My Top 5 Cigar and Beer Pairings or 2019

There are few pairings in the world that feel as refreshing as having a cigar with a beer at the end of a long, hard day. However, there is such a large variety of both cigars and beer available that it can sometimes feel intimidating to know just where to start to find the right cigar and beer pairingsBeer and Cigar Pairings Michael W. Asimos

This is why I feel it’s important to highlight my favorite pairings so you never have to be confused in your decision-making process. Who knows, maybe you’ll even discover some new pairings you might not have ever thought were possible!

So, without further ado, here’s my Top 5 list:

My Top 5 Cigar and Beer Pairings

 

1. Perdomo Champagne Cigar & Hefeweizen (Wheat Beer)

It’s tough to beat the refreshing taste of a good hefeweizen beer. Those who are familiar with the flavor profile of this German classic will know exactly what I mean—the delectable drink is almost screaming for a cigar pairing! For this one, I think it’s impossible to go wrong with a Perdomo Champagne cigar because of the medium-bodied flavor that makes the cigar itself taste incredibly smooth. This ease of flavor then combines perfectly with the beer for when you really want to take it to the next level! Precede your cigar with a nice, German meal to get the most out of this combination.

2. Ashton VSG & Amber

For those of you who are interested in cigars that retain their toasted, malt-like flavor, you’ll greatly appreciate the Ashton VSG. This cigar is able to achieve its unique flavor through the spices that are hidden beneath its wrapping, topped off with some fresh cedar to give a truly unique flavor profile. The Ecuador Sumatra wrapper holding the tobacco makes this cigar even more wonderful, giving you a refreshing flavor that is not easy to find elsewhere. We think a cigar of this quality can only be paired effectively with an Amber beer, a type of pale ale that is similarly malty to the cigar.

3. Oliva Serie V & Lager

One of the most impressive things about this pairing is how the sweet taste of the Lager pairs so well with the full-bodied nature of the Oliva Serie V. This is a great pairing for those who are interested in earthy flavors that are also incredibly crisp. There are also many different types of lagers that you can choose from when looking for something fitting, giving you a large range whether it be something typical like Bud Light or a more premium beer like a Great Lakes Brewing Co. blend.

4. Arturo Fuente Anejo & IPA

India Pale Ales (IPAs) have become the go-to beer for those looking for something hip, new, and unique to try. The range of IPAs that you can choose from is pretty vast, so it’s important that you note the differences—for example, some English-style IPAs are less hoppy than American ones, though most IPAs are more hoppy than your average beer. There are also some IPAs that are constructed with some pretty fruity flavors, meaning that you can get some distinct flavor profiles if you know just where to look. Arturo Fuente Anejo is wrapped in a special dark maduro wrapper aged in Cognac barrels for five years, making this the perfect full-flavored cigar to compliment the hoppy flavor of IPAs.

5. Fuente Fuente Opus X & Barleywine

Those who are familiar with barleywine beer know that it is a pretty stark brew, usually involving strong hints of fruit and hops to power its unique flavor profile. This is why we believe it’s best to pair it with a cigar of equal strength necessitating the need of something such as the Fuente Fuente Opus X cigar that features a handful of fruits and spices in its makeup. If you’re looking for a cigar/beer combo to truly overpower your senses after a delicious meal, we recommend this.

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Save The Date For These 2019 Cigar Industry Events

It’s crazy to think that 2018 is already coming to an end. I was fortunate enough to take a few trips and attend a few cigar industry events this year, but 2019 is shaping up to be an even more enjoy year. I know not everyone is into cigars like me, but there are some big events that will be interesting even for casual fans of cigars. Here are the top 2019 cigar industry events according to me, Michael W. Asimos.

CIGARfest

Dates: May 3-4, 2019

Ticket Prices: $180-$275

CIGARfest is always a good time. It is a four day event that takes over the Poconos each year. On average, about 6,000 people show up from all parts of the world to experience all the fun and excitement.

Prices are not too bad, especially since this is meant to be an event and a vacation. General admission, the cheapest ticket option available, still includes 30 premium handmade cigars to take home, about 50 during the event, and other cigar perks. There is free food, alcohol samples, live music, and a ton of raffles for cigar aficionados.

