Tonight’s Tasting – Maurite Beer and Cohiba Extra Vigoroso XV

I picked a great combination for this evening’s tasting on the balcony.

But before we turn to this night’s tasting, a word about humidors. I have a number of humidors, but none work as well as my large five-drawer model. It seems slightly counterintuitive, but it is far easier to control the humidity in this large glass-front humidor than any of my smaller units. I put a couple of large humidifiers beneath the bottom drawer, and it’s good to go. The hygrometer is visible through the glass.

The best part of a large humidor is that it holds so many cigars. Between the gifts and combination packs, I’m never sure what’s in there. A trip to the humidor really is like going to a cigar store and picking out something new.

Cohiba Extra Vigoroso XV

Tonight’s discovery was a Cohiba Extra Vigoroso XV. These fuller-bodied Cohibas are made with (according to Cohiba) very select, very rare, longer-aged Nicaraguan and Piloto Cubano ligero filler leaves, a USA-Connecticut broadleaf binder, and dark, oily, extra-aged Ecuadorian Sumatra wrappers. What a great smoke! The cigar is quality made with a perfect draw. The taste had a pepper and spice start, finishing with a woody taste with vanilla undertone. I don’t know how this fine cigar ended up in my humidor, but I’m adding it to my list of top ten favorites. In fact, I ordered five more before writing this review to make sure I wouldn’t forget.

Maudite Beer

Maudite (from the French La Maudite, “the Damned”), is a strong red ale (8% ABV), refermented in the bottle. Make sure to leave the sediment in the bottle and not in your glass. The brewer, Unibroue in Canada (actually bottled in Vermont), promotes the beer as akin to a port, to the point that the corked bottle informs you not to use a beer glass, but rather a brandy snifter.

What do Canadians know about beer? I poured this mahogany colored beer from the 750ml bottle into a chilled pilsner glass. The beer pours very frothy (see photo), creating a tall head that eventually settles back into the beer with little lacing. Aromas of spice and sweet malts. The taste is great, with nice complexity. A hint of coffee at the beginning, followed by spices, citrus and toasted malts. A very good, thick mouthfeel and pleasant finish. No hint that this had an alcohol content of 8% until I read it on the label. The drinkability is great – I could stick to these all night.

Cohiba Extra Vigoroso XV – 9.3
Maudite Beer – 8.5

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