Friday, November 05, 2010

Good News, We're Sorry

We really are sorry. Things came up. Now they're gone. Now we can dedicate some time to smoking and drinking and this blog.

Things that have happened these past six months:
-Acid Atoms are now my go-to cigars when I'm out, Flavours by CAO Cherrybombs when I at home.
-Dal still sticks to El Batons.
-Two of my friends now carry around a tin of cigarillos. So we're trendsetters now too.
-I tried a beer that I kind of liked. Shocking, I know. It was after a few Manhattans though, so don't hold your breath. A friend of ours is back after spending a semester in England and he lets me try his beers. He seems to have a more palatable taste than Dal. Although I don't know if I really want to drink beer. I've grown accustomed to my reputation as a whiskey and vermouth drinker.
-Dal still can't remember things that he likes.

I'm going to play around more with the look of the blog. It's kinda stuffy. If anyone has any tips or advice or opinions, let me know. I'm running dry of inspiration here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gah! Why was this entry so hard to type up?!? I'm sorry for neglecting the blog but for some reason it was impossible for me to put my opinions in to words, which is rare for me. Bah. Let's get to it.

Thursday was our first time trying an off-hours review. We wanted to see if we could better focus on the cigar without having others around to avoid (gang of European men in suits) or engage (lovely friends and their girlfriends). It was a success. We went in after lunch and it was just us, the bartenders, and a few groups of guys trying to impress their coworkers.

I had the Acid Atom and loved it. It had a very light citrusy flavor and was rich. It had the usual Acid problems, such as not burning evenly and having some cutting problems but it was worth it. The dark oily wrapper, the slight berry tones, the fact it never got bitter, it's my new favorite.

Size: Petit Belicoso
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $7.50

Dal had the Perdomo 10th Anniversary Reserve, Champagne. This was the one that fell apart at first, but the second one was perfect. It had a tight pack and an ultra smooth flavor.
Size: Robusto
Wrapper: Connecticut shade
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $7.00

For a midday beer (hey, we're students, sometimes our days end before noon) Dal tried Het Anker's Lucifer. Actually, I picked it for him at random based on its low alcohol content and cool name. It's a bottle aged special blonde with 8% alcohol by volume and has quite the history. It was originally brewed by Liefmans Breweries which went bankrupt but had all of their brews picked up by Duvel Moortgat who decided to focus only on the fruitbeers of Liefmans' leaving poor Lucifer out in the cold. Luckily though, Het Anker picked it up and so we still get to enjoy it today.

Dal says that it was lighter than he normally likes but lacked the yeasty-ness that he dislikes in light beers and, in fact, had a nice citrusy flavor.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Our Permission Slip for the Absent Posts

Okay, it's been awhile since anyone has posted and I'm sorry to anyone who's reading this. Turns out Dal and I are not so good at socializing while sampling cigars and spend too much brainpower on the socializing half. Whoops.

Some minor updates/opinions. Vermouth is very very good. Particularly sweet or Italian or red Vermouth. The spices in the Vermouth go along very well with Acid cigars. How many times can I say "Vermouth". Vermouth.

Also, Jake's Spirits and Cigars are very good to us. Dal and I went in there one afternoon, to see if we can form opinions better with fewer people around, and Dal's cigar's wrapper fell apart as soon as I cut it. One of the guys who works there noticed and immediately offered a replacement, of which didn't crumble when we cut it. So yea for them!

Like I mentioned, Dal and I will start doing our sampling/review/things in afternoons instead of weekend nights. In fact we have one to post when I get the chance to pull up pictures and translate our shorthand into something understandable. Also, we promise that we will at least try to pay attention to what we are smoking and drinking tonight. Although we offer no guarantees.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Day Four: Friday, February 5, 2010

I smoked quite a bit last night and Dal drank quite a bit. I had three petit coronas, a petit cigarillo, and a cigarillo and Dal had a shot at work and then a scotch and then a beer with 13% Alcohol by volume. We made quite the pair by the end of the night, Dal being very loose and overly complementary towards everyone and I being completely wired and fidgety.