What makes this a truly great experience is the fact that there are just so many passionate people there looking for a great time. People are friendly and helpful. They are eager to share experiences.

The Poconos are a great place to visit for those who have never been. Anyone in the Northeast part of the United States can get there fairly easily.

The Great Smoke

Dates: February 14-17, 2019

Ticket Prices: $150-$325

It is really hard to pass up South Florida when it is cold pretty much everywhere else in the United States. Every February, The Great Smoke puts on a great event, and 2019 should be no different. I take a full week off to enjoy everything at the event, as well as the countless other activities in the area.

Each day has a lot of different options to pick from, but the main event is the true reason why I, and so many others, love going. A person can make a whole day out of it as well on Saturday, since they now host a pre-game and after party (both free to enter).

The grab bag that comes with each ticket is nice. I feel like you get a lot of value out of it. There is no doubt that all the different manufacturers at the event enjoy trying to one up each other by being the top cigar given away.

Lone Star Cigar Bash

Date: June 2019 (exact date TBD)

Ticket Prices: $125-$175

The Lone Star Cigar Bash might not be the biggest event in the United States, but I enjoy making it to the San Antonio area when I can. The city is beautiful, they do it at the right time of the year, and it is good value.

Out of the four I’m featuring, they have the cheapest tickets to get in the door. It is a great first event for people to test the waters and see if it is an enjoyable experience.

They’ve been holding this event for eight years now, and it continues to grow. Out of all the options in the state of Texas, this is the one to check out.

Big Smoke

Dates: November 15-17, 2019

Ticket Prices: $275-$375

It might still be far off from now, but Cigar Aficionado’s Big Smoke at The Mirage in Las Vegas is always a great time. Once again, it is an event held in a location that a lot of people enjoy visiting anyway. I try to go as often as I can.

Tickets are a little pricey, as the get in price for general admission is still just under $300. It is worth it though, because they give the most away to attendees. They really do a great job spoiling everyone.

On a different note, with 2019 right around the corner… I’d like to announce that I have an idea for a product in the cigar industry that i’d like to take to market. Curious, has anyone ever worked with InventureX?

I’m going to reach out to them to see if they can help me launch a crowdfunding campaign so I can launch this awesome product. More updates to follow. Thanks!

Michael W. Asimos’ 2018 Cigar Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season is coming up, and I’ve been getting questions from readers about what cigars I recommend for gift purposes. I have been fortunate enough to try cigars from all over the world, so I know what I like and don’t like, but shopping for someone else is different. That’s why I usually ask a few questions first to get a little bit of a feel when it comes to price and taste.

While everyone’s preferences are different, I tried to put together a strong list of five cigars that I have been recommending the most often in recent conversations with friends and family members. A cigar holiday gift guide can be very useful for those trying to impress. As you’ll see, the five cigars vary in price quite a bit, so there are options for nearly any budget.

Cohiba Siglo VI (Tubo)

Cohiba Siglo VI Tubos Michael W. Asimos

Cuban cigars are always a huge hit, but unless you know what you are looking for, you can in fact get a sub par or even bad Cuban cigar. Currently, the Cohiba Siglo VI (Tubo) is the Cuban cigar I seem to be recommending a lot to people looking for a nice gift. I find it to be a great gift choice mostly because of the rich finish and overall taste. To me, it most resembles an old-fashioned chocolate milk shake. This Cohiba stands above the rest, and it continually makes best of lists.

Buy Cohiba Siglo VI (Tubo) Cigars here: https://www.hitcigars.com/cuban-cigars/Cohiba/Siglo-VI-TUBOS(pack-of-3-cigars).htm

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work of Art

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work of Art Cigars Michael W. Asimos

Currently, this is my favorite cigar from the Dominican Republic. It hasn’t been around for that long, relatively speaking (1983), but it has built up a strong reputation. Every one I’ve tried has burned well, and you get a chance to experience a bunch of different flavors. While most of the taste can best be described as nutty, there is a bit of sweetness at the end. I taste hints of coconut and sweet red licorice at times, which is usually a pleasant surprise for any first-timers.

