Tonight’s Tasting — Alaskan Amber and Macanudo Robust Portofino

For tonight’s tasting in the parlor, I selected from the humidor a Macanudo Robust Portofino, and from my expansive beverage cooler (the refrigerator in the garage) I chose one of my favorites, an Alaskan Amber.

Some combination I order from Thompson Cigars apparently includes the Macanudo Robust Portofino, because I’ve never specifically ordered them but I always have a few in my humidor.  They’re great for traveling since they come in a metal tube.  I’ve smoked them in the past with no negative impression, but tonight it gets the full review treatment.

The cigar has a dark, rough outer leaf.  The 34 ring size calls for some careful cutting, lest you compress the small diameter too much.  That’s what I thought I had done, because after the cut with my guillotine the draw was impossible.  It took two more cuts to get it right, and still the draw was too restricted.  The smoke is pleasant enough, with an almost chocolate-mint smell and taste.  The taste was very mild and almost non-descript at first, but gained some character as I neared the end.  I probably won’t elevate one of these to the level of a parlor smoke again, but taking a couple along on a camping trip would work great.

Alaskan Amber

Now for the beer, we go North to Alaska.  Quick disclaimer here.  On my first Alaskan cruise, I ordered up a selection of Alaskan beers and enjoyed them while sitting on deck while parked near a calving glacier.  How can I have anything but fond memories of Alaskan beers?  But I’m sure that even without that reinforcement, I would have nothing but praise for the Alaskan Amber.  When I pony up to a bar that has Alaskan Amber on tap, I know I’ve arrived.

Poured from a bomber to a pilsner glass the brew is amber with good carbonation.  The head is off-white at about two fingers.  The nose a pleasant sweet caramel malt, which is also descriptive of the taste.  Great taste with no unpleasant aftertaste.  The drinkability is very good.  This is the taste that all micro-breweries seek to acheive with their ambers.  If you are an amber fan, and the Alaskan has somehow eluded you to date, you are in for a treat.  Or get the full experience and save it for your next Alaskan cruise.

Alaskan Amber — 8
Macanudo Robust Portofino — 6.5

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