S’more Smoke: The Delightful Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo

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I lit up the Antaño at a good little cigar shop in Austin on one of those days when the sky only pretends that it will rain. I’d been angling for a Liga Privada, maybe a T52 or a Dirty Rat, and not really wanting to try anything new at the tail end of the week. But I opted at the last minute for an Antaño, something I’d never tried before. I toasted the foot first, took a puff, and realized I have never been so struck by flavor that immediate.

A good cigar may ease into something better, surprise you at the end, or even indicate something interesting at the very beginning. The Antaño demands attention from right out front. I quote from my notes – “Wow!!” For context, I’m not normally a two-exclamation mark kind of guy. The whole front third of this smoke stayed rich with lots of smoke production, and I noticed a little red pepper introduced after the initial wallop. I did have to keep rotating the Antaño so that the burn would stay even, but it was a joy to tend because of the richness of flavor.

The second third sweetened up a little bit but maintained most of its richness and depth. Sometimes, cigars forgo complexity for sweetness, and vice versa. The Billige fodboldtrøjer tilbud Antaño struck a perfect balance in this section. Along with the chocolate flavor from earlier, I experienced something like a toasted marshmallow and graham cracker. So, indeed, this is the most s’more-like cigar I’ve ever smoked. I don’t imagine anyone would take offense to that.

The Antaño peaked at the beginning and eased into a second third. The last third changed from graham cracker and oats to a grassier, almost nutty flavor. Seems like a weird transition (chocolate and red pepper to s’mores to Parmigiano Reggiano or hay), but worked just fine for me. Paired with just a little Donut Shop Keurig coffee, which they had at the store.  Nothing too fancy needed to pair with this $8 cigar. Strong buy.

Redbreast 12 Year


I opened the Redbreast 12 on a recent evening when the weather was just perfect. I had finished the first grilled steak of the year, a massive bone-in ribeye that turned out just perfect with beautiful marbling and a side of buttered asparagus. This, I felt, was the prefect environment to crack into the Redbreast, an Irish whiskey referred to by many of my colleagues as “one of the best.”

The nose is elegant and rich. I got brown sugar and caramel with just a hint of fruit.

I added one very large cube of slow melting ice and took my first sip. The flavors I picked up in the nose were present here. The fruit notes turned out to lacne kopacky Nike be a touch of dried apricot. And this drink went down smooth, though unlike the Tullamore Dew we tasted recently, it had just enough bite to remind you that you were drinking a pretty stoic drink. I liked that.

As the cube melted the flavors mellowed and I picked up a touch of cream underneath the heavy sweetness of the fruit and sugars. These mingled detské kopačky beautifully, and I drank the rest down in a couple of gulps. I know not to let a drink this good get too watered down.

I will have to say that I concur with other assessments of the Redbreast 12: it is one of the finest Irish whiskeys I have ever tried. Frankly, it might be the best. I highly recommend you pick some up to treat yourself after a rich meal.

Oliva Nub Habano #358

NubHabano358 2

It’s spring in Austin with a high of 73. That means barbecues, crawfish boils and me spending a little more time on the porch. I don’t want to belabor the point when I know a lot of you poor, Eastern Seaboard bastards are stuck with the Winter That May Never End, but the late March weather in Central Texas offers up a lot of optimism, cedar allergies and the feeling of something new.

This isn’t a new cigar for me, though. I’d been reminded of the Oliva Nubs by my friend, in the midst of discussing old standbys that we’ve enjoyed from the past. When I worked in a humidor, these Rothschilds were popular with the country club and lakeside retiree set. The Rothschild offers the pleasure of a quick, powerful smoke, with minimal fuss and need to maintain. I can see how the Oliva Nub would be ideal for the golf course or on the breezy dock.

You don’t have to be Mr. or Mrs. Moneybags to enjoy this cigar, though. Me, I’m just smoking it on my modest porch. I bought two for $6.70 each and I think it may be my go-to this season for a writing cigar.

The Habano #358, at least, is a potent smoke with a ton of smoke production. If you’re trying to blow smoke rings or want to teach a fellow smoker how, this may be the one for you. I split the gap between the lighter Connecticut wrapper and the Maduro, opting for the #358, thinking that it might be representative of the line as whole. It’s not too complex or fancy, and the flavor doesn’t change much as it’s only about a third the size of, say, a Churchill. It’s got some bold Nicaraguan filler that is woodsy and powerful, but lacks the fire or spice of a standard Padron or equivalent. Smoke time lasted about 25 minutes, but that could probably be shortened if you’re in a hurry.

I paired the Habano #358 with a Cuvee Coffee Black & Blue Nitrogenated Cold Brew, which added just a little sweetness to the smoke.