August 22, 2013

Supremely Self Conscious Ale w/Spanish Cedar + Paul Stulac Black Midnight Fire

I was very intrigued with the Black Midnight Fire and with a label that says “Regalo De Dios” (a gift from God) how could I not want to smoke this cigar!? Initially we wanted to try the cross but, unfortunately, the cigar lounges and smoke shops around us at this time didn’t carry any. We ended up traveling 30 minutes to a cigar lounge that said that they carried Paul Stulac cigars. We found this lounge by the Paul Stulac site. I called down to the retailer and they said that they carry them. I asked, ” what time do you guys close?”. The man replied -“11:00pm”. I said ok and planned to go down before they closed. I went with my wife and youngest daughter to the location using google map. I couldn’t find this place for nothing! We drove around the same location for about 15-20 minutes. Finally I saw what seemed to be a lounge thru a covered window. I walked in and it was one of the most amazing lounges I’ve seen in a small town. It had Barcelona chairs, mahogany flooring and columns that were perfectly replicated into cigars. Not to mention a good selection of cigars thru a glass humidor.

I walk in and say-” excuse me “. One gentleman stands up and says -” can I help you?” I said -” Yes I called earlier about your Paul Stulac Cigars?” He said – ” We’re closed “. (I thought, what the hell!?). I told him that I traveled 30 min. With my family and looked everywhere for these cigars. He saw that I was genuine and told me that his business isn’t open till October. I told him how I do pairing to craft beers and tomorrow I’ll be at a major beer event. The gentleman told me that if any Paul Stulac cigar boxes were open , that he’d give them to me. We looked for about 7 minutes thru his big inventory. And he found the Black Midnight Fire Box. It was open and he pulled them out. I asked him how long have they been in there and he said a couple weeks. He hands 4 to me and said its a good smoke. I asked him -” how much do you want?” He replied -“nothing”.i asked him 3 times -” are you sure?”. He said that he was sorry he didn’t officially say he wasn’t open for business. And that he can’t legally sell them to me because he’s not officially open. He didnt want to make a wrong move before opening. ( I respected that ). And so I shook his hand and went out to the car to my wife and daughter. I got in the car and told my wife and she said -“that was nice of him”…. I go home, put my cigars in the humidor and prepare for the event like a BBQ competition was at hand. Letting the cigar marinate.We started researching which beer companies are gonna be there. We had a list and we decided to make the best out of it.

The next morning we woke up early prepared. I took the cigars out , put them in a bag of their own and two other brands in their own. The site (Stone Brewing Co) said that there will be a cigar lounge and smoking area. I automatically thought that I will have to have the other people in my group grabbing 2 different beers as I will be staying in the smoking section. They were ok with it and my partner (Fern) was gonna be with me pairing as well. We drove 2 hours to San Marcos California. We parked the car and it didn’t look like alot of people there. We walked up a paved hill , and when we got at the peak,we looked down flights of stairs and saw an abundant amount of people! Hundreds! All walks of life. All gathered for craft beers. We on the other hand came for one thing…. To match the Paul Stulac Black Midnight Fire! We checked in ,got tickets/bracelets and got a map of every booth. We had the whole day mapped out except the first 45 minutes we decided to make strictly for experimental tasting. In that 45 minutes I found two candidates (without knowing what the Black Midnight Fire tasted like ) that would be potential matches. And I wrote it down in my notes. My brother n law (Fern) had another potential. We made our way up the stairs to the cigar lounge with our potential candidates. I see a small booth about 10×10′ with numerous cigars. I knew that they were gonna have a cigar lounge (Stone Brewery )so I only brought matches. I walk over to one of the gentleman running the booth and asked him — ” Can you cut this for me?”. He looked down at my stick and saw that he wasn’t carrying anything like that. He asked -” Where’d you get this?” I told him the lounges name as I was sure he wouldn’t know. And he says -” I never heard of this cigar…”. I told him the history I knew on the cigar thru reading and he was very into my conversation on boutique style cigars. Specifically this one. He asked if I needed a light. I respectfully declined and made my way to a shaded seat.

We all four (Fern , a Guest, my wife ,and myself ) sat and were very excited and filled with anticipation to start the pairing process. I was feeling like my first flight on a plane. Very excited but nervous going somewhere new , knowing the risk of potentially not making it. I take a look at the tobacco at the foot of the cigar and gave it a good inspection using my nasal sense. It smells delicious. It’s sweet cedar/leathery aroma got me excited. Like a young me ,excited to kiss a girl I liked for the first time. And yes I wanted to kiss this girl! I put the cigar in my mouth and tasted the full- bodied flavor. I salivated. Prepping the cigar like reed for a saxophone or clarinet. It was go time. I lit the cigar with a non sulfur match and took my first initial puffs. I felt looks and stares with my peripheral as I lit it. Knowing no person at this event had this smoke and they knew it as well. The sweet coffee like expresso was consumed in my mouth and blown into the air with pride and a feeling of accomplishment. Like I won a victory over the cool kids. I Felt more looks out of the corners of my eye. I was waiting for the bystanders to ask if I wanted some cream to go with that coffee scent?. I was very impressed with the smoothness of this cigar considering previously reading about its strength. I’m not a big man. But I have a big tolerance for cigars. So as a full-bodied cigar I found it very light and sweet.

