Jul 17, 2014

Flying Dog Raging Bitch and CAO Gold Pairing

Back in late June, I received a promotional package from Flying Dog Brewing and CAO Cigars. The companies have joined forces to offer beer drinkers and cigar smokers the opportunity to try out some suggested pairings:

I started off my foray into the pairings with the lightest combination, Snake Dog and CAO OSA Sol. I enjoyed the the interaction between the spicy tobacco and herbal, peppery hops of the beer. Would the next pairing of the brewery’s Raging Bitch Belgian-style IPA and CAO’s Gold prove to be just as dynamic?

Eh… not so much. While I liked the individuals of this particular pairing, the combination of the two seemed to sort of cancel one another out. On it’s own, Raging Bitch is a solid amalgam of herbal, grassy hops, citrus and smooth Belgian yeast. I’ve gone through many a bottle of this beer since it was first announced back in 2009. CAO Gold is a smooth and even-tempered cigar. It’s pretty straightforward and no nonsense in its approach. Smooth, woody, light caramel notes and solid construction (resulting a balanced draw), the cigar doesn’t offer too much in the way of richness or robustness.

Flying Dog Raging Bitch and CAO Gold Pairing photo

When combined, the CAO Gold mellows out the grassy hop notes as well as the bite and spice notes. Fruits and a maltier presence tend to show through more. The Belgian yeast also shies from the spotlight a bit as does the slight warmth from the 8.3% ABV of the brew.

Not every pairing works out as well as you expect. This could be the result of any number of things — personal tastes, environment, what have you. In the case of Raging Bitch and CAO Gold, this isn’t a bad pairing by any means. I’m just not sure that either party really does anything for the other. So far, my favorite combination of the set has been that of Snake Dog and OSA Sol. That said, I’m really looking forward to the last two pairings, which should prove to be ore toward my liking in terms of robustness.

This is a review of a promotional sample.

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