Wine Review: Cortijo 2015 Rioja

Ever since I had my first bottle of Rioja about 19 years ago (that’s right, I was probably under age!) I’ve been hooked.  The dryness of a wine that has plenty of age on it has always appealed to me because the wines of the time spoke of the land, in a different manner than one thinks about when we hear the word terroir. 

That first bottle was a 2001 Marque de Riscal.  Nice and dry, with plenty of dust and musky flavors to make you think of the wine your old man drank, if he drank wine, the Marque was an introduction to a different style of wine that my heart still has a fondness for.

This is not that.  The Cortijo Rioja from 2015 is 100% Tempranillo grape from Spain and none of the familiar dryness was present in this wine.  Instead, the wine was more balanced.  My unofficial notes from Evernote state:

A rich, deep red color with a ruby nose, that lets out some oak, cherry, and pepper is confirmed by the taste, along with firm tannins, light structure.  Oak and hints of light spice follow through on the medium finish.

 

Scotch Review: Aberlour 16 Year, Double Cask Matured

The first scotch whiskey of the year is a solid one.  And a happy accident on my part as the purchase price was mixed up at the store and I had low blood sugar so…

$67 plus tax at Greens Package store on Ponce.  40% ABV.  

Aberlour 16 year Double Matured Highland Single Malt

Aged in both sherry and oak casks brings a uniqueness not unheard of in Scotland to this whiskey.  The two types of casks are filled and held to age for at least sixteen years before being married.

The flavor profile of this scotch is as follows:

Definite vanilla wit hints of smoke and spice follow up a medium sweet finish with very little burn.  That may be cinnamon. This is definitely a sipping scotch
This would pair well with a rosado or something from Don Pepin Garcia.  Maybe even the new blends by La Rosa de San Diego.   I have had a few of their robustos and found them quite enjoyable.  The sweetness from the whiskey would balance out the pepper bomb that is Pepin, but there are a number of other fine cigars out there which would pair stellarly with Aberlour.

Happy New Year!

It’s a new year and that means we’ve got a lot more to get through in the realm of smoking and drinking!  Yes, the FDA’s bullshit ruling on new cigars will make it very difficult for innovation in flavor but there are plenty of cigars on the market that we will be trying, many of whom slipped in just before the FDA deadline.

As to drinking?  What would you like to see in the new year?   Seeing as how I’m in bourbon country, that may be the way I take this for a little while.

Also, there’s a class I’m in the process of developing that’s aimed at writers on drinking, sex, and booze.  I’ll probably throw in my two cents about cigars too LOL!

The folks at Highland Cigar Company are still doing tastings on Tuesdays so you’ll get more updates from me on those.  Those blog posts will probably be shorter though, due to the amount of notes I can take on a one-ounce pour of any given spirit.

I know I want more wine in my life, and I want more wine education, seeing as how I’ve forgotten much of what I used to know on viticulture and being an oenophile.  Maybe I’ll pick random regions from France of Spain and find wines to suit and taste.  We will see.  All I know is that 2017 promises to be even better for the White Wolf Indulgence lifestyle.

Happy New Year!

Wine Review: Saint Hilaire 2014 Blanquette De Limoux

Over the holidays I had a chance to get around to drinking without working, and smoking cigars without working, but one of the things I did make sure to take notes on was the bottle of Saint Hilaire 2014 Blanquette De Limoux.

The pertinent details:

Region/Appellation
Blanquette de Limoux
Country Hierarchy
Languedoc-Roussillon,France
Vintage 2014
Grape Blend:  Mauzac, chardonnay and chenin blanc – an unusual combination for my palate but I’ll leave my impressions in a moment.

Of course, the Methode Traditionale technique was used and the wine was fermented in the bottle.

Tasting notes had this wine as very crisp, with  refreshing tiny bubbles and that slight terroir taste I enjoy about French wine so much.  The finish was medium with not really any buttery or creamy notes, though I tasted slight hints of oak.   That may have been the cigar, though.  Citrus and apple really complimented things as the wine opened up.

Saint Hilaire Blanquette De Limoux 2014 Estate Bottle
Saint Hilaire Blanquette De Limoux 2014 Estate Bottle

A BRIEF HISTORY

Blanquette de Limoux is probably the oldest sparkling wine in the world. We know that in 1531, the Benedictine Monks of the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire were already producing Blanquette de Limoux which certainly makes it France’s Oldest Sparkling Wine preceding Champagne by more than a century.

By 1794 Blanquette de Limoux was well known and appreciated throughout France. About that time, it was discovered by a famous American, Thomas Jefferson.

