Jul 25, 2014

Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter and CAO Brazilia Pairing

When I first received the promotional package from Flying Dog Brewing and CAO Cigars that contained their suggested beer and cigar pairings, there was one combination to which I was most looking forward. The first three setups were all pretty good in their own right — one, two and three — but the prospect of pairing a Gonzo Imperial Porter with CAO’s Brazilia was the one that made me drool the most.

Aside from the brewery’s Kujo and it’s own barrel aged variety, Gonzo Imperial Stout is the one that I turn to most whenever I’m in the mood for a Flying Dog. It’s a big, roasty, rich beer that hits all the right spots and is such a great option for a cigar pairing.

Like the other three cigars from CAO, I had never had the Brazilia before this pairing. The first thing I noticed up the initial draw was the impression that the cigar wasn’t nearly as tight or as dense as the previous products that I sampled. The tightness didn’t impede or take away from the overall experience, just something I noticed. The Brazilia still had a smooth character full of coffee, nutty and woody notes. It’s not overly rich, but still right up my alley.

This was a great pairing. I had high hopes for it when the package arrived and it did not disappoint. Both the beer and cigar have strong flavors in their own right, but together they play off one another well — neither overpowered the other. The flavors of coffee and chocolate from both parties complimented the other perfectly making for a thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing afternoon.

Looking back on all of the pairings that I had the opportunity to enjoy, I would have to say that this one was my favorite of the bunch, with the Pearl Necklace and Mx2 pairing coming in at a close second. The biggest surprise for me, though, was the first pairing. The combination of CAO’s OSA Sol and Flying Dog’s Snake Dog IPA was a refreshing idea. I would have never thought to pair an IPA with a cigar, but this pair’s spicy flavors worked tremendously well.

If you like beer — I’m assuming you do since you’re reading a beer blog — and you dig a good cigar, I highly suggest any of the four combinations that Flying Dog and CAO Cigars have put together.

This is a review of a promotional sample.

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