Week In Smoke – The Art of Craft


Disclaimer: For full disclosure, the cigars and beer provided for this edition of Week in Smoke were samples provided by CAO Cigars and Flying Dog. Who doesn’t like free beer and cigars? CAO is also a paid advertiser with us.

A new format for the Week in Smoke series. Hopefully the video clips instead of images from my Instagram feed will be well received.

I’m not very knowledgable with beer, the brewing process, components, ingredients or even the lingo so please excuse the amateur language I may use when describing any of the Flying Dog beers. I’m not going to rehash the press release about this CAO Cigars and Flying Dog project so for more details visit our friends over at Nice Tight Ash.

All four pairing are the recommended pairings that CAO and Flying Dog came up with. Stay tuned for a future post this week with some of my own personally purchased CAO and Flying Dog pairings and a contest (no beer; just cigars). Each of the videos below run 2-3 minutes. It was a lot fun to experience the new flavor combinations that these pairings provided. It was truly a lot of fun to produce and I hope they inspire you to expose your palate to new experiences.

CAO OSA Sol & Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA – If you ever wanted a beer that would remind you of the OSA Sol you have found it in the Snake Dog IPA. The flavor profiles are mirror images of each other. Plenty of citrus notes throughout to bridge everything together. Worked well for me on a hot humid evening to keep me feeling cool.

CAO Brazilia & Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter – Probably my favorite pairing of the four! Turns out the Gonzo has the highest ABV of the bunch. I didn’t know that at the time but I sure did feel it. I felt good! Spicy full bodied cigar, gritty heavy beer. I knew I liked that kind of cigar but it was awesome to find out how much I enjoyed the grittiness of the Gonzo. Like I said, the pairing is tits and who doesn’t like tits? Really, who doesn’t like tits?

CAO Gold & Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian Style IPA – On paper and when I started, I didn’t have high hopes for this pairing. I figured any beverage would over power the light, clean profile of the CAO Gold. I then realized that throughout this whole process, I have been thinking of how the beer would compliment the cigar and not how the cigar would compliment the beer. That was the case with this pairing. The smokiness of the CAO Gold added a layer of flavor to the bitter fruity profile of the Raging Bitch creating a unique grilled grapefruit type flavor. This is one time a Raging Bitch is a good thing.

CAO MX2 & Flying Dog Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout – A roasted, chary bakers chocolate profile throughout this pairing. During the tasting event at the Flying Dog Brewery, the Oyster Stout was my favorite. After that, I spoke to a few people about the Oyster Stout and they swear that there is some salty/briny notes to it but I didn’t get any of that. When it comes to flavor, this was probably the pairing where the flavors were the richest by doubling down on those bittersweet chocolate notes.