Tag Archives: Cigars

NEWS: Pure Indulgence launching on Radio Dentata today at 1 PM PST!

As you’ve been with me for awhile now, you know what this blog is about. Now you get to hear me once a week talk about cigars and wine on Radio Dentata

I am Sascha Illyvich, host of Pure Indulgence. We’re dedicated to empowering those who wish to embark upon the Good Life known as fine wine and cigars. Our show will focus on education at first, talking about basics of wine/spirits and cigars before getting into the nitty gritty of why we smoke/drink and how to maximize pleasure from The Good Life.

Pure Indulgence started out by pure annoyance as some of my erotic romance author friends, my producer kept asking me to expand in this direction. When my publicist suggested I do a show or write a blog on it, I told her I’d toy with the idea until my long time publisher Jean Marie Stine of Renaissance E-books fame (and ownership) told me one night I should do the show. So here it is; a weekly half hour show to simplify the daunting world of wine and cigars.

Catch us weekly on http://www.radiodentata.com
White Wolf Indulgence Blog: http://whitewolfindulgence.wordpress.com

Update: Things I’ve tried

Been a week since the last update and I thought since I haven’t drank or smoked anything noteworthy, I’d just take a moment to share what I have been drinking and smoking.

First, yesterday at Grants I smoked the Triumfador by Tatuaje. I understand it’s roughly the same or similiar blend to the La Riqueza (which I need to review for this blog!) and the round of opinions from the guys who smoked it found it pleasant and and “excellent cigar.” I had to agree. Construction was solid, the wrapper held some oily notes along with that signature flavor profile by master blender Don “Pepin” Garcia. I’ll be smoking another one Saturday more than likely. Thanks Pete Johnson!

Oh, at Tobacco Road I finally picked up an Ashton VSG Sungrown. Heard this was a nice smoke and at $17 a stick, it’s blog worthy based on my standards. I’ll report that soon!

I picked up pipe smoking a few weeks back and am enjoying that but haad to deal with the learning curve. Thankfully one of the gents i smoke with has offered to introduce me to some of the finer points on pipe smoking. Btw I picked up a Perot pipe for about $35 from Grants.

This week I’ve had Murrietta’s Well Meritage which doesn’t qualify for the blog (I think it retails for about $15 a bottle) but was a delightful wine to drink. Full of structure, nice tannins and flavor, this 2005 release is one i’ll pick up a few more bottles of. Thank you Livermore Valley, California!

Also this week we had GMH Verdelho from Australia. Geoff M. Hardy’s 2006 release shows bright fruit, acidity and some tartness on this well made South Australian wine.

Of note, was a new thing I might add to the blog. Beer reviews. My girlfriend picked up Three Philsopher’s belgian style ale. Bright flavors with a typical belgian style profile and fruit held nicely on the palate with a medium finish.

Guess that’s it for now.

As always, cheers!

Consumption question

How many cigars do you smoke in a week? How many drinks do you consume in a day?

I ask this question for curiousity’s sake as well as to see where I fit in the moderation spectrum. You see, I recently upped the number of cigars I’ve had in a week from 4 to about 6 and maintained my drink count at 4 drinks a day. Usually two glasses of wine, two scotches.

I asked a few of the smokers I hang out with about their smoking habits and found that most seem to hover around 3-4 cigars a day. If I smoked that much I’d never get anything done!

My cigars and pipe are a relaxing thing for me that keeps me out of the office. Cigars require me to leave the house and be outside at least long enough to head to BART to go to Grants or Tobacco Road. Or at the very least I can sit ont he lake and light up.

Regarding drinks, I just never thought about why I can’t have four drinks in a day. The wine and last scotch of the night is centered around a hearty meal and the early drink I have with lunch.

I drink plenty of water, tea and juice. I eat fairly well and beileve in a good diet all around –which should include fine scotch and cigars!

What say you?

Happy New Years fellow Enthusiasts!

I want to wish you all a happy and successful new year and that you may all enjoy the finer things in life! I started off the year working with a bang, cranking out plots and words for three new stories, and had to take a cigar break Tuesday!

First cigar of the year was NOT up to blog standards, but was still a good, tasty stick. I had heard a lot about the Arturo Fuente Double Chateau Fuente by one of the guys who smokes them at Grants so I picked one up.

Definitely a good stick for an occasion when I want something more mild to medium with creamy, woodsy notes.

As for drink, nothing spectacular has hit my palate yet. We’ve gotta work on that!

More soon!

Bourbon Review: Four Roses

Four Roses Website

This bourbon was a gift from the girlfriend on Thanksgiving. While I’m normally  a scotch drinker, I began drinking bourbon some seven or eight years ago as my sister is a Maker’s Mark girl.  She likes it neat 🙂

When I discovered cigars, I found some paired really well with bourbon and not so well with the particular scotches I could afford so when I told my girlfriend I’d smoked the La Riqueza by Tatuaje and that Thomas at Grants had suggested enjoying bourbon with it, I guess she got a hint 🙂

The bourbon is very smooth and contains that little hint of sweetness on the back of the palate while displaying fruit and floral notes in the front of the mouth.  It has the characteristic smoothness one would enjoy from a good bourbon all while being light bodied.  I’m thinking it’ll pair well with my la riqueze or the Torano signature I just had and will leave notes for that when I can.

