Poolside with the La Flor Dominicana Ligero

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What’s the best kind of weather for smoking a cigar? My ideal factors would involve the following: a crisp 45 degrees outside, reclining by a large fire, and winding down with a Weller’s after a sustaining, wintery meal. It’s reaching triple digits on regular basis in the Texas summer, though, so we lived out the next best ideal: in a shaded pool with a glass of rum.

I’d bought four La Flor Dominicana Ligeros for a trip to Houston, where I’d planned to grill out and relax. It is a particular kind of blessing when everyone else shows up with enough cigars for your crew, and then some. So I saved the Ligeros for a good day, like this one. Steven poured out some Ron Zacapa 23 (review to come) into glasses for me, him and our friend TJ. It was the middle of the day and the sun was beating the ever-living hell out of us. We found some refuge under a cabana that overhung the pool and lit up with a regular red Bic (sacrilege, I know).

The power of this cigar, combined with the scorching heat and cold rum, put me in an ideal state of lower consciousness. You feel the hit immediately with a LFD Ligero. The flavor is robust but even. It’s an unassuming, straightforward smoke. Binder and filler leaves are, as you might surmise, Dominican, but the wrapper is an Ecuadorian Sumatra Maduro.

Easy to light, and easy to stay lit – TJ got up to get something from the apartment for about 15 minutes and left his cigar there, smoldering. When he came back he was able to puff it again easily. When you’re at the pool, you need ease of use when smoking – you might be grilling, splashing, or otherwise being a summer degenerate. The LFD Ligero is that perfect kind of smoke. Out of the three of us, there were no lighting or construction issues whatsoever, making it easy to philosophize and screw around in the pool. I recommend the LFD for an outdoors smoke for this reason – its hardiness would do you well on a walk through the woods, at a windy beach, or on a saltlicked boat somewhere.

This LFD experience lasted a good 45 minutes with the robusto size. At a price point of about $7/each, you’d be remiss not to end a summer with a pack of these to enjoy with friends. Find a body of water, get in it, have a cool drink to accompany, and light up. Let us know what you think!

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.

Henry McKenna 10-Year Single Barrel Straight

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Henry McKenna Single Barrel 10-Year

Despite a love of bourbon and central Texas summers, my back porch sometimes grows too hot to truly enjoy a glass–even in the late evening hours. Thank God for last night’s exception. It had showered earlier in the day, and instead of the sun burning up the droplets as soon as they hit the ground, the cloud cover had allowed the air to remain cool. This resulted in a maglie calcio online near-misty, damp night with few mosquitoes and varmints in sight — a night that begged for a new whiskey to be tried. I settled back into my Adirondack chair and got to “work.”

Henry McKenna Single Barrel is packaged as a “table whiskey,” and the phrase delivers on what it implies. This is a straightforward and easily downable bourbon that lacks pretension and a whole lot of fanfare.

The color, in some ways, resembles the smell — thin, temperate, middle-hued. That thinness is an attribute of the slightest medicinal astringency, something that you find in almost all bourbon, and it is not unpleasant (unlike the Cody Road debacle, an experiment maglie calcio shop which still prejudices me against rye). The nose carried notes of amber, caramel, and maple — a lot like a Dr. Pepper fountain with a little too much syrup.

I first tried the Henry McKenna without water (as usual). The initial few sips were distinctly oaky, with one of the most pleasant after-burns I’ve enjoyed in a bourbon. The burn is deep, and stays on the palate long after a single sip, with a fine char. Caramel bubbles up under that char like a good cobbler through the crust. The flavor sears a little, but is not at all punishing. At first, I tasted little to no fruity or floral notes. Again — the characterization as a “table whiskey” is dead-on.

After the flavor (or my imagination) opened up a little, I noticed the faintest apricot taste on the back-sip. By “back-sip,” I mean the moment between the initial sip and when that “char” lingers after the liquid is downed. On the finest edges of my taste buds, I could maglie calcio a poco prezzo detect white floral notes. The main body of the bourbon remained is that charred oak. Though it’s an uncomplicated flavor, I could have easily swilled a few more glasses due to this bottle’s simple goodness.

I splashed a couple of fingers of water into the second glass so that I had about one-third of water, two-thirds bourbon in the glass. DO NOT DO THIS. With water, the floral notes on the periphery dilute way too easily, while only the most peppery portions of the wood flavor surface. The caramel flavor largely dissipated. I regret splashing so much water in and will begin experimenting with only a few drops from now on.

Barrel #783. Bottled on September 28, 2001
Best aspect: A fine, lingering burn.
Worst aspect: Since using too much water was my fault, my only complaint is that one more flavor outside of the oak could have made it a more interesting sip.
Enjoyed after: prosciutto and egg sandwich
Song to pair with: “Long As I Can See the Light”