Feast for the Senses: Cognac and Cigar Pairing
TATLER TIP #1: KNOW THY PREFERENCE
Ultimately, the most essential element for enjoying cognac and cigar together is a deep understanding of one’s own palate and the flavours one is willing to experience. It is meant to be a sensory journey as both cognac and cigars are characterised by exquisitely bold notes in terms of colour, aroma, and flavour. The unique tastes and scents of the fine tobacco and spirit are best appreciated at intimate occasions such as a fine dinner, though one can also enjoy the experience at a number of other occasions.
TATLER TIP #2: MATCH ACCORDING TO BODY
We need to consider the most important factor of letting neither the cognac nor the cigar to overpower one another. The sensory notes of our palate will be delighted by the enhancement of a proper, well-balanced pairing. From their primary elements like citrusy fruit notes up to their tertiary elements of earth, wood, and leather. To balance this pairing, we consider the taste and body of both the cognac and cigar, matching the two by keeping these in mind: a full-bodied cognac with a full-bodied cigar; a light-bodied drink with an equally light smoke.
TATLER TIP #3: COMPLEMENT, NOT CONTRAST
Take for instance a bold XO cognac aged a minimum of six years versus the subtle flavours of a light to medium bodied cigar like Hoyo Epicure No 1. This pairing may not be enjoyable, as the characteristics of cognac and cigar will not blend well on the palate. Moreover, the rich, powerful flavours of the XO cognac (full-bodied dark fruits, soft elegant wood and leather) will overpower the soft herbal nuance and refined wood notes of the cigar.
TATLER TIP #4: TERROIR RULES
The differences that make each cigar stand out simply come down to the terroir of the tobacco’s point of origin. Each country has its own climate conditions which have an impact on the flavour, texture, and aroma of the tobacco leaves used for specific cigars. Aspects of the tobacco leaves and even the cigar maker greatly influence the characteristics of how a particular brand wishes to express its local culture and endemic style.
For instance, while Cuba is considered the pioneer in the cigar industry, its products are considered the finest in the world, mostly because of the local growing climate, their process for ageing the tobacco, along with their style for rolling the tobacco leaves.
TATLER TIP #5: START LIGHT, FINISH BOLD
A light-bodied cigar and a VSOP cognac would be the best way to start one’s sensory experience, as it accustoms one’s palate to the taste. As that evolves, one learns enough to be able to enjoy all the sophisticated elements in both the spirit and the cigar. From here, one can move on to medium-bodied pairings to discover richer, bolder flavours.
Indulge in the world's finest cigars and cognacs at Baccarat Room and Bar (formerly known as The Cigar Bar). For more information, visit solaireresort.com
- Words Franz Sorilla IV
- Photography Mon Mangila
- Styling Shauna Jay Popple Williams & Isabel Martel Francisco
- Production Lucky Guerzon & Elaine Nuestro
- Hair Eponine Sindayen & Johnson Estrella
- Make-Up Eponine Sindayen & Johnson Estrella
- Location Baccarat Room and Bar at Solaire Resort and Casino