Our purpose here at Thespeakpodcast is primarily beer. Specifically, the drinking thereof and the (far less important) subsequent discussion and review.
"Indy beer. Indie beer." See? It's right there in our motto.Twice.Now, that's not to say that we don't have other hobbies...which incidentally can also be indulged while drinking beer.As you might have guessed from the title, I'm here today to talk about smoking whilst drinking, as a few of the podcast members are wont to do. We'll get into specific beer and cigar pairings in later posts. For now, let's start with some basics.
Beer has a number of points in its favor to accompany a cigar when compared to other types of libation, including:
- Its price-point, which is substantially lower than the traditional choices (bourbon, scotch, brandy, etc.)
- Its versatility, with flavor profiles able to properly compliment or contrast any cigar on the market
- Its relative mildness, which, when compared to hard alcohols, won't overpower the flavors in a cigar
Cigars are much like beer, in that you have macro- and micro- producers, a wide variety of flavor profiles, and a wide variety of ingredients that create those profiles. For now, we'll just concern ourselves with the outer leaf of tobacco, known as the wrapper.
The wrapper contributes up to 90% of a cigar's flavor. Knowing which wrappers are which will give you a general flavor the cigar will exhibit. What follows is a list of the most common wrappers, and their general flavors:
- Connecticut: Mild bodied, with smooth & creamy notes
- Natural: Mild-to-medium bodied, with sweeter, sometimes slightly spicy notes
- Corojo: Medium-to-full bodied, with earthy, peppery notes
- Maduro: Medium-to-full bodied, with coffee and cocoa
- Habano: Full bodied, spicy, can have hints of coffee and cocoa
A good rule of thumb is that the lighter a cigar wrapper, the more mild it will be. This is not always the case, but holds a good deal of the time.
So, with even that little bit of knowledge, we can start trying to pair our fine smoke-ables with beer. Starting out, it's probably preferable to try combinations that compliment each other.
For example, a Connecticut wrapped cigar would stand up better to a pilsner than a stout. On the other end, the cocoa usually found in maduro cigars would pair well with a chocolate porter or stout.
Next time, we'll get into more on the various sizes and shapes cigars can be found in, but for now, I've got to go.
My beer's getting warm, and my smoke is still cold.