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Guest Review of the Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel and Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche

June 14, 2009

This week’s guest review was brought to you by Chris Brzana or @beaverC32 on Twitter.

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Cigar Facts:

Vitola: Torpedo (5.5 x 54)

Price: $20 for 5-pack

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro/Connecticut

Binder/Filler: Unknown

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Beer Facts:

Brewer: Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Alc/Vol: 9.5%

Type: Imperial Coffee Stout

Availability: Year round

Price: About $5.00 a bottle

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The Beer

The Peche Mortel, as described on the brewery’s site, is “an intensely black and dense beer with very pronounced roasted flavours. Fair trade coffee is infused during the brewing process, intensifying the bitterness of the beer and giving it a powerful coffee taste. Péché mortel is brewed to be savored; we invite you to drink it in moderation.” I have had a few brews from this brewery in the past, and was confident I would enjoy their coffee stout much like I have enjoyed the others. With the infused coffee cigar, I believed this was would be at least a safe pairing.

Initial pour reveals a nice thick black beer, with absolutely zero head when the pour is complete. Aroma is, not surprisingly, a rich roasted coffee, with a hint of malt in the background. Lacing is dark tan and about average. Initial sip of this beer is that of roasted coffee beans and a slight bitterness up front, with a nice coat of a black coffee flavor that remains for several minutes. Mouthfeel is about medium, and this is definitely a sipping beer as it sits heavy in the stomach as you drink it. Overall a nice imperial stout with a definite coffee twist.

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The Cigar

The Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche is my very first infused cigar, and I was eager to smoke it to see how I would like it (if at all). Initial inspection reveals an attractive combination of dark maduro on the head and foot, with the majority of the cigar a nice light Connecticut wrapper. The aroma from this cigar is amazing, a very nice sweet chocolate smell from the connecticut-wrappered area, and more of a coffee profile from the head and the foot. After clipping this, pre-light draw is a mellow coffee with a blast of sweetness that covers my lips. I haven’t researched this (too lazy!) but I wouldn’t be surprised if they sweeten the head of this cigar, because it is almost an overpowering sweetness (like a coffee with a cup worth of sugar added).

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Initial puffs of this cigar is a mild chocolate, but is quickly overtaken by the sweetness from the cap. The mixture comes across as unbalanced, and would be much more enjoyable if they toned down the sweetness just a bit. While pairing it with the beer, the coffee flavors from the drink are absolutely more prominent and overtake the sweetness I get from the cigar. I find this a good pairing because if the sweetness becomes too much, I reach for a sip of the beer.

As I progressed into the smoke, the sweetness eventually mellowed out which allowed me to get more from the actual tobacco. Flavors were a very nice mix of chocolate and coffee, and reminded me of one of those iced drinks you can purchase at Dunkin Donuts. A nice flavor profile, but not very complex. As I reached the last “maduro” portion of the cigar, it was all coffee and no chocolate.

Burn line remained considerably good throughout the entire length of this cigar, requiring no touch ups at all. Burn rate was amazingly fast on this sucker, as I was done smoking this in just a little over an hour (the time robustos normally take me). The cigar was about medium body throughout the entire smoke as well.

Overall, my first experience with an infused cigar was an above-average one. While I could do without the sweetness, it was tolerable — but primarily because I had a beer that remedied the problem. After that initial sweet blast, I enjoyed the cigar much more. The construction was superb as well, which scores high points for me. I would smoke these again, but only when carefully pairing it with a nice stout to kill the up front sweetness. The beer was good, but at $5 a bottle I can find better imperial stouts. Definitely worth a try though!

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untitledAlso, make sure to check out The World According to Stew’s review of the Tabak Especial at http://mulley32.wordpress.com/2008/08/16/tabak-especial-toro-negra/.

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