We usually have to work a little harder to come up with spirit and cigar pairings. We typically start with a spirit and we go on a sort of quest to find the best possible cigar on the market to complement the flavors and intensity of the drink. Using our experience on the subject, we come up with the initial set of candidate cigars and, as we go through tasting the two products together, we go back and forth eliminating and even adding new cigars until we find what we believe to be the best possible pairing.
In this case, the pairing quite literally walked through the door as a finished product when Mombacho Cigars’ Master Blender Claudio Sgroi stopped by Cigar Snob HQ with three boxes of cigars in his left hand and a rather ornate and regal looking bottle of Diplomatico Rum Ambassador Selection in his right. Claudio is a gregarious Italian overflowing with an unbridled passion for cigars that is as undeniable as it is infectious. He’s always smiling when he stops by for a visit, but on this day he was wearing the sheepish grin of someone who was about to give you the type of unexpected and overwhelming gift that he knows will blow you away. We were indeed blown all the way away! Thank you Claudio.
Diplomatico by Mombacho Cigars
The Diplomatico by Mombacho Cigars is flawlessly constructed with a flavorful profile of nuts, wood, cream, and spice — and there’s plenty of spice. Not pepper and not a lot of earth, but certainly spice — like a savory spice. It’s an amount of spice that you definitely notice as one of the main flavor components of the cigar but is just balanced enough with the nutty and creamy flavors to be a perfectly enjoyable cigar without the rum. But when you take the first sip of Ron Diplomatico Ambassador Selection (or the more widely available Diplomatico Reserva) the entire picture comes perfectly into focus. The spice is clearly there to counter the rum’s deliciously sweet profile. The rum is big and decadent with a caramel and honey sweetness that is kept in check by hints of dry sherry and citrus. Combined with the cigar’s spice and wood, the rum just soars to a new level. It’s clear that Claudio went through more than a few cases of Diplomatico to fine tune this pairing. Well done, sir. Hit it out of the park.
Photography by: Andy Astencio
Location: Galiano Cigar Room, Coral Gables, Fla.