Oh baby baby, for today’s beer and cigar review I’ve got some absolutely off-the-charts stuff. You’re going to want to stick around for this one, these are must try items if you’re into beer, cigars or both.
AleSmith Speedway Stout
Speedway Stout comes to us from AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego, California. It is an American Imperial Stout brewed with coffee. It weighs in at a hefty 12% ABV, 70 IBU and AleSmith is kind enough to provide the original gravity which is a very heavy 1.114 (26.75 degrees Plato).
Had on tap at The Flying Saucer in Garland, Texas. Pours an absolutely jet black color with a 1/2″ of milk chocolate colored head which lasts a long time and laces the glass like crazy. Very strong dark roast coffee immediately greets the nose followed by undertones of dark fruit, roasted malt and a wallop of alcoholic astringency. Big, bold and complex flavors with the coffee being the star of the show but not bitter or burnt as some coffees can be. The coffee is supported by a rich, complex boquet of dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, raisin and a delicate hop bite. Fair amount of alcohol burn in the back of the throat going down. Full, thick body and a low-to-medium carbonation. Very easy to drink; almost smooth enough to chug. You could get in trouble with this one easily.
Wow. Just wow. This beer absolutely floored me (in more ways than one!). I like dark, I like big and I like bold and this has all of that and more. I absolutely cannot find fault with this beer. Imperial Stout lovers will especially appreciate this fine brew.
La Flor Dominicana La Nox
This 6.5 x 50 Toro+ sized stick (really somewhere between a Toro and Double Corona) from La Flor Dominicana features a Brazilian what I’m going to call Oscuro wrapper over a Mexican San Andreas binder and Dominican ligero long filler.
LFD has, admittedly, been hit-or-miss with me over the years – some I’ve liked, some have been “meh” and there have been a couple I really didn’t care for (including their #1 ranked Andalusian Bull – how that thing was #1 in 2016 I don’t know; it’s average at best IMO and this La Nox totally blows it out of the water). Alas, I’ve heard several people in the CO Fans group (as well as Bryan Glynn of CigarObsession) absolutely rave about this stick so I was excited to try it and I finally found somewhere that had a few of these in stock and yes, it absolutely blew me away.
The first light revealed a lightly snug draw but good smoke output. Medium bodied draw favors of a cool, creamy leather followed by a substantial, full bodied, meaty finish and balanced salty and peppery retrohale. Think almost like eating a juicy charcoal or wood grilled steak generously seasoned with Montreal steak seasoning. Finish seems to never fade. Smoke has a thick, almost chewy texture to it.
Getting into the first third the draw opened up to what I would call absolutely perfect and the smoke gets more complex bringing a subtle dry cocoa into the draw and an aromatic cedar on the retrohale. The 2nd third remained consistent but bringing the cocoa more into the finish. No further changes. The smoke started going hot and acrid at almost 2 hours for a super slow burn. Packs a punch at a medium/full nicotine strength but not overbearing and it didn’t leave me with that about to hurl feeling at the end.
Construction was excellent featuring a burn that wasn’t completely razor sharp but didn’t require any corrections or touchups – something that surprised me given the very dark, thick, oily wrapper. It did occasionally seem to want a double-puff but that wasn’t a consistent thing and no matter how frequently or infrequently I puffed the thing it didn’t get hot or overheat at all and it never went out on me.
Well, what can I say? How Andalusian Bull was #1 beats me when I could have easily seen this as #1 of 2016. It’s complex, bold, and lasts a long time. At times I was wondering if I was smoking a cigar or eating a hefty steak dinner. I immediately went for some ice cream after smoking this cigar, needless to say. As far as pairings, pair this cigar with a bold, full body red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a hefty bourbon for best results. An absolutely amazing cigar.