Buy Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work of Art Cigar here: https://www.famous-smoke.com/arturo+fuente+hemingway+work+of+art+cigars/item+17055

H. Upmann ‘Reserve Maduro Toro’

H-Upmann-Reserve-Maduro-Michael-W-Asimos

If the person you are shopping for likes a bit of spice in their life, the H. Upmann ‘Reserve Maduro Toro’ might be an option to consider. It has a very nice, silky wrapper, but when taking a draw, the spice gives a nice jolt. It isn’t too spicy, as the cocoa and cedar tastes are there too, but this is a pretty nice, high medium-bodied cigar.

Buy H. Upmann ‘Reserve Maduro Toro’ Cigars here: https://www.cigarsinternational.com/p/h-upmann-reserve-maduro-cigars/1411276/

La Estrella Cubana Habano

La Estrella Cubano Habano Michael W. Asimos

This cigar is inexpensive and pretty much tailor-made for any coffee lovers. The taste is very reminiscent of a dark roast coffee with a little bit of caramel in it. It might be an inexpensive option, but it certainly doesn’t feel, look, or taste like it. These are actually pretty impressive to look at as a gift, as they come in a fairly bright red Nicaraguan wrapper.

Buy La Estrella Cubano Habano Cigars here: https://www.cigarsinternational.com/p/la-estrella-cubana-habano-cigars/1510051/

Flor de Gonzalez Torpedo

Flor de Gonzalez Torpedo Michael W Asimos

Finally, Flor de Gonzalez Torpedo is the ultimate budget cigar, especially for the person who is outside a lot. These have turned into very popular cigars for the golf course, as they are strong but not too strong, and they have a nice blend of nutty flavors that are relaxing. A pack of 25 cigars for under $40 is hard to beat, and again, they appear to be much more expensive when presented as a gift.

Buy Flor de Gonzalez Torpedo Cigars here: https://www.famous-smoke.com/flor+de+gonzalez+bundles+torpedo+cigars/item+30777

5 Best Cigar Lounges In Europe

People who enjoy smoking cigars and want to spend time in a special retreat where like-minded folks gather to enjoy the very best tobacco products available head to their favorite cigar lounge. These special places have been a staple of world culture for more than a century but are now exploding in popularity due to worldwide restrictions on smoking.

Thousands of such hideaways exist, but Europe is said to have the very best of the best when it comes to luxurious, elegant, relaxing cigar lounges. The listing below features my top five cigar lounges in Europe, their locations, and why they made my list.

Le Cubana Café, Paris

Cubana Cafe Paris Michael W Asimos

The owners of this unique cigar lounge went the extra mile to create the look and atmosphere of Old Havana. That ambiance adds to the welcoming attitude patrons feel as soon as they walk into Le Cubana Café. The interior design is amazing in the way it seems to send patrons back in time to the old days in Cuba when cigars were the most important things in the world.

The Wellesley Cigar Terrace, London

The Wellesley Cigar Patio Michael W Asimos

One of the most famous cigar lounges in Europe, the Wellesley is a cool combination of bar, outdoor patio, and cigar lounge. The patio is heated and semi-enclosed, offers a vast menu of drink selections, and more cigars than patrons can smoke in a lifetime. The Wellesley also allows customers to bring in their own cigars, which is an unusual feature of such establishments.

La Casa Del Habano, Stuttgart

La Casa Del Habano Michael W Asimos

This famous European cigar lounge boasts what might be the longest list of cigar choices for smoking connoisseurs. Located smack dab in the middle of Old Europe, and exuding regional charm, La Casa Del Habano is never short of seating, and its ultra-comfortable comfortable chairs and sofas are works of art in and of themselves. The full bar has a seemingly endless list of fine liquors for every taste.

Tynska Bar and Books, Prague

Tynska Cigar Lounge Michael W Asimos

Yes, Tynska is an extension of the famed New York City Bar and Books, but has developed its own character and built a reputation as one of the most inviting cigar lounges in Europe. Tynska has perhaps the most European ambiance of any cigar bar. Its furniture is beautifully styled, exceptionally comfortable, and great for sore backs and feet.

