It’s always a celebration when you unwrap a savory cigar and pop open an elegant beer.
Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 & Sierra Nevada Porter
Wrapped in 10-year-old, sun-grown Ecuadorian tobacco, Rocky Patel has bold, earthy flavors that include coffee and cedar. It produces a strong, sophisticated smoke, but the creamy-headed Sierra Nevada holds its own with a mouthful of flavors: You’ll detect chocolaty and malt notes with hints of caramel and citrus fruit from the hops.
Ashton VSG Sorcerer & Ommegang Three Philosophers
Pair the smooth-drawing Ashton and its flickers of cherry and mocha with Three Philosophers’ counterbalance of the sweet roasted malts and intense yeast. Let both age a year or two before marrying them, and the strong, mature tastes will provide an even more sophisticated and thought-provoking blend.
Romeo y Julieta Reserve Maduro & Dogfish Head Immort Ale
The dark Connecticut broadleaf wrapper may suggest the longer nights of winter, but the dry, somewhat spicy blend of Dominican, Nicaraguan and Peruvian tobaccos offers the more sensual experience of holiday celebrations. Full-bodied, somewhat spicy smoke leaves your palate rather dry and ready for Dogfish’s oak-aged quaff, with its complex mix of juniper berry, vanilla and maple syrup flavors.
Kinky Cristo & Guinness Draught
This new line of cigars (profits from which support Kinky Friedman’s Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch in Medina, Texas) offers just a hint of spiciness at first, then builds into a rich smoke that leaves notes of coffee on your tongue from its blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. Friedman, a singer, mystery writer and recent Texas gubernatorial candidate (who used to be all Cubans, all the time), recommends pairing this new favorite with the black-pouring Guinness and its chocolate and coffee malt notes.
Don Pepin Garcia Black Label 1979 & Pete’s Wicked Ale
While the traditional pairing of this wondrously flavorful, robust Cuban classic—with Nicaraguan notes of cedar, coffee, bittersweet cocoa, nuts and black pepper—is a stronger beer with a big ABV, it also plays nicely off something lighter. Pete’s standard-bearer is an easygoing match with lighter spice and fruitiness.