This is my favorite time of year. The leaves are changing and it's getting colder which means it's hoody season! It's a time of vests and Uggs and crockpots and football and, of course, seasonal beers make their shift from light and fruity summer ales to rich and flavorful fall-themed blends. For beer drinkers, that means two things: Oktoberfest and pumpkin-flavored beers. While not everyone is on the pumpkin flavor train, Oktoberfest-style beers are one of the oldest and most distinguished beers in the industry, with one of the biggest beer festivals in the world bearing its name.
So it is only natural that this time of year calls for a pairing of our favorite cigars with some of our favorite fall-themed beers. After hours of tireless research and an Uber ride home, the team at Cigars.com put together a comprehensive list of our favorite fall beer and cigar pairings.
Two Roads is an amazing brewery based out of Connecticut. Their Ok2berfest is a traditional Marzen beer crafted with the finest German malts and hops. It has a great foam head and a beautiful color. Its flavor is smooth and rich with a nice malty taste and hints of caramel and a dash of spice. It tastes like fall in a cup. For this great representation of an Oktoberfest style, we went with the most fall-themed cigar and a perfect pairing for this German-style delight. The Quesada Oktoberfest is rich and spicy with notes of sweetness, vanilla, and spice. This is a great pairing following your apple picking, perhaps in front of a fire pit.
This was an easy pairing to come up with. First we have the delicious Oktoberfest from Port City. This authentic Marzen style brew is filled with malt notes and a nice, deep amber color. I could see this beer being served and enjoyed during the festival in Munich. It was the color that really stood out, so I went with a cigar that was rolled specifically for this style beer. The Perdomo Special Craft Series Amber was made with aged Nicaraguan tobaccos that emit similar flavors as the Oktoberfest such as spice, leather, vanilla, and a dash of wood.
The Ballast Point Dead Ringer is one of my personal favorite Oktoberfest stylebeers. While it is crafted in the traditional style of a Marzen, using only German hops and malts, it tends to be a bit sweeter than your average Oktoberfest. It has tremendous notes of sweetness, with hints of caramel, toffee, and spicy malts. The Viaje Exclusivo in the Short Perfect was a great partner for the Dead Ringer. While it starts out spicy, it transitions beautifully to a meaty and sweet smoke with great notes of caramel and coffee. This is a great after dinner pairing while enjoying some strudel.
If you are looking for a solid, well-balanced example of an Oktoberfest beer, look no further than the Samuel Adams Oktoberfest. Like any Samuel Adams, the Octoberfest is a well-crafted brew with a ton of flavor and that classic Sam Adams smoothness. It is a great representation of the classic style and a fine addition to the Sam Seasonal lineup. We went with another great classic for this matchup, going with the Montecristo Epic Craft Cured. This is one of my favorite Montecristo’s of all time, showcasing a terrific medium-to-full blend with notes of leather, nuts, and a sweet spice making it a great partner in crime with the stunning beer.
This is the only beer on this list that is not an Oktoberfest style, and to be frank the only pumpkin beer I'd ever considered trying. Fact is, I really enjoyed it. Saint Arnold did a terrific job blending in subtle, yet enjoyable pumpkin notes into this imperial stout, making it rich, bold and complex. Notes of chocolate and espresso combine with the pumpkin notes for a balanced fall-themed brew. For this, we decided to light up the Nub Nuance Seasonal Fall Harvest. This infused cigar has all those great fall flavors including pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and a subtle richness making this the ultimate fall pairing.