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Stogie Spirits: Winter Beers

8 Dec 2009

As I’ve written before, beer is often an under-appreciated beverage to pair with a fine cigar. And winter is a great time for beers that go well with cigars.

Winter BeerAs the weather turns colder, a number of breweries release winter beers that have rich flavors that can stand up to the flavors of a fine smoke. Recently, I picked up a selection of such seasonal beers to see what cigars would pair well with each:

Anchor 2009 Christmas Ale — Since 1975, Anchor Steam has produced this coffee-colored seasonal ale. After an aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon, you find a spicy, malty beer with a tinge of spearmint. It’s not too heavy, so I’d suggest a medium-bodied smoke that’s nice and balanced like a Tatuaje Havana VI.

Winter Hook Winter Ale — Made for 25 years by Red Hook brewery in New Hampshire, this copper ale produces a small amount of head and a malty aroma. This beer, not as heavy as Anchor, has toasted wheat flavors and some floral elements. Go with a mild smoke with this one, like an Ashton Classic.

Samuel Smith Winter Welcome Ale — With a bright amber hue, this British winter ale has a nice head and a toffee and apple aroma. It’s balanced and lager-like with toffee, grass, and caramel flavors, and a clean, hoppy finish. I’d suggest pairing this beer with a Connecticut-wrapped cigar, like the CAO Gold or Fuente King T.

Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine — While not an ale like the rest, this Barleywine, released in late November by Dogfish Head, is a kick above the competition at 15% ABV. For such a bold brew, the nose is surprisingly tame with a hint of apple cider. On the palate, the beer is a syrupy combination of intense raisin, toffee, and apples. Being a barleywine, it can stand up to a more full-bodied cigar, like an Ashton VSG or a Davidoff Millenium Blend.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

6 Responses to “Stogie Spirits: Winter Beers”

  1. Danielle Hawthorne Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 4:42 am #

    Try a Davidoff Special R with the Sam Adams Oktoberfest! Great pairing.

  2. cj Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 7:53 am #

    Dogfish head is one of my favorite brands, I have to look for the barleywine! thanks!

  3. Luke - AspiringGentleman Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    That’s a nice list. For those in the North West, last night I had a Boundary Bay Brewing Cabin Fever Winter Ale, and it paired perfectly with a RyJ Reserva Real Maduro Love Story.

  4. John Brooke - The Weekly Cigar Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 5:22 pm #

    Nice article. I can’t wait to try ALL of these beers.

  5. Dave in Ashburn Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 11:08 am #

    FYI, barleywines are indeed ales.


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