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How to Pair Cigars and Alcohol

The cigar has long been viewed as a luxury of the rich and powerful.

Images of well-to-do men puffing on a stogie and swirling a glass of good brandy have been well documented and memorialized in films and TV. If you are just becoming interested in cigars and would like to relax with a stogie and drink after a long day's work, here are a few tips to get you started.

Traditionally, the cigar has been paired with a strong drink.

Popular spirits include rum, brandy, or whiskey. Some argue that a good cigar should always be paired with a strong drink that has a hint of sweetness. Indeed, cigar smokers have long enjoyed these popular pairings. For years, the idea of pairing cigars with beer has gone overlooked. But why overlook good old beer? Recently, the trend has been to pair cigars with various varieties of beer. It seems that as cigars have entered the mainstream, it has been democratized and popularized. What better way to enjoy a puff of this newly popularized treat than to pair it with beer?

Pairing a good cigar with a good beer is not an easy feat, but when accomplished, it is well worth the effort.

Much of the pairing has to do with your experience level. If you are a novice, you will probably need help in pairing your specific cigar with an appropriate beer. If you have a more experienced palate, and you know what you like, you can probably make connections between certain types of cigars and beers.

Because cigars are so strong and flavorful, one of the challenges in pairing is to find a beer that complements the intensity of most cigars.

Most cigars will pair nicely with a good barely wine or a single malt scotch. If your cigar can be described as woody, spicy, with hints of cedar, try pairing it with a barley wine. The fruity hint of barely wine should complement nicely with the spicy flavor of your cigar. The combination of a spicy cigar with a slightly fruity beer can create an overall creaminess that enhances the flavors of each significantly.

If you have no clue as to what flavor combinations might work, experiment.

First, find a cigar that you enjoy. Try to identify the characteristics that you enjoy about it. Then, find a beer whose flavors you think might ‘match' or complement the cigar. Many incredible discoveries have been made in much this same way.

person holding cigar

How to Select the Perfect Single

Wondering how to pick the best stogie?

Here are a couple of ideas to choosing the best stogie if you're a newcomer to the world of cigar cigarette smoking.
Note the texture of the cigar. Ideally, the stogie must provide slightly, however not too much. Really carefully, squeeze the length of the cigar to check for swellings.
Next, inspect the cigar for defects. Any fractures or discolorations are the signs of a lower quality cigar. The cigar's wrapper ought to be covered efficiently.
Look at the ends of the stogie. Pay particular attention to the exposed end where cigar is lit. If you're new to cigars, it can be hard to gauge the quality of the tobacco. The simplest method to evaluate the tobacco quality of a stogie is to check the color of the tobacco. This might indicate that the tobacco leaves were not laid out appropriately if you note any abrupt color changes. Try to find a cigar with a smooth blend of tobacco.

4 Tips for Lighting a Cigar

1. Usage cedar matches, if possible. Make sure it's butane lighter to avoid strong odors if you prefer to utilize a lighter.
2. Warm the open end of the stogie (aka ‘the foot' of the cigar) slowly over the flame, without touching it to the fire. Let a black ring form around completion.
3. Place the stogie in your mouth and draw in gradually. Hold the cigar over the flame, about half an inch above it, once again without touching. Continue to attract until the stogie draws the flame. Turn the stogie gradually, spinning it to establish an even burn.
4. As soon as your stogie is lit, take it out of your mouth and observe the burn you have actually developed. If the burn appears to be uneven, just blow on the dark sections to draw the burn, and after that take one or two draws from the stogie to reestablish an even burn.

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