Smoke Notes Cigar Reviews: Perdomo Special Craft Series
Attention hop heads and barley brothers; the wait is over. As promised, Tabacalera Perdomo has put the finishing touches on it’s latest creation and released it into the wild. The Perdomo Special Craft Series has arrived. If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to pairing your premium sticks with craft brews, then let this be the hand that opens the gates to a heavenly, swirling mix of tasty smoke and satisfying libations.
W: Connecticut Shade-grown, United States
B: Jalapa, Nicaragua
F: Condega, Nicaragua
The Connecticut wrapper is surely the pilsner of the cigar world, so it’s no surprise that Nick Perdomo chose a light blond, shade grown variety for this pairing. Although a light-bodied smoke, the cold draw was filled with heavy, chewy flavors of fig, earth, dark cherry, and vanilla. The primary note in this smoke was a soft bread flavor, surrounded by a sweetness and pepper that left a tingling on my palate with each draw. Later on in the smoke, it developed a savory, creamy earth on the finish. Passersby all mentioned that it had a pleasant chocolate aroma.
Although I think this would pair well with any pilsner, the bread component would make me more inclined to pair it with a beer laden with heavy malts (think Oktoberfest). I can easily imagine this cigar and a Brooklyn Brown Ale embracing each other in flavor stampede. However, if you’re dead set on sipping a crisp pilsner whilst smoking this new offering, then Grolsch, Troeg’s Sunshine Pils, Reissdorf Kolsch, and Bitburger are all phenomenal selections that I can’t endorse enough.
W: Jalapa Sun-grown, Nicaragua
B: Condega, Nicaragua
F: Esteli, Nicaragua
As we step into medium-bodied territory with the Amber, our palates will be treated by a monstrous array of flavor. Notes of nuts, earth, dried fruit, and spiced meat were abound in the cold draw and aroma. The first inch of this stick is an indisputable, genuine flavor bomb. In between closing my dropped jaw, I tasted white pepper, raw lumber, vegetal, earth, vanilla cream, chocolate, and a shocking but delicious watermelon candy sweetness (yes, really). After this magnificent display, the primary flavor locked in with sweet wood and an earthy finish, slightly creamy like the Pilsner.
IPA’s are recognized as being the hardest beer to pair with cigars, thanks mostly to the surplus of hops. This stick definitely has the body to stand up to not the hoppiest of beers, but will do well with the average india pale ale. Because of a dark cherry note and the general sweetness of this cigar, I’d be more inclined to pair it with a moderately hopped, citrusy IPA rather than a floral one.
On the flip side I think the remainder of the range of beers this was intended for (ambers, lagers, pale ales, Oktoberfests) are all solid choices. Smoking this, I started to crave the slightly sweet, fruity Red Hook ESB. Equally excellent choices include Erie Brewing’s Railbender ale, Fuller’s London Pride, and Left Hand’s Oktoberfest.
W: Jalapa Maduro, Nicaragua
B: Condega, Nicaragua
F: Esteli, Nicaragua
The last of the three is intended for stouts, porters, browns, and dunkels. The cold draw harbored a curious peach and earth taste that made me think it might pair well with a fruitier, imperial style stout. Not wanting to assume things, I quickly lit it up and was treated to cherries, vegetal, wood, earth, and chocolate. Eventually this cigar settled into a groove of wood and cherries with a creamy cocoa powder finish. This profile leaves a fair amount of room for varied pairing ideas.
If you’re looking for something dark and full of chocolate, then you absolutely cannot go wrong with Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, especially if you can get it on the hand pump. If you’d like a stout with a little more kick, reach for the Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. Porter lovers should check out Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter while dunkel aficionados will no doubt have a few Franziskaner Hefe-Weiss Dunkels on hand.
Every one of these sticks had a candy-like sweetness and creamy earth that was consistent throughout the smokes, and three different people commented on the nice aroma of each of the three cigars. I’m not superstitious, but that’s got to be a good omen. They come in four vitolas: churchill, gordo, epicure, and robusto. Join the new wave of cigar pairing and drift leisurely through the tides of fermented barley and simmering tobacco. Get yours here.