Aside from the fact that we have year-round great weather, live minutes away from the Florida Keys, and have access to a nearly limitess supply of Cuban pastries, one of the greatest benefits to being based in Miami is our proximity to so many world-class cigar companies. This means that when new cigars are being blended, tasted and subsequently released, we often have first dibs on them.
So when Eddy Guerra of Altadis U.S.A. called to say he was on his way with goodies in the form of the pre-release Montecristo Espada Oscuro, we dropped everything, lined up a selection of our favorite stouts and porters, and prepared for an epic pairing session. To the untrained ear this may sound like a cheap excuse to drink and smoke during the day but the truth is that we do it all for you. We wouldn’t want you cluelessly wandering the aisles of your local liquor store only to buy the wrong beer, the one that makes your cigar taste like your smoking your sweaty gym clothes. So next time you have hateful thoughts about us smoking and drinking at the office, try sending us a “thank you” tweet instead.
Eddy arrived like any good Miamian; with a box of cigars under one arm and holding a box of Cuban pastries in the other. We lined our stomachs with pastries, empanadas, and croquetas from Cao Bakery & Café and set about the business of finding the best porter or stout for this new offering produced for Altadis U.S.A. by the Plasencia family. The Montecristo Espada Oscuro is the third iteration of the Espada series; the previous two landed on our Top 25 lists of 2014 & 2015 respectively.
Light the cigar first and start to get a sense of the flavor profile. You’ll find a combination of milk chocolate, caramel, leather, and nut flavors over a base of soft pepper and earth. The Rogue brings a beautiful boozy mix of malt, bittersweet chocolate, strong espresso, and oak to the party. Combined you will find that the Rogue’s oak and malt replace the cigar’s pepper and earth and create a temporary brand new cigar. And as the beer’s flavors fade from your palate, the original Espada Oscuro returns. This is where I suggest you rinse and repeat and enjoy the pairing!