Best cigars to pair with scotch for St Andrew’s Day 2022

November 28, 2022

What is St Andrew’s Day?

St Andrew’s Day is when Scots come together to commemorate their patron saint, show off their tartan pride, and celebrate the very best of Scottish culture. An official holiday in Scotland and widely celebrated in the states, be prepared for a sea of blue and white kilts, ceilidh dancing, recitations, bagpipes, and fireworks.

Of course, 30 November wouldn’t be complete with some classic Scottish grub (haggis, Cullen skink, and shortbread) washed down with a dram or two of the finest Scotches. Sipping your whiskey in between puffs of a premium cigar will upgrade you to a truly sensorial and sophisticated experience.

Any lover of cigars and scotch lover will tell you the two are a match made in heaven. If you’re looking for some of the best cigar and Scotch pairings, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s first look at the key differences between Scotch and Irish whiskey.

What is the difference between Irish whiskey and Scotch?

As their names imply, Scotch is made exclusively in Scotland, and Irish whiskey in Ireland. A subtle difference between the two is in the spelling of whiskey (or whisky) — a bottle of Scotch will leave out the ‘e,’ while Irish distillers will include it.

However, the two major differences are the distillation processes and ingredients used, which affect the overall taste. Scotch is usually double-distilled, whereas Irish whiskey undergoes triple distillation to give it a lighter and smoother taste.

Scotch uses malted barley as its dominant ingredient, giving its malty smack and distinct smoky flavor. In contrast, Irish whiskey uses a blend of malted and unmalted barley that contributes to its characteristic vanilla sweetness.

Cigar and scotch pairings

Make your 2022 St Andrew’s Day celebrations better than ever with five of our favorite smokes that are perfect for puffing on alongside a good Scotch.

Zino Nicaragua

The Zino Nicaragua is a value-priced, medium-bodied cigar that captures the Zino ethos of being free-spirited and living “life from A to Zino.” The smooth and creamy Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper has a slight red hue, while the rare Semilla 56 Seco binder is from Nicaragua. Completing this ambitious blend is a rich array of tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Expect a unique flavor experience with creamy notes of honey and brown sugar and occasional hits of black coffee, earth, and dark chocolate, finishing with a spicy retrohale.

We recommend partnering your Zino Nicaragua with a Balvenie DoubleWood 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, which still pays homage to the traditional crafts of whisky production. It’s layered with honey and vanilla on the nose, and cinnamon spice on the palate, with the sherry cask influence giving a subtle sweet edge.

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Hoyo La Amistad Dark Sumatra

Another budget-friendly stick, the Hoyo La Amistad Dark Sumatra sees AJ Fernandez put his own spin on the three-nation blend that makes up the original Hoyo La Amistad blend. Fernandez has produced dark, rich, and luxurious smoke by applying his trusty fermentation, aging, and cigar-crafting techniques.

Easy on the eye with its oily Ecuador Sumatra wrapper that gleams a lustrous dark-roasted brown, it dances with complexity and lots of spice. This medium-full Sumatra-wrapped stick is a natural match for neat Kentucky bourbon with its well-balanced flavors of bold cedar, wood, earth, and espresso.

Try the creamy and sumptuous Balvenie 14-Year-Old Caribbean Cask for a Scotch alternative. Finished in rum casks and relatively sweet on the palate, notes of English toffee, vanilla, and rich wood spice give it crossover appeal to bourbon drinkers.

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Ashton VSG

Far from an ordinary cigar, the exquisite Ashton VSG is as great now as it was when released in 1999. Distinguished by its prized Sumata-seed Virgin Sun Grown (VSG) wrapper, this Dominican puro has an exotic tobacco flavor with rich spice, earth, cedar, and leather flourishes.

Ideal for connoisseurs seeking a full-bodied treat with an exceptional burn, try puffing on this alongside an Aerstone Land Cask 10-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Rich and smokey in character through its championing of highland peat in the malting stage, look out for quaffable notes of heathery peat, honey, and burnt sugar, with traces of spice and barbequed fruit notes.

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AVO Classic

  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Strength: Mellow – Medium
  • Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Sizes Available:

With a stunning Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper that’s silky to the touch, the Avo Classic has remained a staple of the Davidoff portfolio since its release in 1988. This premium stogie is a centerpiece in most smokers’ humidors, with its delicious mellow blend crafted from Dominican fillers and binders. Jump aboard for a tasty ride packed with chocolate, grass, hay, and oak, with hints of creamy cocoa on the finish.

While it’s a great morning smoke with a flavored cappuccino, it’s equally at home alongside a single malt scotch. Producing 5 million liters of golden dram per year and celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2022, it’s safe to say the Tomatin distillery knows a thing or two about good Scotch. The Tomatin Cask Strength Scotch is a natural companion for the Avo Classic with its sweet undertones of dried cherries and berries, golden syrup, and ginger.

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JR Pure Origin Gran Vulcano

This JR collaboration with the famous Plascencia factory in Nicaragua uses sweet, earthy Ometepe tobacco. Father-and-son team Nestor Plasencia Sr. and Jr. are known for crafting vibrant and intense smokes, and this is a stick you’ll smoke to the nub and keep coming back to.

Taste the pureness of the tobacco along with harmonious flavor notes of earth, light chocolate, leather, and a very light spice on the lips.

With gradual flavor elevation nuances from start to finish, pour yourself a dram of 12-Year-Old Glenfiddich Single Malt to go alongside this stogie that cultivates impressive green credentials. Founded in 1886 by William Grant in Dufftown, Scotland, Glenfiddich is the world’s biggest and most-awarded single malt whisky brand.

This particular bottle showcases warm shades of green apple, vanilla, and spice, with the subtle smoky and earthy undertones complimenting the tobacco produced by Ometepe’s nutrient-rich volcanic soil.

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