When it comes to pairing beer and food, one can take two approaches. The first approach is the complimentary one, where certain flavor notes in the beer match certain flavors in the dish. This works pretty well until you get into heavy, rich foods, where you tend to want something refreshing on the palate between mouthfuls. The second approach is the opposite, where you aim for contrasting flavor profiles between the two, which fulfills the palate-cleansing desires when the dish is on the heavy side, and gets downright bizarre when you begin pairing imperial stouts with your crisp summer salads. Obviously the rules are not set in stone.
With cigars I've always thought the rules would be fairly complimentary. Light cigars with lighter beers, heavier cigars with heavier beers. I contemplated, however, pairing a cigar with Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
, which is one hell of a beer and might need a lighter cigar with it. Could I be correct? Well, I didn't have any Bourbon County Stout, so I tried something else.
I decided to try pairing a Perdomo Lot 23
and an Eel River Porter
You have already read my review of the Perdomo, and the porter I
selected is a fine organic brew with a medium body, nice roasted notes,
and a slightly bitter, slightly creamy finish. This was an attempt to
pair a medium-mild cigar with a medium-rich beer, which, on second
thought, is a spiraling descent into the downright bizarre that I
Certain flavors match pretty well in these two. They both have a
creamy mouth feel, but the roasted coffee notes in the porter bully the
subtle flavors of the Perdomo into obscurity. It's a shame. But the
creaminess of the porter is indeed a nice match, so I would suspect
that an English pub ale would be a great match for this cigar. Light
hops and good malt to avoid dominating the cigar, and a creamy body to
accent the cigar's easy smoothness.
What are your favorite cigar and beer pairings? I want to try them out.