You don’t have be a cigar fanatic to savor a fine stogie, any more than you have to be an enormous craft beer fancier to enjoy a cold beer.
Delicate beers are great when paired with small cigars. A small diameter cigar creates a cooler smoke and is more compatible with a mild wheat beer rather than a hearty stout. Alternatively, a short, fat robusto pairs best with more full-bodied beers like stout, porter or dark ale.
It is also important to consider the wrapper, which makes up a large percent of the cigar’s flavor. The lighter the wrapper color, the more delicate the flavor of your smoke – and the lighter your beer should be.
Helpful Tips for Tasting Sessions
Here are some practices to keep in mind when combining flavors of beer with sometimes bold, sometimes delicate cigars:
- Don’t Let the Cigar Ruin Your Palate – Sip your beer first, then start your cigar.
- Strong Beers with Strong Cigars/Lighter Beers with Milder Cigars – A simple rule to keep in mind.
- Practice Cleansing Your Palate – Wine tasters often use a variety of foods to cleanse their palates between tastings.
- Keep a Supply of Mild Cigars on Hand – If you’re planning to experiment with different cigar and beer flavors, select a few mild cigars.
However, even after following these tips you should ultimately go with what works best for you. After all, it is whatever pairings tastes best for you that is important. But, if you are a beginner at pairing beer with cigars, these simple tips are a good place to start.