Henry Clay Tattoo by Pete Johnson

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know

Henry Clay Tattoo by Pete Johnson

my favorite non luxury (read, not super ultra premium) cigars has been made by Pete Johnson. In everything of his I’ve smoked, I have found immense pleasure.

The Re-Imagined Henry Clay was no different.

The pre-light draw is really more mellow than anything else – like mulled wine and candy. This is a box press cigar with plenty of heft in the fingers.

The original Henry Clay band remained, but the addition of a second band just below it in typical Tatuaje-style font added to the aesthetic.

The first few puffs elicit cedar and hints of pepper along with that sweetness described earlier. The draw is good with wood notes sneaking up along the rest of the other flavor.

Flavored are much more mellow than expected. Hints of mint. Good draw. Gray smoke.   It’s a fairly complex smoke, something I would expect from Pete Johnson and Don “Pepin” Garcia. 

Sweet red pepper comes into play. Odd juice-like notes. Still solid burn and draw.

I was really happy to see Pete still kicking around and doing new things.

Wine review: 9 mile road langhorne creek Shiraz 2013

This is another hit from First Leaf Wine Club.  I’ve been enjoying the half case shipments when I could pick them up and I think you’ll enjoy them too. Unlike my preferred Underground Cellar, Firstleaf is a curated wine program in the more traditional sense of the word – that is, you buy in and are sent wine at specified time periods.

Deep red in color, slight purple tinge. The nose is mostly berry and herbaceous, but once the wine opens up, the herbal notes tone down just a bit. I was pleasantly surprised to not get hit in the face with typical, strong pepper notes from Shiraz, this wine is softer than that.

The flavor is very herbaceous, but hints of pepper, cherry and vanilla come through. Medium long finish and enjoyed with pepper steak and roasted garlic potatoes.

When things settle in for me I’ll start posting about the various wine regions I’m getting bottles from. I think you’ll be excited, just as I am!

Cigar review – Perdomo 20th anniversary barrel aged.

I picked this up at Got Cigars? in downtown Decatur a few weeks back and got to try it. The pre-light has heavy raisin and mulled wine tastes. Dark wrapper has no noticeable flaws. Speckled slightly, giving hope of spice.

6×60 and felt so right in my fingers!

The Cigar starts off easily with hints of red pepper and spice along with slight oak flavors.

Perdomo’s greatness continues at Got Cigars? in Decatur, GA.

Then it picks up as the smoke burns evenly, with hints of cocoa and bourbon barrel flavors.

The burn line corrected after a few minutes and the flavors became more like baking spices.

Coffee notes develop along with chocolate sweetness and light earth.  With a medium to full bodied finish that lingers, this is a definite keeper in the humidor.

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Saying Goodbye to Chai!

I hate to see this but Chai Nicole is leaving Highland Cigar Company and moving on to bigger things. So come join us at Highland Cigar Company Friday, October 7th from 7 PM until close while we wish Chai the very best in her new path!

I remember walking into Highland Cigar Company almost three years ago with my oldest Girlfriend and Chai being the first to greet us and treat us right.  She’d kept the scotch flowing, had the notes on all the drinks and knew more than an average 25 year old would about spirits and cigars.

She’s been a part of Mix, Mingle Indulge, a quarterly event at Highland that showcases female owned businesses and educates the smokers about the hobby we all have a passion for.

I hope you’ll raise a glass with me to toast this awesome woman in her next journey!

Cigar review: AJ Fernandez Enclave Broadleaf

At Got Cigars? the owner had brought in a larger selection of AJ Fernandez cigars, including the new Enclave Broadleaf.  Naturally, I had to give it a try.

The first thing to notice is the beautiful chocolate colored broadleaf wrapper, cluing me in that I’m in for a sweeter treat than AJ’s normal experiences.

Using a straight cut to clip the cap, I put the cigar to my lips and tasted the cold draw’s sharp stone fruit, mixed with hints of wood. The cigar wasn’t too loose or too tight so the draw was good, also assuring me of solid construction. Oh, there was a subtle sweetness I can’t quite name yet, too.

Once I lit the cigar, I tasted the prominence of wood that died down after a few hearty puffs. The smoke was ash gray. Sweet, dark cocoa (how can something be dark cocoa and sweet?  Don’t know, ask the blender!) balanced along with bitter notes of black pepper.

Enclave Broadleaf, by AJ Fernandez

As the cigar burns down, we pick up more balance in the sweet and spice mixture, until we burn down to the final third. Then the broadleaf really shines and we pick up that light cocoa I associate oftentimes with Tatuaje cigars.

The medium to full flavor is graced with a long finish.

Great cigar overall, and another hit for master blender AJ Fernandez.

Wine Review: Pigeon Hill Winery Shiraz Cabernet 2016

Another FirstLeaf selection, and the last from my last shipment, this wine was equally as impressive as the other five bottles drank and reviewed.  Our offering today is from South Eastern Australia and is an 80/20% mix of Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon.

Pigeon Hill 2016 Shiraz-Cab

The wine has a very faint nose with hints of berry. Swirling the wine brings the berry flavors up. The wine has almost a deep purple tint to it.

The first sip confirms it. Sweet berries and hints of oak come together in a lush mouthfeel that leaves a lingering medium finish on the palate.  As the wine reaches room temperature, the berries become more pronounced, almost like cherry but with less tartness and a touch of spice.

Overall, another solid offering from First Leaf.

few photos from Highland’s 11th Anniversary

Had a blast last Saturday and just forgot to post about it cause it was THAT crazy LOL!

Rocky Patel May 20th, 2011 Edicion Unica

The local rep from Rocky Patel, Stacy Cross, showed up with plenty of goodies, specials, and raffles. Featured were the new Edicion Unica May 20th, 2011, among others. She shared space with General Cigars and a Rocky/General collaboration that escapes me and if she sees this post hopefully she’ll let me know what the other cigar was!

Notes on the Edicion Unica are as follows:

A nice, clean look with a paper bag brown wrapper.  Light with no visible flaws or veins. The pre-light is full of wood flavors and the typical stone fruit/raisiny tastes often found in cigars.

Stacy Cross of Rocky Patel

Upon lighting, the wood notes come across heavily reinforced. As with any Rocky Patel cigars I’ve smoked, the construction and draw are spot on.

Toward the middle of the cigar, sweet cedar notes present themselves along with deep pepper. Wood takes a back seat to (dark?) cocoa bitterness.

Touch of leather on the final end, and the cigar is mellow without being in your face overpowering.   A limited release, if you can find these, get your hands on them and give them a try!

Late Night Chai, Highland’s superstar GM

Of course Mad Moulton was in, making a ton of dope ass drinks that not only had plenty of flavor, but looked incredible to boot. Take a look at his Instagram for proof of his cocktail prowess!

For an 11th anniversary party, it was much lower in key than last year’s 10 year, but still an awesome place with great folks, drinks and cigars. It was indeed, an example of Pure Indulgence.