The Holiday Keg – The theme stemmed from Quesada’s mastery of cigars blended to pair perfectly with popular beer styles with the introduction of the Quesada Oktoberfest in 2011. In 2015, Quesada moved from Märzen-style beers to Irish Stouts, unleashing a dark, Nicaraguan blend packaged in miniature, wooden kegs.
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I’d grabbed a five pack from Cigarplace.biz and decided to take a few to Highland Cigar Company. The cigar’s size is an easy 6X50. Firm feel in the hand, medium brown wrapper with little to no veins and a pleasant, yet pungent cool draw greet the smoker.
The first bit I’d noticed about the cigar was the stronger profile. Yes, it was definitely something I’d pair with a stout but it didn’t hold on with an overpowering flavor profile which would normally drown out a beer or be drowned out by one.
Naturally I chose whiskey…High West American Prairie to be exact. (Thanks Clifton)
It worked out actually because the cigar’s taste had lots of cocoa and spice, along with copious amounts of smoke. It remained consistent the entire hour and ten that it took me to smoke it. Definitely medium in body, it was quite tasty with an equally pleasing medium finish.
This is definitely another hit for Quesada that has me anxious for what they’ll come up with for 2017!
As we get further into the year and start digging in at newer releases, I find myself wanting to expand my regular rotation.
The LFD Reserva Especial was different from the start.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Dominican Republic (Estancia La Flor de Palma)
Filler: Dominican Republic (Estancia La Flor de Palma)
The Gran Robusto is 5 1/2X60.
I know I’m a bit late to the party but taking this blog more seriously means rerouting energy previously unspent. I’m glad for it.
The usual plum notes from a cold draw are interesting in that pepper is present as well. Rich earth also.
This cigar starts off with much more mellow spice and flavor than most LFDs I’ve smoked. Not weaker, just less. The leathery pepper taste is present, along with softer, almost rosado-like flavors of cotton candy.
Light mocha flavors join the leather and spice but all flavors are softer than normal.
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.
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.
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!
Ava Maria George’s – starts off with leather and pepper followed by strong baking spice. The cigar has an even draw,producing gray clouds of smoke. Around the end of the 1st third the coffee flavors pick up. I expect them to intensify along with the mellowness of the cigar.
The second third brings forth sweet coffee and wood nights, not quite cedar.
The spice returns on the final third – only more intense on the baking spice notes.
Interestingly enough, I found this while researching this cigar.
“I find it to be a cigar that has a wonderful strength. Because it’s not overpowering, but it’s not mild.”
– Manuel Quesada (Fonseca) So that’s cool. And Mr. Quesada is right. It has a good strength that doesn’t overpower. Usually for a cigar of this color leaf, I tend to avoid them, thinking there is way too much wood, but this cigar did not show that at all. It held more balance in the end.
An even burn with plenty of smoke, gray ash and solid construction made it one I’ll want to have more of in my humidor.
EP Carillo has been making waves in the cigar industry ever since the release of La Gloria Cubana.
La Historia is no exception. A firm, light brown wrapper graces the cigar with very few veins.
Starts off with solid wood and Cocoa flavors with light leather in the mix. The first third was consistent until I tasted dark roast coffee flavors.
Next came the nuttiness. More like an almond sweetness danced beautifully across my tongue and the cigar started to burn unevenly. A light touch up with matches helped but not much until the final third of the cigar.
La Historia employs a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, Ecuadorian Sumatra binder, and Dominican and Nicaraguan long-fillers. That explains where teh sweetness comes from, and the spice, along with the gentle balance this cigar has.
I pulled off the bands and continued smoking. I was surprised by light wood flavors and the fact that this cigar didn’t clash with the IPA I had at the time. An excellent smoke.
I’d managed to snag this cigar in the Atlanta area, at a liquor store of all places. I’d been wanting to try it and see what the hype was about and was honestly surprised to find it in a well kept humidor in said liquor store.
Considering my first true triple Maduro was the Tres Maduro by ACC Cigars, the bar had been set pretty high. The two cigars could not be further apart in taste!
While we won’t get into comparison because it’s simply unfair, I will mention the similarities include entubado bunching method used to roll the Camacho and they end there. Touching the cigar revealed it pliable in all the right ways a cigar should be. The wrapper is dark and has a rugged appearance to it, like little flecks of spice on the leaf. When I clipped the cap and took a test draw, the cigar had a great draw and revealed odd notes for a cigar. Plum and fruit undertones, along with tobacco and a slight sweetness that had nothing to do with fruit, wet my palate. The cigar itself smelled of sweet and spice.
Upon lighting up, the cigar revealed mellow undercurrents of tobacco and strong pepper tones. The flavor of dark fruit was evident, something I thought I’d never taste in a cigar. Starting off this way was a stark contrast to the Tres, which had dark cocoa and chocolate notes.
