Belle Meade 9 Sherry Cask

Belle Meade Sherry

The oppressive summer heat is in full swing, meaning sweltering days and somewhat humid nights. Though this weather can wear you down quick if you aren’t ready for it, there is no better time of year to sit out back sipping a glass of bourbon. The candidate Imitazioni Orologi Rolex for this post is the Belle Meade 9 Sherry Cask. I was looking for something unique that I hadn’t tried yet and was put on to this bourbon by a trusted clerk at my local liquor store.

I was initially intrigued by the darkness of the bourbon, a color derived from the sherry casks in which it is aged. I poured myself a glass, dropped in one huge ice cube, and settled in.

The nose of the bourbon is tantalizing and sweet. Giving it a light curl the whiskey clings to the side of the glass like a syrup. I expected this would be a rich treat indeed.

The first sip confirmed my suspicion. The Belle Meade 9 Sherry Cask has a depth of flavor that stands it apart even from other rich bourbons. I got mostly plum, cherry, caramel, and a bit of bitter chocolate. There was actually a touch of spice here as well, though that Imitazioni orologi italia flavor pops and disappears as quickly as I could pick up on it. The character is intense, and it is not without a bit of a kick on the finish, though I would still say it is primarily smooth drinking.

This whiskey pairs very well with full-bodied cigars. I suspect it would hold it’s own against just about anything you throw at it.

The next time you want something that’ll keep your attention while still allowing for a casual night in the warm summer weather, give the Belle Meade 9 Sherry Cask a try. I’ll certainly be picking up another bottle.

La Gloria Cubana Serie R (No. 5) Natural – Appreciating a Real Classic

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Earlier this week, a friend brought over some cigars and handed me La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 5, the Natural version as opposed to the Maduro. Venturing back into the smoky world of cigars, he talked about how he used to smoke them as for their reliability and excellence. He did not oversell the experience. It’s Fourth of July weekend, and my guess is that you’re looking for something tried, true, and with no fuss. You need reliability, but it’s a party, so you want something that goedkope voetbalshirts kopen packs a little more potency than usual. And if you’re bringing several cigars for friends and family, you don’t want to break your piggy bank. The Serie R No. 5 is about $6.50-7.50 well spent.

In production since 1999, La Gloria Cubana Serie R earns a solid reputation as being full-flavored without being overpowering, a workhorse of a cigar with flashes of bold and spicy flavor. The Natural has an Ecuadoran wrapper, and is stuffed with Dominican and Nicaraguan filler. It’s a good mix, but maybe my taste buds are burnt or on vacation already – to me, this was quite a sweet cigar. I toasted the foot of the smoke and started off with great bitter chocolate flavors, like cocoa powder straight from the Hershey’s tub. Smoke output started slowly but consistently. I have a tendency to smoke cigars quickly and goedkope voetbalshirts they often grow hot, minimizing flavor; I slowed down and tried to focus more on the first third. Soon the bitterness moved into sweeter milk chocolate flavors. The smoke became more prevalent and plumes soon filled my entire back porch.

With the last third, the sweetness of the La Gloria Cubana Serie R receded and settled down into earthier, woodsy effects and flavors. It did require a little bit of tending than earlier, but I found it worth the effort. I was happy to take part in my friend’s tradition and have already committed to making it my own.

Photo credit: stogiegeeks.com

The Perdomo 20th Anniversary Maduro – “WHOA.”

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I sat down with the Perdomo 20th (Maduro) on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend, right as floods began invading Austin and before we realized what kind of damage would be done here and in the surrounding area. It also happened to be my birthday weekend, and I had looked forward to the Perdomo for some time. Stephen has smoked it before, but it’s never before been reviewed on the site. It was a hell of a birthday gift.

Some smokes take time to develop, only revealing their true characters at the end of the last third or even later. The Perdomo immediately hit me with a wallop of rich cocoa flavor. I quote, from my notebook, “WHOA!” The cigar has a slightly flattened shape, but if I feared that the Perdomo would resemble the disaster that was the Alec Bradley Puro Diamond Cut, that anxiety was instantly put to rest.

