Beer/Cigar Review Wednesday 12/21/16

Welcome to beer/cigar review Wednesday where I take a look at any interesting or noteworthy (and maybe not-so-notworthy) beers I’ve drunk or cigars I’ve smoked over the past seven days. By all means, if you wish to chime in on your experiences with these and/or provide your own reviews feel free to do so in the comments! At any rate, let’s get going.

Let’s start with this week’s beer selections:

Revolver Mother’s Little Fracker

Originating from Revolver Brewing in Granbury, Texas is Mother’s Little Fracker (too bad they couldn’t get away with calling it something else), a keg/bottle conditioned American Stout weighing in at 7.75% ABV and 60 IBU. Not quite an Imperial but pushing the envelope, it has some characteristics of an Imperial but is otherwise just a plain old American Stout nonetheless.

Pours jet black with a thick tan head that recedes to a thin ring and laces the glass like crazy. Big roasty aroma with hints of coffee and dark chocolate. Palate follows the nose almost exactly with roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee but adding in a tinge of sweet caramel and dark fruit and adding in a subtle floral hop finish. Medium in body and very low carbonation which results in a slick mouthfeel and thus an easily chuggable beer.

All in all a pleasant stout. Not quite imperial stout smooth but not as rough as some plain American stouts can be. Definitely not my favorite but one I would definitely drink again. Rating: 3.75/5.

Rahr and Sons Winter Warmer

Rahr and Sons is another one of my favorite Texas breweries. Based out of Ft. Worth, this place is another one of those that likes to push the envelope a bit. This Winter Warmer is not too far out of character but still packs a good punch at 8% ABV and 44 IBU.

Pours a dark reddish brown with 1 finger of head that dissipates to almost nothing. Aromas of molasses, dark fruit and floral hops. Flavors of roasted malt, black cherry and a touch of molasses sweetness supported by a subtle smokiness and a medium floral/piney hop finish. Slight alcohol burn on the way down. Medium in body and carbonation and drinks easily enough.

Yet another tasty brew from Rahr and Sons and if you can get it definitely a quintessential winter seasonal beer. Rating: 4/5.

And now for this week’s cigar picks:

La Flor Dominica Andalusian Bull

Here it is folks: Cigar Aficionado Magazine’s #1 cigar of 2016 and luckily my local tobacconist had them in stock. This cigar features Dominican long filler and Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper and is a 6.5 x 64 Salomon.

First light featured a very loose draw with minimal mild-medium bodied smoke consisting of mostly a smooth, creamy leather on both the draw and retrohale. Double-puffing the first bit helped the smoke production and body immensely bringing it up to a solid medium body and enhancing the draw/finish flavor and adding in a subtle cocoa on the draw and caramel on the retrohale, along with a slight spice. The creamy leather core sticks around through to the 2nd third dropping the spice, caramel and cocoa and bringing in a coffee note and no longer requiring double puffs. Nearing the final third the body flavors are up to medium-full and the coffee transitions to a cedar while still keeping the same core flavor. First hot/acrid draw came at 2 hours thus ending the cigar for me. Medium nicotine strength lasting from about the end of the first third to the final puff.

The cigar featured the typical burn issues that come from a large ring gauge (namely a wonky burn requiring frequent touching up) and the last third had to be puffed very frequently or it would go out. Honestly it was a bit of a pain in the ass to smoke because of that.

All in all, this cigar would be a leather lover’s dream as it features that core flavor from first light to final puff. I’m not a huge leather fan so it didn’t really do it for me and combined with the burn issues I didn’t like it as well as CA obviously, but not unplesant or or anything. I was just expecting and hoping for more. Rating: 3/5.

Alec Bradley Tempus Maduro Terra Nova

This AB cigar is a 5″ x 50 ring gauge robusto and features a mix of Honduran and Nicaraguan long filler under a San Andres maduro wrapper. I picked this one up not knowing what to expect – I had had one out of an AB variety pack and it absolutely sucked but I chalked it up to the fact most companies (cigar or otherwise) put their rejects into variety packs to sell them cheap and decided to give it another try.

First light featured a perfect draw consisting of a rich chocolate on the draw and a very peppery and spicy finish supported by a soft leather on the retrohale. The smoke had a dry, chalky mouthfeel. Pepper and spice taper off after the first light but still present bringing the body down to a medium, but also allowed a creamy coffee to come in on the draw. The retrohale morphs to just a generic earthiness by the 2nd third while keeping the same draw flavors. The final third goes completely earthy on the draw, finish and retrohale dropping all the other flavors. I ended the cigar at 45 minutes with over two inches left because of a full nicotine strength.

Construction and burn was typical of a thick maduro wrapper leaf – somewhat wonky and requiring a couple of corrections to the burn. Double puffing helped the burn stay more even, but as always one has to be careful doing this as to not overheat the cigar (which leads to a very putrid hot gas flavor).

I don’t know how to rate this one honestly. The first about 30 minutes of the cigar produced very nice flavors while the last third didn’t suit my taste preference and it had so much nicotine I felt like I was going to throw up when I ended it. If you like nicotine bombs this is one to check out for sure, but I just can’t handle them. I think my final rating is going to be 3.5/5.

That concludes this week’s rendition of my beer and cigar reviews. Let me know what you thought of these.