Cigar Pairings

8 Scotch and Cigar Pairings for the True Cigar Enthusiast

Holt's Staff Cigar's picture

Holt's Staff

Getting out to indulge in a relaxing evening at a nice cigar bar can represent a rare occasion these days due to truly ubiquitous smoking bans and a lack of quality cigar-friendly establishments. However, when you do uncover the opportunity to imbibe in cigars and whiskey in an ideal setting, or even if you’re simply chilling in your home, man cave or backyard, you’ll want to know what combinations match up the best. Scotch and cigars were born for one another. Whether you’re picking up a box and a bottle, or you’re taste-testing a single cigar with a one or two ounce pour, we’ve provided a roadmap of specific pairings designed to elicit maximum satisfaction and reveal the amazing harmony scotch and cigars share when complementary profiles tag-team your senses. Check out our following menu of the best cigars with scotch.

Ashton VSG & Lagavulin 16 Year

Distilled on the Islay, Lagavulin 16 is a potent scotch that bears an amplified profile of smoked butter, peat and a touch of hickory that is pronounced, but hard not to love. We paired it with Ashton VSG, a strong powerhouse in a similar value stratum as Lagavulin. The huskiness of the scotch draws out the notes of earth, cedar and spice VSG generates and gives them fuller exposure to your palate. Whenever I indulge in these two behemoths, I find myself reliving the aftertaste for hours afterwards.

Padron 1926 Series & Springbank 15 Year

Springback 15 is made on the coast of Campeltown and contains textures of brine and peat. Springback 15 is more intense than Highland Park, but with fewer sherry characteristics. It goes great with the world-class Padron 1926 Series. Both are full-bodied and create a great syncopation of dried fruits and nuts that we can’t get enough of. Leather, black cherries, coffee and cashews teem from the all-Nicaraguan profile of Padron and meld evenly with the organic zest of marzipan, figs and cocoa generated by Springbank 15. This duo is worthy of a celebratory occasion.

San Cristobal & Talisker Storm

Talisker Storm is a Viking maelstrom of spice and smoke distilled on the Isle of Skye. This is an intense scotch with big, bold flavors of oak and peat. If you are taking a dive into this dense drink, we suggest taking San Cristobal along as your scuba partner. The cigar is a full-bodied Nicaraguan puro, rife with pleasant notes of coffee and cherry that sandbag the fervor of Talisker Storm. San Cristobal also contains flavors of wood and leather that grow more pronounced with the peaty zest that emanates from the scotch.

Oliva Master Blends & Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso

Glenlivet Nadurra Olorosso has been heavily aged in first-fill oloroso sherry casks, imbuing the unadulterated whiskey with a heavy sherry influence. When paired with Oliva Master Blends 3, the fruity voltage of Glenlivet catalyzes the smoldering notes of brown sugar from Oliva to come out to play. Both are rich, full-bodied experiences, and when consumed together, they create a spicy, creamy amalgam that really awakens the senses. Add a bite of high quality dark chocolate to the mix for an added layer of rich, disarming taste.

La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse & Macallan 18 Year

Macallan 18 is a representative of the famous Speyside distillery and is aged in selected sherry oak casks from Spain. A jamboree of smoke, autumn fruit and spice emerges on the tongue from Macallan 18. We paired it with the equally illustrious La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse. The cigar’s Nicaraguan tobaccos get a boost of flavor when matched with the buttery profile of the scotch. Syrupy notes of apple strudel and gingerbread in Macallan elevate the creamy, floral textures of spice and almonds Noblesse possesses.

Rocky Patel Decade & Dalmore 12 Year

Dalmore 12 is fully aged for nine years in American white oak, ex-bourbon casks. Then, half of it is taken to age in ex-oloroso sherry casks for the next three years. It’s sweet, but not peaty, and robust with a slight sherry influence. This is a good cigar scotch, and we’ve paired it with Rocky Patel Decade for its rich, dynamic transitions of flavor. They both contain lots of flavor. Notes of marzipan and citrus in the scotch balance the flavors of almonds, black cherries and spices Rocky Patel Decade exudes. The smooth profile of Dalmore eases snugly into the cool, spicy draws Decade furnishes.

My Father Le Bijou 1922 & Bowmore 15 Year

Bowmore 15 is made near Loch Indaal in the famous Islay distillery and is aged in Oloroso sherry casks, which give the scotch a rev of syrup and apricot with a touch of gingerbread spice. Try it with My Father Le Bijou 1922, an award-winning blend from Pepin Garcia, known for generating powerful waves of black pepper, coffee beans and spices that maneuver smoothly under the pronounced imprint of the scotch. Bowmore reveals peated notes of black licorice and cinnamon that edge into the ferocious richness of a lustrous Nicaraguan Oscuro wrapper leaf.

Fuente Fuente Opus X & Oban 18 Year

Fuente Fuente Opus X is a supremely rare, legendary smoke known for its boldness. A focus on potent Ligero tobaccos from the Dominican Republic characterizes Opus X with a profound spice and a chewy, savory finish. If you’re going to drink something with it, you definitely want something with some backbone. Oban 18 gets the job done. It projects wafts of sea air and toffee that tether the profusion of spice Opus X is notorious for. Oban 18 supplies buttery notes of vanilla and wild berries that rest nicely on the tongue with the rich signature of dried fruit, figs and black pepper that define Opus X. Be warned: this pairing isn’t for the faint of heart. But for those adventurous enough to try, you’ll be rewarded with a luxurious fusion of well-balanced profiles you’ll want to savor endlessly.

What are some of your favorite cigar and scotch pairings or experiences? Share in the comments below. 

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