"I am the smoker of the fine Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne Torpedo cigar, they are a medium to mild smoke. I buy them at Doc James Cigar & Golf in Shrub Oaks NY...." Ira

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Pairing Up Alcohol and Cigars

Enjoying a relaxing evening with a cigar and some alcohol is a good choice, but only when the pairing is appropriate. Although the traditional pairing of strong spirits with a cigar is common, it is not the only option available. It is possible to pair a cigar with beer if the right flavor combinations are considered.

Basic Choices

Pairing up any type of alcohol with a cigar is something that requires careful consideration. It is possible to make good choices, but it is also possible to select a poor pairing and ruin the taste of both the cigar and the drink.

Just as it is important to consider the elements of a good meal with the drink, the flavors of a cigar and an alcoholic beverage must be paired appropriately. The key is to consider the flavors of both items and use those elements to find the right pair. For example, a strong red wine might not pair well with oysters but would match well with a lighter meal. On the other hand, a crisp beer would pair well with a spicy meal or something a little tart. Something sweet will often pair well with a cigar regardless of the type of alcoholic beverage.

Appreciating the Flavors

Before it is possible to pair up alcoholic beverages with a cigar, it is important to recognize the different flavors of the cigar. The only way to recognize the subtle or obvious differences between cigars is by trying the different options. Certain cigars will have an earthy flavor while others are smoky and sweet.

Taking time to savor the different cigar flavors will provide the key knowledge to recognize the tastes. When trying to pair alcohol with something earthy and full-flavored, it is important to avoid drinks that will eliminate the flavor or make it overpowering.

Looking for Complementary Flavors

The key to pairing drinks or food items with a cigar is looking for flavors that complement rather than distract the palate. The goal is to not find a mismatch because it will ruin the taste of the food or beverage.

A cigar has a strong flavor, and it can last for several hours after one smokes the cigar. When eating or drinking alcohol at the same time as smoking, it is important to select something that will not clash with the flavor of the cigar.

Complementary tastes and flavors are the goal. For example, a sweet liquor is often a complementary flavor that does not get ruined by the earthy and strong taste of the cigar.

Spicy flavors are also a great complement to rich and full-flavored cigars because the sudden bite of the drink is a complement to the rich taste of the cigar. The key is picking out a drink that matches and improves the smoky and cedar flavors found in most cigars. Furthermore, the drink should be chosen based on whether the cigar has a creamy flavor, which is common in Cuban cigars, a mild taste that might not pair well with strong drinks or a strong cedar taste.

Ultimately, the only way to properly pair a cigar with alcohol is through individual preferences for taste and flavor. Since every individual will enjoy different flavor combinations, the best way to find the right match is by a little trial and error.