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!

Cigar Review: Carlos Torano 1916 Churchill

Carlos Torano Churchill
7X48
Cameroon Wrapper
Nic/Honduran Filler

Wow is all I can say. Another Torano hit for me. I picked these up a few weeks ago and got a damns teal for a five pack. Sporting an African wrapper with Honduran and Nicaraguan filler, this cigar has a fine, soft and sensual taste. Not as oily as the previous Torano Signature I reviewed or the La Riqueza I’ve yet to review but just enough . The flavor profile changes in thirds, starting out with an earthy sweetness that builds up to that oily tastiness. Smooth chocolate flavors round out the end.

The draw was a little tough but that may have been my fault. The cigar lit well, has solid construction and will be one I’ll keep in my humidor for awhile. I enjoyed it with nothing as I’m too broke to buy beer or scotch right now LOL! This is a well balanced cigar with a changing profile.

From Cigar.com

he Carlos Torano 1916 Cameroon is a cigar that pays homage to the family’s roots. Using a rare African wrapper and the finest Honduran fillers, the cigar stands out as one of the best cigars ever made by the Toranos. The aroma is tangy and spicy with a medium to full-body. When enjoying this cigar, it is easy to think about the rich history of the tobacco industry and the dedication of the blenders and rollers. The Carlos Torano 1916 in particular provides a glimpse into a bygone era when cigars were a staple of class and sophistication. This cigar is among the best Cameroon cigars available and is ideal for cigar lovers who enjoy tobacco from the Cameroon region.

I have to agree. The Cameroon wrapper is just so tasty ūüôā Smoke time was about two hours. The price is definitely right too at about $7 a stick from Cigar.com.

Cigar Review: Tatuaje Artistas Torpedo

Tatuaje Website

The Artistas is a 6 1/8 X 52 Torpedo

Pete Johnson has done something in the cigar industry that not many people have. He’s made a quality cigar that’s quickly shot to the ranks of top scoring by cigar magazines across the board. Reviewers love his cigars, smokers love them, and now you’ll find out that I love them.

I had my first Tatuaje a week ago at the Occidental but I purchased the Artistas at Grants in San Francisco. I was hoping for something like La Riqueza (which i’ll review shortly) but what I got in the first third of this Nicaraguan puro was a nice spice. Upon lighting, the pre aroma brought out spice and sweetness. The smoke wasn’t so thick like a Padron. The draw easy, the construction, solid.

I had an inch of bright white ash before it fell off. And it burned pretty quickly.

The first third hit me with spice and sweetness. The next third had an oiliness I’ve grown to associate with La Riqueza that can only be described as just..yum! The last third had for me a combination of the two, but tasted so good that I smoked it to the nub.

From the website:

Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Blended in the style of the flavorful yet Medium Bodied Cuban Cigars.
Cigars are rolled in Nicaragua using select Nicaraguan tobaccos and classic cuban blending with a beautiful Cuban triple-cap.
Staying true to the pride of El Rey de Los Habanos.

I picked this up for a little over $8 and my only regret is I didn’t get two. Even the one I smoked yesterday with my crappy cold affected palate picked up on the nuances of his well crafted cigar.

I enjoyed this cigar with a glass of Glenfarclas 12 year single malt Scotch. The pair worked well together because the scotch is not overpowering and nor is the cigar.

Bourbon Review: Four Roses

Four Roses Website

This bourbon was a gift from the girlfriend on Thanksgiving. While I’m normally¬† a scotch drinker, I began drinking bourbon some seven or eight years ago as my sister is a Maker’s Mark girl.¬† She likes it neat ūüôā

When I discovered cigars, I found some paired really well with bourbon and not so well with the particular scotches I could afford so when I told my girlfriend I’d smoked the La Riqueza by Tatuaje and that Thomas at Grants had suggested enjoying bourbon with it, I guess she got a hint ūüôā

The bourbon is very smooth and contains that little hint of sweetness on the back of the palate while displaying fruit and floral notes in the front of the mouth.¬† It has the characteristic smoothness one would enjoy from a good bourbon all while being light bodied.¬† I’m thinking it’ll pair well with my la riqueze or the Torano signature I just had and will leave notes for that when I can.

This is definitely a sipper to be enjoyed over time.