This is definitely a sipper to be enjoyed over time.

From the website:

In 1884, Paul Jones Jr., moved his thriving business to Louisville, Kentucky, where he opened an office in a section of historic Main Street called, “Whiskey Row.” Four years later, he trademarked the name Four Roses, claiming production and sales back to the 1860s. In 1922, the Paul Jones Company purchased the Frankfort Distilling Company, one of only six distilleries granted permission to operate through prohibition to produce Bourbon for medicinal purposes. Owing to Paul’s passionate direction and astute business sense, sales of the Bourbon flourished and Four Roses grew to be a preeminent brand.

In 1943, Seagram purchased the Frankfort Distilling Co. primarily to acquire the most noted and recognized name in the business at that time – Four Roses Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Even though Four Roses was the top selling Bourbon in the U.S. in the 30s, 40s and 50s, Seagram made the decision to discontinue the sale of Kentucky Straight Bourbon here, and Four Roses was moved to the rapidly growing European and Asian markets where it quickly became the top selling Bourbon.

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The website describes the bourbon as mellow and I’d definitely agree.  I had my flask filled with Wild Turkey earlier this week and that has more aggressiveness to it,  possibly due to the slightly higher alcohol content.  Also, Four Roses is not as aggressive and lacks the  oaky characteristics that Makers has, but agan, all bourbons are different.  Four Roses uses new white oak barrels to distill with so you’re not going to get a lot of oakyness in this bourbon IMHO.

But this is definitely an upgrade if you’re used to drinking Jim Beam or Jim Beam Black.

Cigar Review: Cuesta Rey 898 Cabinet

The Cuesta Rey 898 cabinet is a 7  X 49 cigar with creamy, mellow flavors made from the famous JC Newman and Fuente family is alwayas a favorite of mine.  A cameroon wrapper gives a slightly toothy edge to the mellowness from the Dominancan binder and filler.

I just discovered that there is a maduro version of this cigar!

I picked up my first 898 Cabinet at a shop I refuse to name and sat down with it.  The burn was good, even and the draw was a little tougher than other Cuesta Rey’s I’m used to (like the #60 torpedo) but for the price on a mild to medium bodied cigar, it can’t be beat.  Smoke time was about an hour and a half but you have to remember my smoke time is going to vary depending on where I am smoking at.

Buy from JR Cigars

new cigar shop in Oakland!

Wednesday I was at Grants smoking with some of the regulars and on our way out I was talking to Mike about local places to smoke in Oakland, saying that as a rule there ARE none I could go to unless I brought my own smokes.

He turned me onto a new place that was supposedly having a grand opening Friday the 6th on 14th and Franklin that actually had a small room in the back to smoke at.

Today I popped in to Tobacco Road just to check it out.  I met the owner’s son Marcus, walked into the humidor and found stuff at reasonable prices (Romeo y Julieta 6X54 Havana Reserve for $7.23 or thereabouts vs Grants same size stick at almost $9.) among other things.  Marcus told me they had a room behind the humidor for smoking and showed me.  I asked if I could ilght up and sit for a spell, he was cool with that.

So I lit up, and another older gentleman came in and was talking to Marcus.  Before long we were all talking about other shps in the country and in California.  Then Marcus’s mother Kathrine came in and greeted us.  She’s the owner and a very relaxed, cool woman.  With a background of real estate, a passion for family owned business and a desire to treat her clients right, she seems to have put together an honest business and given Oakland something it desperately needs:  A smoking lounge without fear of the anti smoking police, need for hush hush conversation (ie I can talk about my fetish writing openly) and a cozy environment.

We talked for about an hour about her passion, plans for the shop and how we can grow the business from the cigar side.  The front of teh store is clean but is basically a “cigarette shop” front but once you pass the front counter you’lls ee the walk in humidor, a few accesories on display and then down the hall come to the lounge.

Tonight I walked in and things were stil out of place as they were putting the finishing touches on things, but after about an hour I calleda friend of ine to come down and smoke with me.  He picked up a Macanudo and a Hoyo De Monterrey at better prices than Beverages and More AND the cigars were fresh.  MIke sat down in one of the large leather chairs, lit up and we takled for about an hour and a half before they closed.

The selection included Rocky Patel’s Edge and Edge Light, RyJ, Macanudo, H. Upman, Oliva, Sancho Panza and a few others.  The humidor is not as large as Grants but Kathrine assured me that they’re ordering, expanding and going to carry more brands as they develope a loyal following.

The beauty is, like Grants I can bring in my own alcohol as long as I don’t act a fool.  Meeting Kathrine and her son reminded me of when I first sat down at La Salle when it was still open when Roy Bird (formerly of the Harlem Globetrotters) welcomed my gf and I in to have a smoke and a drink.  She’s not “old white man stuffy” but warm and friendly.  And open to questions and ideas for helping the community.

I like that.

Friday the 6th is their grand opening party and they’re located at 417 14th St. ni Oaland just off 12th Street BART station.  I’ll still frequent Grants because that’s comfortable and the cigar selection is larger, and the people really make it what it s, but this is closer and I can feel a warmth from it already.

Btw, for those interested, Tobacco Road has their own cuban seed brand of cigars that will be available for purchase at around $6 a stick.  I have yet to smoke one but once I do, you’ll hear of it first, here!

I hope to see you all there sometime!