Of all the relaxing and manly things a guy can do in his life, retreating after work to your quiet place for a post-dinner cigar and a drink is way atop the coveted list.
Now, there’s a lot of great drinks that go wonderfully with a premium cigar, such as coffee/espresso, a hearty red wine, port wine, bourbon, dark rum etc., but I’d have to say that perhaps the manliest pairing of all – the one that spikes the testosterone levels - is a belt of Scotch whisky and a tasty hand rolled smoke.
Quite simply, scotch is a malt whisky or grain whisky that is made in Scotland. In recent years, many other countries have begun to distill the lauded liquid.
There are now over twenty-five scotch producing nations which are creating some of the world’s most outstanding single malts and blends, i.e. - Japan, Belgium, Taiwan, India, Switzerland, Norway and the United States… but a true-to-the-name scotch whisky comes directly from the Scottish Isle.
There are six regions in Scotland that produce the coveted golden nectar, each one with different climates, altitudes and soil contents, producing scotches with attributes unique to their region.
A premium hand rolled cigar is an all-natural product made from dried and fermented tobacco leaves, (and ONLY natural soil-grown leaves with no chemicals or additives) grown and cultivated in various cigar producing nations like the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, Cuba, Ecuador, Sumatra and the United States.
Cigars can appear light golden on the outside producing mild and creamy flavors, while dark and oily wrapped maduros can be full-bodied and produce a natural sweetness.
Like scotch, the regions they hail from gives them their unique properties and flavor profiles. And much like scotch, each region’s ecosystem differs in nutrients found in the soil, the amount of rainfall, constant temperature and humidity and sun light.
Of the two luxuries named above, my true expertise falls within the realm of cigars. As an editor and writer for Cigar Advisor Magazine online, I get to smoke some of the best and tastiest cigars in the world – yeah, it sucks being me but somebody’s gotta make that sacrifice.
As far as scotch is concerned, while I can’t label myself as an expert by any means, I do enjoy the hell out of it and I know what I like – especially when I pair it with a great stick. So find below a few pairings I’m suggesting that work well together, courtesy of the Famous Smoke Shop Cigar and Spirit Pairing Guide.
The Perfect Whiskey Cigars Pairing
Cigar: Inferno by Oliva . Scotch: Johnnie Walker Black 12 Year Old
I kind of think of this as a no-nonsense pairing. The Inferno is a bold and beefy cigar, a full bodied Nicaraguan that has some spiciness at the start then rounds out to be a very smooth and flavorful smoke.
Johnnie Black 12 is an old stand-by for many scotch drinkers and is also rich and full on the palate which is why these two complement so well. Black is known for notes of wood smoke, dry spice and some fruitiness on the finish.
While it’s nice that this pairing won’t hurt your wallet, it will give you some nice returns in the pleasure department.
Cigar: La Gloria Cubana Serie RF . Scotch: The Macallan 12
La Gloria Cubana cigars have always been known for their full-flavor and the RF is a medium to full bodied stick that is rich with sweet and spicy notes with a flavor profile of dark chocolate and espresso.
Now, the Macallan 12 Year Old is a single malt sherry cask whisky which produces a delicious sweetness on the palate (much like my other fave, Balvenie DoubleWood, aged 6 years in oak and then six years in sherry casks).
These two pair wonderfully as the spiciness of the La Gloria complements the tropical fruit flavors and notes of golden syrup. It is seriously time to sit back and enjoy.
Cigar: Griffins Robusto . Scotch: Johnnie Walker Blue Label
And finally I give you my high-end pairing with a cigar made by Davidoff, known for their cigar-making exquisiteness, and a blended whisky that’s known the world over as excellence in a bottle.
The Griffin’s is a refined smoke, medium-bodied with notes of sweet cedar and nuts that displays an enticing aroma. The gorgeous golden Connecticut shade-grown wrapper attributes for its ultra-smooth creaminess.
Then there’s the Blue, a whisky so smooth it’s like imbibing liquid velvet, with its notes of honey, plums, dried fruit and spice.
This is a premium pairing that complements so amazingly with their rich and wickedly smooth characters. An undeniably remarkable match-up for celebrating another day well lived.
So there you have it, a whole lot of testosterone spouting goodness with a few cigar and whisky match-ups that will relax the mind and warm the soul.
Premium aged tobacco and malted grains… the Ultimate Manly Pairing indeed.