Do cigars and rum go together? That’s a question that many cigar smokers have asked themselves at some point. Many people will say cigars go best with bourbon, Irish whiskey, or other alcohols, but the truth is there are so many delicious combinations out there to try! In this blog post, we’ll explore seven different rum/cigar pairing ideas for your next cigar party.
Why Pair With Rum?
Surprisingly, rum isn’t always the go-to cigar pairings, especially when considering geographical origins.
There are many places known worldwide as cigar-producing countries, and Cuba is one of them; however, they’re also renowned for their rum production.
With this in mind, it’s hard to believe that people often don’t pair these two together.
Cuba is known for its quality rum, and with 13 different distilleries throughout the country, it’s no wonder! The most famous brand in Cuba would be Havana Club.
Cuban-made rums have aged a minimum of three years before they can legally be sold. In addition to this lengthy aging process, many brands offer much higher age labels, including five-year-olds up to 25-year-old blends!
Cuban rum is made from molasses, a by-product of the brown sugar refining process. The sweet liquid that remains after all other sugars are removed during the extraction process becomes just as valuable and beneficial to people’s health when it undergoes fermentation with water and yeast before being distilled in copper-lined stills for its distinct yet smokey taste.
What Are the Rum/Cigar Pairing Rules?
When it comes to pairing cigars and rum, the rules are relatively straightforward. You have to match the smokey flavor of cigars with a smoky-flavored rum. We suggest that you use the following three rules to ensure your pairing is perfect:
Match the intensity of flavor. Spicy cigars go well with spicy rums; medium cigars with medium rum; mild cigars and light or unaged rum, etc.;
- Match the body. If you’re smoking a full-bodied stogie, make sure to drink an equally potent rum such as a Bacardi 151;
- Match the country. If you’re smoking a Cuban cigar, drink a Cuban rum such as Havana Club Anejo or Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva to get that authentic flavor.
Match the intensity of flavor. Spicy cigars go well with spicy rums; medium cigars with medium rum; mild cigars and light or unaged rum, etc.
Full-bodied rums should be paired with a more full-bodied cigar. A lighter spirit would compliment one of the lighter cigars. This is so as not to overwhelm any one flavor and have other flavors lost in the mix.
Next, you want the flavor of the cigar and that of the rum to complement each other. For example, if you pair a dark rum with your cigar, then the flavors of both should be big and bold.
Conversely, if you’re pairing a lighter rum with a cigar, then the flavors of both should be more subtle and delicate.
You can’t beat the pairing of rum and tobacco, especially if they come from similar regions. Sugar cane grown in Cuba or other countries that produce a lot of rum is often used to make sugar for making tobacco products as well.
All these factors combined mean you’re getting an entire smoking experience when drinking this particular drink!
Pairing Rum and Cigars
Use these rules as a general idea for rum and cigar pairing:
- A dark rum with full-bodied cigars that have sweet and smokey hints.
- Spiced rum pairs best with medium-bodied cigars that offer some hint of spice or woody notes.
- Pair light rum with mild cigars, which feature gentler or subtler flavors.
Try These Pairings
A trip to Screaming Eagle Cigars is a must for any rum connoisseur. Not only do we have the widest selection of rums from around the world, but our friendly staff will help you find your perfect match or introduce you to something new! Whether it’s Cuban, Jamaican, Trinidadian, or Barbadosian – this place has what’s suitable for every taste and style.
While you’re here, try the following cigar/rum pairings.
Conde De Cuba 15 Year Old Extra Anejo Dark & H. Upmann Half Corona Cigar
Conde De Cuba is a Cuban rum, aged 15 years in the province of Las Tunas. The shape of this bottle was designed to resemble that of Cuba itself – and it looks great on any alcohol shelf! You’ll find plenty of sweet flavors on first taste, including hints at caramel and roasted coffee notes; however, these notes develop into darker ones like praline or dark chocolate as time passes.
We suggest pairing Conde De Cuba with an H. Upmann Half Corona Cigar. Although the Upmann is one of the milder cigars on the list, (be sure to check out our list of Top Cigars of 2021, too.) it still has plenty of complexity. The overall experience will be sweet and smooth, with notes of coffee bean and cocoa powder that pair well with the rum’s flavors!
Flor de Caña 18 Year Old Centenario Rum & Ashton Aged Maduro Torpedo Cigar
The next cigar/rum pairing on our list is Flor de Caña 18 Year Old Centenario Rum & Oliva Cain Torpedo Maduro Cigar.
Flor de Caña is a Nicaraguan rum that has captured the attention of many spirits connoisseurs. In 2006 it won Double Gold at San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and in 2008, it took home Silver for its excellence. Smooth notes of cocoa spice are met with hints of toffee nut, vanilla bean, and allspice give this rum an intriguing taste profile that will please any palate!
We suggest pairing Flor de Caña with a medium to full-bodied cigar.
