Ah, beers and cigars…could there be a better pairing? (You might be saying scotch…shhh!) Since we are located beneath Leesburg Cigar & Pipe and have a very nice patio open during the warmer months, many customers like to enjoy a cigar with their beer. But what is the right type of cigar to go with each beer?
I’m not very good at pairing food with beer, but I have spent a lot of time outside with a brew and a stick, and I’ve found that most people go about it wrong. When it comes to cigars and beer, pair mild with dark and full with light. It is similar to some food pairings. For example, IPA actually pairs well with carrot cake. Contrary to what a lot of people think, IPA doesn’t really pair well with much, but if you match it with something very sweet, it cleanses your palate between sips. Opposite pairings work well with cigars, as well.
So instead of reaching for that big imperial stout with your maduro cigar, try a lighter Belgian beer instead. Belgian yeast really helps cut through the flavor and refreshes your palate. If you’re smoking a light, spicy Connecticut, try a nice brown ale or porter. Our black Belgian tripel is an excellent accompaniment to a mild cigar.
If you’d rather go for some more full-on flavor, IPA can pretty much overpower any cigar flavor and will “pair” pretty well, so that’s always an option. So without further ado, here are my top three cigars. These represent something affordable–everyday smokes.
1. Punch Bareknuckle. Flavor: full. I was never a huge Punch fan until I tried these. Simply put, these are incredible in every way. Full, but not overpowering, with a complex spice flavor that is just perfect. My favorite.
2. Rocky Patel Connecticut. Flavor: mild. RP Connecticut is just a wonderful mild smoke, with a pleasant, aromatic flavor that is sure to please anyone.
3. Sancho Panza Double Maduro. Flavor: full. This double maduro is as creamy and flavorful as a perfect shot of espresso. Delicious.
I frequently stock these three cigars in our little humidor, so grab one to enjoy outside or wander upstairs for a wider selection. Summer will be over in the blink of an eye, so make the most of it!