Category Archives: Cigars

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.

Wine Review news and more

Hi Folks,

I think I’ll be updating this blog on Thursdays. It makes sense to me since I do a WriteSEX update then and traffic seems to show that I get higher views on those days.

Did you enjoy my review of the Diamond Crown Robusto? If you missed it you can find it here.

After a little thought, I’ve decided to lower my price points for reviews.The purpose of any blog is to grow, but until I have more product coming in from vendors, (and more time to dedicate to obtaining samples!) I think I can provide a valuable service by hitting the mid range prices on wines/liquors/cigars. I spoke with Thomas at Grants when asking abou a higher end stick than my normal Tatuaje or Padron and he told me that slightly above $17 per cigar, you start getting into the higher end products like the Padron 80th anniversary or Fuente OpusX.

Plus, I need to expand exposure of the blog. On a brighter note, Chehalem Vineyards is sending sample bottles of wine to me. I emailed heather at the vineyard last week and she responded with a positive note and what sounded like incredible wines from Oregon. So look for that in the coming weeks!

As always, Enjoy the Good Life!

Cigar Review: Diamond Crown Robusto #4

Picked this up at Grants today. It’s a 5X54 sized vitola with a dark maduro wrapper from the fine folks at JC Newman.

On the prelight, toasty aromas and typical tobacco drift towards the nose in a pleasing fashion. After cutting the cap I lit the cigar and drew in flavors of cocoa, roasted coffee that wafted across the palate. The flavors were subdued with undertones of creamy milk chocolate. The structure of the flavor profile is solid as is the draw and construction.

This paired well with the inexpensive brandy from the flask. The sweetness and floral notes of the brandy emphasized sweetness on this Dominican cigars from the Arturo Fuente/JC Newman family.

Honestly, I prefer the Maximus, the line they came out with ten years later. The Diamond Crown was released in 1990 to honor the 100th Anniversary of Standford Newman.

From Cigar.com:

Stanford Newman’s dream became a reality when Diamond Crown cigars debuted in the early 1990’s. Today the cigar is as popular as ever. It features a Connecticut wrapper that is absolutely seamless over a smooth Dominican filler. The cigar is mild to medium-bodied, and very creamy and flavorful. Without a doubt, Diamond Crown is one of the best made premium cigars being made in the Dominican Republic

While I prefer the Maximus, for a $17 cigar, this is a good value for thsoe seeking exceptional quality when they are looking to up their standard of The Good Life!

Cigar Review: Cabaiguan Maduro

picked this up for my second cigar at Grants today and thought I’d review it. I know it doesn’t meet the criteria but I’m thinking in my tough economic times, I have to relook at the standards i’ve set. But for now, we’ll just discuss the cigar.

Construction is good. Non veiny , chocolate colored wrapper on this Tatuaje maade cigar from Pete Johnson. Aroma on the prelight is typical of Tatuaje and once I took a draw, I picked up typical full bodied flavor and taste.

After the first third I picked up espresso flavors that rolled into a heady roasted coffee taste with earthy undertones. I should add that I’m sick right now so my palate is a bit off.

Overall a good cigar but I still prefer La Riqueza. I have a Tatuaje Conoju in my humidor for the blog I plan to smoke once I get some good scotch 🙂

It was nice to see Chris at Grants, he poured me a littleof one of his favorite grappas that had an interesting taste if you’re not a grappa drinker OR new to the drink. I’ll share later.

Scotch Review: Bruichladdich 12 year Islay Singlemalt

I was given the opportunity to try this robust Islay scotch Thursday while a good friend was visiting.

The Bruichladdich is a golden colored scotch with not a lot of peat. The heat level is there definitely and will keep you warm but it’s not so overpowering. This is a smooth scotch with light smoke and peat compared to most normal Islay single malts. The balance of body and oaky vanilla sweetness.

A nice finish compliments this 12 year whisky.

From the website: There is no chill filtration, no coloring added and the whiskys are bottled naturally.

Paired this with a CAIN cigar and god company. The CAIN cigar had a much better profile than the last time I smoked one but that’s another review I’ll do for another night.

at 46% ABV this is a little lighter than what I’m used to (Glenfiddich or Grants Blended) but a nice way to wind down the evening or celebrate good company!

Happy New Years fellow Enthusiasts!

I want to wish you all a happy and successful new year and that you may all enjoy the finer things in life! I started off the year working with a bang, cranking out plots and words for three new stories, and had to take a cigar break Tuesday!

First cigar of the year was NOT up to blog standards, but was still a good, tasty stick. I had heard a lot about the Arturo Fuente Double Chateau Fuente by one of the guys who smokes them at Grants so I picked one up.

Definitely a good stick for an occasion when I want something more mild to medium with creamy, woodsy notes.

As for drink, nothing spectacular has hit my palate yet. We’ve gotta work on that!

More soon!

Cigar Shop Update – Tobacco Road

Hello Folks,

Just got back from Tobacco Rd and thought I’d post a few pictures of their smoking lounge.

The nice leather chairs have provided me with a comfortable seating arrangement that’s allowed me hours of reading/smoking time.

As for selection, they offer the following:

Ashton (including one of the VSG sizes)
Romeo y Julieta Habano Reserve, Reserve Real and 1875
Arturo Fuente (including the Short Story)
H. Upman
Casa Magna
Partagas Black
Avo
Punch
Macanudo
Montecristo
Sancho Panza
Joya De Nicaragua
Rocky Patel 12 year Vintage
RP EDGE (robusto size 5X48 I think)
Cohiba
Acid
Oliva V, O and G series
Hoyo De Monterrey (Excalibur)
And a cuban seed house blend robusto and torpedo. The robusto is available in EMS or Maduor and I like the maduro bettter. It’s better constructed, not as strong but still a sweet, tasty maduro.

I’m not sure which NUB she’ll be bringing in but she’ll have those too. I’ve had those and they’re pretty good.

Most of the prices are lower than SF and I wonder if that’s due to taxes. The shop itself has to overcome ridding itself of the ghetto element so I understand they may be phasing out cigarette sales and some of the more less lucrative products that tend to attract the element as I call them, but Kathrine is determiend to give cigar smokers a place to call home.

She’ll be installing a TV soon in the lounge. I’ve been allowed to bring in alcohol under the “don’t act a fool” rule. My question is, once she rotates some of the stock out, what would you like to see in the humidor?

I’d like to see Padron, Cuesta Rey, Tatuaje, Punch Uppercut, along with an expansion of the RP line. How about you?

The shop is located at 14th and Franklin, close to 12th St. BART station. Come on down and enjoy a smoke!

Cheers!