4 Tequila and Cigar Pairings
Tequila, traditionally associated with shot glasses, limes and salt licks, was not a drink that would be easily associated with cigars. But, through education and an expansion of selection globally, tequila has gained its place among its darker cousins like bourbon and scotch as a sipping alcohol. With 5 different types of tequila (blanco, joven, reposado, anejo and extra anejo) that result from different aging processes, tequila has a taste profile that is much more varied and nuanced than most would have you believe.
Among many similarities between tequilas and cigars, an important one is the long, rich and powerful history behind both involving family traditions. With both, the end-product is often a testament to the relationship between quality and a deep understanding of the product cultivated through years of practice. The range of flavors that emerges can range from sweet to spicy or from mild to smokey, yet will always have a depth that can only be created with care. Here, we’ve gathered 4 pairings that involve coveted tequilas and cigars where its story is part of the resulting flavor.
This tequila is finely crafted by one of the most well-known families in Jalisco, the Navarro family. Made from 100% blue weber agave and then aged in American oak barrels for 24 months, this bottle provides a smooth sip with flavors of baked agave, pepper and spices, oak, with hints of sweetness likened to honey. This rich blend will undoubtedly pair well with the Joya Antano Gran Reserva, aged for 5 years to create a memorable and powerful taste with added refinement and class. This elegant smoke will hit you with spicy and peppery flavors that will then be joined by a sweetness enveloped in nutty and chocolatey notes. Each Joya Antano Gran Reserva is wrapped in a Nicaraguan Habana Criollo leaf taken from the top 5% of the crop, providing consistency in color, texture and flavor. Its rich and robust composition lends itself to a deeply smooth smoke that works in tandem with the Hacienda Navarro Anejo’s own sweet but spicy profile, heightening the luxurious experience associated with both products.
This is a pairing between two products that both come from families with deep traditions and history. Tequila Fortaleza Anejo comes from Destileria La Fortaleza, a distillery with a history stretching back to 1873. The traditional and artisanal method adopted from its rich history involves roasting blue weber agave in a stone oven before being stone crushed to create its “mosto” (the resulting juice). The mosto is then fermented in open air tanks with natural yeast and double distilled in copper pots before being aged in old American oak barrels that was used for whiskey. This lengthy process creates a well-balanced tequila with notes of citrus, toffee and hazelnuts ending with a rich and smooth finish.
The Arturo Fuente Hemingway is another reflection of old family traditions which also began in the 1800’s. Made carefully by cigar makers who are allowed to make only 75 cigars a day, this highly sought-after cigar shows the merits of sophisticated craftsmanship. From its all-dominican binder, to its aged mild-medium Dominican tobaccos and its vintage Cameroon wrapper, the careful selection of its components results in a smooth but complex blend of earthy flavors with notes of cedar, brown sugar and coffee. With two nuanced products that showcase ultimate craftsmanship, their balanced mix of sweet and spicy contribute to a tasteful partnership in flavor.
After a patient, two-year aging period in oak barrels, the Don Julio 1942 emerges to provide a rich, velvety experience involving sweet aromas of caramel and toffee that is mirrored by the taste of roasted agave, caramel, chocolate and oak. This unique anejo is a reflection of Don Julio Gonzalez’s dedication to creating fine tequilas, offering an unusually smooth tequila that still brings depth and memorable character.
The Behike 56, launched in 2010, is part of an extremely limited and exclusive group of cigars produced by Cohiba, a company created from Fidel Castro’s order. Filled with the finest leaves from San Juan y Martinez and San Luis, this cigar made history by incorporating the medio tiempo, a tobacco that comes from only the two top leaves on sun-grown plants, bringing forth an exceptional product with taste to match. With undertones of cedar and spice, this sought-after cigar will accentuate the tequila’s toasted warmth, creating a luscious aftertaste reminiscent of old world glamour.
Claimed to be one of the smoothest sipping tequilas, the Gran Patron Platinum embodies pure luxury, with every bottle hand-crafted from crystal that is then hand polished, signed and numbered. Its outward elegance is also found in its formulation, made from 100% weber blue agave that is pruned, steam baked, triple distilled and aged to provide its signature smooth taste. With light citrus on the palate that is finished with notes of oak, this refined tequila can only be paired with a cigar with match-able sophistication. The Ashton VSG (virgin sun grown) Pegasus is one of the most prized, non-Cuban cigars on the market, expertly blended by a legendary cigar maker, Carlito Fuente. Its unique, Ecuadorian sun grown wrappers give it a rich, spicy and leathery flavor that highlights its lush notes of espresso, cedar and dark chocolate. This will round out the fruity sweetness of the tequila and create an irresistible mixture of spicy and earthy flavors.
From Alexanders Cigar Merchants and ourselves, we hope you found that both informative and useful. We'd love to hear about your recommendations and experiences - please feel free to leave a comment below. We are also available to help you out if you have any questions.