Utopias Cigars: A Q&A with Ted Jackson, Founder of Ted’s Cigars
There are few things more rewarding for us at the Boston Brewery than seeing the excitement of our drinkers when their favorite brew is released. This is especially true with Utopias because of all of the passion and history that goes into this brew. And this year, we were happy to partner with Ted’s Cigars on the first-ever craft beer-seasoned cigar. It’s widely accepted that certain spirits pair with cigars. With this year’s release of Utopias, we thought it would be fun for cigar connoisseurs to try pairing with beer instead of the more traditional pairings.
I had the opportunity to talk with Ted’s Cigars founder Ted Jackson about this one-of-a-kind creation and here’s what he had to say:
Q: Ted, I had the opportunity to taste one of the Samuel Adams Utopias cigars and it immediately put a smile on my face. Brewing Utopias is an intense, tedious process, but it’s so rewarding to see this batch come to life not only in bottles, but in this cigar.
A: This was one of our most exciting projects to work on. Utopias has always been a favorite of mine, and I know it’s coveted by beer lovers worldwide. I’ve had a chance to try a few different batches of Utopias over the years, and no single batch tastes the same as the one that came before or after it. Each year’s batch’s flavors are so complex, but the common denominator is that Utopias is unlike any beer I’ve ever tasted.
Q: Utopias seems like a natural choice for a cigar pairing. Why does it work so well?
A: People naturally think of spirits to pair with cigars. Utopias works because of the complex flavors and the qualities that make it almost like a port or cognac. So many of the flavors in the Utopias – from its fruitiness and nuttiness – go together so well with the cigar’s spicy, complex character. It’s a match made in heaven.
Q: Exactly. This is proof that a craft beer be an equally enjoyable cigar ingredient and pairing. What can you tell us about your process for aromatically-seasoning the cigars? It sounds like something out of a mad scientist movie.
A: Our aromatic-seasoning process is proprietary, so I can’t tell you much aside from the fact that there aren’t any white coats or lab assistants locked in the basement. It’s an extremely tedious, time consuming process, but as you can see it’s the best way to meld the true Utopias character into the cigar.
Q: How much does the quality of the cigar itself matter for aromatic seasoning? You certainly won’t find this kind of cigar at the corner drug store.
A: Utopias on its own is otherworldly, but there isn’t a single liquid on the planet that can rescue a bad cigar. We take a lot of pride in the fact that this cigar blend received a rating of ‘88’ (Excellent) by Cigar Aficionado. That’s nothing to scoff at.
Q: Where can you buy the Samuel Adams Utopias Cigar? I know I’ll be picking up a few for the holidays.
A: This cigar will be sold exclusively on our website, at TedsCigars.com/SamuelAdams. They’re only available through the end of December, though, so get ‘em while you can.