Perdomo Special Craft Series Amber
The snow has disappeared and so has my 2 week long sickness. To celebrate, I ventured outback with a Perdomo Special Craft Series Amber and a growler of Ode’s The Squeege.
The Good Stuff:
There has been a wave of cigars created over the last few years with the intention of catering to cigar smoking craft beer enthusiasts. I fall in this category so it’s been interesting to see how cigar manufacturers are marking to this niche demographic. This is where the Perdomo Special Craft Series comes into play. A series of cigars created by Perdomo which are blended to pair perfectly with different types of beers. The Perdomo Special Craft Series comes in different blends, the Connecticut or Pilsner which goes with light, crisp beers, The Sun Grown or Amber which goes with Ales, IPA’s, or Marzens, and the Maduro or Stout which pairs well with stouts, brown ales, and Dunkels. Today though, we focus on the Amber selection of the Craft series.
The cigar starts with a Cuban-seed Nicaraguan Sun Grown wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and Cuban-seed Nicaraguan fillers. The Perdomo Special Craft Series Amber comes in four sizes: The Churchill (7 x 54), Epicure (6.5 x 54), Gordo (6 x 60) and the Robusto (5.5 x 54) which all come packaged in boxes of 24 and range between $7 and $8.50 a stick. I picked up a box of these over from our great friends at Bonita Smoke Shop.
Size: 6 x 60
Wrapper: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan Sun Grown
Filler: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan
Pairing: Ode Brewing The Squeege (Scotch Ale 9.2% ABV)
The Perdomo Special Craft Series starts out with by far the biggest, most unnecessary band I have ever seen on a cigar. It does look pretty though. Each cigar has a larger red and black band that covers 85% of the cigar’s body sporting the Perdomo logo, the words “Special Craft Series”, and a large photo of the beer style that the cigar is meant to pair along with. After removing the monster band the cigar can underneath sports a very beautiful, medium brown wrapper with lots of lighter areas around the cap, and the smaller veins running through the cigar’s thick body. The texture on the Perdomo Special Craft Series Amber is very rough and toothy with some slight oils. The wrapper feels very, very thin and delicate but the body is well packed and rock hard. There is a ton of tobacco in this vitola making the cigar very heavy. The cigar is polished off with a very large, round double cap.
The wrapper of the Perdomo Special Craft Series Amber gives off some slight spice and nutty aromas while the foot of the cigar is much more bold as it releases strong spice, slight pepper, and a good amount of sweet scents. The cap cut very clean and easily using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw is very musky with some strong spice and grain and a little bit of sweetness.
The Perdomo Special Craft Series Amber starts out with a subtle little pepper blast that quickly fades into some great earthiness. As the pepper fades the flavor profile starts to showcase some great sweetness, malt, spice, and musk with a little bit of cashew mixed in there. As I continue on a very light pine comes in and out of the aftertaste. The draw is beautiful. Each tiny puff kicks out a large cloud of thick, white smoke which lingers quite some time before dissipating. The Perdomo Special Craft Series Amber releases only a small amount of stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is dead even and razor thin leaving behind a trail of decently compacted medium gray ash which held on for about and inch and a half before giving way.
The Perdomo Special Craft Series Amber continues on with sweet, malty, musky, spicy flavors as the pepper and pine come and go transitioning often throughout the experience. The retrohale coats my nasal passage with lots and lots of spice, much more than what comes through the traditional smoking experience. The burn line is still dead even and solid while I close out the second third with absolutely no signs of nicotine.
The flavor profile remains consistent in the final third of the Perdomo Special Craft Series Amber. The cigar leads with malt and musk backed by sweetness, cashew, and spice. There was a small ramp-up in body and strength, but they both still fall in the medium range at best. It took me almost 2 hours to take this massive cigar down to the nub and I never once had to reach for my torch to touch up, or relight the beast. There was never any harshness, nicotine, or extended heat. The burn was flawless. The wrapper started to fall apart towards the end quite a bit, but it held on and really didn’t cause any issues.
The Perdomo Special Craft Series Amber is a solid smoke. Nothing too fancy, but nothing turned me off either. The flavors we good, and solid, if anything I wish they would have just been a bit more bold, but then again that could overpower most beers so I understand why they weren’t. As far as the marketing goes, it doesn’t bother me, and I think it’s a cool concept. I almost always pair my cigars with beers and many time I’ve been in the position where the pairing is terrible and it easily ruins either side of the match. This helps pairing consumers crate their match ups a bit more easily. The price point is relatively affordable, and Perdomo is always easily found. Box worthy? Maybe, but it’s totally worth picking up a 5er of for sure.
Last year the first two breweries opened in my hometown of El Paso, Texas. Deadbeach (which is conveniently located across the street from my work) and Ode. Both offer a solid set of great beers as well as a few rotating experimental brews. Not only am I proud that El Paso is finally turning into a craft beer city, but the first two breweries here are as solid as can be and will hopefully pave the way for more to follow. Focusing on Ode this week, I decided to pair the Perdomo Craft Series Amber with their Squeege which is a 9.2% Scottish Ale. I’ve really enjoyed the Scotch Ale cigar pairings lately so I decided to ride that wave a bit longer. The Squeege leads with malt, caramel, sweetness and a slight bit of spice with a very light mouthfeel before finishing clean with more malt and sweetness, apple, and some slight booze. Considering the ABV I expected a lot more booziness from this so Ode did a very good job hiding it. The beer paired perfectly with the cigar as the sweetness, malt, and spice married up brilliantly while the apple flavor really helped add some dimension to the experience. Next week, we take a look at one of Deadbeach’s offerings. I’ll be featuring more and more brews from the two breweries in the next few months as well, stay tuned.