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Stogie Spirits: Sam Adams

23 May 2007

People generally look to the more potent spirits for cigar pairings, but, in my experience, a good beer can be an excellent accompaniment to a handmade stogie. And by good beer I mean a well-crafted, flavorful brew, not that watery stuff that is constantly advertised during televised sporting events.

Sam AdamsNow don’t get me wrong. I’ve had more than my share of Bud, Miller, Natural Light, and PBR…And many times with a cigar. However, when I want a beer that actually adds to my smoking experience, I turn to something a little better. And one of the most dependable makers of excellent flavorful beer is Sam Adams.

Here are three of the many varieties that Sam Adams makes, and some suggestions for pairing them with cigars:

Boston Lager

The Sam Adams Boston Lager is the flagship beer of the line. It is a hoppy brew with little in common with the traditional, watered-down lagers I mentioned earlier. Amber in color and aromatic in scent, it has a nice bite. It also is the easiest Sam Adams beer to find – available on tap in most bars and many restaurants. I would suggest pairing it with a medium-bodied cigar with a little spice, perhaps something with a Cameroon wrapper.

Black Lager

The Black Lager is not one of my favorites. While very smooth, I found the chocolate flavors and grainy finish a bit unpleasant. Still, I know beer lovers who think this beverage is the best made by Sam Adams – so I think this is sort of a love it or hate it brew. If you’re having a pint of the Black Lager with a cigar, you’ll want something that accentuates the chocolate flavors. Try a full-flavored maduro like a CAO Brazilia, a Padron Anniversary (Maduro), or a La Gloria Cubana Serie R.

Boston Ale

The Sam Adams Boston Ale is a classic copper-colored American ale. Crisp, fruity, and well-carbonated, it is a lighter-bodied brew. The Boston Ale is very drinkable and versatile enough to be enjoyed with a meal, or just with a few more Boston Ales. It also is can be enjoyed year round. Pair this beer with a mild, creamy cigar like a Macanudo Natural, a Davidoff Grand Cru, or an Ashton Classic.

Those are just three of the over 30 beers brewed by Sam Adams. (Maybe I’ll pick three more for a future edition of Stogie Spirits.)

Now let me know your favorite Sam Adams beers (and the cigars you suggest they be paired with) in the comments.

Patrick S


10 Responses to “Stogie Spirits: Sam Adams”

  1. Charles Tuesday, May 22, 2007 at 7:42 pm #

    The Octoberfest is my favorite. unfortunately it is only available for about 1 month a year.

  2. Matt Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 3:23 am #

    This article is a pretty cool idea. Kudos on coming up with it.

    My favorite Sam Adams is by far the Honey Porter. It's an excellent brew followed a close second by the Black Lager. I really enjoy a Tatuaje Cojonu 2003 with my Honey Porter.

  3. Sam Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 3:41 am #

    Octoberfest for me is the best followed by the Summer Ale. For Octoberfest a nice Rocky Patel Sun Grown or Torano Exodus 1950 goes perfectly. For the Summer Ale something light to go with the Lemony taste. Perhaps something from the Drew Estate Natural Line or an AVO.

  4. Sean Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 7:37 am #

    I really enjoy the Winter Ale by Sam Adams. But, it's about as difficult to find as the Octoberfest.

  5. Patrick S Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 7:54 am #


    I'm agree with you that the Winter Ale is a great beer. When I was in college, in the spring, when the Winter Ale was no longer available most places, one store near my school used to sell cases (24) of it for $13.

    I'd always go scoop 3 or 4 up so I could have some nice beer to drink on my college budget.

  6. Brian Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 9:52 am #

    I heartily agree with Sam on the Octoberfest, It's the Sam Adams beer I drink the most. (And it's very available, nearly year round in Atlanta if you know where to look.)

    I'm a big fan of Ambers/Reds I'd recommend the following to anybody to try with or without a good cigar:

    – Flying Dog Old Scratch Ale (GA)

    – Bridgeport ESB or IPA (OR)

    – New Belgium Fat Tire (CO) (Can't get it in Hotlanta)

    – Sweetwater 420 (GA)

    – Dos Equis Amber (MX)

    – Youngs Double Chocolate Stout (UK?) (Yeah, not an amber, but tasty!)

    Happy drinking/smoking!

  7. furious Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 11:15 am #

    Blue Moon with an orange wedge is really nice with a Montecristo White. I just had that combo last weekend and it was a winner.

  8. Eric Friday, May 25, 2007 at 9:16 am #

    Excellent choice of topic.

    Summer Ale is my favorite, an unfiltered wheat ale similar to blue moon, but substitute the orange for a lemon. Oktoberfest is excellent. Black lager is a good choice. I've had a Fezzywig a few times as well, it is as dark as the Winter lager but with more spice. The Winter Sampler pack is a fun treat in the Nov-Dec timeframe.

    Sadly, there is no Fat Tire in Ohio either 🙁

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