Oliva Cain Cigars are a great choice as they have been around for years and offer an array of flavors that can suit any palate. We recommend pairing the Oliva Cain Torpedo Maduro with Flor de Caña 18 Year Old Centenario Rum because:
- The Oliva Cain Maduro cigars have hints of sweetness, which is a nice compliment to the naturally sweet taste of rum.
- As you smoke, notes cocoa and spice emerge from behind, adding another layer for your palate to enjoy as they mingle with that sweet-spicy flavor profile coming off the cigar.
Plantation O.F.T.D. Overproof & Alec Bradley Connecticut Torpedo
Next on our list of the best rum/cigar pairings is the Plantation O.F.T.D. Overproof Rum & Alec Bradley Connecticut Torpedo.
The initials O.F.D can also stand for Old Fashioned Traditional Dark, but its outstanding feature is having one of the highest proofs in all aged rums! Behind the alcohol, blasts are ripe apples and bananas that come alive with fruity fusel oils from Islay Scotch – giving this surprisingly subtle blend a sweet twist!
OFTD Pairs best with an Alec Bradley Connecticut Torpedo because its rich and creamy smoke has a more sugary taste that complements the sweetness of OFTD.
The two have similar flavors but are also distinct enough so you can enjoy both without blending into a mess for your taste buds.
Santa Teresa 1796 & Ashton Heritage Puro Sol Corona Gorda
It’s early in the day, and you plan on smoking cigars again this evening. Let’s start with something delicious but milder.
Ashton Heritage Puro Sol cigars give off a pleasant flavor but not too powerful. The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper paired with Dominican filler, all sun-grown tobacco, will complement the Venezuelan Santa Teresa 1796 Ron Antiguo de Solera rum.
While Santa Teresa doesn’t specialize in vintage production or “solera” rum, each bottle is blended with rums of different ages. This blend is then further aged, resulting in a light and dry (not so sweet) rum with a woody aroma and notes of honey, leather, chocolate, caramel, etc.
The leather notes are one of our favorite qualities of this Venezuelan rum, and we sometimes enjoy it without even lighting one of our premium cigars, but don’t tell anybody.
Pampero Aniversario & Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro Robusto
Next is one of our favorite cigar pairings – Pampero Aniversario & Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro Robusto.
This Nicaraguan-made cigar was Cigar Aficionado’s number two cigar of the year in 2016. The dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper envelopes a mix of Nicaraguan filler and binder, which is full-bodied with earthy undertones balanced by notes from the coffee, maple syrup, pepper cedar chocolate finishing off this hand-rolled beauty.
You need to pair it right, though!
A good rum will stand up against the power of the Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro Robusto.- something like Venezuelan Ron Abuelo’s 7-Year-Old Rum (40% ABV). This first sip may seem slightly bitter, but as soon as you take your second one…. BOOM!! Complex flavors explode onto your palate: ginger, clove, cinnamon, black tea, lemon, and more. These two make for a perfect pair.
Appleton Estate 21 & Oliva Serie V Melanio Torpedo
Here is another one of our favorite cigar pairings.
At around $600 for 700ml, The Jamaican Appleton Estate 21 is one of the more expensive rum brands. It’s a blend, but each component of this rum is at least 21 years old. That makes for an elaborate range of flavors coming through.
You’ll get orange peel, cocoa, and coffee. Here’s where you really should drop an ice cube or add a bit of water to the glass to help bring out the rum’s complexity.
The Melanio is a Nicaraguan box-pressed beauty that delivers pepper, caramel, and wood flavors in an easy-to-smoke package.
Each puff offers up the perfect balance of smoothness with some significant flavor punch delivered right on time for when your palate needs it most.
This cigar grew on me. Its flavor and richness just kept getting better with each puff. I couldn’t wait to taste it again the next time, pairing it with a glass of super-premium rum this time around!
Havana Club Máximo Rum Extra Añejo & Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro Cigar
Last on our list of cigar/rum pairings is Havana Club Máximo Rum Extra Añejo & Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro Cigar.
For the serious rum drinker, Máximo Rum Extra Añejo is a must-have. This premium product comes in an ornate handmade crystal decanter and will set you back $1,486 – but it’s worth every penny!
Considered to be one of the finest rums ever made, this Premium drink starts with notes of oak-smoked dried tropical fruit and coconut that develop into a charred wood-like flavor producing hints vanilla, dark chocolate more flavor like a dried fruit which then finishes warming hint spice.
This rum needs a cigar that can keep up the pace in terms of strength and flavor, and a Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro Cigar delivers.
This cigar is wrapped in a Connecticut Shade Ecuadorian wrapper. While it’s not the most complex of cigars, its flavor profile does deliver some deep notes that will go well with Máximo Rum Extra Añejo. The spice on this cigar also balances out the sweetness from the rum.
Other Cigar and Rum Pairings
The pairing of a cigar with a premium rum is just one way to enjoy the rich and flavorful smoke. There are many other ways you can pair your cigars like those that have been mentioned in this post.
If you’re looking for more information on how these two items go together so well, our team of experts would love to help you find some great smokes or share their favorite pairing of rum and cigars. Contact us today if you want more information on any of these topics!
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