The Tynska’s bar is locally known for its imaginative bartenders who whip up some of the most incredible, unique cocktails on earth. The cigar selection is not as extensive as some other lounges, but the smokers’ menu consists of at least two dozen of the world’s best cigars.

The Churchill Bar, London

the-Churchill-Bar-Michael-W-Asimos

This cigar lounge is located in Hyatt Regency-London. The Churchill Bar is most known for its use of their very own Sacred Churchill Craft Gin; however, it is an excellent option for London local cigar connoisseurs and visiting cigar connoisseurs alike.

The interior features luxe art deco decor and actual love letters written between Sir Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine. The Churchill Bar also features an eclectic heated terrace which features a life-size bronze statue of young Churchill, as well as, bespoke blankets. The terrace is themed seasonally, so it is always changing, providing you a unique experience every time you visit.

As for the cigars, the Churchill Bar features over a dozen of some of the finest cigars that can be smoked on the terrace. This bar is certainly one to leave a lasting impression on visitors and provide you with a true London feel.

Cigars 101: A Guide for the Smoking Novice

Cigars are a universe unto themselves. And even though a quick stop at the cigar store might seem endlessly confusing for a beginner, there is a lot to look forward to when one begins studying cigars. Every experienced cigar enthusiast was once a beginner, so there’s no reason to fret when you begin your journey into the exciting, ancient, wonderful world of cigars.

Anyone who wants to learn about cigars should begin by understanding the basic concepts of color, size, shape and how to choose from among the hundreds of choices typically on display at the tobacconist’s shop. Indeed, this basic knowledge is often called “Cigars 101,” because it’s the initial learning a person has to take in before purchasing their first cigar.

For a beginner, it helps to learn about the four “core” concepts of cigars: color, shape/size, how to select a cigar, and how to choose the right accessories.

Color

There are six basic colors of cigar wrappings (which are leaves). The color gives some indication of taste. Here are the six essential colors and their related taste profiles:

Double Claro: Sometimes called Candela, this yellow and/or light green wrapper undergoes heat drying during processing. The double claro usually carries a mildly sweet taste.Cigars come in various colors to help you assess quality

Claro: These cigars typically arrive in a light brown or tan wrapper and are quite mild due to the fact that the wrapper’s leaves are grown in the shade and picked before maturity.

Natural: Brown or light brown naturals are traditionally grown in the sunlight and offer a full-bodied taste.

Colorado: These dark brown, medium brown and reddish selections are also grown in the shade, as is the claro, but have a robust flavor.

Maduro: Nearly black, or sometimes dark-reddish brown, the maduro’s have been cooked in a special chamber. This very sweet wrapper has a powerful flavor.

Oscuro: This nearly black wrapper’s leaves have been fermented because they remained on the plant for a long time. They offer a full-bodied flavor and often originate in Brazil, Mexico or Nicaragua.

Shape/Size

There are dozens of cigar shapes, but the following six are the most common:

Pyramid: The pyramid has a pointed and closed head (the end that goes into your mouth), and gradually gets wider toward the foot (the part you light).

Belicoso: This rounded-head cigar also features a pyramid shape.Cigars come in a lot of varied shapes and sizes.

Torpedo: Like a real torpedo, this cigar has a closed foot, a middle bulge, and a pointed head.

Perfecto: Both ends are closed and round, but the middle features a bulge.

Culebras: These unusual-looking cigars consist of three panatelas (very thing cigars about 5 inches long) braided together.

Diademas: A very large cigar that is about 8 inches in length and has either an open or closed foot.

Selecting Your First Cigar

Don’t choose your first cigar without help from an experienced tobacconist. Explain what types of flavors interest you, what you are willing to spend, and whether you’ve ever smoked any kind of cigar.

Finding the Right Accessories

Beginners in the Cigars 101 stage should not worry about having to purchase many accessories until they develop a feel for the type of cigars they will be most attracted to. However, it is usually a good idea to acquire a clipper and learn how to use it properly.

