August 7, 2010
Flavor is why we love real beer. Theres no question about it. Regardless of what that flavor is, or what emotions or sensations it ignites, its the real flavor of true beer that drives us to it. But real flavor doesn’t only live in beer. Among my other favorite sources of flavor are cigars and spirits. Both are backed with rich and ripe flavors that defy all categorization and pump your palate full of deep aromatic and succulent flavors.
A couple weeks ago we had a gorgeous sunny afternoon just teasing me that summer is finally here. So my good friend and I sat out on my balcony and enjoyed the Eldorado 15 Year Old Rum with two cigars; La Aurora Barrel Aged Belicoso and the Ashton Classic Majesty.
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July 29, 2010
Its a warm Thursday evening after a long day at work, and the sun is just beginning to crest below the horizon. All you want to do is kick back and enjoy the smooth, relaxing, and calming sensations of a good cigar. You have plenty of cigars to choose from, but you’ll probably go for one of your old favorites. Your patio chair is ready, the weather is right, and all you are missing is the appropriate beverage to match your cigar.
A spirit is the typical pair, but you’re feeling rather saucy tonight, and you don’t want the potency of a 40% whisky. So you open your fridge and look to your beer selection. Yes, there are a huge range of beers that will perfectly match a cigar for you. In Part 1 we over viewed the primary characteristics of a cigar that influence its flavor. In Part 2 we examined beers that work well with long or short cigars. In Part 3 we looked at larger ring gauge and earthy cigars. Now to complete the gamut we will enter the world of complex and milder cigars. Read the rest of this entry »
July 28, 2010
This is a beautiful world of flavor we are talking about here; real beer and cigars that is. Both crafted by hand and passion to create memorable and enjoyable sensations. Both capable of igniting any situation and enriching your life. But beer is not the typical pairing thought of when smoking a cigar – spirits, brandy and cognac are usually reserved for that honor. But today we are going to continue to look at the amazing, and relatively unheard of pairing that is beer and cigars.
In part 1 we broke down the various aspects of a cigar that contribute to their flavor and smoking experience. Then in part 2 we examined the beers that would best suit long and short cigars. Today in part three we will create beer pairings for large ring gauge cigars and earthy cigars. Read the rest of this entry »
July 26, 2010
Just like beer, there are limitless varieties of cigars available to us today; when you begin to consider the range of sizes, shapes, flavors, strengths, and origins it becomes clear that there is so single rule for what cigar will go with what beer. We can however build generic rules, or guidelines to help you experiment – because the only best pairing is the one that you enjoy the most.
In part 1 we examined the 3 primary aspects of a cigar which most powerfully influence its flavor, body, and smoking experience. Now we will actually create some delicious beer and cigar pairings. For the purpose of this guide we will begin with 6 different generic cigar characteristics, and match a variety of pairing beers to each one. These characteristics are Long Cigars, Short Cigars, Large Ring Gauge Cigars, Earthy Cigars, Complex Cigars, and Milder Cigars. Read the rest of this entry »
July 21, 2010
Yes, beer has many friends; snacks, cheese, hamburgers, pasta, chicken, fish, etc.. Really any food can find the appropriate beer pairing. But if you are a beer connoisseur, and also love cigars, do you ever find it challenging to match a beer, rather than a more potent spirit with your stogie? Its easy to see why this can cause issues.
Cigars by nature are hugely aromatic and potent creatures. Even the lightest shade claros are going to be filled with a variety of perfumey tobacco smoke. Then when you start to get into Colorado or Maduro wrappers you really begin to unleash the full power and potency of a cigar. I mean, thats why we love cigars in the first place. And they do fit the world of spirits exceptionally well. But what about beer? Read the rest of this entry »
July 9, 2010
I’ve never been disappointed by anything bearing the name Gouden Carolus. Actually, more accurately, I have always been severely impressed by everything bearing the name Gouden Carolus. Their latest beer to grace Ontario was the Ambrio, which came here for the Spring Release and was really spectacular. Then when I think about the Classic, and the Hopsinjoor I get goosebumps.
This past weekend, for my 25th birthday, one of my best friends brought me a bottle of the Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw, which is essentially their dark vintage ale. It is brewed on February the 24th every year to commemorate the birthday of Charles the Fifth. Het Anker calls it an “exclusive adaptation of the traditional Gouden Carolus Classic”; my knees just buckled from under me.
