Before you go out for the grand Irish tradition of binge drinking this St. Patty’s Day, you should pick out a tasty cigar to go with that six, twelve or eighteen pack you just bought.
Not only will pairing cigars and beer make your evening more enjoyable and improve the flavor of your beer, but it’s also a way for you to look classy as an Irish gentleman while celebrating! Not sure where to begin? Well here are some great cigar and beer pairing ideas with some Irish classics to get you started.
Harp & Perdomo Lot 23 Churchill
A great combo to get you started for the evening is a nice cold bottle of Harp and a Perdomo Lot 23 Churchill cigar. This medium-bodied Perdomo helps bring out the flavor in the light beer and especially enhances the hops.
The Harp, in turn, adds its own flavor to the cigar while making the smoke even smoother.
The only regret I had with this pairing was that I had no second Harp to go with it as the Churchill size makes it ideal for two or three beers, depending on how Irish you’re feeling.
Guinness Black Lager & Alec Bradley American Classic Churchill
If you plan on being in a tavern, casino, pub or similar bar setting for the evening, I suggest a Guinness Black Lager and an Alec Bradley American Classic Churchill.
What the Alec Bradley may lack in complex flavors it more than makes up for with a smooth smoke and consistent draw.
It also adds a certain body to the Black Lager that makes it seem like a heavier and more flavorful beer. Being a Churchill, this cigar is meant to be enjoyed with a couple of beers instead of just one, so be sure to get your money’s worth!
Guinness Extra Stout & Arturo Fuente Sun Grown Chateau
The ultimate St. Patty’s Day pairing goes to a Guinness Extra Stout with an Arturo Fuente Sun Grown Chateau. From the moment I started smoking, I knew this combo would be a knockout.
The medium-light smoke of the Fuente cigar perfectly complimented the heavier body of the stout and even made the Guinness taste almost sweet.
To make this pairing even better, the Guinness added its heavy and rich flavor to the smoke. The only thing missing from this pairing was a nice frosted glass for the Guinness. The cigar was the perfect size to sip on the stout and enjoy them both fully before the beer even got warm. If you have the opportunity this St. Patrick’s to enjoy a Guinness with a Fuente Sun Grown, I highly recommend you do. Plus, beer doesn’t get any more Irish than Guinness Extra Stout!
Conclusion on Pairing Cigars and Beer
These are just some ideas to get you started – of course there are plenty of great ways to mix and match cigars with a cold one. Beer and cigars are meant to be together like peanut butter & jelly or Batman & Robin.
The key to finding the perfect pairing is to know the flavor of your favorite beers, and then look for cigars that would compliment that beer’s body & flavor.
A heavy beer with a heavy cigar can be a little much and will knock you on your ass while a light cigar with a light beer can be unsatisfying. When pairing cigars and beer, you must find a middle ground between the two, so the contrast enhances the flavors instead of causing them to compete.
It is also important to match the quality of the cigar to the quality of the beer. A $60 stick won’t magically make a Natty Ice taste like it came down from the heavens, and a cheap gas station cigar can ruin a brand new imported craft brew.
Hopefully this will be a stepping stone that leads you to experimenting with different varieties of beers and cigars – you know the possibilities are endless, right? Consider your own tastebuds, do your own research and ask for recommendations from cigar aficionados you trust.
Beer and cigars are two luxuries that are meant to be enjoyed together, so make sure you have a tasty cigar before you reach for that green beer this St. Patrick’s Day. Unleash your inner leprechaun but don’t blame us when you get shamrocked!Pairing Cigars and Beer by Chris Bonomo