Cigar smoking is one life’s most tasteful pleasures and has been around for hundreds of years. Those who are just starting to learn about this historically rich form of human activity are about to encounter a rewarding pleasure that has no equal.

Check Out These Top Destinations for Some Late Summer Traveling

Wouldn’t you just love to find someplace cool to spend those last few hot summer days? There still is some time left to get in a nice vacation with family, your sweetheart, or with some of your friends. You can stay close to home for a day trip or overnight, or venture a bit farther from your town if it suits you to do so. Consider the following summer travel spots for your next trip.

Toronto, Canada

The Kelso Conservation Area is a perfectly short driving distance from downtown Toronto, at about 45 minutes away. Enjoy having a lounge on Kelso Beach for about $7, as well as a nice picnic and hiking along the lakeside trails. Bring along your canoe, body board, and portable grill to spend a day at this amazing location. If you live in the US, this is a great way to go international without spending a lot of money. You also may like to visit historical landmarks, of which there are a large number in Toronto. Keep in mind that there’s a lot you might not know about Toronto and it could really surprise you.

Detroit, MichiganDetroit has come a long way and has a lot to offer travelers.

You may not realize it, but Detroit truly has begun to bounce back when it comes to the entertainment level and economy. It is among the list of summer travel spots that you will not want to miss. Enjoy going to a sporting event, including a Lions game. There almost always is some sort of game going on, so it is ideal for someone who is a big fan of sports. If you’d like to spend some time outdoors biking and seeing the sights, Riverwalk and the Dequindre Cut are your best bets. There’s so many things to do in Detroit that you might not have ever realized.

Denver, Colorado

There is a reason why nearly everyone loves Denver. It is the go-to place during the summer, since the climate is great all year. Take a trip to a brewery to have a craft beer tasting, see a concert at the Red Rocks outdoor venue, and get some lunch from the wonderful food trucks at Civic Center EATS during the mid-week. Denver also is an amazing place to go for eating and having a drink on the balconies that overlook the natural splendor for which Colorado is well known. There’s plenty to learn about the city so get started!

If you’re looking for ways to cure your brain fog, get outside the city and explore the beautiful mountains and landscapes that Colorado has to offer.

Exposure to toxins in your environment can influence symptoms of brain fog. Simply by going outside and exploring the “big country” Colorado has to offer, you’ll be putting yourself in a better position to return home refreshed and with a clear mind – literally and figuratively.

London, England

Though London is known for being smoggy and rainy through most of the year, you will love the climate during the late summer. You will be able to walk around and see landmarks of historical interest, including Big Ben, the Thames River, and the Tower of London. Best of all, travel costs are down considerably this year, one of many reasons to visit London.London is a prime travel destination, especially in the summer.

Visit the London Aquarium, which is in County Hall near the Parliament. This Neo-Baroque building once was the headquarters for the Greater London Council, until 1986. Today, the first floor houses the Aquarium, where you can swim with the sharks. There are three dives each day, every day of the week. You don’t need to have any diving experience, but you must book the dive a few weeks in advance.

No matter where you go for your late summer vacation, consider what the best summer travel spots will be for you and your partner or family. If you aren’t traveling with family, take along some friends for an adventure and some memories that you’ll have for a lifetime. Do your research and book your travel plans today so you can begin preparing for an exciting time.

Three of My Favorite Cigar Bars

There’s just something exciting about being in a cigar bar. You’re surrounded by other people who enjoy a good cigar and the smoky haze almost transports you and makes you feel like you’re in another place. Plus, having the perfect drink with a cocktail makes it all the more better.

I’ve been to a good number of cigar bars over the years and here are some of my all-time favorites.

Havana Garage – Omaha, NEHavana is a great cigar bar in the Heartland.

A lot of people tend not to give Omaha the credit it deserves. It has some amazing restaurants and bars, and the Old Market is one of the most charming downtown areas I’ve ever visited. Havana Garage, located in the heart of the Old Market, truly lives up to its namesake.

The word “garage” isn’t a joke either as the entrance is punctuated by a large garage door. Fans spin lazily inside and you can always hear laughter throughout the bar area. Their selection of cigars in their downstairs humidor is ample and you’re bound to find one that you’re interested in.

