The holidays, for some, is a time for giving and sharing. While that’s all great, it is also a time to overindulge and unwind after a stressful year. So, what better way to do that than with a fine cigar and a good glass of whiskey?
For the holidays, I’ve decided to put together a list of some of my favorite cigar and whiskey pairings from over the years. This list is great for a variety of smokers and whiskey enthusiasts alike, as I’ve purposefully mixed scotches and bourbons, so everyone can find an option they enjoy.
Makers Mark and a Davidoff Signature Series 1000
Makers Mark has the reputation of being one of the smoothest bourbons on the market, with its smooth and sweet aroma and light oak finish. The mild Dominican Davidoff Classic is like silk with a hint of cedar and cream. This long thin size will burn long and optimize the flavor. The combination of flavors, smooth aromas, and the overall quality you get with both brands makes this the smoothest pairing on this list.
Gentleman Jack and an Ashton Estate Sun Grown 23 Year
This pairing shows that things only get better with age. The Gentleman Jack is aged past the normal amount of Jack Daniels. This additional “mellowing” gives it its full-bodied yet smooth taste with hints of spice and fruit. This perfect sized Ashton ESG uses a rare aged Sun Grown wrapper that is spicy and flavorful, yet due to its age, its mellowed out just enough to give it extraordinary balance.
Bulleit & Camacho American Barrel-Aged Robusto
While this cigar was an easy one to choose for a bourbon pairing, it was deciding which bourbon to pair it with that took the real-time. Eventually, my old favorite, Bulleit. Made the most sense. Bulleit has a special flavor profile thanks to its higher rye content than most bourbons.
It has a bold and spicy profile with a smooth, sweet crisp finish to it. While lighting up, you can taste the oak from the barrel which goes hand in hand overall spicy tone. The Camacho Barrel Aged, being aged in of course bourbon barrels shares its distinct oak taste, richness from its Broadleaf tobaccos. If you are searching for a bolder choice, there is none.
Glenlivet 18 and an Ashton Maduro No. 40
Glenlivet 18 is the epitome of a high-end, single malt scotch. It is able to effortlessly combine a smooth and light aroma and taste with a rich and flavorful profile with notes of almonds, and chocolate.. The Ashton Maduro No. 40 is a rich and flavorful smoke rolled with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. This dark and almost sweet tobacco gives the cigar and almost chocolate and coffee like taste with some sweetness and nuts, making this the perfect combo for the connoisseur with a sweet tooth.
Famous Black Grouse and H. Upmann Hispaniola
While many of you have probably never heard of Famous Black Grouse, true scotch aficionados definitely have. It is a blended whiskey that mixes single malts from The Highland Park and The Maccallan. It is a favorite with the population of Scotland, but it has yet to really catch on here in the States.
It is perfectly balanced and combines the slightly peat flavor of the Highland Park with the fruity and sweet taste of the Maccallan. I decided upon the new H.Upmann Hispaniola and was surprised by how much this pairing worked. Slightly smoky, slightly strong and slightly sweet describes both items perfectly.