On the second third, the rich cocoa mellowed out into more of a milk chocolate flavor. The Perdomo features amazing, prolific smoke production, and it was a still night in between the rainstorms, making it a perfect atmosphere for smoke rings. The flavor grew less bold and more nuanced, with dried cherries threaded or coating throughout the chocolate. If you’d described that to me it wouldn’t be my first choice, but trust me on this. Light coffee flavors also complimented this part of the cigar.

Finally, the last third deepened into something richer, with more heavy syrup. The smoke was almost liquid. When I stood up to take a quick break, I realized how woozy the Perdomo had turned me. Normally these kinds of smokes are few and far between for me, and I definitely respect the power that the Perdomo 20ths possess.  And since I had been drinking a coffee, there was no element of other intoxicants there to muddle (or enhance, depending on who you ask) the experience.

With a price hovering around $8.00 per single, the Perdomo 20th Anniversary Maduro is an immediate buy. Enjoy the flavors, the boldness, and getting your ass kicked.

The CAO LX2: Tricky Draw But Alluring Flavor Through and Through

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The CAO LX2 (which stands for “ligero times two”) prides itself on its potency. A hybrid across the board, the cigar sports Dominican and Nicaraguan longleaf filler, a Honduran binder leaf, and a relatively dark Nicaraguan wrapper. Like a custom computer or a built-for-speed automobile, the combination suggests a smoke with unique potential, maximizing for enjoyment and pulling together its disparate characteristics to create something better than its parts.

I had hoped this was the case for the CAO LX2. I’ve enjoyed different lines from CAO in the past, and the Brazilia “Gol!” cigar was one of my go-to favorites during my time in the humidor. I lit this CAO on the back porch with Stephen earlier this April.

The burn took a little adjusting. The fire wanted to canoe to one side, but that’s just a simple matter of turning the cigar the correct way. After some maintenance, the LX2 settled down. The first third tasted rich, woodsy, and with more than a generous helping of black pepper. There’s not a lot of spice in the LX2, otherwise – just a solid heft of flavor that floats along smoothly and without fuss. While still avoiding the canoeing issue, the second third transitioned into something toastier and sweeter. This is one of the cool things about smoking cigars: certain things are delicious that might sound odd if combined in actual ingredients for a meal. The second third sported a graham cracker-like crust or toast, but also had earthy and sweeter tones of wheat and hay. It’s a transporting aspect.

Unfortunately, the issues with the burn continued for the remainder of the cigar. By the final third, I was tending to the LX2 as much as I was noting its flavors and experience. The draw seemed quite tight, tighter than most cigars I’ve enjoyed, but the flavor remained worth it. After the woodsiness of the first third and golden wheat of the second, the finish seemed something like a chalky dark chocolate. Dry, almost powdery and bitter, but still delicious.

Remember the potency we’d expected at the beginning? Maybe I’m just a nicotine fiend, but this cigar did little to knock me over, such as, say, the Perdomo 20th might (which we will review next week). Still, the tastes were involving and out of the ordinary, the maintenance was not too big of an issue, and the price point on these remain reasonable from $6-8. Distributors in our area (Central Texas) are out at the moment, but pick the CAO LX2 up here if you need it sooner than later. Flavor-hounds, rejoice in this custom-built cigar.

Whisky Wednesday: Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition

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Happy Whisky Wednesday Dear Readers!

Today’s journey of the pallet takes us back to the land without the “e” – Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition Blended Scotch Whisky.

I admit to being a naturally skeptical man, especially with regards to Cutty as it has not always agreed with me, but seeing as how it was Lyndon B. Johnson’s drink of choice, I was compelled to honor my favorite president by giving “The Real McCoy” another shot (pun intended).

Despite the black, intimidating label, Prohibition is light in color – a cool compromise between honey and amber. The lightness in basketbal kleding kopen appearance is matched by the softness of its flavor – smooth, slightly sweet, and without a hint of peat.

