Man do I have some good stuff to review today. I say good stuff because the products I’ll be reviewing here are all stellar. Seriously, I was really blown away by all of these (4.5 and up stuff!!!) that I can hands-down recommend these all for all of you. We’ll start with the beer reviews.
Schmaltz Genesis 20:20
This big mother of a beer hails from Schmaltz Brewing Company in Clifton Park, New York. This American Barleywine weighs in at a staggering 16.7% ABV and an unspecified IBU and gravity. Had on draft in a 5-ounce pour from Goodfriend in Dallas, Texas. Needless to say this beer was heavy, full-bodied and succulent.
Pour was a deep reddish-brown with a very thin ring of tan head that sticks around and leaves behind ample lacing. The aroma was an astringent alcohol, fruity esters, molasses and a touch of citrus hop pungency. Big, bold, complex flavors consisting of an overall sweet backbone apple, brown sugar, molasses, brown sugar and plum. Full-bodied finish consisting of dark chocolate and a balanced grapefruit hoppiness. Going down it has a fairly big burn and a hint of a bourbon barrel age on it. Thick body and mouthfeel with a low carbonation. Drinks smoothly enough but definitely a sipper.
Well, there’s nothing bad to say about this beer. I love big beers and this is definitely a big beer. Full-flavored, thick and smooth. Everything and more I love about the American Barleywine style. Drink this one standalone after a substantial dinner and just savor the flavor. Rating: 5/5.
No Label Elda M
Elda M is a Milk Stout hailing from No Label Brewing Company in Katy, Texas (just outside of Houston). Though not the heavyweight listed above, she’s no slouch weighing in at 6.9% ABV and 25 IBU. This is a winter seasonal but I picked it up on sale at a local grocery store and it was really tasty.
Pours a deep brown color with a substantial head that sticks around and leaves a bit of lacing. Aromas of roasted malt, vanilla and a hint of coffee. Rich flavors follow the nose featuring all of the above plus a subtle hint of creamy chocolate. Medium thickness and carbonation. Very drinkable; almost quaffable.
A very delightful milk stout that’s smooth and rich and not overly alcoholic so you can kill a few of these and not think twice. Went very nicely with the cigar selection below. Rating: 4.5/5.
And now for today’s cigar selection:
Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro Toro
This tasty treat from Rocky Patel cigars features Nicaraguan long filler and binder under a Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrapper. This box-pressed Toro vitola comes in at 6.5″ x 52RG and it impressed in leaps and bounds.
First light revealed a slightly loose draw producing large plumes of thick creamy-textured smoke. Medium/full body flavors of sweet, creamy milk chocolate and roasted nuts on the draw followed up by a smooth earthy finish and a subtle hint of pepper on the retrohale. The flavor profile remained largely consistent for 2/3 of the cigar (which was OK with me because I was digging the flavors) with the last third dialing down the sweetness morphing the draw flavors to more of a sharp, biting dark chocolate and bringing in a hint of a coffee. The smoke finally went hot and acrid at 1 hour and 20 minutes so a very respectable burn time. Mild/medium nicotine strength.
Construction was flawless with a near-razor sharp burn all the way down, which is surprising for a maduro. I can see why this cigar was ranked #2 on Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 of 2016: rich flavors, ultra smooth and not much nicotine. Just great all around. Rating: 4.75/5.