Premium Cigars and Premium Tequila?
Updated: Nov 27, 2022
You get home at the end of the day, reach into your humidor, grab a premium cigar, then pour a glass of your favorite whiskey. Seems like more of us are making that a pour of tequila! According to Just Drinks, the United States dominates the worldwide Tequila Industry with over 60% of sales! Tequila sales (by value) have actually surpassed American Whiskey sales! (per Shanken News)
At Bailey's we usually see cigars paired with beer, whiskey, or red wine. Tequila, though, seems to be gaining popularity. Let's start by tallking about tequila in general. There's a lot more to tequila than shots! Next week's post will focus on cigars to pair.
The folks at Total Wine offer a nice summary of how tequila is made and offer a differntiation between Silver and Gold Tequilas. However, most other sites use the four categories below.
Blanco - This is what goes in your Margarita
Blanco is often mistaken for the smoothest tequila, due to its clearness. However, Blanco Tequilas are bottled soon after distillation. There is little to no aging done. In cigar terms, this is the bolder, more full bodied tequila. Like a clear moonshine, Blanco Tequila is intense.
Resposado - Rested
Resposado Tequila is aged for at least two months but less than a year. This resting usually takes place in oak barrels, with the tequila picking up some of the flavor and color from those barrels. This is your medium bodied tequila.
"The margarita created this incredible exposure for the category. Now what we are seeing is the migration into people trying sipping Tequilas." – Mike Dolan, ex-Bacardi CEO and founder of Mijenta Tequila
Anejo - Aged
Just as with cigars anejo translates to aged. These tequilas are aged from one to three years. The result is a more mellow drink with medium body. You might use this type of tequila in a cocktail or use it for sipping.
Extra Anejo - The Sipper
This is the high end of tequila. Like a good Scotch, you don't mix these with anything. You just sip while you puff. These tequilas are aged at least 3 years in a variety of barrels. The result is a creamy and smooth tequila - worthy of consuming at a slow pace. No shooters here.
You take your time and savor the flavors.
Common Beginnings but Varying Results
All premium cigars are made by hand from long filler tobaccos. As cigar smokers, though, we know there are vast differences from brand to brand or line to line. Tequila is much the same. According to thekitchn.com, "Tequila is a distilled liquor made from the Weber blue agave plant." However, there is a world of difference between the types. That world has arrived here in the United States, and should coexist nicely with premium cigars!