From the website:

In 1884, Paul Jones Jr., moved his thriving business to Louisville, Kentucky, where he opened an office in a section of historic Main Street called, “Whiskey Row.” Four years later, he trademarked the name Four Roses, claiming production and sales back to the 1860s. In 1922, the Paul Jones Company purchased the Frankfort Distilling Company, one of only six distilleries granted permission to operate through prohibition to produce Bourbon for medicinal purposes. Owing to Paul‚Äôs passionate direction and astute business sense, sales of the Bourbon flourished and Four Roses grew to be a preeminent brand.

In 1943, Seagram purchased the Frankfort Distilling Co. primarily to acquire the most noted and recognized name in the business at that time ‚Äď Four Roses Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Even though Four Roses was the top selling Bourbon in the U.S. in the 30s, 40s and 50s, Seagram made the decision to discontinue the sale of Kentucky Straight Bourbon here, and Four Roses was moved to the rapidly growing European and Asian markets where it quickly became the top selling Bourbon.

~~

The website describes the bourbon as mellow and I’d definitely agree.¬† I had my flask filled with Wild Turkey earlier this week and that has more aggressiveness to it,¬† possibly due to the slightly higher alcohol content.¬† Also, Four Roses is not as aggressive and lacks the¬† oaky characteristics that Makers has, but agan, all bourbons are different.¬† Four Roses uses new white oak barrels to distill with so you’re not going to get a lot of oakyness in this bourbon IMHO.

But this is definitely an upgrade if you’re used to drinking Jim Beam or Jim Beam Black.

Cigar Review: Carlos Torano Signatureseries Robusto

Among one of the best blends from the Carlos Torano family of fine cigars. Carlos Torano Signature cigars are flawlessly handmade with a robust, complex-tasting blend of Dominican & Nicaraguan Cuban-seed Ligero long-fillers, a broadleaf binder, and an oily, sun-grown Brazilian Maduro wrapper. – From Famous Smokes who seems to have better prices than some of their competitors.

igar: Carlos Torano Signature
Origin: Nicaragua
Size: Robusto 5 x 52
Wrapper: Sun Grown Brazilian Maduro
Binder: Broadleadf
Filler: Dominican Cubano Ligero, Nicaraguan Habano Ligero

 

I had a very long day in front of the computer handling edits in my normal job as an erotic romance author and needed a cigar.¬† I lit this up looking for something different than my normal Padron or Cuesta Rey and seeing as how I have a few of these now in my humidor along Fonsecas and other stuff, I figured I’d try one again.

Wow, what flavor!  Peppery spice hit my palate upon lighting up that mellowed into a toasty flavor with undertones of refined earth and dark coffee.   Due to the maduro wrapper I picked up notes of cream too.  Firm ash that held on for the first inch suggested good construction.

I smoked with this Roibos tea in front of the Good News Cafewhile reading.¬† I’ll probably try to pick up a box or so.

Torano Signature Robusto

A very nice smoke that lasted about an hour or so.¬†¬†¬† The maduro leaf used brings out a lot of flavor and even an hour or so later I’m still tasting it.¬† Nothing about this cigar is overpowering though it’s rated as a medium bodied cigar.¬†¬† FYI, tis is one of the only maduros the Torano family makes and will become a staple in my humidor.¬† I picked this beauty up in a five pack from Cigarbid at a decent price but checking out box prices at Cigar.com puts it at a similiar price to my beloved Padrons.

Cigar Review: Cuesta Rey 898 Cabinet

The Cuesta Rey 898 cabinet is a 7  X 49 cigar with creamy, mellow flavors made from the famous JC Newman and Fuente family is alwayas a favorite of mine.  A cameroon wrapper gives a slightly toothy edge to the mellowness from the Dominancan binder and filler.

I just discovered that there is a maduro version of this cigar!

I picked up my first 898 Cabinet at a shop I refuse to name and sat down with it.¬† The burn was good, even and the draw was a little tougher than other Cuesta Rey’s I’m used to (like the #60 torpedo) but for the price on a mild to medium bodied cigar, it can’t be beat.¬† Smoke time was about an hour and a half but you have to remember my smoke time is going to vary depending on where I am smoking at.

Buy from JR Cigars

Wine Review: Silver Creek 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

Picked up this wine for what seemed like a steal at Grocery Outlet. I think we paid less than $5.

Anyway, really light red color, strong berry nose with an extremely light body and short finish. This is NOT a typical cabernet but wasn’t overpowered by the rosemary salt hamburgers I served with it.

As far as wine reviews go, this is on the lighter side simply because the wine wasn’t so massively impressive, but again, it was a Grocery Outlet buy. Those tend to be hit or miss.