You see the word “vintage” in a cigar’s name – but what does that actually mean? Go beyond the marketing-speak and get our close-up look at the tobaccos used for premium cigars, what constitutes a true “vintage cigar” and our 10 top “vintage” picks.
5 Picks: Pairing Halloween Candy and Cigars
5 Great Cigars to Pair With Your Favorite Halloween Candies
By Tommy Zman Zarzecki
Halloween is the time of year when the kids get pretty damned jacked up… jacked about the cool and scary costumes they’re going to wear, and jacked up (like that wind-up monkey who bashes his cymbals) from eating all of those sugar-laden treats they collect going door-to-door on October 31st.
Sometimes my overly fertile Polack brain starts going off into left field and this time I came up with a doozy. Wouldn’t it be awesome if us cigar-loving adults could go trick or treating for our favorite hand rolled happy sticks? Then I bitch-slapped myself into reality, knowing quite well the smoke Nazi’s and the FDA goons would suffer from exploded head syndrome. So, I switched gears in my noggin and started thinking about just how much candy and cigars can share a similar flavor profile and taste notes. Interesting concept, you say? (Actually, I really don’t care if you said that, I just needed to fill up a little space in the article).
So, I searched many a cigar review online, from our own Cigar Advisor pieces and other online reviewers as well, and came up with five wickedly tasty hand rolled cigars that share some of the similar characteristics of the sugar-laden treats that many of us love to shove down our gullets at the end of October.
Milky Way & Avo Synchro Nicaragua – Similar Notes of Chocolate and Caramel
I’m comparing this wonderful gem of a cigar blended by the artisans at Avo to the longtime American favorite, the Milky Way bar. The Avo is a medium to full bodied square pressed stick with a gorgeous silky wrapper. The flavor profile is chocolatey with a wonderful natural sweetness that is very reminiscent of smooth caramel. Its complexity comes from a cavalcade of aged tobaccos such as Nicaraguan Ometepe, Peruvian Olancho, Dominican Piloto, San Vicente Mejorado, and hybrid Olor/Piloto. And the wrapper is a beautiful Ecuadorian Connecticut Oscuro. Both pair amazingly together along with a nice rich cup of coffee.
PayDay Bar & Montecristo Classic – Similar Notes of Nuts and Creaminess
I’ve always loved the PayDay bar and I find its character similar to the Montecristo Classic. The PayDay is covered in peanuts with a delectable creamy nougat center. The Monte is known for its naturally sweet nutty flavor with a wonderful creaminess from the thick white smoke it produces. The well-aged Dominican filler and binder is wrapped in an amazingly silky Connecticut shade leaf of the absolute highest grade. It’s a medium-bodied smoke that is mellow on the palate and pairs terrifically with most any kinds of libations.
Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate & Padron 1926 – Similar Notes of Sweet Chocolate and Dark Berries
I thought this was the perfect comparison because both the candy and cigars are high end, and both are on the pricey side. Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate is not overly sweet, but decadent and incredibly satisfying. The Padron 1926, a Nicaraguan grown and rolled cigar is regarded as one of the premiere high-end smokes made, displaying prominent notes of dark chocolate and dark berries and cherries, much like you’d get from the flavor of the Ghirardelli. I would enjoy both of these treats at the same time, accompanied by a nice tawny port wine and maybe an espresso. Go for it, bro…you only live once.
Twizzlers Black Licorice & Whiskey Rebellion – Similar Notes of Licorice and Anise
There are a lot of cigars that have pleasant notes of black licorice on the palate, like a nice Sambuca or anisette. The new Whiskey Rebellion made by the good peeps at RoMa Craft is a full-bodied smoke that is on the stronger side with Dominican and Nicaraguan filler, an Indonesian binder and a dark Ecuadorian Habano Ligero wrapper leaf. Now the cigar isn’t “overwhelming” with licorice notes, just a nice sweet and tasty accent throughout the smoking experience. I also get notes of pepper and black cherry from this full flavored beast that is made for the more refined smoking palate and definitely not for the newbies.
Hot Tamales & La Bomba 601 – Similar Notes of Spiciness and Pepper
I think it can be said that both the Hot Tamales candy and the La Bomba 601 by Erik Espinosa are like putting a lit firecracker in your mouth, but of course, I mean that in a good way. The candy is known for its intense fiery, peppery cinnamon explosiveness. Now, the cigar is a full-bodied attack dog that is the boldest of the 601 lineup. While it displays notes of leather, earth and spice, several online reviewers also discussed the distinct tang of red pepper on the palate. Both the candy and the cigar are for a niche audience that enjoy feeling the burn, which makes me wonder if Erik has any plans for versions featuring Ghost Peppers or Carolina Reapers.
So, there you have it, a most interesting comparison of some of the world’s favorite Halloween treats to the cigars that share notes in their flavor profiles. What do you guys think and do you have any comparisons of candy and cigars of your own, like a Blackstone Cherry tipped and and red Starbursts? Let’s hear ‘em in the comments below!
Ed.’s Note: The candies shown in this article are registered trademarks of their respective companies and are solely being used for editorial purposes.