Monday, April 1, 2024

Saturday Sunshine, Highland Black Mocha Stout, and CAO America

On the Saturday before Easter, while the family watched NCAA basketball, I escaped to the deck to enjoy the sunshine. The sun was shining causing me to squint in the bright light, and it was glorious. It was mid-afternoon and I was in the mood for a beer with my cigar.

The mostly-beer fridge downstairs had recently been rearranged to make room for all the Easter food being prepared. A bottle of Highland Brewing Black Mocha Stout turned up during that shuffle. Admittedly, the bottle was from our trip to North Carolina a few years back, but it had been refrigerated during the intervening years, so I was hopeful. Upon pouring, the beer had a full, stiff head so all was good.

Highland Black Mocha Stout has dark chocolate, coffee, and citrus hops in the aroma. The breeze in the air was wafting it to my nose as a prepared the cigar for lighting. Dark, bitter cocoa and chocolate malt great the palate. There's a pleasantly bitter roasted maltiness that lingers in the aftertaste. I began to wish there was another "lost" bottle in the fridge to be found.

I had picked up a five pack of the CAO America last fall, with the plan to save them for an Independence or Memorial Day weekend, but they seem be getting smoked regularly, so perhaps those plans will be altered.

CAO America Potomac is a 5 x 56, fat Robusto. It features a dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper accented with a barber pole of Connecticut shade leaf. A Brazilian binder encases a blend of Dominican Republic, Italy, Nicaragua, and USA Connecticut fillers. That recipe produces notes of vanilla and cedar, with a touch of pepper coming in at the end. The medium bodied smoke has a creamy overall feel to it. It's a very nice compliment to the dark stout.

I enjoyed a 75 minute smoke in the sun. While the cigar and beer was finished, I was table to enjoy the sun a while longer. It was time to grill the beef for tonight's carne asada feast.


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