Tag Archives: Cigars

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.

Smooth Cigars for Beginners

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.

A favorite of mine back in the day was the Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 arturo-fuente-858-maduro-corona-gordaMaduro.  This 6X47 cigar delivers a smooth taste with light notes of cocoa and tobacco throughout the entire cigar.   Famous-smoke delivers A. Fuente Smokes Online

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 Patel90powder 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?

Cigar Review – Casa Magna Dominican Churchill

Wrapper: Dominican CorojoCasa Magna Dominican
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican Cuban Seed
Size: Gran Toro – 6X60
Body: Medium/Full

I picked up a flight sampler a few weeks back from CI and had a chance to try something new from Casa Magna.

The wrapper is a beautiful, reddish brown with a few veins.

The pre-light draw tastes of sweetness and spice, something I’m familiar with and a fan of, concerning Casa Magna. The Colorado is a long time favorite and I’m beginning to lean toward the “Manuel Quesada can do no wrong” camp.

Casa Magna Dominican2Upon lighting, the cigar starts off with hints of white pepper and a smooth taste. The draw is solid and consistent. I make sure to mention this because this is more or less (to me) a value cigar and like so many value cigars, possesses the potential to either disappoint, or be a very solid cigar.  The construction was solid, the cigar feeling like a cigar should in the hand.  Not too tight, nor was it rolled loosely. The cigar actually had heft in it.

This cigar gave me about an hour and a half of smoking time, with a mostly even burn that corrected itself after a short touch up. The flavors mellowed and the white pepper became less intense over the course of smoking, but overall, this cigar is a solid stick.

We’re BACK!

After a failed attempt to really rock things over at Radio Dentata, your humble wine and cigar expert had to cut back on projects including this one due to time spent in my career as an author.

But I’ve missed this blog and missed this part of my life too.  So we’re going to get back to what matters after a hard day’s work.  Relaxing with a good bottle of wine, a complex, enjoyable cigar and letting our day end.

We’re going to revisit some of the cigar blends we’ve mentioned, (Yes, Don Cervantes is a staple in my humidor when I can get them) and talk more about some of the great wines we’ve been drinking over the last few months, plus mention upcoming stuff too.

I’m not sure how often we’ll update just yet, but I’ve got a ton of new cigars and wines to put up here, plus some bourbons, scotches, and other whiskies.  Should be fun!

Wine and an update

I haven’t focused too much on wine lately here at Pure Indulgence. Sure we’re drinking plenty of it but it’s not been up to par. Plus, if you’ve caught any of the shows, you’ve heard me talk about setting a standard for Pure Indulgence. Developing a standard for which there isn’t an easy definition of in my head has been the main issue and goal here.

That being said, the wine we’ve had of late hasn’t been up to par. I mean it’s been drinkable but the lots Grocery Outlet has picked up weren’t all that stellar until recently.

Images property of their respective owners
I’m pleased to tout the goodness of Redhead Ranch though. Sadly I don’t have notes but if you’re going to Grocery Outlet, be sure to pick them up. They hold the candle right now. Nothing stellar but they are a good start for a wine that normally sells for above $15 a bottle that we pick up for $4.99. Out of Paso Robles, we get some pretty good wine. The 2005 Zinfandel was especially nice.

We’re slowly changing things around here as promised at the first of this year. Slowly, adding different dimensions to the blog as we rotate through what it means to enjoy the true essence of Pure Indulgence.

The other update is that my email posts aren’t showing up as they should. The last update I had from @UrWineGuy from Twitter should have been more than a PDF. Alas, Google is being a pain in the ass and won’t let me access it right now to repost. But I will be remaining more active. Plus Pure Indulgence is going to get a facebook fan page soon. Since I CAN use the facebook app for my pixi, I’ll be doing that more often as I attend events and tweet from them too.

By the way, the twitter account for here is @WhiteWolfIndulg

Cheers,

Event Review: Joya De Nicaragua Cigars at Mission Pipe


Last night I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca of Joya De Nicaragua. He’s a very pleasant man with a passion for sharing his cigars, relaxation and quality of life. We’ll be exploring more of his product on Pure Indulgence in an upcoming podcast but until then I’m going to share my notes on thew two cigars I smoked last night.

First up: The Antano – The first time I smoked this stick a few months back it was a power bomb with no flavor what so ever. I chalk this up to my palate because the one I smoked last night had notes of coffee, mild earth and robust flavors that were NOT overpowering. It required a few relights but that was due to the networking/partying I was doing on behalf of Radio Dentata of course 😉 Even in the end of the cigar where I’d expect a buildup of tar and such, the flavors still held solid with a draw that was easy and enjoyable. I paired this with Bushmills Blended scotch.

Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca of Joya De Nicaragua Cigars

The second cigar I smoked was the Antano dark Corojo – a tasty cigar with an oily wrapper and some nice spices that cut through the previous cigar and paired well with a German Hefe Wiessbeir. The draw was smooth, flavors consistent yet not overly complex.

The style of both smokes was reminiscent of an old world smoking style. Full bodied cigars that have flavor and power. These sticks aren’t for the faint of heart but JdN does make a line of mild-medium cigars for customers who prefer less strength in a cigar but still seek an old world taste.

More to come on Pure Induglence!

Cigar Blog – The New Challenge

It’s been a while since I’ve given anything more than a cigar or alcohol review for the blog so I thought I’d share new goals this year.

Remember in an earlier post I seemed stuck in a rut? Well this year I’d like to break out of that rut OR examine why I’m there. I’ve got a pretty good idea already as to why I smoke the way I do. It’s even carried over into my pipe habits as of late, (or that could be the fact that I’m breaking in a new pipe and dedicating it to English blends only.)

For starters, the following cigar makers represent a few things to me:

Don Cervantes Masterpiece Platinum
1. Consistency. Every time I want a cigar that tastes smooth, clean and is well constructed, I can pick up anything made by Pete Johnson, Max Myers, Eric Newman or Padron. If I’ve ever had one fall apart it was due to how I cut the cigar, lit the foot, etc. I can’t say the same for H. Upmans, which I used to love.

2. Lifestyle. Padron and Newman to me represent the old way of living, a comfortable way Having spoken to Eric Newman, I’ve discovered that his message is one we can all agree on. Prevail through the tough times but during our well deserved down time, slow down. To me, Max and Pete represent a newer trend that allows us to have the nicer things in life we’re working towards. The two compliment each other as far as I’m concerned. You won’t find too many of the wealthier people smoking the Warlock (a good stick) when they could smoke a Padron Anniversario or the Tatuaje SW Reserva.

3. Price. Yeah, I said it. I’m all about money and to me and my old way of thinking, money used to mean quality. The more you spent after doing your homework, the better the product should be. In short, like Zig Ziglar used to say, the Cost was worth the Price. The Brick House (to me) smokes like a $20 cigar every time even though it’s less than $6 in most cases while the Diamond Crown Maximus makes me kinda feel like a king.

4. Not least on my list but last because I’m writing the blog in advance and am on an author deadline: The people behind the cigar. I’ve met and hung out with Max, Pete and spoken to Eric at length on the phone. We did an interview for Radio Dentata with him and Max (separate interviews!) and will have Pete on eventually But all of the men I’m referring to have character that’s genuine, sincere and honest. I don’t know the people at Altadis or General Cigar. They’re probably pretty nice folks I’m guessing. But I don’t know.

So there it is. I’ve laid down why I’m a cigar snob, but only time will tell if I expand in THIS part of my journey towards the Good Life.