Cigar Review: Gurkha Rogue Ruthless

I can’t lie. I’ve had like…five Gurkha cigars in my entire life, the last one of which I was drunk for.  (One of the 15 year anniversary cigars, thanks Cooper)

And I’m annoyed that they claim the most expensive cigar on the market.  The Black Dragon goes for something like $1,150 per stick.

ACC has a $2,500 cigar that I can almost PROMISE is better and that’s NOT based on brand loyalty.

So let’s get on with the Gurkha Rogue Ruthless.  First off, it’s got a light brown, coffee colored wrapper that’s almost seemless.  The cigar feels pretty solid in the hand, but not heavy like a Don Cervantes or Drew Estate Undercrown.  The closed foot is unique.

The band itself isn’t ornate, more or less on the pirate tip, giving us the feel of a rougher cigar.  Amusing.  It’s not. cutting the cigar gives us a pre-light flavor of raisin and another spice I can’t quite identify yet.

But when I light up the cigar, it starts off with sweet vanilla and cedar notes.  Those continue throughout the majority of the cigar, while toasted nuts are transformed from nuttiness and a touch of oak.  The cigar has a few burn issues, but that may be the fact that I was working at the shop, not here at home.

The only bad thing about this cigar really?  The end third, the cigar goes very squishy.  It’s not a cigar I’d pick up, again, (compared to the Gurkha Seduction or Gurkha Ghost – which I would) but it was enjoyable for something different.

Cigar Review – Masterpiece Gold Reblended

These came in a while back and I’ve been sitting on a few of them in the new lancero size, along with some of the minis which also are reblended versions of the original, which I reviewed here.

Masterpiece Gold by Don Cervantes

As you know, Don Cervantes is a luxury blend put out by ACC Cigars and tend to consist of aged tobaccos, some of which may be as old as 50 years in age. The cost of their cigars is due in part to the age of the tobacco and the skill required to roll tobacco that old.  You can’t use everyday rollers and have them roll vintage tobacco.  You’ll lose too much.

Per usual, the cigar has an even burn. The pre-light notes are typical of raisin and light stone fruit, but a torch to toast the foot reveals a semi-sweet smelling smoke. The first draw is easy, and the burn line is razor straight.

Notes of wood, pepper, intense leather and hints of oak come from the cigar at various points, but the pepper and spice remain up front.  Honestly, it’s rather refreshing.  I’ve had a number of cigars with Connecticut wrappers and I enjoy them, but the refined version of Don Cervantes tends to surpass all of them.  This new version is incredible, and has a stronger profile than the original, but remains balanced.  You ever have a cigar that is a mild blend but certain flavors dominate?  Not that it’s a bad thing, but when you’re seeking that delicate balance, this is a cigar that stands out among my 20 years of being a cigar aficionado.

A medium finish with an easy draw makes this an even better cigar for those who don’t prefer the stronger taste of maduros.

 

Miraval Cote De Provence

This was a find from Underground Cellar that I really enjoyed. The

flavors were standard out of a good solid Cote De Provence, chalk, mineral, and this was an excellent summer sipping wine.

Notes on the nose include grapefruit, terroir, and a touch of sweetness.

The gold straw color isn’t so prolific thanks to my shitty photo taking abilities, but this was definitely an enjoyable wine.  Medium finish.

For great deals on wine (we both get $25 in wine I think) Underground Cellar.

Cigar Review: Montecristo White

The Montecristo White was a cigar I picked up from a grab bag of

random things from the folks at Casa De Montecristo by Tampa

Humidor.  It came along with the Partagas Black, and Alec Bradley Prensado (5X50).

I was rather surprised.  For starters, I’m not a huge Monte fan as a rule, I’ve outgrown the traditional big brands.  It’s like drinking Budweiser (if you like pain) and then realizing there is locally brewed IPA. But since I paid for this, figured, what the hell.