Biggs Cigar Mansion – Chicago, IL

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a complete class act while enjoying a choice cigar, Biggs Mansion might be for you. It truly lives up to the word mansion and is one of the most pleasurable cigar lounges I’ve had the privilege of stepping into. The aesthetic is that of leather and wood, showcasing a feeling of strength and sturdiness.

There’s an outdoor patio that has charm to spare as well. While there is a traditional member fee, non-members can also access the lounge for an incredibly reasonable price which also comes with some cigars as well. The level of value as well as the intense feeling of class helps Biggs stand out from the rest of the lounges in the Chicago area. If you’re in the windy city, consider the day pass so you can visit for yourself. I promise that it’s more than worth it.

The Vertigo Club – Seattle, WA

The Vertigo Club is a definite standout on this list as it aims to provide total feelings of The Vertigo Club is truly a luxury spot.exclusivity and luxury. Out of the bars on this list, The Vertigo Club is the hardest to gain access to as it’s by invitation only. You can request an invite but they limit their membership at a certain cap at any given time so it can be incredibly difficult to visit.

However, if you’re ever able to, you should take them up on it as they truly promote the sense of luxury they discuss. They have special events from time to time which are elegant affairs that cannot be beat. Seattle residents should take note and visitors should attempt to receive a tour if only to see what a luxury club truly looks like.

The Bottom Line

Though these are three of my favorite cigar bars, there are so many more across the country that are waiting to be discovered. Don’t be afraid of stepping outside the box and finding one for yourself that you’re excited about. The cigar lounge is a rare breed and if you find one you like, make sure you spread the word to your fellow cigar aficionados so they can enjoy it as well. And if you see one you think I should visit, give me shout so I can check it out and maybe feature it in an upcoming post!

Enjoying the Summer with a Great Cigar

The arrival of summer heralds in warm weather, long days and relaxing evenings. Whether you are lounging on the back patio or enjoying an evening around the fire, a great cigar can really add to your enjoyment of the season. This year, try a few of the truly great summer cigars.

Punch Signature

The Punch Signature is an affordable cigar that lends itself to the warm days of summer. It has a touch of peppery spiciness, but is still a pleasant, sweet cigar. As an added bonus, the Punch Signature is as enjoyable to hold as it is to smoke. It has a nice, weighty feel, and looks great with its dark brown wrapper. You will experience a medley of pleasant flavor notes with this cigar, including coffee and almonds.

Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure EspecialHoya del Monterrey's Epicure Especial is one of my favorite summertime cigars.

If you enjoy cigars with a rich flavor, try relaxing with a Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial. This cigar is earthy, with hints of cocoa and coffee. Many people consider this cigar to be the pinnacle of smoking perfection, making it a great choice to relax with. It is also a great looking cigar, featuring a seductive dark brown wrapper. This cigar is a good value, and will add a lot of enjoyment to your summer days and evenings.

Joya Red

Hot and sultry summer days are perfect for cigars that are flavorful, but not overly heady. If you enjoy a medium body smoke, try a Joya Red. It is a nicely sized cigar, not too big and not too small. The Joya Red starts off with an earthy, toasty flavor. The price of this cigar is good, so you will be able to keep a good stock of them on hand to enjoy all summer long.

My FatherMy Father is a spicy, complex cigar.

At the end of a hot summer day, it is so pleasant when the sun goes down and a cool breeze kicks up. Nights such as this are perfect for sitting around a fire, enjoying a great cigar. If you enjoy higher end cigars with a heady, full body kick to them, My Father might be just your style. The flavor is complex, with notes of spice. A My Father is also a great choice when you want to experience a cigar that gives you a nice nicotine kick.

San Lotano Connecticut

For those who enjoy a milder, less heady cigar, the San Lotano Connecticut has a lot to offer. The lighter flavor of a mild cigar is a great accompaniment to hot summer days. This cigar is also a great choice for those who are new to cigars, due to the milder flavor. If you are looking for a great morning cigar, the San Lotano Connecticut is a great choice. You will experience the pleasure of a superior burn, combined with obvious high-quality construction. As an added bonus, these great cigars are priced just right.