Dal chose a El Baton, Double Toro. They're a newer line and made from the same house as Centro Finas.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $6.00
Time: An hour and a half

Complex, nutty cigar with a bold spicy flavor. Touches of oak wood and black pepper have been noted, as well as nice leathery transitions with mocha and pepper. Consistent full-bodied cigar, with pleasent surprises throughout.

Dal like it a lot. He said it had a mild-medium flavor, a good pack, he really enjoyed the size too.

With it he had a Glenfiddich 12 that I sipped off of. It's a single malt scotch from the Highlands of Scotland that's been aged for, you guessed it, twelve years. The official site states that it is sweet with notes of pear, oak, butterscotch, and cream.

Dal liked it but isn't a big scotch drinker to begin with. I found the same "rotten" taste at the beginning, but after it watered I definitely found the sweet notes.

Afterwards, he had the Goose Island Bourbon County. It's a Bourbon Barrel-aged Imperial stout. It has a staggering 13% alcohol per volume amount and is served in a sniffer instead of your typical mug or glass.

The Goose Island describes it as:
an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. A great cigar beer.

Dal said it had a very strong coffee flavor and was very chocolatey. He said that it didn't taste like it's alcohol content and was actually very, very drinkable. He definitely plans on getting it again soon.

I went on a bit of a flavored rampage. I still want to get all of the Flavours by CAO out of the way and I've finally finished off all of the ones offered at Jake's, but there's still two more out there, lurking.

For the first of my many I tried the Flavours by CAO, Moontrance

Size: Petit Corona
Wrapper: Cameroon
Filler: Dominican
Prize: $5.00
Time: 30 mins

It's always described as having this incredible flavor, filled with exotic fruit and vanilla and being the centerpiece of the Flavours line. I thought it was pretty good. The vanilla was nice, but it lacked the pizazz that I was expecting. And worst of all, it was sticky. When I went to light it I felt it and opened my mouth only to have the cigar stick to my lip and hang there. I don't know if moisture got in the bag or what, but it was not fun.

I finished up all of my available Flavours with Gold Honey

Size: Petit Corona
Wrapper: Cameroon
Filler: Dominican
Price: $5.00
Time: 30 mins

I wanted to try this after a friend's girlfriend had one and liked it. I enjoyed it as well. The honey notes stay through for the aftertaste and retrohale. I liked a lot. My two favorites from the line are still Cherrybomb and Eileen's Dream, but this is a solid third place in my mind. And my friend's girlfriend only proves my theory that these are excellent "girly" or starter cigars.

Lastly, after having one of my Cherrybomb petit cigarillos, I tried the Cojimar Mango, mainly I was just intrugued by the promise of a mango flavor and the price.

Size: Cigarillo
Wrapper: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Price: $3.00
Time: ~15 mins

Cojimar captures the pure essence of one of natures most distinctive fruits and combines it with premium tobaccos. The end result is a wonderfully sweet cigar loaded with delicious mango flavor.

It was sweet, but I don't know about a mango flavor. Or really any fruit flavor at all. I didn't care for it at all. The pack was too loose and it burned too hot and it was just not nice. I might try some of their other flavors though, just to try them. Chocolate, Cinnamon, Sambuca, Rum, Cognac, Coffee, Banana. They're just so crazy that I have to try them.

Learning Curve: Beginner's Tips from

Sorry for the lack of a post last week. I did go out, but I forgot my little notepad at home and so I didn't take any notes. The only thing I learned was to remember to eat before trying to jump right to a very strong cigar.

But I did go out last night and while researching my cigars for a post I stumbled on The Stogie Guys, which is an excellent guide if you're a little more experienced with your cigars. But in their Recommended Reading links I found the page on cigars.

10 Basic Dos and Don'ts of Cigars
Pretty basic stuff, but definitely helpful to anyone who's starting off on square zero.

5 Cigars for Beginners
A list of some of the better mild to mild-medium cigars for someone to help build their palatte with. I'm definitely trying the CAO Criollo next time I go out.

7 Alcoholic Drinks to Accompany Cigars
Of course, the thing everyone wants to know. No point and going to a bar and not drinking. I definitely want to try a Stinger, a Brandy and creme de menthe cocktail.