After around a quarter of a inch into the stick ,we began to swill the beverages. I went with the Stone Brewing Co. X Ken Schmidt X Iron Fist , Collaboration “Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout”. As well as the Mike Hess ” Grazias” cream ale. Both are very well crafted beers and have a very bold and creamy like accent to them. Sweet and packed with flavor. But however it was making my mouth quite dry with my smoke and definitely did not match up properly. I didn’t wanna make myself like it. So I gave the remainder to my friend, and asked Fern to go get me another round. As I’m sitting here waiting for the next round of hopefully potential candidates.I look towards the exit of the cigar lounge and see a booth with only 2 beers. One catches my eye. I wanted to go over there and try it out. But I didn’t wanna give up the shaded seats. So I remained lounging and enjoying the cigar. At this time I started feeling like a cowboy! All this leather and no bulls#+t…. It was amazing, and definitely worth the trouble of going thru to get this cigar. I still didn’t feel the full body to it yet. But I surely appreciated the tobacco in this stick. The ash was nice and tight, the draw was good.The subtle spices and pepper blends were coming thru. And I was looking forward to the middle. People would walk by take a wiff and look at my stick wanting to ask about it. But I can tell they wanted to feel like their Supermarket cigar was up to par as well. I payed them no mind. I was in the clouds of flavor when my brother n law (Fern) arrives back with 2 more beers. The ” Decadent ” by Ska Brewing Co. And the “Cafe Racer 15 ” by Bear Republic Brewing co. Both very good IPA’s. And a awesome choice amongst all IPA’s. I personally think that the “Cafe Racer 15” was one of the best beers there. However it didn’t seem to go with the Black Midnight Fire. I drank them and conversed amongst my team.

Minutes went by and I started to near the band point.I slipped the band off and slid it on my index finger as a ritual that I’ve done since working with my father. I leaned back into my chair took a nice draw and in came the full body feeling and flavor. This stick just got juicy! It tasted so leathery and creamy with a nice dash of spice that I didn’t even wanna have to get up. I looked at my brother n law and we both weren’t saying anything. We both new that this cigar was on point. Now I’m about 3.1/2 inches from being done and I know that’s about 35 minutes from having to call this match a draw. I look to my left and see that same booth from earlier with 2 beers on tap. I stand up tell the crew I’ll be back and make my way to the exit. On my way there I hear some people saying -“oh it’s only stone ” and they passed it. As if I care which brand it is. (Plus I was thinking -how disrespectful to your host )… So I make it up to the booth and I see what catches my eye. Not knowing this will be the alpha of matches for the Black Midnight Fire. I ask for the –> ” Supremely Self-conscious Ale with Spanish Cedar “.. That’s right!!! Spanish Cedar!!! Already loving the campfire notes with embers flying thru my palette.I take my first swill and immediately know that I’m feeling like a prospector –> I found Gold!. I hurry back to the table with my 6oz. Glass in my hand which at this point after the swill has about 3oz.. I tell my guys what I found and they get up and go get the same.

I got 2 other beers from different companies brought to me – one a Porter and the other a Russian Stout. And none matched up to the one with Spanish Cedar. I hurried up and rushed to the booth like I was gonna miss my flight and asked for another. I wanted to get the full flavor and make sure it wasn’t just an accident. I did. And it wasn’t. Both complimented each other like like the sun and the moon. Both were needed to create such a beautiful life. I sipped the beer and I started my descent. Coming down to the end of the stick like a night with a first date that went well. I didn’t want it to end. But I knew that it would end on a good note…. or should I say notes? Cause at the end of this stick ,it didn’t heat up. It didn’t get too rich in nicotine. And I felt very satisfied. We had over 10 different beers each for this pairing.And my partner and I feel that the –> Stone Brewing Co. ‘s –> “Supremely Self – Conscious Ale with Spanish Cedar”.Is the ideal beer to sip when your having the Paul Stulac Black Midnight Fire. With this ale containing 4.5% alc.vol. You can have a couple and enjoy this wonderful cigar

Check out our other cigar and beer pairings here.
Check out our other Paul Stulac pairings here.

Review by Mike and Fern (follow them on Instagram)

Beer Pairing for Paul Stulac Black Midnight Fire Cigar

 

Pairing Cigars and Beer

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