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Cigar Spirits: A-Z Bourbon Guide (Part 2)

26 Jun 2013 is, first and foremost, a cigar publication. Every day for seven years, we’ve published an article written to interest the informed cigar smoking reader. Our only editorial bias is pro-cigar; we are opposed to tobacco taxes, smoking bans, and cigar regulations.


Despite our narrow focus on cigars, over the years we’ve written quite a bit about bourbons, given how well they tend to pair with a fine cigar. To that end, here’s a guide to bourbon. (This is part two; part one was published yesterday.) In addition to a link to the full write-up, I’ve included my take on the defining characteristics of each whiskey.

Obviously, this isn’t every bourbon available (and we’ll certainly be adding to our Spirits articles with more bourbon write-ups in the future), but it’s a pretty thorough overview of what’s out there. To that end, here is the Cliffs Notes version of our coverage of bourbon. And of course, each article has a few recommended cigar pairings:

Jefferson’s Presidential Select 18 Year – Phenomenal, though a pricey bourbon with spice, wood, and vanilla.

Jefferson’s Reserve – Elegant older bourbon with lots of vanilla and wood.

Jim Beam Distiller’s Series – Quality for the price ($21) and a versatile mixer or sipper.

Johnny Drum Private Stock – Approachable with plenty of spice.

Knob Creek Single Barrel – Barrel-strength bourbon that’s well-balanced with plenty of vanilla and wood.

Larceny – Sweet, rounded, and lively. Good value and an excellent alternative to Maker’s Mark.

Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel – Chared oak and woody. Nice but pricey.

Noah’s Mill – Old, balanced, woody, and spicy. And also quite delicious.

Pure Kentucky Small Batch – Overly woody. Lacks balance but well-priced if you like old-tasting bourbons.

Russell’s Reserve 10 Year – More refined small batch variation of Wild Turkey. Still has plenty of spice along with roasted flavors.

St. George Breaking & Entering – Balanced blend of straight bourbons with cherry and caramel notes.

Van Winkle Family Reserve 12 Year  – Hard to find but worth it with thick butterscotch flavors.

Wathen’s Single Barrel – Honey and spice with a long finish.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed – Lively variation of classic Wild Turkey with plenty of spice and wood.

Willet Pot Still Reserve – Smooth sipping bourbon, but you pay extra for the fancy bottle.

Woodford Reserve – Bold yet approachable. A well-crafted classic.

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked – Oaky, complex, and nuanced, though you pay for the privilege.

OK, technically our guide only goes to “W” because we’ve yet to find a bourbon that starts with Z. But keep an eye out for more additions (I see a  couple prospects on my shelf as I write this). And, in the meantime, check out our general guide to pairing spirits with a cigar.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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