Beer and Cigars
Beer and cigars - what do they have in common? The cigar which is often the sign of richness, well being of aristocracy or a prosperous bourgeois wasn't even seen next to beer - a symbol of working class who enjoy life watching TV and smoking cigarettes. But the history is constantly changing, so are people preferences. This pair doesn't seem weird anymore and though there is a cigar smokers' layer who still considers this combination dangerous, beer is now ranked among classic cigar beverages, such as cognac, whiskey, wine, etc.
For better understanding, let's discuss what beer and cigars represent on their own.
A cigar is rated by the quality of its tobacco filler, the color of the wrapper, which in most cases defines the strength, and its dimensions - length, diameter and ring gauge. The smaller is the ring gauge, the more intense the smoke, and the larger is the gauge - the richer the aroma.
As regards beer, it is brewed form yeast, malted barley, hops and water. According to a certain recipe, all these ingredients are mixed together and undergo a certain fermentation process.
Beer, same as cigar, has body, color and strength, which comes from malt. So it is very important to pair in that way as the beverage and the stick match in intensity, flavor, sweetness, etc.
And now that we made it clear what is cigar and beer, let's see some suggestions:
Sierra Nevada Porter - the beer is dark colored and intense, medium bodied with creamy top. This ale has an evenly malted aroma with notes of caramel due to the mixing of percoct malted barley.
Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 - is a medium bodied stick with perfect blend of aroma, complexity and abundance. The cigar has a smooth and earthy fume with hints of cedar wood and slight coffee aroma.
Pairing the two: both the cigar and the beer have strong taste, able to satisfy most aficionados. The porter can easily handle with this earthy flavored cigar with cedar and espresso notes, thus revealing chocolate malt and light nuances of caramel and citrus cultures.
Rogue Shakespeare Stout - the beer is ebony colored with an abundant creamy top; it has a soft earthy aroma and a surprisingly savoury chocolate aftertaste.
Ashton VSG Sorcerer - a full bodied and mighty stogie. The draw is perfect, no need for relight. The flavor is intense with leathery and dried cherry notes, the finish is parched. Before lighting the cigar, one can sense strong roasted mocha hints with wonderful bouquet of vanilla aroma.
Pairing the two: The Ashton cigar has a harmonious smooth draw as well as nuances of mocha and cherry, which make it a gift for every aficionado. The ale is mighty enough to resist this strong adversary with sweet roasted malt. The mixture of a bitter chocolate with the slight cherry trace from the cigar results in a perfect alternative for every aficionado.
Leffe Blonde Ale - mild abbey ale, with a deeply shining golden color. The beer is full bodied with smooth flavor and a thick creamy head. The beverage, same as all the other Leffe beers, is an aficionado porter that is easily imbibed.
Romeo y Julieta Reserve Maduro - the cigar has a deep Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, a savoury Nicaraguan binder and filler from three region mixture - Nicaragua, Peru and Dominican Republic. This wonderful combination results in a rich full-bodied smoke with a nice flavor and palate.
Pairing the two: this robust stogie offers aficionado a piquant full-bodied smoking which can make one's dried palate feel thirsty for a good fellow. The porter is just great for this pairing as it can balance the spicy stick with nuances of clove, cherry, vanilla. A great blend to be tasted.
Great Divide Titan IPA - an India Pale Ale made for hop adherents. The beginning is full of piney and citrus hop flavors, which then end up in a lovely abundant malty sweetness that is leveled by crisp hop bitterness.
Don Pepin Garcia Black Label 1979 - the cigar is full bodied; it begins with a brand specific taste and halfway through the cigar melts to a creamy flavor of roasted cedar and intense coffee with nuances of bittersweet cocoa, nuts and black pepper. The finish and flavor are nice and fresh.
Pairing the two: The pair does pretty well as this multi-flavored stogie totally complement this hoppy ale - cedar, nutty, peppery and coffee cigar notes are the best choice for floral, spicy and fruity beer nuances.