It’s been awhile since I’ve done a beer/cigar review post so I figured it was time for one. Our lineup tonight features some good shit so let’s just get right down to it.
From Abbaye de Leffe S.A. in Belgium (operating under Anheuser-Bush InBev) comes this Belgian dark ale. Weighing in at 6.5% ABV and an unspecified IBU rating. It’s a traditional Belgian ale to the core and while not the typical heavyweight Belgian beer, it’s still pleasing enough.
Pours a dark red-amber color with a very thick, frothy head which lasts a long time and leaves a considerable amount of lacing on the glass. Classic Belgian aromas of banana, brown sugar and a tartness immediately greet the nose. Flavors follow the nose with some brown sugar, molasses, banana and a touch of green apple bite. Finishes smooth and clean. Light bodied and high carbonation make this for a very easy drinking, refreshing beer.
It’s definitely not my favorite Belgian but very pleasing for sure. Goes down well on a hot day and you can easily kill a few with the lower ABV. For a lighter bodied beer it was very flavorful and enjoyable. Rating: 4/5.
Padron 1926 #1 Maduro:
Padron cigars obviously need no introduction. The Padron brand is well-renowned for its consistency, complex smooth taste and easy draw. When you think of ultra-premium cigars Padron is most often the first name that comes to mind.
The 1926 #1 Maduro features all Nicaraguan sun-grown tobacco (as does every Padron) and measures in at 6.7″ x 54RG. They call it a Churchill but given the relatively large ring gauge it’s more of a Double Corona in size.
The first light reveals a very loose draw producing a large volume of thick smoke. Full bodied, complex flavors consisting of a slightly sweet earthy chocolate and a hint of coffee on the draw followed by a smooth leather and sharp, hot pepper on the retrohale. The pepper dies down slightly after the first light but still remains allowing a creamy note to join the mix. We get a nice transition entering the 2nd third as the leather is replaced by a subtle caramel.
Smoking on down the profile becomes overall darker and heavier as the chocolate goes more toward dark chocolate and the earthiness and coffee ramp up. The last third introduced some roasted nuts while dropping the caramel. The smoke got too warm for me at 1 hour and 50 minutes for a fantastic smoke time. Surprisingly a lot less strength than I expected – I only detected about a medium strength.
The cigar featured good construction with a relatively even burn. It did require a couple of small touchups on the way but I fully expected that due to two facts: 1) it’s a Maduro (they’re notorious for burning wonky) and 2) it’s a large-ish ring gauge. My only real gripe is the same gripe I have with pretty much every parejo-shaped Padron: the stupid ass single caps. I’ve occasionally had them want to unravel on me after cutting and I cannot for the lift of me figure out why they insist on putting single caps on their cigars but they do.
What can I say? If you like full-bodied, complex cigars you are going to love this one. Delicious and long-lasting with enough transitions to keep you interested and it won’t knock you on your ass like some other super-premium Padrons (the 80 Years for example; loved that cigar but it made me sick!). If it had a double or triple cap this would be a 5/5 cigar all the way but because of the single cap I’m downgrading it to 4.75/5. Definitely a winner yet definitely a special occasion cigar though – at about $25/stick these ain’t cheap!