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Cigar Pairings

Cigar & IPA Pairings

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Holy hops! IPA (India pale ale) is a wildly popular style of craft beer. For some, it’s a polarizing beer due to its strong focus on hops and forward aroma and taste. The origins of IPA date back to the late 1700s when London-based brewer George Hodgson began exporting a potent pale ale to India. The voyage to India was treacherous for perishable beers. However, the introduction of extra hops and higher levels of alcohol worked wonders at preserving the beer and resulted in an entirely unique profile. 

Later, in the English Midlands, brewmaster Samuel Allsopp introduced a pale ale of higher quality due to the region’s hard water. Allsopp’s version became the preferred beer of the English colonists and was the first officially classified as India pale ale. Although Prohibition decimated the ale industry in the U.S., its resurgence accompanied the growing popularity of microbreweries in the 1970s, many of which emerged on the West Coast. Today, IPAs entertain a spotlight in the mainstream which shows no signs of dimming. For fans of the crisp, bracing taste many IPAs deliver, we’ve put together our list of the best cigar and IPA pairings.  

#1 - Founders All Day IPA & Ashton Classic

A mellow and complex mix of malts, grains, and hops results in a profile tailored for amazing everyday taste with a clean finish in Founders All Day IPA. Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki created All Day IPA with the goal of delivering big flavor in an approachable beer. Notes of citrus and pine resin reveal aromas of tangerine, grapefruit, and mango in a 4.7% ABV pale ale you can savor over and over.

Ashton Classic is an exquisite partner with an iconic profile of toasted cashews, cedar, coffee with cream, and a hint of black pepper. A silky Connecticut Shade wrapper embraces a premium aged interior of Dominican tobaccos blended by legendary cigar-maker Carlito Fuente.  Ashton Classic and Founders All Day IPA are ideal for a hot, sunny day at the beach or on the golf course. 

#2 - Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra & Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne

Created from a revolutionary dry-hopping device, called a “Hop Torpedo,” designed to impart more aroma without adding bitterness, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra is pronounced, but balanced. Gallant aromas of pine, citrus, pineapple, and grapefruit blossom with a big, dry and earthy finish and a hint of malty sweetness.

Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne is an approachable medium-bodied smoke blended with a golden-blond Ecuador Connecticut wrapper leaf and an all-Nicaraguan interior of binder and filler tobaccos. Perdomo is handmade to a superlative standard in Estelí, Nicaragua. Notes of nuts, white pepper, and wood deliver a creamy, versatile finish perfectly calibrated to compliment the forest-and-fruit-like profile of Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA.

#3 - Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA & San Cristobal Elegancia

Brewmasters love to customize and tweak their brewing processes into formulas that distinguish their beer and the backstory behind it. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA picks up with the brand’s previous 90 Minute edition. Based on an old school vibrating football game, a subtle vibrating process feeds the beer a continual current of hops that impart flavor and complexity without amounting to an overwhelming bitterness. Floral tasting notes of orange peel and pine culminate in a crisp, spicy, and effervescent finish.

San Cristobal Elegancia is drawn from a golden Ecuador Connecticut wrapper leaf and a creamy, nutty, woody, and luscious recipe of premium aged Nicaraguan tobaccos. Notes of cedar and almonds progress into a white pepper finish that matches up marvelously with the bright and slightly bitter taste of Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. San Cristobal is handmade in Estelí, Nicaragua by the award-winning Garcia family.

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