Alternative Pairing

Pairing Premium Cigars with Alcohol

Cigarettes and beer were for decades associated with the masses, while premium cigars and liquor had something of an elite status. That’s changed as cigars have been democratized, but alcohol, and liquor in particular, remains a supplemental pleasure to them.

Many cigar lounges include a bar with few options, because traditionally premium cigars were only paired with strong drinks. Whiskey, brandy, and rum have been especially popular, often with the additions of bitters or sugar cubes; many cigar aficionados believe the drink should be slightly sweet. These used to be the only acceptable drinks, but cigars used to only be enjoyed by especially rich men. They’ve recently crossed all socio-economic lines, and as a result, beer has emerged as an alternative alcoholic pairing.

Beer hasn’t fully shaken its cheap reputation. Especially for people smoking premium cigars, the thought of a mass-produced American lager is understandably unappealing, but premium beers exist too. If you’re an experienced smoker and beer drinker, pairing the two should come naturally, but not everyone has developed the taste buds to notice slight variations. Some general rules apply: smoking woody cigars with a barely wine, or pairing a spicy cigar with fruity beer. The combinations, though, are endless, and as long as you’ve got a high quality cigar and beer, any pairing can be successful.

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