What Makes A Cigar Ideal For The Afternoon?
As you may have noticed in the menu above, we have a number of cigar guides for different times of day such as the morning or evening. While the morning is quite easily defined, the afternoon and evening may overlap.
Just so that this guide is perfectly clear, the afternoon starts at noon but there’s no precise definition for when it ends. Arguably, it would be just before the sun begins to set but for the purpose of this guide, we’ll define it at around 6pm.
Traditionally, this would be dinner time for most cultures despite certain exceptions in continental Europe and elsewhere.
Whether it’s as post-lunch digestif or a pre-dinner apéritif, there are lots of ways to enjoy a cigar during the afternoon. Of course, it may be neither of the two aforementioned examples and just you seizing the opportunity for a mid-afternoon break.
Opt For Medium-Bodied Cigars
The olfactory nerves become desensitised as they’re exposed to stimuli throughout the day. As a result, your choice of cigar intensity may increase from the morning until later at night.
Therefore, if the morning’s best suited for mild cigars and the evening may call for fuller-bodied ones, then it’s safe to assume that the afternoon is the medium-bodied cigar’s playground.
That said, this isn’t a rule or a dogmatic tradition. On the contrary, it’s a matter of personal preference. Nevertheless, this rule of thumb tends to reflect most people’s tastes.
For instance, a particularly heavy-bodied and intense Ligero blend may be far too overwhelming earlier in the day. Meanwhile, a creamy Olor Dominicano blend with a Volado Connecticut-shade wrapper may not be quite as satisfying in the evening.
While the wrapper’s colour may be an indicator of a cigar’s character, it isn’t always the most reliable. Despite today’s tendency to use wrappers that reflect market expectations, its shade may not tell you as much as you think.
In fact, the best way to ascertain whether a cigar is medium-bodied is by the varieties of tobacco used to make the blend and their primings. They’ll often feature relatively even proportions of a spectrum of varieties as well as both later and early primings.
However, if you can’t find this out, smelling the cigar can actually be much more reliable that inspecting it visually. Here, you’ll have a better chance of using the aromas to gauge the cigar’s body and its character than just by looking at it.
Afternoon Cigar Pairings
Unlike the morning, convention is much more liberal when it comes to pairing an afternoon cigar with an alcoholic beverage. Consequently, you’ll have a little more freedom when selecting an ideal libation.
That said, coffee is still an excellent pairing options, especially if the cigar is to be enjoyed as a post-lunch digestif! A double espresso pick-me-up accords wonderfully with the majority of recommendations listed above. Likewise, consider opting for balanced coffee blends if you can.
Alternatively, relaxing a mid-afternoon cigar may call for a refreshing drink rather than liquor. Some cigar sommeliers argue against cold drinks with whisky as the lower temperature can undermine a cigar’s aromas. Nevertheless, we believe it’s absolutely fine if you’re enjoying the moment.
Similarly, purists may suggest sparkling water first, which is indeed one of the most respected pairings for a cigar. That said, we’re very fond of a craft root beer or Coca-Cola with a cigar as long as the flavours marry well. Even certain beers such as Stout or English Ale pair wonderfully with a medium-bodied cigar.
Finally, if the hour is waning, you may prefer to experiment with some more creative accords. There are a whole host to choose from but we have something of a guilty pleasure for an anise Pastis or even a fresh rosé wine if the weather permits.
How Did We Rank These Cigars?
To ensure that our reader are supplied with a trustworthy and sincere list, only cigars that we have reviewed or at least tried ourselves have been listed here. As you may have noticed in their accompanying photos, these were all taken ourselves to document the process.
This is because we want to ensure that you can rely on our recommendations and make a leap of faith. Given that cigars are an investment in both time and money, we don’t want you to feel disappointed by our suggestions!
Furthermore, each reviewed cigar was recorded using the Bespoke Unit Cigar Formula. This is our proprietary review matrix that enables us to provide accurate and quantified assessments of the experience that they provide.
Founder, Paul Anthony, and his team had been developing this concept since 2017 following the success of the Bespoke Unit Fragrance Formula.
After consulting with leading cigar industry professionals, it was finally rolled out in August 2019. Our review of the Avo Nicaragua was the first to feature it in the review itself if you wish to see it in action.
Even before the Cigar Formula was released, it served as a baseline for all reviews and has been implemented for this guide. As a result, we can guarantee that the cigars featured here aren’t arbitrary but are featured using quantifiable research.
Firstly, did you find a personal favourite absent in this list? Let us know in the comments below! Otherwise, now that you’ve seen the best cigars for the afternoon, why don’t you also check out our related guides below?