No matter what the world throws at us—pandemics, social unrest, in-laws—at the end of the day we can find sanctuary in a lovely little cocoon of spirits and smoke. We’ve gone in pursuit of the perfect pairing of spirit and cigar to enjoy, perhaps next to a crackling fire, this holiday season.
In some cases, the bourbon in question is tailored specifically to enjoying it with a great cigar. In other instances, we’ve tasted a myriad of single malts, ryes, cognac and more to tease out the subtle tasting notes of the spirit—imparted by the distilled grain itself or by some time finishing in sherry casks—to understand how it could match up the flavor profile of the tobacco in our favorite cigars. Here, five pairings in which the distiller’s skill perfectly (and sometimes purposefully) complements the cigar maker’s art.