Hi everyone, and welcome back to the best feature on this blog, Pint Friday! We’re sorry to have been away so long, I’m sure you’ve missed our Friday afternoon posts to get you thirsty. We’ve been missing drinking and smoking too! We’re back this week, and more committed to smoking and drinking than ever. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it, and gosh darn it we’re going to keep drinking and smoking until the job is done.
This week we wanted to do something special to in our Pint Friday return, so we coaxed participation from a very special guest. It took an awful lot of arm-twisting, but our very own master blender and the genius behind Hearth & Home pipe tobacco Mr. Russ Ouellette was convinced to join us today in our imbibing and inhaling rituals. This week, with the onset of fall weather we decided to go for a brew on the darker side on things, and of course we needed a bad-ass stogie to pair it up with. We went for the hot-off-the-presses Paul Stulac White Blinding Light for the smoke, and combined it with Murphy’s Irish Stout.
I cracked open the Murphy’s draught flow can and poured myself a pint, and while it settled I gave my White Blinding Light a cut and fired it up. The initial puffs brought some heavy pepper notes to go along with a nice wood flavor. I introduced the brew at this point and the flavors immediately complimented each other perfectly while also offering up some nice elements of contrast. The sweetness of the beer fed off the spiciness of the cigar, while the richer coffee flavors of both meshed very well. Murphy’s is an old favorite of mine, I just find it so smooth and easy to drink. The cigar on the other hand was a first-timer for me, and even a quarter-inch in I was loving it. I started to get some pleasantly sour notes, not totally unlike the flavors from a nice bitter IPA. Some more subtle espresso tones came into play, and it was very clear this is a complex cigar with a whole lot going on. I didn’t find any of the flavors especially overpowering, but more on the subtle and sophisticated side. Construction was excellent, easy draw, sharp burn, thick smoke that clung on to the wrapper and a nice, tight ash that wouldn’t go away. Definitely another home-run winner from a great new boutique in Paul Stulac, and I might dare to say my overall favorite pairing we’ve visited thus far in our Pint Friday journey.
That sums up my thoughts, I’m going to turn it over to our special guest Russ so you can hear what a guy who has smoked about 4 cigars for each day I’ve been alive has to say:
I found the pairing of the Paul Stulac White Blinding Light and Murphy’s Stout to be nearly ideal. Both the cigar and the stout had a common bitterness, but while the stout was rich, smooth and creamy with a lot of depth, the cigar was brighter and had a pleasantly complex, but not overpowering spice. The contrast worked really well as the stout exhibited more of a dark chocolate and espresso character after a couple of puffs of the cigar, and following the stout, the cigar’s spiciness was even more well defined. I’d call the White Blinding Light a medium-strength, fuller bodied blend with nice earthiness, a bit of an allspice kind of kick and just enough sweetness to keep it from being overly sharp. The Murphy’s had a roasted bitterness, but with a lot of smoothness in the typical Irish stout vein. What a pleasant way to spend a little more than a hour- a tasty, enjoyable cigar, a smooth and rich beverage, and fun companionship and conversation!
Jason is up next, here’s what our Senior Cigar Adviser thought about this pair:
This is the 2ndblend I have tried from camp Stulac and I thought I knew what I was getting into. The cigar has a great look; smooth wrapper with little veining. I was surprised to see a quadruple cap on mine. Russ brought up that it was most likely a triple cap applied over the flag, either way the cap was put on flawlessly. The cigar had a nice even pre-light draw that indicated spice even before lighting.
Upon firing it up one of the first notes noticed was black pepper, which was not at all like the original blend. I was immediately impressed. The cigar had lots of spice and richness, but not an overwhelming body. The beer by comparison was crisp sweet and smooth. I think we knocked it out of the park with the pairing. Between the boldness of the cigar, the clean sweetness of the beer was perfect refreshment. Unfortunately the beer ran out too quickly.
The cigar showed incredible construction with an ash that held strong and a razor sharp burn. My only complaint was how well affixed the band was. If that is all the bad I have to say, I guess it was a kick ass cigar then. I would definitely grab a few more of these and try other stout combinations. My favorite stout (Young’s Double Chocolate) would most likely also go very well!
Seems like so far we’re all in agreement that this is a pretty darn good pairing, let’s see if Josh agrees:
The presentation of this cigar is very bold. The band itself covers almost a quarter of the stick with bright white and a gold-embossed logo. The actual name of the stick is nowhere to be found. This is a shame, because it’s just plain fun to say! I’m a graphics guy so of course I love the band, and overall this is a smoke I’m excited to try.
I had a tough time cutting through the cap. This could partially be blamed on the dull cutter I was using, but even so, the cap was very thick compared to most other sticks. The pre-draw seemed very tight and I was worried what the draw would be from it. The wrapper smell was overly-earthy in a horse stable sort of way, which also gave me hesitation. All my fears were abated once I lit it up and began puffing. The draw was perfect, the smoke was thick and creamy and seemed to cling to the wrapper. The taste was rich and smooth with no bite at all. I got a lot of complexity, and while it’s maybe a little outside of my usual comfort zone I was very impressed with this smoke despite my initial misgivings. The Murphy’s stout acted as a great palate cleanser between puffs, which made me appreciate the cigar even more. Overall, this was an excellent combination and may even be my favorite Pint Friday yet.
Sounds like it’s unanimous! Big surprise that we all had fun drinking beer and smoking cigars. Thanks for reading, we appreciate you joining us, and thanks again to Russ O. for sitting in with us this week. Stay tuned, we’ll be back soon with more beers and smokes!