Cheers, o’ faithful listeners! Thanks for tuning in this week when I made my appearance, (finally) on the show (listen and download Episode 65 HERE). As you heard we had Tom Kakadelis from Outland Cigars in, and we had a remarkable chat before the show. This guy knows cigars HANDS DOWN! Much of the stuff he was talking about cigar appreciation was very similar to beer appreciation. Tom is just as passionate about his cigars and cigar appreciation as any brewer or homebrewer I have met…and man, I have met a lot in my day! So please if you are into cigars and cigar appreciation go check out Tom at his locations @ 14815 Ballantyne Village Way | Charlotte, NC 28277 and 4625 Piedmont Row Drive | Charlotte, NC 28210. Tom is very knowledgeable with the history of cigars and is practically a walking encyclopedia for cigar enthusiasts!
During my short time on the show with Tom (as I mentioned before), we had some time to talk about cigars and craft beer. As I was talking with him I began to notice how similar both were with each other. One of the things he mentioned is how a cigar should be enjoyed – slowly. He said to take your time with the smoke and relish in the subtle nuances of flavors and smells. In fact when we lit up his very own signature cigar (My Uzi Weighs a Ton), he began to explain some of the oaky, earthy, and roasty flavors that we were experiencing. Before we even took a puff he instructed us to appreciate some of the wonderful scents of his signature creation.
The flavors we (Jay, Ford, Cesar and I) were experiencing were just as he was describing – oaky, dark fruit, and roasty – similar to a bakers chocolate in a way. At the time we were sampling an IPA which intensified the bitterness of the cigar, but in a good way! I could foresee an imperial stout going quite well with what we were smoking. The “woodsy” hints from the cigar would play off very well with the dark fruit, roast, and deeply rich malt flavors of an imperial stout and would balance each other in a most elegant fashion. I might even say that a wood aged brew would be another great compliment side by side with his signature cigar. I think that any complex malt style beers would pair well with these cigars – Belgian dark strong, and maybe even a nice German doppelbock.
As we extinguished the enjoyable smoke he mentioned that the proper way to put out a cigar was to just leave it in the ashtray; as it will extinguish itself. He conveyed to us that it is not proper to relight the old cigar as it will begin to stale as oxygen takes over, after the smoke session is done. Just as opening a craft brew from the growler, it should be consumed rather quickly before oxygen takes hold of your precious brew. A cigar should be enjoyed for what it is and you should enjoy it while it is lit; trying to relive that one cigar may throw some flavors that blemish the original intention of the cigar maker. I interpreted this in a similar way as the brewery suggests drinking their growler within 48 hours (or 24) after opening.
As passionate a beer guy as I consider myself, Mr. Kakadelis was equally as passionate about his cigars. I could absolutely identify with him about the obsession of our often misunderstood niches; as most of society chalks up cigar and craft brew appreciation with just smoking tobacco and drinking beer. Its understanding what the little nuances of a fine cigar and a craft beer that binds the two together, and appreciating both for what there are – enjoyable experiences; rich in complexities.
Check out Outland Cigars at both Charlotte locations and be sure to visit their website at outlandcigars.com. Thanks for listening and be sure to leave me some feedback – I promise to reply! Sláinte mhaith!
Tom Kakadelis from Outland Cigars