Its hard to beat a nice rich beer and aromatic cigar for me. A few weeks ago I was visiting my brother in Ottawa, and on a warm summer evening we sat down on the patio and enjoyed two very unique beers and two very delicious cigars. I paired the Innis & Gunn Highland Cask with a Perdomo Reserve 10 Year Anniversary Maduro Churchill, and my brother enjoyed the Dieu du Ciel Charbonniere with a CAO La Traviata Radiante.
The Innis & Gunn Highland Cask with a Perdomo Reserve 10 Year Anniversary Maduro Churchill
Take a quick peek at my review of the Innis & Gunn Highland Cask; it is a remarkable and delicious beer. It was made in 2009 specifically for Sweeden and has been aged in Highland Whiskey Oak Barrels. This Innis & Gunn shows a new earthy smoothness and creamy mouthfeel that glides over your palate and lifts waves of gentle malt, soft oak and smooth scotch whiskey onto your palate. It is rich and hugely flavorful; I was anticipating a perfect match with a nice big full bodied cigar.
The Perdomo Reserve 10 Year Anniversary was created to celebrate the next generation of cigar making at Perdomo. The Churchill is 7″ with a 54 ring gauge. The cigar has a dark, veiny and very oily maduro wrapper. Its rich deep browns shine gently into the light. It does show a bit of inconsistency in color with a darker shade edging by the foot of the cigar. Its a firm pack with a large band that I love. The pre-light nose is rich in wood, earth, soft leather and spice.
I used my straight cut to open this cigar up fully and lit ‘er up. The draw was very elegant and soft bringing large puffs of smoke to my mouth with ease. No tightness or raw characteristics; each puff was gentle and filling. Smooth and lush smoke showed rich earthy cocoa beans, wet wood, roasted coffee and big earthy flavors. Medium to full bodied aromas and richness filled the air and settled with with a mellow and very relaxing finish. I was enjoying holding this cigar, and definitely enjoyed smoking it.
The Highland Cask was a smooth and creamy compliment to the Perdomo. The earthy, caramel and oak flavors of the beer provided balance and added complexity to a roast-forward cigar. The cigar was a bit rich compared to the Innis, and it may do better with a Rye, or Speyside Whiskey. The Highland cask though was a close to perfect pairing.
The Dieu du Ciel Charbonniere with a La Traviata Radiante
Last week I wrote about the Dieu di Ciel Charbonniere; a soft and soothing rauchbier with gentle flavors of smoke and wood and a clean overall finish. This beer is only 5%, and really it not very deep or strong, but it has smoke flavors flowing in it, and we were smoking a cigar. We had to take the opportunity to test the match.
The CAO La Traviata pays homage to the craftsmanship and traditional principles of Tabacakera Cubana from the early 20th century. This cigar was created to express the classic old world Havana flavor. Filler tobacco is from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, it has a Camaroon Binder and wrapper from Ecuador. The Radiante is 6″ with a 52 ring gauge and shows a rich earthy brown wrapper with smooth flawlessness and gentle veins. The pre-light nose is sweet and leathery with pepper and wood.
Again, cut with a straight blade, the draw is firm but very elegant. Thick velvety smoke brings the instant sharpness of black pepper, spice and wood. Its a rich smoke with big round flavors and a heavy aroma. Each puff brings out greater depth of earth, cedar, liquorice, molasses, and peppercorns. The smoke pouring off the cigar was light and soft in the air brining medium, very close to full bodied aromas to our senses.
The Charbonniere was an interesting pairing, however was outweighed by the power of the CAO. The smoky, earthy meatiness of the beer is very delicious and succulent, but it is overall a quenching and crisp beer. The smoke character was a nice balance, but it was general overpowered by the La Traviata. This definitely needs something spicy like a Bourbon or big Tequila.