Category Archives: Cigars

Next week on Pure Indulgence

This week we’ll cover Pinot Noir as a single grape varietal while discussing the versatility of which wines can be made from it. We’ll mention new world and old world styles while referencing wines that “should” be easy to find at most wine retailers off and online. With cigars, we’ll share a few recommendations for those wanting to try cigars. Hint, we’re AVOIDING macanudo!

What I’m smoking this week: Padron 4000, La Riqueza Double Corona, Arturo Fuente Rosado, and Grants Royal Reserve Blend Pipe Tobacco
What I’m drinking this week: Rutz Cellars 1997 Quail Hill Vineyard Russian River Chardonnay, Grants Blended Scotch, Knob Creek Whiskey

Check out the blog for White Wolf Indulgence, which helped spin off PI at:

As always find us at Radio Dentata

Cigar Review: Casa Magna Robusto

Rated Cigar of the year by Cigar Aficionado, this Nicaraguan Puro is the result of Manuel Quesada and Nestor Plascencia’s expert blending with an oily Colorado wrapper and Nicaraguan binder/filler for a medium to full bodied yet complex smoke.

The Casa Magna Robusto sports a hearty taste in a small package. Robust in flavor, the cigar itself starts off with a little pepper, cedar and spiciness before the mid point where dark coffee flavors take over. Full flavors hit one from the start and continue until the last third where the cigar mellows into sweeter coffee and cedar notes.

It’s a well constructed Robusto that burns evenly and has a light grey ash that held on for quite some time.

I paired this with water but couuld see a light bourbon or whiskey to match it quite nicely. I have to say I really enjoyed the cedar notes but found them on the back end of the palate, rather than the dark coffee notes that were more forthcoming.

Cigar Exclusive: LGC Artesanos De Tabaqueros

Are you a La Gloria Cubana fan? Have you been fortunate enough to smoke the exclusive Artesanos de Miami cigars which are only allowed to be made by top 18 rollers of the company?? Normally the Miami cigars don’t actually leave Miami themselves, but they are available exclusively at Nat Sherman in New York City and now Nat Sherman is proud to announce that they will be the FIRST tobacconist to have LGC’s newest luxury creation, the Artesanos de Tabqueros.

Read more here

Personally I’ve only had one La Gloria. But I’m willing to give them another try since I’ve educated my palate. Grants carries many of the LGCs so I’ll have to try them there. I’ll reveiw as appropriate.

NEWS: Pure Indulgence launching on Radio Dentata today at 1 PM PST!

As you’ve been with me for awhile now, you know what this blog is about. Now you get to hear me once a week talk about cigars and wine on Radio Dentata

I am Sascha Illyvich, host of Pure Indulgence. We’re dedicated to empowering those who wish to embark upon the Good Life known as fine wine and cigars. Our show will focus on education at first, talking about basics of wine/spirits and cigars before getting into the nitty gritty of why we smoke/drink and how to maximize pleasure from The Good Life.

Pure Indulgence started out by pure annoyance as some of my erotic romance author friends, my producer kept asking me to expand in this direction. When my publicist suggested I do a show or write a blog on it, I told her I’d toy with the idea until my long time publisher Jean Marie Stine of Renaissance E-books fame (and ownership) told me one night I should do the show. So here it is; a weekly half hour show to simplify the daunting world of wine and cigars.

Catch us weekly on http://www.radiodentata.com
White Wolf Indulgence Blog: http://whitewolfindulgence.wordpress.com

Cigar Review: Arturo Fuente Rosado

This 6X54 release from Arturo Fuente is a delicious, well constructed cigar from the Dominican Republic. I’m pretty sure I mentionedthis a few weeks back when I talked about having Thomas at Grants hold back two more for me. I tried hard to find them online and I’ve failed.

The taste from the aged wrapper is mellow, smooth and honestly reminds me of cotton candy. This is a medium bodied cigar that would pair well with a fno or manzania sherry, or equally well with a bourbon or rich aged port.

Yeah, I smoked that fucker to the nub!

This week’s list of things I’ve tried

Nothing spectacular so far this week but I have had a few interesting morsels of goodness come my way in the form of wine, hard liquor and cigars!

Elmer T Lee bourbon – This offering from Ancient Ange Distilling Co. in Kentucky has a nice caramel with a smooth taste. It’s high rye blend with some mild vanilla sweetness in the mouth. Had a long finish that paired well with my cigar. Golden color with a reddish tint. Inexpensive bourbon (about $24 for 750ml from )

Kim Crawford 2008 Marlborough Pinot Noir – A very light bodied australian pinot noir with bright cherry and soft mouthfeel that delivers plenty of acidity and a light to medium finish. Bright red with purple color in the glass. Tasted at Occidental Cigar Bar in San Francisco. $12 a glass there, $16.00 a bottle at The Wine Outlet

Arturo Fuente Rosado R54 – 6 1/4 X 54 smoke that I enjoyed over two hours at Grants. I had to pick up two more to lay down as the box disappeared almost as soon as Thomas opened it. For a little more than $11 a stick in the B/M shop, this is a cigar with medium flavors of sweetness due to the 10 year old aged Ecuadorian wrapper and blended with a Domiinican filler that is allowed to age for another year. Creamy, pleasant, with an easy draw and perfect construction.

