Happy (or should i say hoppy) IPA day, readers!
In the beer world, perhaps nothing has been more in vogue than the transition to hoppier, bitterer beers, benchmarked by the style of India Pale Ales, a style that originated as a means to preserve beer for British troops as they occupied India.
Aside from allowing the Western oppressors a pint as they occupied the lands of a sovereign people, for beer it opened a new level of complexity and variety in their beverage of choice.
For the first installment of my hop forward day, because opening a beer at breakfast is frowned upon in my household, I decided today would be the most appropriate day to smoke the Hopz cigar recently provided to me by the manufacturer, Ted’s Cigars.
The toro, measuring 6 by 50, comes beautifully packaged in a plastic tube adorned with a beer label like graphics adorned with images of hop cones, and is likewise banded. The cigar itself is rolled impeccably in a nice dark, natural Cameroon wrapper, bound with a US Connecticut binder, and filled with tobacco from the Dominican Republic.
The prelight aroma of the cigar was predominately that of tobacco, accented with the unquestionable air of the centennial hops coming strongest from the foot of the cigar.
Upon the initial light the cigar started off with a nice generic spice, but no real hop flavor, which I was expecting to be overwhelming, until the first half inch of the smoke. When the hop infusion became apparent however, it worked exceeding well in adding complexity to the flavor.
Where on the front end you had a good spicy base, the hops added a refreshing pine note that somewhat cleansed the palate to experience more tobacco goodness.
At about the cigar’s halfway point, the stick transitioned into more of an earthy base, overlaying the spice and pine notes enjoyed previously.
The cigar burnt evenly and slowly throughout my enjoyment of the cigar, and given the nice medium to medium full profile of the cigar was incredibly decent.
I cant say this cigar wowed me, or that this would be something I would keep in regular rotation, but it was very good, and worth the occasional indulgence.