I was fortunate enough to enjoy this beer on my quarter century mark, in Grand Bend, at my buds cottage on the patio, by the lake, under the sun, with my good friends, and also with a nice fine cigar. It don’t get much better than this! Read the rest of this entry »
July 2, 2010
This is the case where a big, dark, deep, and overpoweringly rich beer finally meets its match with the equivalent cigar. Or if you are a cigar aficionado, here is a beer that can finally stand up with the CAO Brazilia. I’m talking about the Paradox Smokehead by BrewDog. This is really an instance of Goliath and Goliath. Each of these products stand out as some of the richest in their respective field; this is why I thought it would be best to enjoy them together.
Pairing a beer with a cigar is not always easy. Most of the time I will look to a spirit to do the job for me; the natural strength and huge aromatic properties of a fine whiskey or Cognac seem to match a cigar’s strength and aromatics so naturally. But, there are beers with these same strengths. Beers which cannot be tied down by commercial classification. These beers stand proud and bellow their flavor from the mountain tops. Let me tell you what this BrewDog stout is yelling, and why it was the perfect match for the Brazilia. Read the rest of this entry »
June 28, 2010
To me, Bourbon and Cigars go together like, well Bourbon and Cigars! Isn’t it obvious? The rich, leathery sweet tobacco flavors of a fine cigar pair so well with the sweet, spicy warmth of a smooth bourbon. MMmm, it just seems so instinctive to me.
I was enjoying the hospitality of one of my good friends on a Sunday, and he decided to temp me with with this exact combination. It was the early afternoon, probably about 26 degrees out and sunny. Then out came a Rocky Patel Vintage 1999 and the Old Forester 2006 Birthday Bourbon. My excitement grew… Read the rest of this entry »
June 23, 2010
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. Read the rest of this entry »
June 10, 2010
… Continued from Mondial de la Biere Review Part 2
On my list still to enjoy was a slew of amazing beers. By now I had enjoyed some of the best beers of my life and somehow did it all in about 5 hours! This really was a ridiculous beer festival filled with unique and exciting beers. You can’t go wrong here, this festival is packed with amazing beers from around the globe. I really wanted to get back to Wals for theri Quadrupel, and still had yet to try Birra del Borgo or Malheur; two breweries which I have never tried before but have always wanted to! I may have been a bit excited at this point. Read the rest of this entry »
May 27, 2010
This past May 24 weekend may have showed us the best weather we have ever seen for the epic long weekend. I spend it in Grand Bend Ontario at a cottage on the beach with some of my best friends. Each year we indulge in great food, amazing beer, succulent spirits, full flavored cigars, and a riot of fun in the sun. How can you possibly go wrong.
By the holiday Monday we had feasted and barbecued, shared some rare and special brews, and spent far to much time in the heat. It really was time to sit under an umbrella, open up a rare and exceptional whisky, and enjoy some fine crafted cigars. The menu would be the Johnnie Walker Swing, Rocky Patel’s 1999 Vintage Connecticut, CAO’s MX2, and the Casa Magna Colorado Belicoso. Read the rest of this entry »
April 26, 2010
For the past six years whisky lovers have been flocking to Toronto for an unbelievable gathering of spirited people, and spirited drinks. The Spirit of Toronto is an annual Whisky Gala held each year in Late April at Roy Thomson Hall. I am still excited to discuss it here although it has nothing to do with beer, because it is a celebration of flavor in exactly the same tense as real beer is, and I was privileged enough to enjoy it this past weekend for my fifth year.
It is a collection of artisan distillers and aficionados from all across the globe. 33 Distilleries came to showcase their spirits in 2010, and along with a unique series of Master Classes, this was one of the best years yet! Read the rest of this entry »
March 17, 2010
Pairing the Innis & Gunn with La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Chisel
Yesterday in Toronto it was 15 degrees Celsius outside, and today it is supposed to be 17! Honestly, I’m not willing to wait any longer; I am officially considering today to be the official beginning of spring and the end of winter! Finally! I don’t really like the winter, I’m not very good at winter sports, all the nice cars hibernate for the season, and it makes enjoying a cigar very difficult. And what’dya know, I just decided how to celebrate the coming of spring!… A great beer paired with a superb cigar! Read the rest of this entry »