice from the delicious whiskey.
Tips When Pairing Cigarettes and Whiskey
Complementary or Contrasting Flavors
The pairing of whiskey and cigar is not an easy task to accomplish. You have to know how to let the flavors of one blend with the other. An example of this would be the classic pairing of wine and cheese. Another example is cigar and whiskey. While these two are closely similar in flavors, you can also try to find a match that contrasts with each other rather than complements them.
Sticking to complementary flavors is quite a safe route. And while the contrast method takes patience, it can be gratifying!
Whiskeys have a broad spectrum of flavors, so it's important to explore them all one at a time. If you're just starting pairing whiskey with cigars, choosing those with mild flavors would be the best route to take.
Start with a lower proof (around 40% - 45%) whiskey that has either wheat in its mash bill and one containing mainly corn ratio for sweeter tones.
The next spirit is one with more of the classic flavor and quality. These whiskies are rich and full-bodied but not very spicy or hot—perfect for sipping on their own (or as an ingredient!) Finally, try a spirit that is bold or spicy, like a highly peated Scotch whisky.
Taste and Record
Keeping good notes on a cigar is essential and requires you to be strategic. Write down where the cigar is from, then take note if there's anything special about them.
Study the flavor profile after the first quarter because that will often change before lighting or during the burn.
You can also write down how long each lasts so you know when they've reached their peak enjoyment points. Do the same with whiskey and after you've done each one separately, try to mix and match.
Try Other Types of Whiskey
If it's your first time pairing the best whiskeys with the best cigars, you can try other people's pairing suggestions.
However, feel free to try and experiment with your preferences with different whiskeys. You never know; your discovered pairing might turn out better than what is usually suggested by others!
Suppose you’re looking for a way to spend your evening with friends and family. In that case, you can make an infinity bottle, taste whiskey brands inspired by celebrities, make a DIY infused bourbon, or try out a fantastic whiskey and cigar pairing. The latter is an old-fashioned way that never goes out of style!
This activity is not just for the whisky advocate but for anyone wanting to experience something new and bold. The best part is that you'll always have a surprise waiting whenever you try a new combo!
Are you ready to try the best cigar and whiskey pairings? Tell us all about your experience in the comments.