With St Patrick's Day coming next week, while dusting off our finest green outfits, we thought it would be a good opportunity to look at pairing cigars with Guinness in readiness for its annual spike in consumption. Rich and velvety, a 'pint of the black stuff' makes for a surprisingly effective and enjoyable pairing in combination with the right cigar.
The first recommendation is the flavourful Davidoff Nicaragua Robusto, a 5" by 50 Ring Gauge packaged in a beautiful Habano Seed Nicaragua Rosado wrapper.
A balanced mix of sweetness and pepper in flavour, the Nicaragua Robusto matches the malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness that gives the Guinness its distinctive taste. The creaminess of the Guinness does soothe the stronger black pepper notes of the Nicaragua Robusto, allowing the more delicate coffee and wooden notes to show through.
Providing 45 minutes plus of smoking enjoyment, the strength of the Nicaragua Robusto stands up well to the depth of flavour of the Guinness and the richness of the cigar fights through the creamy drink coating the mouth. Try the Davidoff Nicaragua Robusto for yourself here
Our second recommendation is the Horacio V cigar, rolled in Esteli, Nicaragua with a blend of Nicaraguan & Costa Rican filler leaves, wrapped in a beautifully oily Ecuadorian wrapper.
The blend of Nicaraguan and Costa Rican produces a medium strength cigar that still holds it own against this pint of Guinness Extra Cold, and the nuttiness and woodiness of its flavour pairs well with the coffee and chocolate notes of the drink. The slightly dry herbal notes of the cigar mix well with the creamy sweetness of the Guinness, and the two experiences play together nicely in the mouth.
The thick ring gauge of 54 produces a lot of smoke making this 4 3/4" cigar last around an hour, with more than enough flavour to sing above the pint (and a half) of Guinness. Experience the Horatio V for yourself here
The final recommendation hails from Cuba, and from an often overlooked and much underrated brand; Punch. The Punch Punch (so good they named it twice) is a Corona Gorda size measuring in at a 46 x 5 5/8" offering me a relaxed 45 minute smoke time.
The lightest of our 3 pairing suggestions, but still easily a medium strength cigar, the Punch Punch was perhaps the most surprising in its success as a pairing. The herbal notes of the smoke cut through the creaminess of the Guinness and the vanilla flavours were an enjoyable contrast to the roasted flavour that sings through the Guinness, courtesy of the roasted unmalted barley that goes into its brewing.
Perfect construction and sunny weather motivated me to enjoy this cigar more slowly, giving an hour of enjoyment. For those not keen on Guinness and looking for an alternative way of marking the day, this cigar would also accompany well with an Irish Whiskey such as the Jameson's Cask Mates series or a Bushmills Ten. You can find the Punch Punch online here otherwise all the cigars listed are available in store too.
Wishing everyone a great week, and a very Happy St Patrick's Day.