May 24th Havana Nights – Cigar Mike’s B’Day Bash at Highland

One of my favorite spots, one of my favorite new themes!  Well, not new but you know I’m developing an obsession about Havana –

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considering I’m pondering a trip out to Cuba for a weekend sometime this year.

In the meantime, Papa’s Pilar Rum – a damn fine sipping rum which we’ve had and will leave for review on a later date will be featured.  I can’t speak to the tequila, ya’ll know that isn’t how “I” roll but if Chai’s pouring it, it’s probably solid.

 

Cigar Review – Quesada Holiday Keg

My first experience with Quesada cigars goes back to my early days when I’d picked up a Fonseca and had fallen in love with a good, well rounded medium bodied cigar at the time.

As I progressed in my cigar adventures, I’ve discovered many other blends, (Casa Magna, Don Cervantes Presidente to name a few) and as of late?

The Holiday Keg – The theme stemmed from Quesada’s mastery of cigars blended to pair perfectly with popular beer styles with the introduction of the Quesada Oktoberfest in 2011. In 2015, Quesada moved from Märzen-style beers to Irish Stouts, unleashing a dark, Nicaraguan blend packaged in miniature, wooden kegs.

 

A new favorite @quesadacigars #cigars #luxurylifestyle #cigarsofinstagram #rain #flavor #botl #sotl #luxurylifestyleblogger

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I’d grabbed a five pack from Cigarplace.biz and decided to take a few to Highland Cigar Company.  The cigar’s size is an easy 6X50.  Firm feel in the hand, medium brown wrapper with little to no veins and a pleasant, yet pungent cool draw greet the smoker.

The first bit I’d noticed about the cigar was the stronger profile.  Yes, it was definitely something I’d pair with a stout but it didn’t hold on with an overpowering flavor profile which would normally drown out a beer or be drowned out by one.

Naturally I chose whiskey…High West American Prairie to be exact.  (Thanks Clifton)

It worked out actually because the cigar’s taste had lots of cocoa and spice, along with copious amounts of smoke.  It remained consistent the entire hour and ten that it took me to smoke it. Definitely medium in body, it was quite tasty with an equally pleasing medium finish.

This is definitely another hit for Quesada that has me anxious for what they’ll come up with for 2017!

Cigar Review – La Flor Dominicana Reserva Especial

As  we get further into the year and start digging in at newer releases, I find myself wanting to expand my regular rotation.
The LFD Reserva Especial was different from the start.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

    La Flor Dominicana Reserva Especial Gran Robusto
  • Binder: Dominican Republic (Estancia La Flor de Palma)
  • Filler: Dominican Republic (Estancia La Flor de Palma)

The Gran Robusto is 5 1/2X60.

I know I’m a bit late to the party but taking this blog more  seriously means rerouting energy previously unspent.  I’m glad for it.
The usual plum notes from a cold draw are interesting in that pepper is present as well.  Rich earth also.
This cigar starts off with much more mellow spice and flavor than most LFDs I’ve smoked.  Not weaker, just less. The leathery pepper taste is present, along with softer, almost rosado-like flavors of cotton candy.
Light mocha flavors join the leather and spice but all flavors are softer than normal.

Cigar Review – Ultra Luxury: ACC S. E. 1960 Oak Sherry Barrel

 

1960 Oak Sherry Barrel by ACC Cigars, atop the Don Cervantes Travel humidor

At first glance, this dark cigar looks like it’s going to be a powerhouse.  The band has a very old world Cuban feel to it in design and because it matches well with the darkness of the leaf, it makes it harder to see.

But for a cigar with such a hefty price tag ($2,500 per cigar), I have my suspicions. Yet, the website (Yamantaka Global) says the cigar is the same vintage tobacco as the 1950s Cubans. It’s obvious that this cigar is also rolled entubado like everything else ACC does. What that means is that the cigars are rolled in a tube-like fashion, and require a higher skill level of roller, else the attrition rate of production becomes really high since older tobacco is more susceptible to damage.

I’ve smoked enough ACC cigars to know the quality behind them has always been top notch, but this is hands down, the most expensive cigar on the market, and the most expensive cigar I’ve ever smoked to date.

Cutting the cigar and doing a pre-light draw reveal really smooth flavors that are a little hard for me to identify, and I’m drinking water with this cigar.  Upon lighting, the cigar has a smooth taste, with mellow notes of sherry and oak, as one would expect, from a cigar with this name.  (Reminds me of the style used by Drew Estate to make their barrel aged cigars.)

The cigar has a beautiful draw, sending a plethora of almost sweet, white/gray smoke into the air.  That trademark ACC scent isn’t present on this cigar though, but that’s okay. The feel of the cigar in my fingers suggests plenty of tobacco in the blend and at first puff, one would think, would have a tight draw. But no, the draw is excellent as I mentioned earlier.

Medium bodied, but full flavored, the oak becomes soft vanilla notes across the palate.  If I searched hard enough, I tasted the lightness of sherry, making me wonder what style of sherry they used for the casks.

Solid cigar all the way through though.  And a great start to me getting into higher premium cigars!

 

Scotch Whisky Review: Aberfeldy 12 year

Aberfeldy 12 year Scotch Whisky – a Highland Region Blend

When I was looking for an introductory single malt scotch whisky, I’d asked another customer at Greens Package store on Ponce (Midtown Atlanta) and he’d suggested the Aberfeldy 12 year. Said even his wife drank it.

For a single malt that’s 12 years old and priced at under $30 I have to admit, it was a solid purchase.  Notes of honey and spice characterize this cigar friendly malt, along with a bit of peat.

I’m not normally a fan of huge peat but this wasn’t that.  A highland region whisky, it was a smooth sipper from start to finish.  The balance in it was exceptional for the price.  I half  expected it to need a cube like some of the other whiskies I’ve been drinking, but it didn’t.  I never did get a chance to test that out, however.