So today I woke up at the crack of noon (I work the night shift, I have an excuse) with a blistering headache and feeling like I was hung over. Guess I got too much sleep. As I was brewing up the miracle elixir of coffee in the handy dandy Keurig, I went snooping through the humidor for something I have yet to try. After rummaging around for a few minutes I decided to just reach in and grab something random. The result? A Smoking Monk Porter by Drew Estates. I received a few of these in a sampler a while back, heard mixed reviews on these, and figured, what the hell, I’ll give it a whirl.
This is what I understand about the Smoking Monk line, they are infused to be paired with specific types of beverages, in this case, porter. I don’t normally go for infused cigars, ironic I know, in that at one point I would infuse cigars for people, and there are very few infused cigars that I like. Most of them out there are sweet tipped which tend to make me gag, its a big turn off for me. Infusions are good if they compliment the tobacco, not kill it with sweet tipped stuff or potpourri, which in reality is why I am not a huge fan of Acids and the like. Needless to say I was hesitant and had my doubts before lighting the Porter up. Construction wise, it holds up to the quality that is known for products by Drew Estates, a real nice looking dark wrapper, no flaws to be seen. In the case of the Porter it is a dark rich maduro wrapper. From the sniff test, it smells like a typical maduro cigar, slight chocolate scent. Coffee is brewed, time to light it up.
First impressions: great draw, smooth, lots of smoke, and a dark grey ash. Not bad. Now onto the flavors. As I mentioned earlier, these were made to pair specifically with different beers, and this one is for porters. Not coffee. Not the greatest pairing, but that’s my fault. The flavors that come through are typical of a dark beer, a slight bitterness, malt, hint of dark chocolate from the maduro, and even a hint of raisins, yes I said raisins. I could see this cigar being great with a dark beer, like Guinness, or Ubu ale if you are in Northern NY and can get it, or even the S’mores ale that is sold locally up here, the flavors would compliment nicely. Some of the complaints about this cigar is that people didn’t care for the flavor, but then again they too admitted that they didn’t pair it with the right beverage. I’m a moron when it comes to pairing cigars to beverages, which is why I usually say a cigar pairs well with coffee, because 99% of the cigars I smoke seem to go good with coffee. I’m not really into bourbons and whatnot, so for me to say a cigar will go good with a 80 year old scotch that was aged in some exotic wood barrel then bottled by Scandinavian virgins in the mountains of Tibet wouldn’t really work for me. I’m simple, and coffee is simple. On that note, I think these cigars were designed for me because they say right on the label, what to drink with them, because, well, I’m stupid and need that kind of help. So keep in mind, if you try out a Smoking Monk, drink whatever beverage is recommended on the label. It helps.
All in all, these are not a bad cigar. Pair it up with the right stuff and you will have a good experience. Have it with coffee like I did, your experience won’t be as good.
Until next time, like what you smoke, smoke what you like.