It’s that time of the year when we’ve all been inside a little too long. As soon as we have that first nice day you’re going to want to get outside and enjoy the first front porch cigar of the season. You were probably gifted a few special cigars for the Holidays, so it’s time to break them out and celebrate living through another polar vortex. But what kind of bourbon should you pair them with? Here’s a pairing guide for a few special cigars that you may have found in your stocking this year.

  1. Arturo Fuente Añejo Shark – This is a cigar that comes out every year around Thanksgiving in very limited quantities. Typically when I go to purchase them I am limited to two cigars. And for good reason – this is a very special cigar and everyone should get a chance to try one. With this cigar I have found that this cigar pairs better with a bourbon with a high corn content, in this case Jim Beam Black.
  2. My Father The Judge – Every once in a while a cigar comes along that totally surprises you. The Judge is completely different from anything I’ve ever had from My Father. The predominant flavor in the profile is cocoa. In our last tasting Michter’s US1 Bourbon was found to be the best bourbon to pair with this epic chocolatey cigar.
  3. All Out Kings Give Me Your Lunch Money – If you were fortunate enough to get some of these in your stocking you must have been really good last year. This collaboration between Caldwell Cigars and Drew Estate has been wildly popular. There were two bourbons that did equally well with this pairing – Old Fitzgerald Bottled In Bond and Four Roses Yellow Label.
  4. Padron 1964 Anniversario – Sadly Jose Orlando Padron passed away on December 5, 2017. He was a legend in the industry and saw his business through many tough times. This year gifting a Padron was a great way to celebrate his life, and we paired them with rye whiskeys. Michael preferred James E. Pepper 1776 Rye while I preferred H. Taylor Rye.
  5. Alec Bradley Mundial No. 5 – This is just a fabulous cigar, and its good looks hold up when you smoke it. Smoke this one with an Old Fitzgerald Bottled In Bond.
  6. Arturo Fuente Opus X Perfexion No. 2 – You can’t talk special cigars without talking about an Opus X, Fuente’s first Dominican Puro cigar. Pair this one with Jim Beam Black Label and enjoy!
  7. Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 Sun Grown – There’s just no going wrong with Fuente, am I right? Pair this one with a Copper & Kings Floodwall Apple Brandy.

Did you receive any special cigars for the Holidays? Drop me a comment below and I’ll do my best to recommend something to pair with them. Otherwise, remember to try a flight and look for balance in your pairing – complimentary flavor profiles will give you the best result and a flight is the best way to find them. Cheers!

Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl