Beer/Cigar Review Wednesday 2/15

Welcome to beer/cigar review Wednesday where we take a look at some notable (and maybe not-so-notable) beers and cigars from the past week. This week is also kind of a light week as I was still getting over a cold the latter half of last week and into the beginning of this week but we should be back to full swing soon! Alas, I do have one of each to review (though no photo of the cigar – I mistakenly trashed it from my phone; sorry!).

First for this week’s beer selection:

Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine

What would the beer world be without Dogfish Head pushing the envelope in nearly every style they take on? This American Barleywine is no exception as it weighs in at an insane 15% ABV and a respectable 85 IBU. As always from Dogfish, this one was a real taste treat.

Pours a medium orange color with a thin but heavily laced head. Aromas of alcohol, fruit, caramel malt and floral hops. Deep, complex and warming flavors of vanilla, pineapple, caramel malt, a subtle spiciness and a wallop of piney and grapefruit hops to finish. Substantial alcohol burn on the way down. Thick bodied (almost to the point of cloyingly thick) with medium carbonation. Sips easily but you can’t take big gulps of it.

What can I say? Dogfish Head does it again. A rib-sticking, warming and satisfying Barleywine. Everything a good example of the style should be. Bold, complex and very alcoholic. Pretty filling too (drinks like a meal at 450 calories per 12 ounce bottle). Rating: 5/5.

And now for the cigar of this week:

Padron 1964 Maduro Principe

(No photo – sorry again!)

Padron, the prototypical Nicaraguan puro. This particular one is a 4.5″ x 46 RG soft box pressed Corona size and features Nicaraguan long filler, binder and Maduro wrapper. Typical Padron single cap which is somewhat risky to cut but I usually have no problem (wish they’d put doubles or triples on their cigars as everyone else).

First light revealed a perfect draw with high smoke volume. Full body, heavy earth and pepper. Flavors were surprisingly consistent from first light almost down to the last puff, which came at 40 minutes in (not too bad for the size cigar). Also a very heavy nicotine strength – I nearly threw up by the time I finished it.

This was not surprising but typical Padron construction – flawless, near perfect burn line and draw. The only downside is that damn single cap. This one luckily didn’t unravel but I’m generally very careful when cutting these (try to leave just a bit of it). Usually don’t have a problem but I still prefer a straight/guillotine cut for the most open draw possible.

In general I tend to like Padrons but this one didn’t tickle my fancy. Most Padrons tend to have some dessert-like flavors (cocoa/chocolate, cream, coffee) which I prefer but I guess due to the maduro wrapper (earthy/peppery typically) and small ring gauge it was dominated by the earth and pepper. As such, I didn’t really care for this one but if you love heavy earth it might be to your liking. Rating: 2/5.


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