Looking for a fantastic cigar and whiskey pairing? Then you found it! My Father Le Bijou and 1792 Small Batch go together like a horse and carriage, and you should definitely seek them out.
In this post, you’ll learn about this pairing first and foremost and get an idea of what to expect. Then we’ll take a look at just why these two things go together so well – and why you should absolutely try them out and give whiskey and cigar combos a chance in general!
First, let’s take a look at the liquor. 1792 is a fantastic whiskey brand that was previously known as Ridgewood Reserve 1792. Of course, the name here is referring to the year in which Kentucky – the home of whiskey – was originally recognized as a state.
1792 whiskey is a bourbon. For those not familiar with their whiskeys, that means that it is made in the US and that it has been made using brand new oak barrels. Once a barrel has been used once, then it is no longer suitable for making bourbon. This affects the flavor compared with, say Scotch, and gives a smoky, woody, flavor and texture. Scotch conversely is made from whiskey that has been matured in caskets.
What’s more, is that Bourbon, unlike Scotch, permits the addition of extra flavorings and spices to make for something that may be less smooth, but is more complex and interesting and often better suited to enjoy with a cigar.
1792 is very well regarded and has won numerous awards for its quality. The 1792 Small batch meanwhile, of course, is a small batch whiskey. This means that it has been made from a select few number of barrels, rather than the thousands that are often used when creating mainstream whiskeys such as the likes of Jack Daniels. The Small Batch is one of the bourbons that 1792 is best known for and it is a fantastic starting point. It’s also a little milder than some other products.
You’ll find that in terms of what to expect, this is a drink with a dark, caramel-like coloring and a thick, texture. When you swill it in your glass, you’ll find that long arms stick to the inside, which is also a mark of the strength of the alcohol.
In other words, this is a very high-quality whiskey that involves a high level of craftsmanship.
My Father Le Bijou comes from the Pepin Garcia Family, which has been producing a number of fantastic cigars for over a decade now. That experience shines through here, with a traditional Cuban cigar that will help you to make friends and influence people wherever you go.
The Le Bijou was actually named as the cigar of the year in 2015 by Cigar Aficionado, so that should speak to its quality and its reputation. The cigar is peppery, it has a full body, and it works particularly well with the finely crafted balance of the Small Batch whiskey from 1792. When you enjoy these two in conjunction, you should find that the vanilla and the caramel come through much more strongly. It is rated as medium-full strength, meaning that it’s a little milder than some of the other options on this list, along with the small batch.
Despite its excellent reputation, this Torpedo box-press shaped cigar with its Ecuador Habano wrapper is only $12.
Why Cigars and Whiskey?
So that’s one amazing pairing that is great for a newcomer to start out with, but equally interesting for the more experienced veteran of whiskey and cigars.
But if you fall into that former camp, you might be wondering why these two flavors go so well and why you should take the time to learn this pairing?
In terms of the flavor, there are some obvious similarities between whiskey and cigars. They are both smoky and woody, they are both often infused with spices and elements of sweetness, and when you combine the two together, you can help to strengthen those more subtle notes and create a more complex, or a more bold experience.
I could wax lyrical about why cigars and whiskey go so well from an experiential and practical standpoint. But there’s also actually a science here. Just as there is a color theory that tells us why certain things in our environment look so good, there is also a science of food pairings and ingredients. Understanding this can help you to make a more informed decision when matching your cigars and your whiskey.
Our experience of taste comes from two separate inputs: it comes from the taste buds on our tongues, as well as our senses of smell.
The tongue is capable of detecting five basic tastes. These are: sweet, salt, bitter, sour, and umami. Together, these account for about 20% of our sense of taste and the rest comes from the 10,000 different odors that we are capable of detecting.
This is why the best way to enjoy whiskey is from a tumbler – it lets you immerse yourself in the fumes and inhale the flavor. Likewise, it’s another reason that smoking a cigar can have such a big influence on how we experience the taste of whiskey.
Odors come from molecules, which enter our noses and mouths then affect our olfactory nerves.
So, when considering different food pairings, it is essential that we think in terms of what is known as the ‘aroma profile’. If you were a scientist studying food pairings, then you might use a device called a gas chromatographer, and another called a mass spectrometer. From the data collected from these systems, food scientists can use machine learning and pattern recognition to identify the foods that work best together and those that don’t.
Often the pairings come down to similar elements. For instance, the reason that strawberries and chocolates go so well is that they share ‘roasted aromas’. Strawberries also contain cheesy aromas (who came up with these names?), so they work very well with parmesan.
So, the scientific reason that whiskey and cigars go so well together has likely got to do with the inclusion of similar categories of aromas. In this case, it probably comes from the fact that both go through some similar processes.
Why do we like foods that have similar, connected aromas? Most likely this is a result of our evolution: the human body has evolved based on the surroundings it was exposed to in the wild: in this case, that means that it has adapted to eat foods that would naturally be consumed together. These foods probably grew in the same places, or came from the same animals: and thus they likely would have shared aromas.
So now you know!
What’s more though, is that there is an undoubted ‘culture’ surrounding both cigars and whiskey. Both of these are luxuries: they are both treats that can be enjoyed on a special occasion – both designed for you to take your time with them and both involving a host of terminology and concepts that take time to learn.
In other words, cigars and whiskey area both sophisticated, luxurious, and meditative. They force you to take a moment to slow down and to enjoy the experience. They’re a little unhealthy – which helps to cement them as a ‘treat’ – but it’s not about ‘getting drunk’ (there are cheaper and easier ways) or about nicotine addiction (you’re not inhaling). This is about taking a moment to do something indulgent and adult.
That’s why you hand a cigar to a friend when they tell you they’re getting married. And it’s why you give a whiskey to your new son-in-law.
And it’s why both these things go together so well and make for such a fine and special occasion.
Then there is the additional heritage and the romantic imagery that surrounds both cigars and bourbon whiskey in between. Both come from the US, and both are rugged and even a little dangerous. Smoking a large cigar while sipping whiskey slowly calls to mind images of Clint Eastwood, or perhaps another Wild West hero. There’s something pure and classic about it, and it’s quintessentially American. That’s just one more reason to pick Bourbon over Scotch for your cigar – and if you’re going to be doing that, then pairing the 1792 Small Batch and the My Father Le Bijou 1922 is a great place to start.
There are countless great cigar and whiskey combinations out there, and I hope that this series will inspire you to head out there and try a few of them. Over time, you’ll hopefully start to develop your palette and learn what to look out for. In the meantime, you can guarantee that this is a fantastic pairing.
If you’re looking for more ideas on the other hand, then be sure to check out the full article and then to follow the links for lots of pairings that will serve you equally well!