That’s been what I’ve had for the week that held my interest. Look out for a wine review of the 2004 Legends Merlot from Larry Bird and legendary napa valley producer Mitch Cosetino, the ’04 Cabernet Sauvignon from the same, and a review of an impressive spirit called Dimmi Liquor Di Milano!

Cigar Review: Ashton VSG

I picked up the Ashton VSG (Virgin Sun Grown) last week from Tobacco Road on a whim when I had a few extra dollars. At a price of $17 a stick (Grants has the same size slightly cheaper) it’s not something most of us can afford to smoke on an every day basis but I did say I’d review higher end sticks 🙂

I picked up the Corona Gorda at a size of 5 3/4 X 46 and clipped the end. Upon the first taste I noticed a rather airy, light draw from the cigar, similar to the Padron 2000 stick (that to me indicates a looser wrapping). The construction of the cigar was firm and solid, though I was a little scared as the wrapper holds a pretty brown color but feels slightly dry.

The cigar held firm the entire smoke! Creamy notes on the first third with an almost white ash held my attention. The flavor profile later became a tad spicy but still deliciously creamy all the way until very end when I damn near smoked my fingers off! Slight cedar notes were prominent on the last third.

Ashton VSG Cigars page

I intend to get a good bang for my buck as the last stick of the month so we’ll see what comes up from Grants!

Update: Things I’ve tried

Been a week since the last update and I thought since I haven’t drank or smoked anything noteworthy, I’d just take a moment to share what I have been drinking and smoking.

First, yesterday at Grants I smoked the Triumfador by Tatuaje. I understand it’s roughly the same or similiar blend to the La Riqueza (which I need to review for this blog!) and the round of opinions from the guys who smoked it found it pleasant and and “excellent cigar.” I had to agree. Construction was solid, the wrapper held some oily notes along with that signature flavor profile by master blender Don “Pepin” Garcia. I’ll be smoking another one Saturday more than likely. Thanks Pete Johnson!

Oh, at Tobacco Road I finally picked up an Ashton VSG Sungrown. Heard this was a nice smoke and at $17 a stick, it’s blog worthy based on my standards. I’ll report that soon!

I picked up pipe smoking a few weeks back and am enjoying that but haad to deal with the learning curve. Thankfully one of the gents i smoke with has offered to introduce me to some of the finer points on pipe smoking. Btw I picked up a Perot pipe for about $35 from Grants.

This week I’ve had Murrietta’s Well Meritage which doesn’t qualify for the blog (I think it retails for about $15 a bottle) but was a delightful wine to drink. Full of structure, nice tannins and flavor, this 2005 release is one i’ll pick up a few more bottles of. Thank you Livermore Valley, California!

Also this week we had GMH Verdelho from Australia. Geoff M. Hardy’s 2006 release shows bright fruit, acidity and some tartness on this well made South Australian wine.

Of note, was a new thing I might add to the blog. Beer reviews. My girlfriend picked up Three Philsopher’s belgian style ale. Bright flavors with a typical belgian style profile and fruit held nicely on the palate with a medium finish.

Guess that’s it for now.

As always, cheers!

Consumption question

How many cigars do you smoke in a week? How many drinks do you consume in a day?

I ask this question for curiousity’s sake as well as to see where I fit in the moderation spectrum. You see, I recently upped the number of cigars I’ve had in a week from 4 to about 6 and maintained my drink count at 4 drinks a day. Usually two glasses of wine, two scotches.

I asked a few of the smokers I hang out with about their smoking habits and found that most seem to hover around 3-4 cigars a day. If I smoked that much I’d never get anything done!

My cigars and pipe are a relaxing thing for me that keeps me out of the office. Cigars require me to leave the house and be outside at least long enough to head to BART to go to Grants or Tobacco Road. Or at the very least I can sit ont he lake and light up.

Regarding drinks, I just never thought about why I can’t have four drinks in a day. The wine and last scotch of the night is centered around a hearty meal and the early drink I have with lunch.

I drink plenty of water, tea and juice. I eat fairly well and beileve in a good diet all around –which should include fine scotch and cigars!

What say you?

Cigar Review: Padron 1964 Anniversario

I had this earlier at Grants and all I can say is WOW! The construction of this box pressed cigar is solid, producing a tight white ash. Flavors on this easy to draw cigar include pronounced coffee and tobacco that smooth out as the cigar smokes.

This is definitely an upgrade if you’re familiar with the general thousand line of Padron, which I am as those are my go to sticks most of the time.

I sipped a decent brandy while smoking and watching the news discuss the proposed smoking ban in San Francisco and talking to some of the more politically inclined smokers.

For $15.50 a stick, this is definitely worth buying a few if not a box.