According to a 2019 report by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), about 65 percent of adults in the U.S. play video games, which comes out to roughly 164 million Americans. That number is going up each year, too, with the constant release of new games and the growing popularity of consoles like the Nintendo Switch. With so many adults turning to gaming to fill their leisure time with gaming, we at Cigars & Leisure had the thought–for those cigar enthusiasts that game, what cigars would pair well with popular games for the Switch?
Before we get into our pairing ideas, you must first understand what makes a good pairing. The more traditional pairing when speaking of cigars typically involves spirits. Most cigar enthusiast has their go-to spirit of choice but not every spirit is going to be a good matchup for your favorite cigar. The best pairings are those where the cigar and the spirit of choice complement one another–meaning if you’re going to smoke a mild cigar, you’d opt for a light spirit rather than something heavy and an 80 proof because that spirit’s body or heaviness is going to overwhelm the taste and flavor profile of the cigar. So when choosing a cigar to pair with a video game, go for a game that has a tone or theme that will complement the cigar rather that overwhelm or distract you from it. Seems simple enough, right?
Here are some of our Nintendo Switch and cigar pairing ideas:
Premise: A first-person, action, multiplayer shooter game featuring a slew of demons, big guns, and fast and furious movement that makes for an intense, first-person combat experience. This is a relentless gaming experience where breaks and those silly little extra lives simply isn’t in the cards. This is all about knocking down, beating, crushing your demonic adversaries in the most brutal way possible.
Our Pairing: Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged
Camacho Cigars are known for being bold and intense and this cigar is no different. This cigar is made with tobaccos that are aged in some of Nicaragua’s rarest rum barrels that are later bunched to amplify and create intense flavors. Even though the Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged has a complex flavor profile, this medium to full-bodied cigar is still smokable and balanced, meaning its intensity won’t distract you too much from Doom’s heavy, action-packed premise.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD
Premise: Perhaps one of the Switch’s most popular games, Breath of the Wild re-invents the world of Zelda, taking it from its old school humble 8bit beginnings and transforming it into a sleek, modern day adventure in the kingdom of Hyrule. The game will take you through many scenes in this new world, from fields and forests to the peaks of mountains in this stunning new adventure.
Our Pairing: Alec & Bradley The Gatekeeper
Brothers Alec and Bradley Rubin set off on an adventure of their own in the world of cigar making and set out to create a cigar different from anything in the Alec Bradley Cigar portfolio. They collaborated with famed cigar maker Ernesto Perez-Carrillo to create Gatekeeper, a medium-bodied cigar with hints of cedar, nuts, cedar and leather–all things we’re sure our adventurer Link would eat as he treks across Hyrule. Just as the Bradley set out on an adventure to create this cigar, you’ll appreciate their journey as you and Link set out on your own in Breath of the Wild.
MARIO KART 8 DELUXE
Premise: If you feel the need for speed and are up for some multi-player action, this is your game. Mario Kart has been a staple franchise within the Nintendo portfolio for decades and this latest version with 1080p graphics, a host of new cars and courses, this is a fun game featuring many of of Nintendo’s iconic characters. Rev up your engines, buckle up and get those green turtle shells ready–it’s time to smoke the competition!
Our Pairing: CAO Flathead V19
When you’re with your buddies playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, you need a cigar that’s equally as intense and high-octane as the action on the screen. CAO Flathead V19 is the perfect full-throttle cigar to pair with the action of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Inspired by fast cars and racing, the CAO Flathead V19 is a box-pressed full-bodied cigar with flawless construction and notes of leather and molasses. As you rev up your engines, light upCAO Flathead V19 and prepare to smoke your competition.
ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW HORIZONS
Premise: Create your own ideal world and island paradise with the latest Animal Crossing game. You can hunt food, catch crazy big fish, and build your dream house. Oh yeah, and your neighbors are a bunch of friendly animals including the notorious Tom Nook and Isabelle who’ll gladly help you–for a price. The game operates in real-time, giving you even more reason to play this game all day and all night just to see the strange and wild things that could happen on your island.
Our Pairing: ACID Kuba Kuba
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a light and fun game but let’s be honest–you’ll encounter some weird things in this game, especially depending on the time of day you’re playing and whose island you choose to visit. Did we mention that your neighbors in this game are animals? You need a light smoke but one that goes off the traditional path to complement this off-kilter game and there’s no better choice than the ACID Kuba Kuba. It could take you up to an hour to smoke, which is perfect because you’ll for sure log some hours playing Animal Crossing, but like Animal Crossing is a memorable game, this is a cigar you won’t soon forget. It’s an infused cigar with a bit of spice and a sweet, botanical flavor. As you’re building your dream island, the ACID Kuba Kuba will be that perfect weird, flavorful, and unforgettable smoke to help you build your island paradise.