Ahh! There's nothing like kicking back, putting your feet up, and sparking up an ol' Samuel Adams stogie.
Wait -- what?
In a blog post on the Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM) website, the maker of Samuel Adams noted in passing that it has partnered with a specialty premium cigar maker to create a beer-infused heater. Now you can relax with a smoke and your favorite craft brew in one convenient package.
Louisville, Ky.-based Ted's Cigars offers lines of cigars featuring a unique blend of tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Nicaragua with a choice of either a Connecticut shade or a Maduro wrapper that are then marketed under brand names licensed from the likes of whiskey distiller Beam and its Maker's Mark brand, tequila from Patron Spirits, and Grand Marnier liqueurs.
The limited-edition Boston Beer smokes are seasoned with its Utopias brew, a combination of different beers finished in 8-year-old port casks and single-use bourbon casks, some brews having been aged more than 20 years. Fewer than 15,000 bottles have been brewed of the super-premium beer that has a suggested retail price of $199 each. Because of their high alcohol content, the beer is banned from sale in 13 states. According to the brewer, the 2012 edition of Utopias, which is typically released only every two years, has between 28% and 30% alcohol by volume, with some having reached more than 33% alcohol.
It's perhaps fitting that this premium specialty beer now has a premium specialty cigar. Because of the aging process, Boston Beer says the Utopias brew "invokes the flavors of a rich vintage Port, fine Cognac, or aged Sherry," drinks that one might closely associate with smoking a quality cigar.
Of course, this is just a marketing ploy for all the companies involved; flavor- and liquor-infused cigars are nothing new. In fact, Beam had a tequila-flavored cigar made by Drew Estate years ago, featuring long-leaf Nicaraguan filler tobaccos that were cured with its premium Anejo Sauza tequila. Others including CAO, Gurkha, and Torano all make cigars imbued with flavor. Dominican Republic-based La Aurora, which used to make Marlboro cigarettes for Altria (back when it was Philip Morris), produced an Irish whisky-flavored cigar.
Like the beer snobs who turn up their nose at the "mass-produced" Samuel Adams, many cigar aficionados will look askance at any flavored cigar. Yet crafted with the same diligence that Jim Koch applies to his beer, such a cigar can be a taste treat. And as the only beer-imbued cigar from Ted's, it's something as unique as the Utopias itself. Now that's something worth raising a toast to.