Cigar Review – Don Cervantes Presidente

I can’t believe I’ve smoked like a dozen of these beauties and never once reviewed the cigar here.  

This is the Don Cervantes Presidente Churchill, a 7X50 cigar made in conjunction with ACC Cigars and the folks at MATASA, specifically, Manuel Quesada, of FONSECA and Casa Magna fame.  

Blend information:

Filled with rare aged tobaccos from Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic, Presidente is wrapped with an aged, golden Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. In demand by almost every top cigar brand in the world, the Presidente’s tobacco is fermented for nearly a year, then bundle aged for an additional year. The Presidente’s ash burns white and beautifully, and this outstanding cigar’s long finish is unique among cigars.  The Presidente comes wrapped in the famous “P” Cigar jacket.

Presidente by Don Cervantes – a Premium aged handmade in conjunction with Manuel Quesada of MATASA

The notes on the cigar are as follows:  It starts off with a spicy kick to it, my thoughts are this is Quesada’s signature, and I taste red and black pepper, along with mulled wine.  The pre-light draw is airy, with notes of leather and very faint cedar.

Upon lighting, the cigar draws perfectly and the ash holds very steadily due to entubado bunching used to create a more complex blend.  Once the cigar gets going, the consistency of flavors are as follows:  Definite pepper notes, red and black of course, with hints of white pepper and mellow wood notes.  The cigar also has meaty notes.  I’ve heard roast beef, but I personally can’t place that all too familiar and delicious taste, yet I won’t lie. It’s damn fine. The ash holds on quite well and when I can find my picture of this cigar literally standing on its ash, I’ll post it

Look at that ash!

The cigar mellows over the course of the smoke, becoming more balanced and refined thanks not only to the various blends in the cigar but the extensive age of the leaves used to make it. An average age of 12 years, along with a longer fermentation period only enhance the cigar.

Honestly, like everything else I’ve smoked from ACC, this is a very welcome addition to my humidor, even at the premium price one would pay for it.

Where to Eat and Drink in Atlanta

I’ve been a resident for enough time now that I’m beginning to get the lay of the land in Atlanta/Decatur, so I thought I’d share some recommendations with you.

Not all are smoke friendly, but all are friendly to their patrons. Some of these places don’t really need my help, but I like giving good press when it’s well deserved, as it often goes unnoticed.

First up, of course, I’ve already mentioned Highland Cigar Company, my home away from home.  From awesome drinks (watch Clif in this clip below) to great ambiance, the cigar club is just the place you’d expect to find Falcons fans (and the occasional misguided Patriots fan – but we’ll forgive Bekks…) the place is hard to beat.  Located in Inman Park just about .7th of a mile from Inman Park/Reynoldstown MARTA station, the walk there is a gorgeous one as you pass beautiful homes.

My man cliff making drinks at @highland_cigar #cigars #booze #cocktails

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Next up, haven’t been here yet, but I’m hearing good things, and honestly? The social media interaction is spot on with two lovely SOTL – Dona Mathews and Alexis June have hyped up Habanos, just near downtown Atlanta.  Find them here.  Both women are active on FB too, so peep them and show them some love.

Got Cigars? – This little spot at 232 E. Ponce De Leon in Decatur by the Square hosts a solid collection of cigars and the owner knows her stuff.  That’s right, I said her.  A female run cigar shop is a rarity but Rukia is a boss.  Go in, grab a cigar and stay for a while.  The couch is comfortable.   Stay outta my spot 😉

Le Monde #cabernet #franc #friuli #Italy #wine

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Non-Cigar places:  I really have a thing for going to Leon’s Full Service.  I’ve taken all three girlfriends there for food, plus some other friends and the wine program for wines in the glass tends to be just what I’m looking for at any given time.  Sometimes I want white, when it’s blazing hot round these parts, sometimes I want superbly warm and red, but they have a great beer selection and do yourself a favor.  Get the bacon in a glass and add the homemade peanut butter.

Mac Mcgee’s Irish Pub – Go for a pint but please, lay off the Guinness. It’s bullshit when you stack it up against the numerous other libations they have on the fairly thick beer menu.  Or go for a dram, the list is lengthy.  They also tend to do a lot of local community activism so if that’s also your thing, check them out.

None of these places really needed my help in promotion but like I said, spreading the good word always comes back to return threefold!

Ladies Night to return to Highland Cigar Company!

Bourbon and cigar pairing + training only $15, brought to you by @bulleit Bourbon and @kimbercy! Our featured drink, “Sweet Seduction” only $10. Bring your business cards and come experience the RETURN of Ladies Night at Highland Cigar Company. See you soon! (Yours truly will be behind the bar all night 😉) #cigarlife #atlnights#bartender #atlantabartender #bulleitbourbon #womenandcigars#highlandcigarco #sweet #valentinesday #ladiesnight #events#goinguponatuesday #trysomethingnew #cigarlifestyle #grownandsexy#networking #rockypatelcigars #giveaways#fun #wedothis

And yes I’ll be there!

Cigar Review – Oliveros Gran Retorno

Created by industry talent Rafael Nodal, the man behind Aging Room, and the owner of Boutique Blends, this new line extension provides cigar lovers with a new experience.

The Gran Retorno is a new line extension from Oliveros and Rafael Nodal.

The Oliveros line I’d smoked a few years back and while thought the line was solid, was unimpressed, but that may just be my tastes.   This cigar, on the other hand, was a definite winner.

The pre-light draw shows leather along with spice and that rich raisin or plum. Lots of chocolate too.
The initial light is a good mix of tobacco, wood, light nuanced spice and maybe cocoa. The leather/cedar combo makes for interesting taste with a background of something floral.  Then the taste changes to wood.
Then the taste sweetness up. Not cloyingly but more muted.
About the beginning of the second third, the spice is light but present.    The cigar had a great burn and draw, along with a solid feel in the hand.
The final third grew in intensity but wasn’t over the top. More prominent pepper and more floral, almost like wintergreen

Cigar Review – La Jugada Habano

I picked up this cigar in an assortment for a really good deal from the fine folks at Tampa Humidor and I must say, the unknown sampler bags are out of this world in value.  You have to make sure you can get them, as they tend to fly off the shelves quickly.

Anyway, the La Jugada cigar was new to me.  Moya Ruiz cigars makes this powerhouse of a cigar and I must admit, the overall impression of it left me wanting more of them.

The prelight draw has a really sweet taste o it. Light and free I expect the draw to be very good. The cigar feels light in the hand.
The first few puffs are really wood heavy with pepper on the back end. The Habano wrapper flavor really comes through wot almost loam?  Smoke in the mouth is rather thick.
The second third continues with the same, flavors being consistent and balancing out with white pepper coming out on top and continue into the final bit of the cigar.  I’d also detected some cashew notes, almond notes.
Overall, this is going to be a cigar I keep in my regular rotation.

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.