Maker's Mark & VSG Photo

Editor’s Note: Today’s Help Wanted guest blog post is from Genaro Orengo. Genaro mixes things up a bit with a wonderful bourbon and cigar pairing post. We hope you enjoy his post and chime in accordingly in the comments section. Also make sure to connect with Genaro online at @Stogiebuff or @Stogiebuff.


Since 1954, Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon has been one of the country’s best selling small batch bourbons. The mainstream bourbons are created with corn, malted barley, and rye. Maker’s Mark, on the other hand, is a ‘wheated’ bourbon. Swapping out rye in the mash bill for red winter wheat produces a sweeter, softer nose and taste.

Ashton Virgin Sun Grown (VSG) is one of the best cigars in the whole world. Since it’s beginnings in 1999, Ashton VSG has been the receiver of many 90+ ratings and is a recurrent best seller all over the world. Carefully blended by the master Carlito Fuente for Ashton Cigars, VSG is emphasized by its extraordinary Ecuadorian sun-grown wrapper. Attractively dark and oily, these wrappers embrace an amazing combination of matured Dominican tobaccos. The strength is full-bodied, whereas the flavors are forward and multifaceted boasting opulent notes of sweet dirt, wood, spice and leather.

Bourbon is one of those spirits that effortlessly pairs with nearly every cigar. Therefore, the concern for this combination was locating a cigar that heightened the bourbon. So, I went with the Ashton VSG Tres Mystique Sun Grown Petite Corona. The stunning thing about this pairing is that the cigar is full-bodied with opulent amounts of smoke and crisp flavors due to the virgin sun grown wrapper. While not being overly complex, the cigar offers notes of wood, pepper, and spice with a touch of creaminess and sweetness at the backend.

The Maker’s Mark melds well with its mostly sweet profile and number of flavors that appease the palate. In my opinion, Maker’s Mark is a truly balanced whiskey for the dollar. The freshness, softness, and refinement compliment the VSG pleasantly.

As with all pairings I suggest go to town, imbibe, smoke and enjoy with whatever you have on hand.

Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon

  • Distilled in Loreto, Kentucky by Beam Suntory
  • Proof: 90
  • Age: No age statement. But said to be around 6 years
  • MSRP: approx. $30

Paired with

Ashton VSG Tres Mystique Sun Grown Petite Corona

  • By Ashton Cigars
  • Tres Mystique (4 3/8 x 44)
  • Strength: FULL
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian
  • Country: Dominican Republic
  • MSRP: approx. $9.50