Whisky and cigars: your opinion?November 7th, 2010
I have a feeling that this will be a very polarizing discussion.
I’m heading to New York gearing up for our sold-out WhiskyFest on Tuesday. On Wednesday I travel back home, only to unpack and then pack again, because on Thursday I’ll be flying to Vegas to attend Cigar Aficionado’s Big Smoke weekend.
I have been enjoying an occasional cigar for nearly 30 years. My new boss wants me to attend his Big Smoke weekend to see how the event is run. (Let’s see…cigars, booze, food…okay, twist my arm. )
Anyway, many times, when I drink whisky, I don’t smoke a cigar. When I am enjoying a cigar, I always drink something with it, but often it’s something else (vintage port, a richly flavored beer, coffee). Why? Smoking a cigar, with its dry, spicy, smoky notes, often makes me thirsty. For this reason, I usually drink something that’s a little more thirst quenching (for lack of a better term) than whisky.
But sometimes I really do enjoy a nice sherried (or malty) Scotch or Irish whiskey or full-flavored bourbon to drink while I smoke my cigar. I think they go great together.
Just because I am drinking a whisky, it doesn’t always mean that it has to be the main focus of my attention. Sometimes, what’s most important is the conversation I am having with friends at the time. Or perhaps it’s the scenery I am watching, a book I am reading, or a movie I am watching.
Whisky, as much as I love it (and it’s my job), isn’t always my priority. Sometimes I am quite content with it playing second fiddle, with or without a cigar, where it’s just a small part of a pleasant experience. And if I don’t capture all the subtle nuances or flavors of the whisky (or even pay that much attention to it), then so be it. I might pick a whisky that is less complex or one demands less of my attention. Indeed, sometimes the highest rated whiskies aren’t always the best choice for a given situation.
How about you? Do you enjoy an occasional cigar? Do you smoke cigars when you drink whisky? If so, on what occasion do you do this? What whisky are you drinking, and what cigar are you smoking?
Do you agree with my opinion here, or do you disagree? And why do you feel this way?