Tonight’s Tasting: Graycliff Profesionale, Pirate (6.0" x 52) and Dale Bros. California Black Beer

California Black Beer

I tried, Dale Bros., I really tried.  I tried to wrap my mind and taste buds around this beer, but I couldn’t make it work.  You see, in concept the DSCN1555California Black Beer is supposed to be a classic American Style Dark Lager, according to the brewery’s website.  So, it pours dark brown with a huge tan  head, and you think you are about to enjoy something akin to a stout.  But I had done my homework, and I knew this was a dark lager that is supposed to present as a lighter tasting beer.  The problem is, it’s not even a good lager.  It tastes flat and watery, with the thinnest mouthfeel I have ever experienced.  I drank all 22 ounces, trying to squeak out some appreciation of the slightly chocolate malt taste, but it just didn’t cut it.  I like Dale Bros. overall; they make some fine beers.  This isn’t one of them.  A very thin and watery 78 on The Morris Scale.

Graycliff Profesionale, Pirate (6.0″ x 52)

Those very nice folks at apparently signed up BeerBikesButts for a complementary subscription to their Cigar of the Month Club, which turned out to be the same selection as the one I received from’s COTMC for April.  I know Cigars International and are the same company, but as far as I can tell CigarsDirect is not affiliated.  Rather, I think they must use the same wholesaler for their COTM clubs.

In any event, one of the cigars in the package was the Graycliff Profesionale, torpedo (along with a CAO Brazilia, La Gloria Cubana, Cuba Libre and Joya de Nicaragua Fuerte).  The Profesionale Series, also known as the Blue Label, received a 92 rating from Cigar Aficionado.  It consists of an extra-fermented Indonesian wrapper with a complex mixture of vintage, long-leaf tobaccos from Brazil, Nicaragua, and Honduras.

I was not as impressed as Cigar Aficionado.  The cigar unraveled slightly even with a careful guillotine cut.  The construction was otherwise good and the burn very good, but the taste was not very complex.  I picked up only mild tastes of pepper and cedar.  The intensity was on the light to medium end of the spectrum.  The smoke was very smooth and enjoyable, and this would be a great go-to cigar when you are in the mood for something light, or if you want a cigar that won’t compete with your meal or port.  The problem is, it’s a bit too expensive for my tastes as a go-to cigar, coming in at almost $400 for a box of 25.  I’ll give this stick an 89 for its smoothness, but only an 85 for the overall experience.  If you want to rate it yourself, CigarsDirect has it here.  As always, use code BBB for a 10% discount.

2 Responses to “Tonight’s Tasting: Graycliff Profesionale, Pirate (6.0" x 52) and Dale Bros. California Black Beer”

  1. Wow! Not a good night for tasting. My Dale Bros. Dude of Yorkshire lager was equally unimpressive. Reminded me of Schlitz. It wasn’t a fond reminder…

  2. Yes, not one of my better pairings.

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