Pairing Cigar and Alcohol
Pairing Cigar and Alcohol
Cigar pairing is an art in its own right, it consists in finding the optimal match between two totally different products. Like the sommelier who looks for the perfect wine to accompany your dish, the "cigar pairing" with alcohol is looking for a union between 2 universes where complex aromatic palettes and power reign.
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Can I dip my cigar in rum or cognac?
There is a rumor that in order to increase the intensity of the aromatic panel of a cigar and, at the same time, to moisten it more, it is dipped in cognac or rum. In reality, this is a false idea that is unfortunately widespread among novices. The following lines are a small clarification of this practice, which is much more likely to damage cigars than to improve their organoleptic qualities.
This method was common at a time when humidors were not easily accessible, especially because of their price, while humidifiers and hygrometers were not yet fully developed. Smokers would sprinkle their cigars with cognac or rum before storing them to age. When asked why they were doing this, they would often say that it was to better hydrate the cigar, to give it a better moisture content. With all the cigar preservation techniques available today, it is no longer necessary to soak the cigars in alcohol. On the contrary, this approach risks damaging them.
Many beginners, and sometimes even some experienced smokers, mistakenly think that by moistening their cigars with rum or cognac, they will obtain pieces rich in aromas. They then have fun dipping the cigar in the glass of alcohol before tasting. First bad surprise: the lighting becomes difficult which is quite normal, because the tobacco is completely wet! Second bad surprise: once the cigar is lit, smokers do not feel any of the aromas present in the alcohol used! Even worse, the aromatic panel that characterizes the cigar has lost its intensity. In other words, it is the opposite of the expected effect that occurred. I might as well say it, the disappointment is there! Fortunately, a disappointing first experience dissuades many from repeating the exercise.
Rather than impregnating a cigar with rum or cognac, it is wiser to smoke your cigar while sipping a glass of these spirits. Their aromas will merge in the mouth offering the smoker's palate a tasty experience. The tasting will be even better, because this ritual allows to appreciate simultaneously the flavors and the scents of the cigar as well as the alcohol. And in many cases, the two aromatic panels blend harmoniously. Finally, there are cigars on the market specially designed to exhale a taste of rum or cognac. It is better to acquire them if you wish to take advantage of the aromas of these alcohols on a cigar.
This technique is recommended to all those who intend to enrich the range of aromas of cigars whose taste and especially aromas are light. It consists in working on the humidor rather than on the cigars themselves. This way, there is no risk of damaging the cigars because the tobacco leaves are not soaked in alcohol. If generally the preparation of the humidor consists of brushing its interior with water, in this process, it is with wine or whiskey that we proceed to the brushing. Then, one pours a little alcohol in the humidor. We finalize by depositing the cigars in the humidor. After a few days, we go to the tasting. It is very important to choose a humidor that you are sure not to use again, because it is practically impossible to get rid of the smell of wine or whisky.
A cigar unfolds its full aromatic richness and complexity when smoked naturally. And, to ensure its good conservation, it is necessary to let it age in a good quality humidor. It is totally futile to dip it in cognac or rum.
In the same vein, we sometimes hear some wine "amateurs" say that it is preferable to pour a small quantity of port into their decanter before pouring their wine so that the wine appears more oxidized to the nose, the port bringing its evolutionary aromas.
Knowing that for years winemakers like to express the aromas of the terroirs on which they grow their vines by proudly displaying the name of the appellation of the village or the parcel where the vines are located, do you think that distorting the taste of a wine originating from Burgundy or Bordeaux by mixing it with another Port wine could be beneficial for its aromas and its identity?
Pairing Cigar + Alcohol 01
Punch Short of Punch : Bas Armagnac Delord 1991 harvest or Arcane Extraroma Grand Amber Rhum 12 years.
1 bottle of 70cl.
Pairing Cigar + Alcohol 02
Partagas Series D No. 4 SBN (25) : Bas Armagnac Delord Harvest 1978 or The Alpinist White Port 8 yo Single Cask Rum
Pairing Cigar + Alcohol 03
Romeo Y Julieta Wide Churchills (25) : Bas Armagnac Delord Harvest 1984 or Ron Zacapa XO Solera Reserva Especial.
Pairing Cigar + Alcohol 04
H. Upmann Half Corona (25) : Bas Armagnac Delord Harvest 1998 or J.M Single Barrel Very Old Agricultural Rum 19 years.
1 bottle of 50cl.
Pairing Cigar + Alcohol 05
Montecristo LÍnea 1935 Maltese (20) : Malecon Rum 18 years Reserva Imperial or Edmundo Dantes Produccion Limitada 15 years.
The cigars Montecristo LÍnea 1935 Maltés (20) are distinguished by their beautiful caramel-colored wrapper and by their full and strong taste.
Pairing Cigar + Alcohol 06
Trinidad Reyes SBN (24) : Bas Armagnac Delord Harvest 1971 or Plantation Barbados Rum 20th Anniversary Extra Old.
Small, full-bodied and peppery Corona excellent burn and good balance.
Pairing Cigar + Alcohol 07
Trinidad Vigia SBN (12) : Bas Armagnac Delord Harvest 1969 or Rivière du Mât Vintage 2004.
Pairing Cigar + Alcohol 08
Partagas Lusitanias (25) : Bas Armagnac Delord Harvest 1982 or Rhum Bielle brut de fût Millésime 2007.
Pairing Cigar + Alcohol 09
Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No. 2 SLB (25) : Bas Armagnac Delord Harvest 1993 or J.M Vintage 2006 10 years Numbered.
Pairing Cigar + Alcohol 10
Bolivar Libertador LCDH (10): Bas Armagnac Delord Hors d'âge or J.M Vintage 2000 15 years.
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