The burn line started off even and stayed pretty much the same for most of the first third. The second third of the cigar had a solid burn too. Black pepper, surpassed the fruit, though it still remained evident. During the second third of the cigar, the spice had taken a back seat. The cigar is pretty in your face. A definite chalky taste appeared and reminded me of what one would find pleasant in a an old world wine.
The ash held on pretty well but every time I moved to take a photo, the ash fell. I do have video that I’ll upload and link back here once I do.
An hour and a half into the cigar, intense white pepper had encompassed most everything, almost like a bomb, though not quite like something you’d find in a JDN or LFD cigar. Notes of leather are more present. This is definitely a heavier cigar so make sure you eat a full meal.
This review originally appeared on StogiePress.com.
While in Atlanta, I’ve been checking out Highland Cigar Company, usually going on Sundays. Last week, the 28th of June, the folks there hosted Simon Brooking, from Beam/Suntori and we tasted some nice Scotch Whiskies.
Simon’s a knowledgeable guy about both Whiskey and the history of many different brands, plus the wet past of Scotland. His tales were amusing, his toasts, heartwarming and jokes, well any good Scotsman would be proud. Plus, for once, I wasn’at the only one wearing a kilt at Highland 😉
Now, onto the juice.
Three different scotches paired well with the Antonius Robusto – a mild to medium bodied Dominican cigar that had been rolled and “forgotten
about” for about 8 years. The blend had more power than expected, but was mild enough that a novice smoker could enjoy it, along with it not balancing well with the whiskies. To be honest, I was shocked that the cigar paired so well with an Islay whiskey, but that’ll come up in my notes shortly.
The first whiskey was Auchentoshan 3 Wood. Matured in Bourbon, Oloroso Sherry and PX Sherry casks, this scotch had really refined flavors and a lovely finish with a pleasant finish. I found it balanced and it blended well with the Antonius, complimenting the wood notes of the cigar. This was a favorite at Highland, due to the lovely, sweet finish.
Next was the Bowmore 12 year. Listed as an Islay, I found this to be rather pleasant compared to what most folks think of when someone says Islay Scotch. The mild citrus notes came upon me at the end of the drink, along with mild peat and sea.
Last was the Laphroaig Select – a masterful blend of various scotches hand picked by a “select group” of tasters. This is honestly the lowest peated scotch they make. Peat has been a bone of contention for me for years, due to the effects it has on my stomach (I suppose I could drink less but where’s the fun in that? LOL!) But this whiskey shows reserve on the smokiness, adding more balance and less of that gasoline taste that tends to put drinkers of whiskey off. The finish of the Antonius went very well with just enough backbone and intensity to compliment the Laphroaig and not be overpowered.
Overall, the Antonius was a solid choice for this whiskey pairing. Balanced with wood notes, hints of spice and vanilla appeared on the palate. Firm in the fingers, the draw was delightful. A cold draw brought in flavors of cinnamon and baking spice. Construction was also solid, though I forgot to get pictures for the blog.
There were two other whiskies we’d tasted but sadly, my notes are not legible – typical of being a published romance novelist. They were both Laphroaig, however, and wonderful in their own right. I’d lit up a second cigar at this point.
I’d recently been invited to give lessons on cigar smoking and talk about the basics, including taste, construction, care for and ultimately, enjoyment of, cigars. We’re talking mostly to new smokers and the question usually comes up about the harshness of Cuban cigars.
I usually explain the flaws with Cubans, starting off with improper fermentation, lack of care for the soil, and too rapid production, and finish with how other countries produce cigars of similar or better quality than Cuba lately.
One of the staples in many cigar smokers opinions of quality, smoothness, and taste is the Oliva Cigar Company. Yeah, they’ve had a huge hit lately with the Melanio and Melanio Maduro but for folks unfamiliar with Oliva, the standard is the Oliva Serie V. A little more robust than the cigar I’m about to suggest, a good standby in any humidor. The Serie G however features an Afraican Cameroon wrapper to add not only notes of cedar but a little kick in the flavor profile. Pick this up in the robusto size for a short, flavorful smoke. Also, the box press allows for more tobacco to be packed in for an even bigger flavor kick. Get your hands on Oliva Cigars among other Premium Stogies Online
A newcomer to my rotation early on was something that required a few more dollars but was justified by intense flavors o f dry cocoa powder and a hint of spice as the cigar finishes. The Rocky Patel Vintage 1990, particularly in the robusto size is a solid addition to the Patel line. Definitely a favorite among those loyal to Patel. Looking for Rocky Patel, Check out Famous Online
We’d covered these three cigars with the additional discussion of some of the larger boutique brands and while I’ve hyped some of my favorite here, there are plenty of other cigars the new cigar smoker could get into. What are some of your favorites?