Be warned though, this whisky was designed to evade the likes of Eliot Ness, and that ruggedness is reflected in its 100 proof. I say bring on the proof! Fortune favors the bold, and the readers of Cigar & Whiskey are nothing if not adventurous.

But as always, further research is needed…

The Alec Bradley Nica Puro Diamond Cut – 10% Diamond, 90% Rough

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A couple of weeks ago, before the hard rains hit and Central Texas began filling up to its brim, Stephen and I visited SPEC’s in search of the CAO LX2. I’ve had that smoke before – it’s excellent, but it’s been discontinued in our area. Need to run through it one more time to write a thorough review. With the LX2 unavailable, I asked the humidorian for something new and fresh.

You gamble when you ask a salesman which cigar matches up with your taste, may or may not result in a transcendent experience, etc. As a fodboldtrøjer børn former humidor clerk, I was often instructed or incentivized to promote certain lines over others, regardless of quality. This is all in the game and makes it worth doing a little research before you hit the humidor. Since I entered SPEC’s on the fly, I did not do my research this time around.

The gentleman led me to the Alec Bradley Nica Puro Diamond Rough Cut, which I picked up promptly and took home. I love a good Nicaraguan, and the Diamond Rough Cut is a Nicaraguan on all three fronts: wrapper, binder, and filler. I thought the name “Diamond Rough Cut” alluded to the way the tobacco was arranged or cut. Instead, the cigar makers performed a box cut on this limited edition and squeezed it a little, giving the cigar a lopsided square shape. Or, a diamond, if you want to get picky about it. Either way – this seems lazy to me, and it’s not a great foundation on which to lay an entire line of cigars.

Don’t read any further if you’re picky about technique. My first cut on the cigar was a little small, so I tried to trim the edge to open it up and allow for a better draw. This works on regularly-rolled cigars. With the “diamond cut,” the trim unraveled a significant portion billige fodboldtrøjer of the bottom third. It’s possible this affected my draw. The cigar burned hot for the majority of the smoke, worsening as I got down to the last third. In turn, the heat affected the flavor profile and I could not pinpoint anything remarkable about the smoke. Even if the heat intensified during the process, I expected to be able to pick up some notes on the first third. Nah. Just tasted like burning wood.

I take full responsibility for my carelessness on that first cut. But my gut tells me that there were more issues intrinsic to the cigar. How, barring sickness or a brain injury, can you not taste a single interesting flavor on a smoke? Mainly, I overpaid for the Alec Bradley name, the “novelty” of the cut/squeezed trapezoid shape, and my own ignorance. Don’t make my mistake.

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

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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

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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.

Tullamore Dew

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Next up in our series on Irish Whiskey is one of my old favorites, Tullamore Dew.

Tullamore Dew is one of the older Irish Whiskey brands that, though not quite as widely popular as the likes of Jameson, still has a strong following. More importantly, they futbalove dresy na predaj produce one of the finest sipping whiskeys currently out there (Irish or otherwise).

I tested the Tullamore Dew with a small splash of water in a Glenmorangie glass. The nose is fairly light, giving off faint caramel notes and something that is almost floral.

First sip tastes, and I know this is a strange descriptor, incredibly clean. If we are to refer to whiskey as the eau de vie then it has never been more Lacné Futbalove Dresy applicable than here. There is also more of that caramel I detected on the nose, and even some light cherry flavors. There is a touch of smoke, but only a touch, and there is no astringent harshness at all.

Taking a drink in earnest, the flavors deepen but do not change. Most notable is just how remarkably smooth the Tullamore Dew really is. This is one that you could kick back with all night easily (though I have reason to believe that it will sneak up on you if you aren’t careful…).

If I have any complaint at all it is that the flavors are almost too smooth, but maybe that’s because my go-to beverages are generally more punishing Islay scotches. In any case, I would recommend the Tullamore Dew, particularly if you want a whiskey that will stick with you for the long haul.