Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Craft Beer and Cigars Pairing – When Perdomo Cigars meets Top Rung Brewing

Ron Swarner


For craft beer enthusiasts who want to drink their beer and smoke it too, Aficionado Cigar Lounge & Store in Tacoma will host Perdomo Cigars of Nicaragua and Top Rung Brewing Co. of Lacey for a night of world-class cigars perfectly paired with the beers at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 30. Perdomo just released a new line of cigars that have specifically been created to pair with various beers.

I’m not a cigar smoker, but sensual experiences brought on by handcrafted products are something I’m all about. I know the enhancing effect an exemplary beer can have on food and vice versa. So, while I might not be able to explain why a Perdomo Edicion de Silvio is the creme de la creme of Perdomo cigars, I can tell you the three Perdomo Craft Series cigars do pair well with the intended types of beer. Aficionado Cigar Lounge manager Kevin Michael lit the cigars and poured the pairing beers for me last week. I was one of the first in the Northwest to experience such a delight as the Aficionado Cigar Lounge is currently the only cigar store to carry the line.

“Perdomo vice president Arthur Kemper is a beer drinker,” explains Michael. “He hounded president Nick Perdomo, Jr. for two years to make cigars that pair with beers. Nick finally agreed, and after two years, the Perdomo Craft Series are now on sale in my shop.”

The Perdomo Craft Series is available in Perdomo’s three traditional wrapper options — Connecticut Shade, Sun Grown Habano and Maduro. Each of the three blends released are meant to complement a specific type of beer. That’s where Top Rung Brewing comes into the picture. During the cigar and beer pairing event, the Lacey brewery will describe and pour its Lacey Lager, Prying Irons IPA and Washington Beer Awards gold medal winning My Dog Scout Stout while Perdomo describes and lights Perdomo Special Craft Series “Pilsner,” “Amber” and “Stout” cigars.

My favorite cigar of the trio, the Perdomo Special Craft Series Pilsner, features a U.S. Connecticut Shade wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. The cigar delivers a mild to medium profile and is meant to pair with cream ales, golden lagers, light lagers, pilsners and white ales. Top Rung’s Lacey Lager’s crisp and clean taste pairs perfectly.

The Perdomo Special Craft Series Amber features a Cuban-seed Nicaraguan Sun Grown wrapper from the Jalapa Valley. The cigar has a medium to full profile, ideal the Top Rung Prying Irons IPA’s malty, sweet caramel and pine notes.

The line is rounded out by the Perdomo Special Craft Series Maduro, known as the Stout. It uses a dark, oily Cuban-seed Nicaraguan Maduro wrapper from the Jalapa Valley, a rich, aromatic Nicaraguan binder from the Condega Valley and robust Cuban-seed Nicaraguan fillers from the Estelí Valley. The Maduro is also medium to full-bodied blend but is geared towards the thick, dark chocolate, and roasted coffee flavors found in Top Rung’s My Dog Scout Stout. My Dog Scout is an easy-drinking stout because of its eight different dark malt blend.

While the event is free to attend, the cigars and beers must be purchased to enjoy. Cigars may be purchased as singles, or by the box. The beers will be sold on draft.

Another reason to drop by the Aficionado Cigar Lounge, besides the new Perdomo cigar line and tasty Top Rung beers, would be to witness the transformation of the east Tacoma cigar lounge. This past spring the cigar shop and lounge shed its old school skin, adding 800 square feet of handsomeness, doubling seating, with a new bar, a plethora of leather chairs and couches to sink into, wood floors, an events room, tons more humidors, set off by cream walls and wood accents, punctuated by various masculine paintings. There are cigar shops and then there are cigar emporia, the former being just a seller of cigars while the latter is really a clubhouse, a hangout, a man cave. Aficionado Cigar Lounge commands both interests.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Other times, it’s your entrée to an awesome evening, especially when they’re paired with Top Rung beers July 30.

The Aficionado Cigar Lounge, 7121 Waller Road E., Tacoma, 253.531.8814