Cigars & Whiskey
Best Cigars and Whiskey: A Detailed Guide
Cigars and whiskey, often considered a classic pairing, offer a sensory experience that ranges from rich and bold to smooth and nuanced. With countless options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to decide what to try. In this section we will explore the best cigars and whiskeys across various price ranges, providing an insightful guide to those who seek a profound appreciation for this timeless duo.
Types of Whiskey
Scotch whisky, often simply called Scotch, is made in Scotland and aged in oak barrels for at least three years. Varieties include malt, grain, blended malt, blended grain, and blended scotch whiskey.
A top recommendation for Scotch is the Macallan Sherry Oak 18 Years Old. It is one of the finest single malt whiskies, known for its rich, dried fruits and sherry bomb finish. In the luxury segment, this can range from $300 to $350 per bottle.
Bourbon is an American whiskey primarily made from corn and aged in new charred oak barrels. It's typically sweeter, with notes of vanilla and caramel.
Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 15 Year is a must-try bourbon. It boasts a sweet, full-bodied, and complex flavor. It's also known for being quite scarce, driving its price to around $1200 per bottle.
Irish whiskey is typically smoother and lighter than Scotch or bourbon. It's triple-distilled and aged for at least three years in wooden casks.
Jameson is the most well-known Irish whiskey. For beginners, the Jameson Original is a great starting point, and it's relatively affordable, costing around $25 per bottle. For those willing to splurge, Jameson 18 Years Limited Reserve, around $140, offers an elevated experience.
Types of Cigars
Natural or Connecticut
Natural, or Connecticut cigars, feature a lighter wrapper and offer a smooth and creamy smoke. They're usually mild in flavor and a great choice for beginners.
Padron Series 2000 Natural is an excellent cigar in this category. With a price point of around $7 per cigar, it offers exceptional value.
Maduro cigars are darker, offering a richer, fuller-bodied smoke. The term 'Maduro' refers to the extra fermentation process that the wrapper undergoes, resulting in sweeter and stronger flavors.
The Liga Privada No. 9 by Drew Estate is a stellar Maduro. With its rich, complex profile, it justifies its price point of around $15 per cigar.
Habano cigars are robust and full-bodied, with a wrapper that originates from Cuba. These cigars are known for their complexity and strength.
Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story Habano is a fine example, balancing power and subtlety. It's also very affordable at around $7 per cigar.
Top Whiskey and Cigar Pairings
When it comes to pairing, there's no hard and fast rule. It's largely subjective, and the best pairings often come down to personal preference. However, here are a couple of combinations that are worth trying:
Macallan Sherry Oak 18 Years Old & Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story Habano: The sherry-soaked richness of the Macallan wonderfully complements the full-bodied Habano, creating a luxurious tasting experience.
.Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 15 Year & Liga Privada No. 9: The full-bodied complexity of the Liga Privada and the rich, sweet notes of the Pappy Van Winkle make for a deep, engaging pairing.
Jameson Original & Padron Series 2000 Natural: For those looking for a more affordable but equally satisfying experience, this pairing offers a smooth and mild smoke from the Padron, complemented by the light, honeyed sweetness of the Jameson.
Remember, the world of whiskey and cigars is vast and subjective. Feel free to experiment and find your perfect combination. Whether you're savoring these delights on a relaxed evening or celebrating a special occasion, cigars and whiskey undoubtedly offer a sensory journey that's both sophisticated and deeply satisfying.
Most Expensive Whiskeys
Sought After Around the World
Whiskey enthusiasts worldwide have been known to spend a small fortune to acquire some of the rarest and most prestigious bottles. These whiskeys offer not just the promise of an extraordinary taste, but also the exclusivity and the story that comes with them. In this section we dive into the realm of high-end whiskeys, introducing some of the most expensive bottles sought after around the globe.
1. Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare
The Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare holds the record for being the most expensive whiskey ever sold at an auction. In 2019, a bottle was sold for a staggering $1.9 million. This exclusive 60-year-old Scotch was aged in sherry-seasoned oak casks and bottled in 1986. With only 40 bottles ever produced, it has become the Holy Grail for collectors and whiskey connoisseurs.
2. Dalmore 62
The Dalmore 62 is another whiskey that has fetched impressive sums at auctions. In 2011, a bottle was sold for about $200,000. The whisky gets its name from the fact that it was composed of a mix of spirits from four different casks, the oldest of which was distilled in 1868. There are only 12 bottles in existence, further enhancing its desirability.
3. Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve 1955
The Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve 1955 was released in honor of Janet Sheed Roberts, the granddaughter of Glenfiddich founder William Grant. Only 11 bottles were released, with one of them fetching about $94,000 at an auction in 2012. This 55-year-old single malt has an extraordinary rarity and unique history that has attracted wealthy whiskey lovers.
4. Yamazaki 55-Year-Old
The Yamazaki 55-Year-Old is the oldest and most expensive Japanese whiskey to be sold at an auction. In 2020, it fetched about $795,000. This highly prized whiskey, distilled in the 1960s, is revered for its complex flavor profile and the meticulous craftsmanship associated with the brand. Its sale price reflects not just its rarity but the increasing global interest in Japanese whiskeys.
5. Isabella's Islay
Isabella's Islay is a whiskey that stands out for the opulence of its packaging as much as for the quality of the spirit. The bottle, valued at approximately $6.2 million, is encrusted with 8,500 diamonds and 300 rubies, and the name of the distillery is written in 24-carat gold. The whiskey itself is an extremely rare single malt, which adds to the astronomical price tag.
6. The Macallan M
The Macallan M, which was auctioned for approximately $628,205 in 2014, is another one of the priciest whiskeys in the world. Housed in a hand-blown crystal decanter, this whiskey is a blend of seven unique casks from The Macallan's reserves.
These extraordinary whiskeys embody the pinnacle of craftsmanship, rarity, and luxury in the world of spirits. However, they are just the tip of the iceberg, with countless other prized and pricey bottles waiting to be discovered by whiskey enthusiasts with discerning palates and deep pockets.