Tag Archives: Cigars

Black Label Trading Company – Salvation Toro

This is a new offering from a new (to us) boutique maker and I picked it up at PuroCigar.com.  First, a brief description:

The Salvation Toro features a beautiful, reddish-brown Ecuadorian sun-grown Habano wrapper, rolled around a Honduran binder with Nicaraguan filler tobaccos.

Pre-l

Salvation by BLTC

ight is spicy with some of that raisin/plum flavor.  Cigar feels solid in the fingers.   A solid blast of white pepper and black pepper hot right up front with strong wood notes.

About halfway through the cigar smooths out and has less power but still flavor.
Flavors mellow into more cedar and almost mint? The pepper backs off and the cigar is consistent the entire way through.

Cigar Review – Quesada Holiday Keg

My first experience with Quesada cigars goes back to my early days when I’d picked up a Fonseca and had fallen in love with a good, well rounded medium bodied cigar at the time.

As I progressed in my cigar adventures, I’ve discovered many other blends, (Casa Magna, Don Cervantes Presidente to name a few) and as of late?

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.

 

A new favorite @quesadacigars #cigars #luxurylifestyle #cigarsofinstagram #rain #flavor #botl #sotl #luxurylifestyleblogger

A post shared by Sascha Illyvich (@saschaillyvich) on

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!

Cigar Review – La Flor Dominicana Reserva Especial

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

    La Flor Dominicana Reserva Especial Gran Robusto
  • 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.

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!

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!

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

Cigar Review: Ava Maria George

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 smokeAva Maria. 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.
Ava Maria 2“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.

Cigar Review: EP Carillo La Historia

EP Carillo has been making waves in the cigar industry ever since the release of La Gloria Cubana.EP Carillo La Historia

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.

Cigar Review – Camacho Triple Maduro

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. 

Scotch Whiskey Tasting – Notes from Highland Cigar Company

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 😉

IMG_3347
From Left to Right – Auchentoshan 3Wood, Bowmore 12 year, Laphroaig Select

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

Antonius Robusto
Antonius Robusto

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 IMG_3350Antonius 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.

Currently, Highland Cigar Company is doing tastings on Tuesdays throughout the summer.

For a different experience in Scotch Whiskey, see my notes about the Balvenie Masterclass held back in San Francisco a few years back.