Tonight’s Tasting — Rocky Patel Decade and Red Rocket Ale

I try to reward myself with a good tasting combo after achieving a million dollar verdict in court. On Friday I got a verdict for 700,000 GBP (convincing an American court to award British pounds was itself grounds for celebration), and at the current exchange rate that’s damn close to a million bucks, so I was good to go for my reward. I went with a “rock” theme, choosing a Rocky Patel Decade from the humidor and a Red Rocket Ale from the cooler.

Red Rocket Ale

Red Rocket Ale is made by the Bear Republic Brewing Company, a micro-brewery in Sonoma County. According to the company’s website, this beer started out as a Scottish red ale but has taken on flavors of its own. I was expecting a red, but this presents as more of a brown ale. It uses a very complex recipe with five different grains to achieve its unique flavor. The caramel malt used is a mixture of Belgian Caravienne and Hugh Bairds Crystal malts, with Centennial and Cascade hops for bittering and aroma.

The beer pours a very dark color, with only a hint of a reddish hue when held up to light. The head was thick and dense, with copious Belgian lace. The nose was a nice caramel. The taste was grains and caramel, with the right amount of hops and bitter follow through. Good, thick mouthfeel. I really liked this beer, and a number of awards support my opinion. This great dark beer gets a 9.0 on the Morris Scale.

Rocky Patel Decade

This cigar rated a 95 on the Cigar Aficionado Insider. With a nice oily wrapper, the cigar is slightly pressed, but not so tight that you feel like you are smoking a lego piece. Light and draw were perfect, as was the burn. The smoke has a rich with scents of nuts and perhaps a little fruit. I wasn’t quite as impressed as Cigar Aficionado with the Rocky Patel Decade, but it still earned a strong 9.2.

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