Much like matching beer and cigars, a cigar and scotch pairing is subjective. Combine these two together and revel in a highly recommended pairing you're sure to enjoy.
Much like matching beer and cigars, a cigar and scotch pairing is subjective. We all have different palates, and there’s no telling which pairing will please yours. The only way to know is to taste a lot of cigars and a lot of Scotch whiskies. Tough life, right?
However, if you’re new to cigars and scotch, there is one rule you must consider: match body weights. You should pair full-bodied cigars with heavier scotches and mild cigars with lighter bodied scotches. Following this rule will help prevent lackluster cigar and scotch pairings.
First, a little background on Scotch whisky.
Only real Scotch whiskies are from Scotland and distilled at least twice, although some may be distilled up to 20 times. Scotch is made with malted barley and matured for at least 3 years. The two big distinctions in the world of scotch are single malt and blended. Some feel that single malt is the superior of the two.
There are five regions where Scotch whisky is produced: Speyside, The Highlands, The Isle of Islay, The Lowlands and Campbeltown. Each region produces a distinct scotch in its own right. Today I’m going to explore the Speyside region.
Speyside single malt Scotch whiskies are distilled in Strathspey, the area around the River Spey in northeastern Scotland. Speyside has the highest concentration of distilleries in the country, famous for their superb flavors, complexity, sweetness, and wonderful aromas.
Speyside whiskies can generally be classified as light and grassy, such as Glenlivet, or rich and sweet as is Macallan. Other popular brands from Speyside include Chivas Regal, Glenfiddich, and Johnnie Walker.
The Scotch Whisky & Cigar of Choice
Macallan 12 Year Old is light mahogany in color and has aromas of dried fruits and ginger, with a hint of citrus, vanilla, and cinnamon. To the palate, there are rich dried fruits with spice, clove, and orange along with oak wood smoke reminiscent of a rustic cabin. The finish is full and lingering with dried fruits, ginger, and sweet toffee with a hint of peaty smoke.
A delicious cigar that is rightfully paired alongside a scotch such as the Macallan 12 is the Montecristo Classic No. 2. There is a simple elegance in the pairing between the two. The Montecristo Classic No. 2 Torpedo is the most famous size offered by this legendary brand. This classic consists of a premium golden brown Connecticut shade wrapper, a specially aged Dominican binder, and a long filler.
Simultaneously rich in flavor and mellow on the palate, the Monte No. 2 is exceptionally well-rounded. The very smooth and silky smoke has notes of leather, sweet cinnamon, and nutmeg along with Monte’s trademark tangy wood note.
Now, Revel in the Pairing...
The silky Connecticut wrapper further contributes a wonderful creaminess to the mellow pairing. Macallan's 12-year aging in sherry casks gives the pairing a wonderful sweetness while the oak provides a vanilla quality. It is simply one of the best single malt Scotch whiskies available.
Even if you are not a scotch drinker there are so many other pairings to go with your preferred cigars. Bourbon, beer, wine and your morning or after dinner coffee all perfectly fit as well. Remember, it’s all a matter of personal preference, so just sit back and relax….and revel in the pairing!
Want to try more recommended cigars and spirits? Check out Cigar & Bourbon Pairing: A Heavenly Combination!