Ideal Matches: Pairing the Award-Winning Paul John Select Cask Single Malts with Cigars

Ideal Matches: Pairing the Award - Winning Paul John Select Cask Single Malts with Cigars

Whisky and cigars have a long-drawn history of courtship that dates back to the Anglo-Spanish War of 1779 - 1783 where the English supplies of Scottish whisky met with the beloved Cuban cigars of the Spaniards. The match was so electrifying that what began as a traditional pipe tobacco trend quickly evolved into an act of luxurious indulgence savored by the sophisticated.

Like wine and cheese pairings, whisky and cigar pairings have become a time-honored tradition that elevates the sensory experience for aficionados of both. The complex flavors and aromas of both these luxurious indulgences can complement and enhance each other when paired correctly. In this article, we will delve into the art of Paul John Select Cask Single Malt Whisky and cigar pairings, exploring the key considerations, popular pairings, and some expert tips to help enthusiasts make the most of this exquisite combination.

The Paul John Select Cask Single Malt Whisky

As diverse and distinct as its place of origin, Goa, the precious golden spirit carefully crafted by John Distilleries offers a tantalizing drinking experience. Non-chilled filtered with no additives, the Paul John Select Cask Single Malt Whisky is a range of unpeated single cask whiskies, made from Indian malted barley, distilled twice in traditional copper pot stills, and aged for an unspecified period in first-fill charred American casks. The Select Cask range accommodates the following fine spirits:

Classic Select Cask: With an ABV of 55.2%, this blend of single malt whisky harbors a nose of fruity and malty aroma intertwined with honey. The palate presents a heady mix of bourbon and manuka honey-licorice with an unexpected end note of honeycomb. This spirit in rich amber marks an elegant juicy finish of Demerara tones.

Peated Select Cask: With an ABV of 55.5%, this Golden mahogany spirit houses unexpected flavors. Smoky, sweet, and earthy fragrances muddled with a spicy tinge make way for crisp Muscovado and Demerara sugars to create layered nuances. The sweetness is balanced by the peated single malt flavor along with hits of spicy hickory and Dominican-style cocoa. The smokey flavor lingers as you mull it over in your mouth before the finish of delicate Dominican cocoa laced with the tart edge of marmalade settles in.

Ideal Matches: Pairing the Award-Winning Paul John Select Cask Single Malts with Cigars

PX Select Cask: With an ABV of 48% this Indian single malt, in rich shades of dark copper, has complex aromas of fig and apricot with a rare hint of banana. On the palate are tremendous flavors of sweet barley, creamy butterscotch, and dry fruits. It has a long and exquisite finish, with delectable chocolate fudge, delicate orange peel, and hints of exotic wine-drenched nuts. Aged in handpicked Pedro Ximenez casks the whisky owes much of its characteristics to the intensely sweet dark Spanish sherry.

Oloroso Select Cask: This special edition of Indian Single Malt Whisky has an ABV of 48% and has hues of dark Mahogany. With rich notes of Peach, apricot, molasses, and blood orange, this whisky encompasses the tropical spirit of Goa. Aged in select Oloroso casks, its soft flavors are united with nutty chocolate and Melton Hunt cake. It has a long finish studded with a dash of spice and sweetness of dark chocolate.

The Pairing Philosophy

Both whisky and cigars share similar artistry and aging, reflecting profoundly on their form and manner of origin. One is expected to savor both slowly in order to trace the multitudes of flavors and aromas encompassed in each. Like whisky, cigars come in various forms, sizes, blends, and strengths. The size, strength, and tobacco incorporated in its making determine its smoking time, the intensity of the flavor, and the amount of nicotine consumed. Given similar palates and shared flavors between cigars and whiskies, numerous aficionados enjoy pairing their smokes with brown spirits. The most popular types of cigars include:

Robusto: Often considered the most popular amongst all cigar types, a Robusto measures anywhere between 4.75 to 5.5 inches, with a ring gauge of around 50. These cigars are small enough to be savored within half an hour to forty-five minutes, yet large enough to account for a complex flavor profile that develops during the smoking.

Corona: They are popular worldwide because of their exquisite balance of being full-sized yet not consuming lengthy hours of smoking time. Despite their fairly narrow diameter, these cigars do not have tar build-up and have great flavor intensities. They are 5.5-inch cigars with a ring gauge of 42.

Ideal Matches: Pairing the Award-Winning Paul John Select Cask Single Malts with Cigars

Toro: Sometimes called a corona Gorda, the toro is around 6 inches long with a stout 50-plus-sized ring gauge. These cigars are meant to be savored slowly as their flavor profile alters as one smokes.

Lancero/Panatela: These elegant cigars are usually 6-7 inches long and have a narrow ring gauge between 34 and 38. They can be delightfully mellow or quite robust depending on their tobacco composition.

Churchill: Named after the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, these cigars are 7 inches long with a 50-ring gauge. They offer an hour-plus smoking time where the flavor pallet alters considerably throughout the smoking session.

In terms of flavor profiles, cigars can have an array of flavors ranging from hints of spice to chocolate, nuts, leather, and even vegetal traits while whisky houses slightly similar notes including, spice, black pepper, clove, and peat, along with sweet vanilla, caramel, chocolate, floral, rose and honey.

Like wine and food pairings, the ultimate key is balance. One needs to avoid saturating or overpowering the delicate flavors that mark each one's individuality.

Pairing Recommendations

The size and length of the cigar determines its smoking time and not its intensity. The intensity of a cigar can vary from strong, medium, or light depending on its wrappers and fillings. The wrappers or tobacco leaves comprise 60% of the cigar's flavor and are classified by body ranging from Maduro or strong to Natural or light. Whisky and cigar pairings are made primarily based on the body and flavors of each component. Some popular choices include:

Statement Bold

Full-bodied cigars tend to pair best with full-bodied whiskies given their common flavors of leather, nuts, rye, and spices. Therefore a stiff and full-bodied whisky should ideally be paired with a strong and spicy cigar. The Paul John Peated Select Cask Single Malt Whisky Smoky, sweet, and Earthy fragrances muddled with a spicy tinge mark a perfect match for a Maduro Robusto.

Smooth Operator

Bourbon and medium-bodied single malts are considered classic cigar pairing choices since the smoke does not overpower the lush, barrel-aged spirit. The Paul John Classic Select Cask Single Malt Whisky with its palate of heady bourbon and manuka honey-licorice with fruity, malty aromas infused with honey complements the sweetness and enhances the leather and toast notes of a mild-strength cigar.

Sweet Talker

Light cigars are paired best with spirits like Paul John XO- Indian Premium Grape Brandy and Paul John PX Select Cask Single Malt Whisky. The savory and earthy notes of cigars are counterbalanced by the floral and fruity notes of the brandy, while the oak and creamy butterscotch notes from the sweet dark Spanish sherry create a smooth smoking experience when paired with aged libations. The sherry-influenced fragrances of peach and apricot present in the Paul John Oloroso Select Cask Single Malt Whisky pairs sinfully well with Neutral or light cigars.

Whisky and cigars have characteristics that throw into sharper relief their distinct individualities. Each can be relished as is, but like two individuals who complement each other, an ideal cigar and whisky pairing can bring out the best in both- catapulting the derived pleasure of savoring their myriad flavors and textures multifold.