How to Pair Beer and Cigars Perfectly (Part 4, the pair)

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 »

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Defined: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer

July 29, 2010

Aroma: The character of the particular spices, herbs and/or vegetables (SHV) should be noticeable in the aroma; however, note that some SHV (e.g., ginger, cinnamon) have stronger aromas and are more distinctive than others (e.g., some vegetables)—allow for a range of SHV character and intensity from subtle to aggressive.  The individual character of the SHV(s) may not always be identifiable when used in combination.  The SHV character should be pleasant and supportive, not artificial and overpowering.  As with all specialty beers, a proper SHV beer should be a harmonious balance of the featured SHV(s) with the underlying beer style.  Aroma hops, yeast by-products and malt components of the underlying beer may not be as noticeable when SHV are present.  These components (especially hops) may also be intentionally subdued to allow the SHV character to come through in the final presentation. Read the rest of this entry »