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BEST Irish Whiskey & Cigar Pairings to Try for St. Paddy’s Day 2024 - Nicolas Stecher

Lounge Concierge

Even if you’re not Irish, every year in March St. Paddy’s Day gets the blood flowing green, what with its bountiful promise of quality Irish Whiskey. While their Scottish cousins have more global fame for the brown stuff, it is Ireland where whiskey was allegedly invented — and perfected for the past millennium. Normally using barley but branching out to other grains like wheat, rye and even corn, it is Irish whiskey’s tradition of triple distilling (vs the normal double distillation) that lends Irish Whiskey its signature smoothness and easy drinkability. Here are five of our favorite bottles to pair with your cigar this St. Patrick’s Day… and beyond.

If you want to experience these cigars, check out Cigora’s St. Patrick’s Day Sampler!


Method and Madness ‘Garryana Oak’ Irish Whiskey 

Jameson’s experimental label Method and Madness was meant as a forum for their venerable distillers and novice apprentices to play with different variables which they may not be allowed to under the Jameson umbrella. In the micro-distillery tucked away in their Midleton headquarters they’ve played with grains and different distilling processes, but mostly focus on second barrel finishes. After runs with such unique wood as virgin Galician oak, French Limousine oak and French chestnut, Method and Madness’ latest looks to America’s Pacific Northwest for its wood inspiration. Only used by craft American single malt distillers like Westland, Garryana Oak’s famed tannins can dry out a sweeter whiskey like Irish single pot still, adding complex notes of clove, coffee cake, roasted coffee and ground black pepper. Only 4,500 bottles of the Method and Madness ‘Garryana Oak’ Irish Whiskey are coming to America, but worth hunting. SRP $80.

Cigar Pairing: The smoky and treacle notes in the Method and Madness 'Garryana Oak' Irish Whiskey are a perfect match for the bold and rich flavors of the CAO Brazilia cigar. The crushed black pepper and coffee cake of the whiskey harmonize with the robustness of the cigar, while the whiskey’s clove spice finish enhances the overall experience by adding depth to the pairing.


Waterford ‘Cuvée Fumo’ Peated Irish Whiskey 

Unsurprising that the man who brought serious grain and terroir experimentation to scotch single malt when he revived the famed Bruichladdich distillery is doing the same to Irish whiskey. Mark Reynier’s Waterford has transported Irish whiskey to previously unimagined dimensions, playing with different barleys, single farm origins and even exploring the effects biodynamic farming can have on a whiskey. Waterford’s latest brown, Cuvée Fumo, blends peated malts from previous Single Farm Origins expressions like Lacken and Woodbrook. As Waterford says, “Cuvée Fumo is not just a whisky; it's Waterford's bold exploration into the profound impact of peat.” SRP $100.

Cigar Pairing: With notes of honey, heather and a phenolic character, Waterford 'Cuvée Fumo' Peated Irish Whiskey pairs beautifully with the complex and full-bodied Rocky Patel Vintage 20th Anniversary cigar. The sweetness of marzipan and dark fruits in the whiskey contrasts with the deep notes of char and leather in the cigar, creating a harmonious balance.


Natterjack Irish Whiskey

Although an Irish lad, Aidan Mehigan always preferred bourbon. And after training at Colorado’s well-awarded Breckinridge Distillery under Master Distiller Jordan Via, Mehigan and Via decided to launch an Irish whiskey marrying influences from both great whiskey-making traditions. Named after an indigenous toad, Natterjack uses a bourbon-influenced mashbill (80% corn / 20% malted barley) but is triple distilled in Ireland using column stills, and then age it for three and a half years in ex-bourbon barrels. Finally, they second age their Natterjack whiskey in charred (level 4) virgin American oak as they do traditionally with bourbon — the barrels sourced from Napa Valley’s Seguin Moreau Cooperage. The final result is a smooth, drinkable and affordable Irish whiskey offering tobacco and toffee notes polished by bourbon’s honey and molasses overtones. SRP $40

Cigar Pairing: The light tobacco notes and molasses sweetness of the Natterjack Irish Whiskey are a perfect match for the Tatuaje Lomo de Cerdo cigar. The whiskey’s toffee notes complement the smoothness of the cigar, while the hint of lemon blossom honey adds a refreshing touch to the pairing, enhancing the overall experience.


Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey

Sometimes you want to play around with different variables in a whiskey, swirling beakers like a whiskey-fueled Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. But other times you just want a fantastic Irish whiskey that makes a handsome accompaniment to the stout in your pint glass. Glendalough’s aptly named Double Barrel is just that. The single grain whiskey (100% malted barley) is only double distilled in a coffey still, and then aged twice: first in American oak bourbon barrels and then in Spanish oak Oloroso sherry barrels. Very accessible at only $35.

Cigar Pairing: The warm vanilla and dried fruit notes in the Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey pair beautifully with the complexity of the Room101 Miami Snow cigar. The whiskey’s Spanish oak spices, and notes of vanilla and dried fruit build on the rich flavors of the cigar, resulting in a harmonious and satisfying experience.


Killowen ‘Barántúil White Cognac Cask’ Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Founded in 2017 in the heart of Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains by a group of old friends, Killowen Distillery focuses on crafting single pot still whiskey and then aging it in various casks. This year they released Barántúil White Cognac Cask, a fairly young (3-years old) Irish whiskey that starts with their Single Pot Still whiskey — which in Ireland strictly means whiskey using a mashbill of mixed malted and unmalted barley distilled via pot still at a single distillery — and then ages it in American Oak casks previously used to age Hennessy Pure White Cognac. Since the barrels were never re-charred, and therefore soaked with that White Cognac goodness, the clean triple distilled whiskey earned subtle notes of ripe apricot, orange peel and even a little vanilla on the traditional single malt must. Although Bottles are half-size (375ml), the potent 61% ABV makes up for it. SRP $115.

Cigar Pairing: Killowen ‘Barántúil White Cognac Cask’ Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey’s apricot and orange peel notes deepen the complexity of the Southern Draw Cedrus cigar, creating a memorable tasting experience. Hints of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg blend with the spiciness of the cigar, creating a balanced and flavorful pairing.


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