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5 Reasons Why Whisky And Cigars Are Such A Harmony

Whisky And Cigars  – Introduction

It’s definitely one of our great passions and a beautiful way to relax and enjoy. Today, we’re presenting a couple of good reasons to combine whisky and cigars. 

1. The Meditation Aspect

Some of you might be thinking: Am I reading right? Yes, you are. And it’s actually the most important fact about the ceremony of smoking a cigar and pair it with a good whisky. It’s called being conscious. We’re often stressed out, because life brings a lot of responsibility and challenges.

Combining whisky and cigars is all about this very moment when you sit down relaxed and you light up your cigar, the barman brings your desired Balvenie whisky and you know: My day is done, I can let go now – I arrived.

Pairing a cigar with a good whisky is one of life’s wonderful celebrations. It’s a Gentleman’s break – a long desired pause for reflection. The meditation aspect, is my number one point – simply because it helps me to calm down and be conscious.

Maybe it’s like becoming one with the cigar. You lose yourself in it; everything fades away: your worries, your problems, your thoughts. They fade into the smoke, and the cigar and you are at peace. – Raul Julia

Pictures and rights by Christian Schmid

smoking cigar

balvenie whisky collection

2. Having A Sophisticated Conversation

What would you describe as a perfect gentleman’s evening? I love to sit down to have a sophisticated conversation. It can be about the beauty of life, literature, art, political affairs, history and so much more. Not the daily superficialities about the weather and god-knows-what. Sadly, we’re often confronted with the shallow topics of today’s society.

That’s my point here, enjoying whisky and cigars often leads you into a profound gentleman’s conversation.

3. Appreciation

It takes decades, a lot of passion and pursuit to manufacture a good cigar or a tasty whisky. Can you imagine, it took 20 years to develop the Davidoff Yamasa – TWENTY. That’s what you might expect from a watch or a high class car. Another example is the Balvenie Tun – the marrying process takes 42 casks to come together to create a unique expression.

What I’m trying to explain here: Pairing a cigar with a whisky demands appreciation. It asks you, to sit down and respect the years  of work and perspiration that has been investigated until you’re able to enjoy it.

Whiskey, like a beautiful woman, demands appreciation. You gaze first, then it’s time to drink. – Haruki Murakami

balvenie whisky pairing

davidoff churchill4. The Harmony Of Flavours

The human being has more than 10.000 taste buds – I can’t imagine that nature created them to enjoy soft-drinks. This topic though, is really a never ending story. We could be taking hours about what different flavours you can feel when pairing cigars and whisky. Vanilla, chocolate, orange, wood… it’s a never ending list of symphonious tastes.

But let me tell you a little secret or let’s say insider tip: use your nose.

Reasons why the nose is so important

You can try this out pretty easy! Close your nose and eat something. You will realise it tastes like nothing. The most important fact to taste flavours is your nose. So when you smoke or you’re enjoying a whisky – taste & breathe through your nose. You’ll figure out what unbelievable amount of flavours such a pairing can mean.

whisky and cigars

5. It’s just the ideal pairing

I’ve tried to pair pretty much everything to a cigar. And whisky is definitely the best chose. But let me give you a couple of recommendations (this is my humble opinion and does not have to reflect others)

  • Combines Well With A Cigar
  • Whisky
  • Cognac
  • Tee
  • Rum
  • Doesn’t combine very well with a cigar
  • Soft-drinks
  • Vodka
  • Gin
  • Tequila

The Balvenie Whisky Tasting

The Balvenie Whisky Tasting – A Gentleman’s Evening

A real gentleman starts his evening with a good Single Malt Whisky. Or, as Humphrey Bogart ones said:

The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind

Lately, I had the pleasure to taste a few beautiful Whiskies from the Balvenie distillery. It was much of an evening full of joy and wonderful flavours. My private collection of empty Balvenie’s bottles is growing, a good or a bad sign in many ways. At the end of the day, I’m living life and I truly enjoy a good Whisky.

The evening was hosted by Markus Heinze, a real expert in the Whisky world. A lot to learn on a cosy evening with good food and phenomenal drinks. So let me tell you about my favorites…

Pictures and rights by Christian Schmid – Fotowerk132

balvenie-whisky-tasting

balvenie-single-barrel

The Balvenie Tun 1509

To create the first batch of Tun 1509, the brand carefully hand selected 42 of the finest casks – 35 traditional American oak barrels and seven European oak sherry butts – from the distillery’s precious aged stocks. All were transferred to Tun 1509, which sits in Warehouse 24, for several months before bottling. This is a rare interpretation of the marrying process and allows all 42 casks to come together to create a unique expression of The Balvenie that’s greater than the sum of its constituent parts.

TASTING NOTES

Deep and rich on the nose, with floral notes, sweet vanilla and orange peel. Velvety smooth to taste with tangy citrus, mellow cinnamon spice and blossom honey.

 

balvenie-tun-1509

The Balvenie PortWood – Aged 21 Years

To create The Balvenie PortWood Aged 21 Years, a marriage of rare Balvenie is transferred to port casks, or pipes, which have held fine port wines. Here it is sampled regularly by The Balvenie Malt Master to ensure that just the right amount of character is imparted by the port casks, enhancing and developing the single malt whilst preserving its original characteristics.

NOSE

A perfume of fruity and ripe raisin notes, backed by a nutty dryness

TASTE

Refined with remarkable character, it is creamy and silky with fruit, honey and spice notes.

FINISH

Long, gentle, nutty.

balvenie-portwood

The Balvenie Thirty – Aged 30 years

The Balvenie Thirty is a rare and especially fine single malt for which David Stewart selects only exceptional casks that were laid down over thirty years ago. By marrying The Balvenie slowly aged in traditional oak whisky casks with that aged in European oak sherry casks,  we’re facing a rich, mellow Scotch whisky with unusual depth and complexity.

NOSE

Silky smooth and honeyed on the nose with mellow oaky tones and hints of candied orange peel.

TASTE

Great depth with rich dark chocolate, hints of plum, marzipan and caramelised pear.

FINISH

Exceptionally smooth and warming with gentle spice and lingering sweetness.

markus-heinze

The Balvenie Forty – Aged 40 years

Definitely the most expensive Whisky I’ve tasted so far. To create The Balvenie Forty, Malt Master David Stewart has skilfully married together small amounts of The Balvenie matured in 4 refill hogsheads and 3 sherry butts that have lain in our warehouses for at least forty years.

NOSE

Rich oak notes overlaid with baked apple, stewed fruits and soft leather. The addition of a little water releases sweet fruit notes and hints of vanilla.

TASTE

Silky texture delivers a beautifully mouth-coating sweetness and a spicy sensation of cloves, cinnamon and ginger. The flavour develops into a gentle oakiness with hints of dark chocolate, roasted almonds and sherried fruitiness.

FINISH

Rich, warming and slightly dry.

It was a great evening with the finest Whiskys. I’m looking very much forward to my next adventure!

balvenie-40-years