Beer/Cigar Reviews – Thai Speedway Stout and H&S Shriner

Welcome to another installment of my beer and cigar reviews, where I offer my insights into some notable (and some not-so-notable) beers and cigars. As always, let’s start with our beer selection for today and then we’ll talk about my cigar selection.

Thai Speedway Stout

This beer is a variant of the previously reviewed Speedway Stout from Alesmith Brewing Company in San Diego, California. It is Speedway Stout brewed with the addition of Thai spices and fruits for a truly unique experience.

Had on tap at Flying Saucer in Garland, Texas. Pours a jet black with a substantial brown head that sticks around and laces the glass like crazy. Aroma is dominated by notes of pickled ginger, citrus and curry while being supported by the coffee and roasted qualities of the original. Bold, complex flavors consisting of mandarin orange, pickled ginger, a hint of basil supported by the dark roast coffee and dark chocolate notes of the original. Finishes with a subtle yet warming curry spice note. Thick body with low carbonation. Drinks smoothly enough but it’s definitely a sipping beer.

Big and beautifully complex, this beer exceeded my expectations for what a fusion beer can be. It captures the essence of Thailand and what a great imperial stout should be. If you like Thai food (or even just Asian food in general) and imperial stout, this is a must try. Rating: 5/5.

Hiram and Solomon Shriner

This cigar from H&S and blended by David Blanco of Blanco Cigars features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper over an Indonesian binder and a variety of long fillers consisting of Brazilian Arapiraca, Habano Jalapa, Habano Ometepe and Dominican. The size reviewed is what I’m estimating to be a 5″ x 52RG Robusto sized stick. Their website only shows a Toro listed but I have one of those and they are different sizes indeed.

First light revealed a fairly loose draw but putting off a high volume of creamy-textured, medium bodied smoke. Notes of smooth, creamy leather and a salted butter on the draw followed by a slight wood zing on the finish and a subtle pepper on the retrohale.

Getting into the first third a subtle sweetness came on mixing well with the cream and leather notes. Consistent start to finish, with the only change being the melding of the flavors a little later on. Burns on the fast side; I only got about 40 minutes out of it before the smoke started to go too warm for my liking. No detectable nicotine strength.

Construction was very good with a burn that while not totally razor sharp was self-correcting and required no touch ups.

This was a very pleasant cigar indeed. While not my favorite of the H&S line (so far that title belongs to the Master Mason) this one would go great with a cup of coffee in the morning. Smooth, pleasant and not overpowering, this would also be a great beginner’s cigar. Rating: 3.5/5.

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