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Written by Puff Staff

Friday, 26 July 2013

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Liquor is quicker.
However, the favorite libation of most cigar smokers is the hard stuff—liquor. Which liquor is your favorite depends on the cigar with which you’ll be enjoying it.

Since Cuba grows both sugar cane and tobacco, rum is the natural partner for a premium cigar, even if it’s not really a Cuban. Several brands of rum go especially well with cigars, including Bacardi, whose decadent mixture of caramel, licorice and vanilla is well-suited for full-bodied smokes. Mount Gay Extra Old is a medium-bodied rum that pairs well with medium-bodied cigars. For a rum that will go with a variety of cigars, try the 12-year-aged Montecristo Rum. You don’t need a real Cuban cigar to enjoy the floral and spicy notes of Havana Club Anejo Reserva, but of course, it can’t hurt.

No liquor is more identified with cigars than cognac. There’s something about it that just says elegance and sophistication. A. Fussigny Cigare and the Davidoff Cognacs were actually created to complement cigars, which is why they do it so well. The best cognacs to drink with cigars are the older varieties marked VSOP and XO. Martell XO is a good choice for mild to medium cigars, as is Frapin XO VIP. For pairing with medium to full bodied smokes, Remy Martin XO and Hennessy XO are both good bets.

 



Scotch, especially the single malt type, is another hit with cigar smokers, with the 21-year-old Glenlivit Archive being a special favorite with lovers of full bodied smokes. So is Dalmore Cigar Malt, a Scotch created to go with a fine cigar. With full-bodied smokes, Glenmorangie Single Highland 15-year-old and Macallan Gran Reserva 18-year-old are good choices.

Bourbon has a sweet, woody flavor that naturally complements a premium cigar, as do its American cousins Tennessee sour mash whiskey and rye. Good all-around cigar partners include Old Overholt Rye, Maker’s Mark and Blanton’s Single Barrel. Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel goes well with milder cigars, while Wild Turkey is a good choice for medium to fuller bodied smokes.

For some expert advice on picking a winning pair, no one knows better than Matthew Arcella, managing partner of Davidoff Las Vegas, since the company owns six cigar stores situated in the city’s ritziest hotel casinos. Here are a few of his recommendations:

On the subject of Scotch: “Pair a smoky whisky like Laphroaig or Oban with a cigar that has some meat on its bones. I’d go for Central American cigars that are spicy, full bodied and aromatic. One of my top choices is the Padron 1964 Anniversary Imperial.”

With rum: “A smoke with a peppery Cameroon wrapper is perfect with a glass of Zacapa Rum 23 or Cruzan Single Barrel Rum. Try the CAO L’Anniversaire Cameroon Churchill, which burns evenly and has a great, rich flavor that won’t overpower your drink.”

On cognac: “For cognac, such as Remy Martin Extra, you want a cigar that wraps around the grape-based flavor notes. The Arturo Fuente Anejo Reserva No. 77 plays very well here. It uses a broad-leaf maduro wrapper aged in a cognac barrel. It’s a perfect match—especially after a big meal.”

With cocktails: “When I have a fruit-based cocktail like a Mojito, I want to keep my cigar mild. I look for something with a Connecticut shade wrapper. The Davidoff Classic No. 2 is the benchmark for this kind of smoke. It has a lot of flavor, yet remains mild enough to compliment your cocktail.”

What really counts is what you enjoy most. Do a little experimenting until you find your own favorite






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