While the average American has probably never heard of St. Andrews Day, to the Scottish population, it is a day of national celebration and pride. Some cities host week-long celebrations that include traditional Scottish music and food.
So, what better way is there to celebrate Scotland than pairing up your favorite cigar with the most well-known of Scottish libations, Scotch whiskey. Below, you will find our top three cigar and scotch pairings for St. Andrews Day.
Montecristo Epic Craft Cured & Monkey Shoulder
Our first scotch is what’s known as a blended scotch. It is a blend of malt and grain whisky that offer you a more complex experience, as it combines the flavour and aroma of a few different styles. While whiskey snobs such as myself prefer single malt, 90% of whisky made in Scotland is blended, including the world-famous Johnnie Walker.
In my opinion, Monkey shoulder is one of the best-blended scotches on the market. It is a combination of different premium single malts, all from the Speyside region of Scotland. The result is an elegant and robust whisky, with notes of oak, spice, malt and vanilla.
For this medium-bodied and complex whisky, I went with a medium-bodied and complex cigar. The Montecristo Epic Craft Cured in one of the most well-balanced and refined cigars available right now. It boasts notes of wood, leather and spice combined with a dash of sweetness and leather for a pairing worthy of the Scottish people.
Aganorsa Guardian of the Farm Night Watch & Oban Bay Reserve The Nights Watch
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more perfect pairing both in flavor, presentation, and name than this next one. First, let’s discuss this limited-edition whiskey. To celebrate the ending of Game of Thrones, one of the most popular television shows of all time, HBO teamed up with several different high-end Scotch companies to create a limited-edition series of whiskeys.
Each one was named after certain families or characters from the show. While you see this from time to time with mass-market companies like Jameson or Johnnie Walker, rarely do you see it with small-batch producers.
I chose to go with an old favorite, Oban. This particular batch was named after the Nights Watch and comes in an all-black bottled, with the oath of the Nights Watch etched onto the bottle.
Even though it has its gimmicky element, this is a solid scotch. It combines notes of cocoa and dark fruits combined with a dash of citrus and licorice for a solid and robust scotch. Of course, I had to go with the new Guardian of the Farm Night Watch from Aganorsa.
With its special, new Nicaraguan Corojo Maduro wrapper, this cigar stacks up in its rich and robust profile, and, of course, its dark and foreboding name cements it.
Davidoff Winston Churchill The Late Hour & The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve
This is hour high-end pairing, and we decided to try out a Scotch that was just too perfect for leaving out. Dalmore has always been a staple of the Scotch community and this limited-edition batch had the style and the name we were looking for.
The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve was crafted in order to be paired up with a cigar. It is aged in ex-bourbon casks, along with some sherry casks; giving it a rich and smooth profile. On the palate, you’ll find notes of vanilla, tropical fruits, and cinnamon, while on the finishing notes you’ll get a dash of dark chocolate and spice.
This Scotch was crafted specifically to be paired with a cigar. While the cigar they had in mind was a Cuban Partagas Serie D, another personal favorite, I thought that a Scotch made for a cigar should go with a cigar that was made for Scotch.
So I decided upon the Davidoff Winston Churchill The Late Hour. With tobacco that has been aged in Scotch barrels and a robust profile that is on point with the Dalmore, I felt this was one of the best pairings I’ve ever done.