The Feast of Saint Patrick celebrates the life of Ireland’s foremost patron saint. He evangelized in Ireland in the Fifth Century, converting many to Christianity. He has been referred to as a saint since before official canonization became a common practice. Nonetheless, he is venerated by the Catholic Church. As for the tale about him driving all the snakes out of Ireland – it is thought to be an allegory for the way he “drove out” heathenism.
In modern times, his official feast day is marked by some with church attendance, and by a great many others with bar attendance. And if you’re in a place with a healthy Irish population, you’ll no doubt get a chance to see a parade with festive music and dance.
For our part, beer and cigars are a given on Saint Patrick’s Day, and like everything else on that glorious day, the main goal is to find something suitably green that recalls the gorgeous rolling hills and dells of the Emerald Isle.
Below are seven green cigars, which are heavy on their use of candela wrappers. Unlike standard tobacco curing and fermentation that leads to a brown leaf, candela preparation is done rapidly. Leaves aren’t hung for weeks to cure slowly. Instead, the curing barn is closed up and superheated, leading to a rapid curing process that locks in green chlorophyll. This saves a ton of time, and creates the signature pale green look that we all know and love. It also leads to the classic “tealike” and “grassy” candela flavors.
On to the smokes.
Erin go Bragh!
This triple-wrapper cigar from Alec Bradley is the most obvious choice on the market. Everything about it screams St. Patrick’s Day. It’s just not enough to bring in some green candela leaf on the barber pole – no – they had to get the shamrock right on the band. We’re all the way Irish right from the get-go.
It’s also a fantastic blend that is still crushing reviews and awards. The core Black Market blend was just scored 94 points and was named the #6 cigar of 2022. This Shamrock cigar uses the same filler and binder, and should deliver a really nice smoke. It’s not a gimmick smoke at all. This is a great cigar for bona fide cigar lovers to celebrate a special day. Any newbies who wind up with one in hand on St. Paddy’s just might wind up getting pulled into the wonderful world of cigars thanks to this delicious blend.
The Drew Estate Larutan line (formerly known as “Natural”) is known for exotic tobaccos and really nice aromas. It’s not an ACID, but it’s somewhere in between that and a traditional cigar. The most common comparison is pipe tobacco, which is used in some Larutan blends. This makes it a really friendly cigar to light up among company.
The Irish Hops version comes in with a really rich flavor, and has notes that you might get with a Bailey’s coffee. This comes from the aged Nicaraguan and Brazilian filler blend, as well as the dark Mexican San Andrés leaf used to wrap the cigar. It’s a perfect blend to light up at night when you’ve had some drinks and need to slow down for a bit with a flavorful smoke.
You’ll be ready for your next beer before you know it!
Green fire! That’s what’s in your belly once the beer and whiskey combine.
It’s also the name of a beautiful classic candela from La Palina, a favorite among Saint Patrick’s Day cigars for years now.
The Nicaraguan long-fillers and Honduran binder combine for a rich flavor, and the candela wrapper caps off the mix to help send it in a new direction. The resulting smoke features green tea sweetness, cedar, and sparks of white pepper from start to finish. It’s a nice way to wake up the morning of the festival and would go fine with your first cup of coffee.
It’s not too bad the day after, either.
Viaje’s White Label series has been with us for many holidays for over a decade. The Stuffed Turkey, Winter Classic, and others are fun companions for smoking on special occasions. The St. Patrick’s Day version is a tasty candela packed with Nicaraguan tobacco that sort of steals the show. Instead of this being super green, the flavor profile is focused on earthy notes and pepper. The sweeter, more grassy flavors are there, but they’re gentle. The overall strength may surprise you, too.
Don’t sleep on this one – it’ll knock you out!
This one is just packed with flavor. For people who like to get a lot out of a blend and who don’t just want something green, this is a fantastic choice. There’s only a hint of candela notes. The main flavor profile is mocha, herbal spice, and black pepper. That little barber pole stripe of green leaf is just the cherry on top. We’d love this one after some corned beef and cabbage, for sure.
The only downside is that these CroMagnon Black Irish cigars are hard to get a hold of sometimes.
For those who don’t know, “double claro” is a designation of color. It’s a very green and nearly transparent leaf, when you hold it against a light source. It’s at the far end of the spectrum, far away from the dark oscuro leaves you get when you spend loads of time diligently fermenting leaf.
This one is all the way in the Kermit the Frog zone.
As usual with LFD, there’s loads of flavor. But it’s not too green when it comes to flavor, surprisingly. Instead, you get plenty of spice, as well as mintiness and citrus. LFD is really known for potency, and even this candela Saint Patrick’s Day cigar manages to deliver in that department.
We saved the most incendiary for last. The Irish Car Bomb Firecracker cigar (from United Cigar) can be, for obvious reasons, quite controversial. It’s sure to get you in all kinds of trouble with the wrong people. But many will see it as just a bit of dark humor that fits in just fine with the drunken misadventures so many seek on Saint Paddy’s day.
It’s got a wick and everything!
The barber pole wrapper (sick of those yet?) is Dominican-grown candela and San Andrés maduro, alternating around each other. The inside filler blend is a barfight that combines Nicaraguan, Dominican, and even some good old Pennsylvania leaf.
Fire it up and toast your next drink to the island that means so much to so many.
Happy Saint Patrick’s, everyone! We’re all Irish for one day a year.