Superyachts and Cigars: 4 Perfect Pairings
Four stunning superyachts (plus one bonus vessel) and the cigars that complement them.
We all have our virtues and our vices; mine happens to be a good cigar. While I’ve been an avid smoker for some years now, it wasn’t until recently I began developing a palate. It occurred to me while I was learning more about cigars (how they are constructed and their uniquely different taste profiles) that they are not unlike superyachts. Both are meticulously developed and constructed; the best are usually crafted by masters of the industry, and they are both enjoyable and attention-getting. While enjoying a smoke one evening, I had the idea to create pairings of my favourite sticks with different unique superyachts, based on characteristics of both. This is not intended as a definitive guide – cigar preference, just like yacht preference, is extremely subjective, but I hope you’ll enjoy these picks as much as I enjoyed putting it together!
GUILTY and the ACID Kuba Kuba
With an exterior painted by Jeff Koons, this is definitely a yacht that people have strong feelings about. ACID cigars engender similar sentiments: as a flavoured cigar, there are some purists who wouldn’t even think about smoking it. However, these cigars are meticulously infused in rooms lined with over 150 essential oils, herbs, and botanicals for months prior to their rolling. The Kuba Kuba cigar by ACID is a great example of an extremely complex flavoured cigar, and smoking it is like looking at the exterior of the GUILTY. The kaleidoscope of colours that cover the hull of the ship are mirrored in the aroma and taste of the Kuba Kuba cigar. Some flavours you might taste include cinnamon, coffee, and a mélange of spices. It’s a cigar with which you could spend hours trying to discern all the flavours. Some find this cigar to be pretty overwhelming to the senses. I think it’s the perfect match for a unique yacht like the GUILTY.
KHALILAH and the Daniel Marshall 24KT Gold Torpedo
I chose a striking gold cigar to go with the golden KHALILAH. However, their similarities go further than the colour of their exteriors – both the KHALILAH and the Daniel Marshall 24KT Gold Torpedo have sleek, dynamic lines, and both seamlessly merge beauty with performance. The DM 24K is a high-performance smoke, due to its construction. Gold doesn’t melt at cigar lighter temperatures; because the DM 24K is wrapped in 25 sheets of pure Italian gold leaf, as you smoke you will end up with a pure gold, ash-filled tube. The KHALILAH is a displacement yacht that can reach 30 knots. I’d say they’re a match made in cigar heaven.
LIMITLESS and the H. Upmann “The Banker Arbitrage”
As a yacht newbie, I was not initially aware that yacht design evolved from military ship design, and that some yachts were the inspiration for new designs. When I first saw The One (originally the Carinthia VI), I was enchanted with her sleek, fast-attack warship appearance, and how she juxtaposed power with stately elegance. When I learned that the design of LIMITLESS had been inspired by The One, it reminded me immediately of a unique cigar produced by H. Upmann, The Banker Arbitrage. Like LIMITLESS, the Arbitrage shares its inspiration with great creations of the past. It is a homage to the original Cuban-seed tobacco blend created in 1844 by Herman Upmann. Like LIMITLESS, the Arbitrage is an imposing presence due to both its length (which is known as “Churchill”, a nod to the renowned Prime Minister and cigar aficionado), and its ring gauge (the diameter of the cigar). Just as the Arbitrage succeeds in recalling the experience of smoking a vintage blend, LIMITLESS seamlessly incorporates design elements of The One that evokes the feeling of the past while creating a beautiful experience in the present.
SILVER FAST and the Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli
When describing SILVER FAST, Nick Burnham wrote: “…the sensation is one of being pulled along by an invisible thread from a ship just over the horizon”; this immediately called to mind the sensation of drawing smoke through an excellent cigar – hence why a common salutation among cigar smokers is “smooth draws”. When a cigar has a perfect draw, it becomes a pleasurable smoke; cigars that don’t draw well are as enjoyable to smoke as it is to suck a frozen milkshake through a straw. I can’t help but compare the descriptions of how SILVER FASTslices through swells with smooth ease, with the sensory delight derived from the smooth smoke that is the Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli. This cigar is earthy, sweet, and balanced, all the way through, with no harshness present at any time throughout the smoke – the way that I’d imagine cruising through the waters would be with SILVER FAST. Even her design reminds me of smoke, sinuous and lighter than air. This is the perfect smooth pairing.
Lamborghini’s 1968 Riva Aquarama and the Gran Habano #5 Corojo Maduro
While the Riva Aquarama owned by Ferruccio Lamborghini is not a superyacht, I feel that it most represents my favourite cigar on this list, the Gran Habano #5 Corojo Maduro. To me, the Aquarama design instantly calls to mind classic glamour underscored with amazing power. When I read about this unique vessel, which is the only factory Lamborghini-powered Riva Aquarama, I knew I had found my perfect pairing for the Gran Habano #5. This is a smoke that is as rich as the wood finish of the Riva, redolent with flavours of coffee, spices, and chocolate. However, just like the Lamborghini engines within the 1968 Riva Aquarama, this cigar is a powerful smoke – even the shortest length (appropriately called a “shorty”) of this cigar provides a surprisingly long-lasting smoke experience that is delectable throughout.
I’m curious to know what you think of these pairings. Do you have ideas for more? Please let me know what you think. Until next time, smooth draws!