AVO Classic RobustoThe Avo Classic Robusto is an excellent cigar for summertime.

If you enjoy full-flavored cigars, try an AVO Classic Robusto. This cigar will provide you with a smooth, creamy smoke, reminding you why it is such a classic. Featuring a Connecticut wrapper, this cigar is consistently good. The relaxed evenings of summer are the perfect time to just sit back and enjoy a great smoke. The flavor is nuanced and refined — the perfect cigar to just sit back with and relax.

Whichever cigars you choose, they are sure to add a lot of relaxing enjoyment to your summer months. Summer only comes around once a year, and before you know it, the crisper days of autumn will be back. While summer is here, be sure to enjoy one or more of these great cigars.

Pairing Cigars & Wine: A Beginner’s Guide

Few things are more relaxing than enjoying a cigar and wine combination that is well-paired. As wine drinking seems to be on the rise among young professionals, it is only natural to want to increase that enjoyment by pairing it with a tasty smoke. From red wine to white, champagne to sherry, these sophisticated beverages can compliment and bring out the intoxicating flavors present in tobacco leaves. The ritualistic nature of experiencing a fine wine is akin to the process of unwrapping and enjoying a fine cigar, so enjoy these cigar pairings for a memorable taste experience.

Cigar Pairing with Red WineRed wine pairs well with numerous cigars

When it comes to the ideal cigar pairings with red wines, a cigar with a strong flavor presence must be able to stand up to a full-bodied red. As bold reds tend to contain higher alcohol and tannin levels, a potent cigar like a San Cristobal can help balance out the pairing. The intense cigar flavor combination of black cherries, spice, leather and chocolate are perfectly paired with a hearty Bordeaux, Cabernet, or Merlot. As reds are characterized by fruity flavors like black currant with a spicy black licorice note, one can see the commonalities between a full-bodied red and a robust San Cristobal.

Cigar Pairing with White Wine

To accompany a sweet white wine, a cigar with dessert notes like vanilla and clove is ideal. With the less tannic tones of white wine, a milder cigar flavor will not overpower the delicate nature of white wine. An Ashton Classic 898 is deliciously pleasing when paired with a tasty Chardonnay. The subtle woody tones of the Chardonnay and Ashton Classic 898 work in unison to provide the perfect smoke-wine combination.

Cigar Pairing with ChampagneChampagne can vary from dry to sweet.

When it comes to finding that perfect cigar-champagne pairing, it can be a little trickier as champagne can be both dry and sweet. When searching out the right cigar to accompany a glass of bubbly, remember that moderation is ideal as too much carbonation can actually aggravate the tongue when paired with cigar smoking. With the many champagnes available, the pairing combinations are endless, but one suggested combination that is sure to please is the California Scharffenberger Sparkling Brut and the Macanudo Gold Label Ascot. The pairing of this sumptuous bubbly with a Macanudo will produce as smooth and mellow a taste experience as the cigar itself.

Cigar Pairing with Sherry

Many a wine aficionado like to end their day with a fine cream sherry. As sherry wines from Spain have given the sumptuous liquid an increase in popularity, sherry offers much to the cigar-smoke experience. As sherry is generally on the drier side, it makes it an ideal beverage for cigar pairings as its versatility can compliment most cigar flavors. For a luxurious pairing, a Lustau East India Solera and Montecristo Espada Guard will meld together in palatable perfection. As the versatility of sherry makes it the perfect mate of a cigar, it is worth mentioning another sherry-cigar pairing. For those with more basic tastes, there are few things more gratifying than pairing the traditional Harvey’s Bristol Cream with a Rocky Patel T4 Torpedo. The dryness and creaminess of this pair work sumptuously well together as the ideal cigar pairing for a relaxing end to a long day.