The surprise came in that the cigar was fairly flavorful.  Honestly, it was creamy, with good solid wood notes and a touch of pepper.  The draw was good, construction solid.  I’d expect that though from General Cigar.  Good flavor overall, with a medium finish, this cigar is one for those who would enjoy a mild cigar but still want plenty of flavor.

 

Flight Night – Highland Cigar, Whiskey Edition

The Serie O Habana is a rich, medium bodied, yet somewhat spicy cigar that will pair well with the whiskies mentioned.

Come see the new space at Highland!

They opened up and doubled the space with the dopeness! More TVs, more seating, more ventilation, more cigars, more whiskies…

Morning Cigars: Oliva O Serie

Having had to go into the shop to open up, with no food in my system, I see why the Oliva Serie O is a popular cigar for smokers. Considering I spent most of my smoking time in the evenings, when I want a heavy or full-bodied Cigar, I usually find the Serie O to be too weak in body. But since I started to work at the cigar shop in Decatur I’ve discovered that the Oliva O series is a good morning cigar.

Oliva Serie O Churchill

I’ve got a lot more of the flavor out of it because it is my first cigar with a fresh pallet.  Definitely has notes of earth and light spice, almost like cocoa dust.  Good draw, mild to medium flavor and strength.

It would probably pair well with a medium bodied coffee, or perhaps my mushroom coffee. It might even do well with a spot of Earl Grey tea.

Come down and see us at Got Cigars? in Decatur, at 232 E. Ponce De Leon, just off Decatur MARTA!

I’ve begun drinking Amaros

The recent upset stomach incidents I’ve dealt with over the last year and a half have been aided by the power of Amaro!  Funny story.  Last year, stress or heat ended up hurting my ability to keep food down.  I didn’t know what to do because frankly, I want nothing to do with drinking pepto and sucking down pills designed to “correct” my stomach’s issues.

One night I was smoking a cigar, and I had an IPA.  Probably Sierra Nevada Torpedo and I realized that instantly, after the first few sips, the pressure in my stomach had been alleviated.

Because bitters are designed as digestive aids.

I forgot that fact.  I went to the package store here in Decatur and picked up Cio Ciaro, an inexpensive Italian Amaro, came back home, poured a shot, then set the bottle into the fridge.  Sipping the warm, almost myrrh-like essence did improve the way my stomach felt.

Little bit of history here:  Amaros (Italian for Bitter)  were invented to counter the stomach and aid in digestion by Europeans who were known for eating rich foods.  It just turns out they developed a palate for them as well.  Made with “secret ingredients” each one is as distinct as the next one, with no two producers making the same product.

I can’t get real Unicum here in the States, but I have a strong preference for the Hungarian Digestivo.  Currently, I’m drinking Aperol, with light balance, some slight bitterness from the bitter orange and rhubarb.  I’ve never had real rhubarb LOL!

***These statements are not to be used as diagnosis and cures for stomach ailments.  Please don’t take them as such, do your own due diligence***

Wine Review: Casarena 505Vineyards 2014 Red Blend

The 505 Vineyards Red Blend went well with my NY Strip. The rarity that I get NY Strip, I like a good, full balanced and tannic wine.

This was that, definitely with tart berry, touch of earth and tannin.  Not overpowering, but pleasant.  Medium finish.  Some minerality in the grapes.  The blend is Malbec, Cabernet and Merlot, and all of those individual grapes blend together seamlessly.

Michel Rolland has had a profound influence on both French and international winemaking, responsible for more 90+ scoring vintages than any other individual in his time” – From Firstleaf

FirstLeaf or Underground Cellar, are the two wine programs I’m recommending.  Neither have

disappointed me.  Being on a budget as I am, and still wanting a value for 6 bottles of wine, Firstleaf lets me schedule shipments whenever I want. That really saves my bacon when bills come due. Or I need to make sure I’m home to accept the UPS package.

Underground Cellar offers one wine, but oftentimes gives you multiple chances for upgrades on better, more expensive (and in this case, it DOES count) wines.  Underground Cellar will store your wines for you, up to I think three cases.