Blended Scotch and Cigar Pairings
So if you have been following my writings, you would have already read about the best ways to pair up single malt scotch and fine cigars. While single malts have a reputation has being the more elegant and smoother libation, blended scotch is by far the most popular. 90% of whisky that is produced in Scotland is blended and makes for a much more complex beverage. Let’s match up some of the world’s best blended Scotch with some great smokes.
These pairings will be slightly different then with single malts. With single malts, Scotch produced in the same region will produce similar flavors, so its easier to match up a cigar with the region. However, each blended Scotch will contain several different flavor profiles, so you will need to know which regions make up that particular bend. Lets take the most sold blended Scotch in the world, Johnnie Walker.
Each line of Johnnie Walker is a different blend, so each one will match up with a different smoke. Johnnie Walker Black and Double Black are known for their heavy, peaty flavor. I would go with a cigar that has a great smokey taste to it, such as the Kentucky Fire Cured by Drew Estate or the Leccia White. The Johnnie Walker Gold is known to be sweet and smooth, similar to single malts from Speyside. I would go with either a smooth sweet maduro, such as Ashton, or even an Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva. The new Platinum label seems to be a bit difficult. It contains flavor characteristics of both a sweet Speyside and a peaty, smoky Islay Scotch. Best to go with maybe a full body Nicaraguan maduro such as the Padron 1926.
Johnnie Walker Blue is a completely different beast. Its viewed as the best blended Scotch in the world by some, and by others a complete waste of time. Be that as it may, it holds a reputation as one of the best Scotch whisky’s you can find. It is smooth yet incredibly complex. It seems to be a combination of all three single malt flavor profiles; sweet, smooth, and peaty. Not one flavor is too pungent but they come together to form a magnificently well-balanced blend. The only cigar I think of to accompany this is a Davidoff Millennium. Medium to full bodied yet smooth and balanced.
Next on my list is one of my personal favorites: The Famous Grouse. The Famous Grouse is a blended that is a mixture of single malt scotch from The Highland Park and The Maccallan. It is perfectly balanced and combines the slightly peat flavor of the Highland Park with the fruity and sweet taste of the Maccallan. I recently drank this while smoking the new Monte by Montecristo and found the pairing quite delicious.
Now, lets finish up with what I call the miscellaneous section. Here there are two different products I’m going to pair up, but neither of them can be strictly defined as Scotch. The first is the famous Japanese single malt whisky, Yamazaki. Although not made in Scotland, it is by most considered Scotch style whisky in that it shares its characteristics more with scotch than Irish, Canadian, or American whisky. Yamazaki recently won the worlds best whisky award. The 12 year old is quite similar to Speyside Scotch, with sweet fruit flavors and a smooth wood finish. I find a good Cameroon wrapper pairs up well with this smoke, so a Partagas or an Arturo Fuente Hemingway would be a great choice.
My last entry will be a new an unusual whisky that my roommate introduced me too. It is called Campfire By High West. It’s actually a triple blend of straight rye, straight bourbon, and blended malt Scotch whisky. It may be one of the first drinks of its kind. It’s amazingly complex that starts off sweet, peaks with a spice, and then ends smooth and smoky. This is a perfect match for a complex Nicaraguan smoke. My personal choices would be the Cain Daytona or the Oliva Serie V.
Hope you guys find my pairings to your liking and keep reading for more interesting match ups. Also if you have any ideas for future pairing articles, message us on Facebook!