The Perfect Match: The Ultimate Cigar and Whiskey Pairing
There are few things in the world as luxurious as a beautiful night, either around a fireplace or a lounge, with a cigar in one hand and a chilled glass of whiskey in the other. Both fine cigars and whiskeys showcase wealth and class, but together, the two can create lavish pairings in smell, flavor, and feeling. VUE has selected some of the best upscale brands to create the ultimate cigar and whiskey pairings to enjoy in the NJ/NYC area.
Though many brands of both cigars and whiskey can be enjoyable for novices, Bolívar cigars and Suntory Hibiki 30 Year are not two of those brands. Made for a more experienced palate, the Cuban cigar and Japanese whiskey pair perfectly together for this very reason. The Bolívar includes both earthy and tangy flavors, and is one of the strongest cigars, producing an effect which lingers. The Suntory Hibiki 30 Year can go for $2,500 per bottle, and with less than 15,000 bottles made, both the cigars and whiskey may be difficult to find in stores (but can be purchased online if you’re lucky).
A luxurious pair that needs no introduction is the Cohiba cigar and Nun’s Island Distillery Pure Pot Still whiskey. Cohibas historically come from Cuba, and can cost $70 per cigar. They are said to be one of the finest cigars rolled, and create a pleasant, grassy taste. One can be sampled at Brick House Cigar Shop in Wyckoff, NJ. From the other side of the world comes Nun’s Island Pure Pot, an Irish spirit that is over 100 years old and costs $140,000 per bottle. Known to be one of the smoothest and tastiest whiskies ever made, there is only one unopened bottle left on the market.
Former president John F. Kennedy’s personal favorite cigar, the H. Upmann, and Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash Whiskey are a perfect pair. Before aging, the H. Upmann is mild, with citrus and floral flavors that are only enhanced with time. One can be sampled at the Tobacco Shop in Ridgewood, NJ. Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash is just that, a celebration in itself. There were only 273 limited edition bottles released, cast with a 18kt gold label, and selling for up to $5,000 a bottle to $350 a shot. As the flavors mix on your palate, you get the golden sensation, tasting everything from caramel to spice.
By sampling the Montecristo cigar and The Dalmore 50 Crystal Decanter, you are experiencing some of the world’s best. The Montecristo, which are a popular at Jamie’s in Clifton, NJ, is one of the best selling cigars in the country, and for good reason. Whether you are a novice or a veteran smoker, this cigar boasts a sweet and fruity flavor, with a strong presence of coffee and vanilla bean. A wise choice when it comes to the perfect pair, is the Dalmore 50 Crystal, known as one of the best scotches, which sells for $20,000 a bottle. There are between 50 or 60 left in the world. Like the Montecristo, the Dalmore has a full bodied taste, with flavors of coffee bean and fruit.
Sometimes indulgent pairings are self explanatory, like Partagas cigar and Macallan 18 Year Whiskey. The Partagas, which can be sampled at NYC’s Club Macanudo, are said to be some of the best coming out of Cuba right now. The cigar is strong and heavy, with earthy, peppery flavors and a robust tobacco taste. Macallan is well known as a leader in the whiskey industry, with a Macallan 64 Year recently selling for $460,000. The Macallan 18 Year, which can be sampled at NYC’s Brandy Library for $64 a shot, pairs perfectly with the cigar, sharing in the woody taste and tobacco finish. You can also try the Macallan Rare Cask 86 Proof for $94 a shot.
For a purely luxurious pairing, you have the Romeo y Julieta and John Walker and Sons Diamond Jubilee. The Romeo y Julieta, available at NYC’s Carnegie Club, doesn’t need to age for long to be a great tasting cigar, with every flavor from floral to woody. John Walker and Sons Diamond Jubilee sells for $157,000 a bottle, not only because of its smoothness, but because its crystal bottle is engraved in silver and studded with a half carat diamond. The whiskey itself is both powerful and delicate, much like Romeo y Julieta, and has hints of wood and a distant smokey flavor.