This week we cover the question I posed on episode 6 about the cigar shops and tobacconists across the country that have strict policies.
A recap of the issue: Grants Tobacconist had changed their policy whereby customers could enjoy use of the lounge. Prior til August 2nd, there was no minimum required purchase and patrons could enjoy smoking from 5-7 during the weekdays and all day on the weekends. After August 2nd, this changed as did the rules of the lounge. Things looked a little grim and led many of the former patrons to boycott the shop yet I felt it was better to ask why the change occurred and what we as customers could do to help ensure a future of one of the Bay Area’s oldest smoking lounges.
I discovered a very simple answer in talking with Joe, one of the owners of Grants Tobacconist. I think you’ll be delighted.
We’ll discuss Westerly Vineyards 2004 Merlot, Atlas Peak 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon and some basic notes while covering the beauty of these simple, yet elegant wines. Sadly, I haven’t been drinking much in the higher end of things. Yet I intend to remedy that soon as there are a ton of events coming up in the Bay Area that cater to those seeking a taste of the Good Life.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. We recently had a chance to sample wines from the Stepping Stone line by Cornerstone Cellars, Napa Valley California. Tasting notes to follow.
As always, catch repeat shows on Radio Dentata
The White Wolf Indulgence Blog: http://whitewolfindulgence.wordpress.com which is the official blog for Pure Indulgence!
This week we’ll cover Pinot Noir as a single grape varietal while discussing the versatility of which wines can be made from it. We’ll mention new world and old world styles while referencing wines that “should” be easy to find at most wine retailers off and online. With cigars, we’ll share a few recommendations for those wanting to try cigars. Hint, we’re AVOIDING macanudo!
What I’m smoking this week: Padron 4000, La Riqueza Double Corona, Arturo Fuente Rosado, and Grants Royal Reserve Blend Pipe Tobacco
What I’m drinking this week: Rutz Cellars 1997 Quail Hill Vineyard Russian River Chardonnay, Grants Blended Scotch, Knob Creek Whiskey
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As always find us at Radio Dentata
I’ll have to admit, this is my go to cigar when I’m at Grants and can’t make up my mind. For the money, EVEN with the higher taxes in California, this cigar is priced at around $10.40 (tax included) and is a 6.5 X 54 stick that boasts a dark wrapper which is a little veiny but still has that gritty character that up close looks tasty.
Upon firing it up, spice notes and leather are clearly present. The draw is open like the lower Padrons (2000 and 3000) but the cigar burn time is much longer. Light gray ash and a pleasing aroma from the smoke make for a good visual. As the cigar burns, the leathery flavors turn earthy and the spice mellows. I usually end up chewing these cigars, just because at the end of my day as a writer I need to stay away from the keyboard as LONG as possible and this cigar generally provides me with almost 2 hours of smoke time.
This is one of the first Nicaraguan cigars I’d ever smoked and enjoyed. It’s a full puro – meaning all the tobaccos come from a single country and will give you a feel for the land, similar to terroir in wine.
I typically like to enjoy this cigar with a smooth scotch, probably Glenfiddich.
This limited release cigar only comes to a select number of tobacconists in the country and Grants in San Francisco was on their list this year.
The folks at Grants planned a little release party complete with mimosas, beer and those nasty vodka and tomato drinks I can’t understand, along with sample packs (for sale) of various Tatuaje cigars, including the Boris and the Drac.
Dave convinced me to try the Drac and so at $15 a pop, I gave it a whirl. Clipped the torpedo end, looked it over and found nice construction. A dark maduro wrapper with Nicaraguan filler lent a mellow earthiness with a rich flavor I couldn’t place but enjoyed for almost 2 hours over good conversation. The cigar had a slightly tough draw but the flavor profile made up for it. The burn was even, smoke not a lot, but a white.
I followed that up with a Brickhouse, a new cigar released by the JC Newman folks (favorite of mine) that had a Honduran wrapper and a Nicaraguan filler. Pleasant spices completed with a smoothness for those accustomed to JC Newman’s usual brands (Cuesta Rey, Diamond Crown) and a pleasing taste with a lingering finish.
Both cigars complemented each other as one didn’t overpower the other as in the case of smoking a Padron and an ambos mundos (made by the Tatuaje people)