Among his other talents, the third American President was an expert on French Wines and Blanquette de Limoux, one of his favorites, was an integral part of his wine cellar. In fact, President Jefferson was probably the first person to bring the wine to America.

Today, Blanquette de Limoux has won the acclaim of knowledgeable wine enthusiasts throughout the world.

Bourbon Review: Eagle Rare 10 Year – Decatur Package Store Edition

I’ve been waxing poetic lately about the local finds here in Atlanta/Decatur and this bourbon is no exception.  Still with the age statement on it, indicating they haven’t run out of good juice yet, Eagle Rare’s 10 year DPS offering offers the bourbon connoisseur a lighter bodied, yet fully flavored bourbon in the same bottle.

Eagle Rare DPS Edition
Eagle Rare DPS Edition

It doesn’t require a cube like the DPS edition of 1792 did, as the alcohol has a perfect balance between mellow and spice  to pair with any cigar you want to throw at it.

Yes, I mean any.  Be it something as luxurious as Don Cervantes or a heavy pepper bomb like anything the magnificent Don Pepin Garcia makes, this bourbon will pair nicely with it.

At the start of the year, I’m going to stock up on different liquors so we can play a new game.  Cocktail hour!

 Decatur Package Store

Thanksgiving Week at Highland Cigar Company

Join us Thanksgiving week for a special edition of our weekly Stogies and Spirits Flight Night featuring Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare and Blanton’s with AVO Classic cigar pairing specials! We’ll also be serving from a special limited Thanksgiving dinner menu made complete with our festive holiday mule cocktail. All this and more, this Tuesday, November 22nd from 6 PM until 10 PM. We hope to see you there!

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Cigar Review – Quesada OktoberFest 2016

Since 2011, MATASA has been consistent with putting out the new seasonal edition of Quesada’s Oktoberfest cigar – and this year’s release was quite special.
The 6X60 sized Dominican puro I purchased at Highland Cigar Company here in Atlanta, the cigar paired with several of the local dark beers on tap or in bottle format.  The cigar itself had been repackaged and new sizes had been introduced from previous years.
The cigar has considerable heft in the fingers and a chocolate wrapper with a few veins. The pre-light draw has dark fruit flavors like plums and stone fruit. oktoberfest-2016
A glorious amount of smoke comes from the foot upon lighting and the flavors are complex.  The first third starts off with mulled wine flavors that pick up white pepper along the way.   It has a soft muted flavor to it that is definitely reminiscent of good craft beer. Dark beer.
The cigar turns woodsy then with solid pepper but finishes with a modest subtleness I really enjoyed.
I understand that MATASA made a limited release humidor to commemorate this release also.

Cigar Maker Interview: Part Two with Patrick LeFils of Common Roots

If you missed the first half, shame on you!  But, you can find it here.

We’re continuing with our humble guest, Patrick LeFils of Common Roots Cigars.

feliz-2

6. I see you’re now selling cigars through one of the larger distributors. How did that deal work out and has it impacted production? How many cigars do you produce annually?

We have always sold through Cigar International from the start. It is with them, that Common Roots star
ted. We are forever grateful. It allowed us to develop our new lines directed to brick and mortar stores. As for the amount of cigars we make I prefer not to answer that. However, I will say we have doubled production from when we started a little over a year ago.

7. What got you into smoking cigars?

A gentleman and a good friend, John Peters. He is the owner of the Tinderbox in Daytona Beach, FL. He came to a Chef’s Association meeting 13 years ago and introduced me to my first premium cigar. My first premium cigar was a Fuente 8-5-8. I am still a customer of John Peters and our friendship still grows every year.

feliz-by-common-roots8. Do you do anything different in the production of your cigars that sets you apart from other makers? (this is not designed to denigrate anyone, but to show how you are excellent)

The most important thing we do is purchase the best tobacco. The tobacco to me is the most important part. We use some of the best tobacco grown. With that the blending process is easy. I relate the blending process to the 5 mother sauces in the culinary world. There are some standards, but once you know the standards you can make variations using those standards.

9. Who are Common Roots smokers?

Our Common Roots family is a diverse group. It is in this diversity that we celebrate the ideas and concepts that ougl-ocscuror family members bring forward. With this we find our strength and common interests. We get this by enjoying cigars and fellowship.

10. Outside of the Common Roots blend, would you care to give a shout out to cigar makers and blends that you enjoy?

There are many cigars I enjoy outside of my own. Guille Pena, Carlos Sanchez, Karen Berger and Arby Sosa all make fine cigars that I smoke on a regular basis.

 

Connect with Patrick on Facebook.
Find out more at their website.