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Whether your tastes lean to red or white wines, champagne or sherry, the perfect cigar pairing is just waiting to be discovered. The ideal cigar to pair with red wine is one that is full-bodied and flavorful, like its counterpart. When it comes to white wines, a cigar sporting a sweet and fruity flavor will accentuate the fruity notes of the wine. As champagne can either be sweet or dry, putting a little thought into your cigar pairings is well worth it. The champagne’s bubbly texture can be a refreshing contrast to the smoky presence of the cigar. Sherry proves ideal for cigar pairings as its dryness blends well with numerous cigar varieties. When it comes to finding the perfect cigar pairings, it all comes down to experimentation, and let’s be honest, there are worse jobs, right?

Top 5 Petit Corona Cigars

Small cigars are ideal when you do not have much time on your hands to revel in some premium hand-rolled tobacco goodness. In addition, a small cigar is typically the preference of new cigar smokers who want to test the waters and are not yet ready to move on to a larger stick. A number of the very best brands are carried by multiple cigar shops and you are sure to find the petit corona cigars you love. These cigars with the more compact sizes include the petit corona, corona, short panatela, Cuban corona, petite belicoso and the small panatela. I’m Michael W. Asimos and these are my top 5 Petit Corona Cigars.

1. Padron Corticos

The Padron Family supplies only premium handmade cigars and the flavor heartily pays homage to the Cuban cigar tradition. You will find that Padron Corticos deliver a familiar taste for which the Padron family of cigars is known and that many have come to know and love. They are filled exclusively with sun-grown tobacco that has been thoroughly aged; exceptional quality will undoubtedly be experienced. Rolled in Nicaragua, these cigars have a perfectly-balanced, medium body, which makes them an ideal choice for both newbies and seasoned cigar aficionados. Individuals looking to enjoy that one-of-a-kind Padron flavor, aroma and quality in a smaller size will certainly be thrilled with this sensational smoke package, which has a total of 36 cigars.

2. CAO MX2 Dagger

These cigars are designed with the cigar smoking enthusiast in mind. CAO Mx2 Dagger premium cigars make use of two aged Maduro wrappers. It has a complex, rich and seductively smooth composite that blends the finest tobaccos from 6 different countries. The well-fermented dark outer wrapper is the Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro and the binder (the inner wrapper) is made out of a zesty Brazilian Maduro leaf. They serve as a sweet and spicy surround for the mix of exquisite tobaccos from countries like Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Peru. The first third starts off with a dense, medium body Maduro flavor with coffee and earthy tones. They also pair incredibly well with a good whiskey. CAO MX2 Daggers are among the best the brand has to offer.

3. Ashton Symmetry Belicoso

The Ashton Symmetry Belicoso contains quantities of Nicaraguan tobacco, which is a first for this brand of cigars. This particular blend is encased in a pristine Ecuadoran wrapper that perfectly brings together the Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco contained in Symmetry. This provides a magnificent smoking experience that is rich in coffee bean, spicy cinnamon and black cherry notes and that is only on the first few puffs. Notes of toast, vanilla and almond continue to unfold in remarkable symmetry. It is clear that a massive amount of care and thought were put into the production and release of the Ashton Symmetry Belicoso.

4. Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Shark

The Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Shark cigar has a stimulating story, state-of-the-art shape and fascinating blend, while maintaining the usual standards of excellence. The blend pays homage to the original Don Carlos cigar; however, this particular release has been altered a bit. The wrapper originates in Cameroon and the tobaccos inside are grown and aged exceptionally in the Dominican Republic; this is the basic recipe for the majority of Don Carlos cigars. Instead of sticking to a strict formula, this cigar is blended instinctively. From just a single puff of this cigar you will know, for sure, that you are smoking a superior blend, which fans of the brand already know.

5. Tatuaje Cabinet Noellas

The Tatuaje line is a relative new entry into the cigar industry but it is already being touted as a leading brand of premium cigars. Tatuaje Cabinet Noellas are designed in the conventional triple-cap Cuban style and it is essentially a medium to full bodied puro from Nicaragua. From start to finish, this cigar is a pleasing smoking experience. If properly aged, the Tatuaje Cabinet Noellas will provide quite a spicy beginning and a full-flavored taste with heavy leathery and earthy notes that are reduced by creamy chocolate flavors. Without a doubt, this is a high-quality cigar and those who have a preference for a full-bodied smoking experience will definitely enjoy it.