So, a little bit of easy reading before going out tonight.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Learning Curve: Retrohaling

So, as I'm trying to better educate myself on cigars and how to smoke cigars I've been poking around the internet looking for info. Luckily, everyone and their mom has an opinion on cigars, so I'm not lacking in advice.

In my poking I found this video where he explains the process of retrohailing and how it's exhailing the smoke that you're holding in your mouth out through your nose with out drawing it into your lungs. Makes sense, that's part of tea-tasting, wine-tasting, chocolate-tasting, food-tasting, just tasting in general.

So, I tried it.

Please, someone, call the police. This man is clearly trying to kill me.

In his defense, I think I might be doing it wrong. So, maybe I need to practice a bit more because there's no way I'm going to be hacking and gagging like this in public.

I'm still looking for any and all info. So, if you have some I will gladly accept it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day Two, Thursday, January 28, 2010

Couldn't wait another day. We were right across the street from Jake's and we stopped in for just a quick cigar. We picked only from Petit Coronas and then cheap ones from there.

Dal chose a Flavours by CAO Karmasutrasplash

Size: Petit Corona
Wrapper: Cameroon
Filer: Dominican
Price: $5.00

Description from an exotic concoction of sweet Hawaiian mango nectar and mint chocolate chip ice cream. The Grade 1 Cameroon wrapper and mellow Dominican filler leaves issues a sweet citrus flavor backed by rich, chocolate. Refreshing and smooth.

Perhaps it was a little too smooth. Dal and I can't really remember anything about this cigar. Both of our notes just say "was okay".

Overall: Wouldn't buy it again. Wouldn't refuse it if we were offered. Very ambivalent cigar.

I decided we should just get the Flavours by CAO collection out of the way and picked Eileen's Dream.

Size: Petit Corona
Wrapper: Cameroon
Filler: Dominican
Price: $5.00

Clearly, CAO has their basic mild cigar formula down since all of their Flavours collection have the very same wrapper and filler. Not that I'm complaining, it's definitely a combination that works.

From quite possibly the most unique of CAO’s Flavours. Comprised of a smooth Cameroon wrapper and mild Dominican filler that have been infused with an explosion of ingredients including Irish whiskey, cream, coconut milk, hazelnut, white chocolate, almonds, cocoa, and vanilla bean. This is a must-try.

Well, I agree with that last statement, this is a really fun cigar. It was sweet enough to appease my sweet tooth yet doesn't go overboard, like Swisher Sweets.

Overall: I definitely plan on buying it again. So far, from what I've seen of the Flavours of CAO collection they're definitely approachable and are turning out to be good introductory cigars. The smoke isn't too heavy, the cigarillos and petit coronas are of course smaller and therefore less intimidating. You could almost consider them practice cigars, you get the chance to go through the motions of cigar smoking without wasting good cigars on undeveloped palates.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day One, Friday, January 22, 2010

Dal and I went out to eat first for my birthday. We went to Dish and I had a SoCo and Coke that was mixed way too strong for a before meal drink. I had the daily special of the Coq au Vin, which was so good. I highly recommend getting it if you have the chance.

After dinner we went to Jake's Cigars and Spirits. Dal and I forgot what we had first. Whoops. I'll have to double check when I go again this friday but I'm 90% sure that we had Cuestra-Rey Centro Finas of some sort.

With it I tried my very first scotch ever, Johnnie Walker Green on the rocks.

From the Johnnie Walker website: Johnnie Walker Green Label is uniquely different. It's fresh and distinctive flavor is created by blending only the finest single malt whiskies, rather than grains. Each of these mature malts has been specifically selected for the intensity of it's flavors and aromas.

I thought it was too bitter at first and had too much of that "rotten" flavor I find, and hate, in beer and wine. Remember, though, that I have a rather untrained palate. In fact, after the ice melted a bit I enjoyed it quite a bit. I definitely agree with the "fresh" description. It went very well with my cigar, whatever cigar that was.

Overall: It was on the expensive side, at least for me, although I definitely want to revisit this after I've developed my palate more.

After about an hour or so after finishing our mystery cigars we decided that it was time for a second, this was a celebration after all.

Dal picked an Acid Blondie, which he had tried a little bit before.

Size: Short Panatela
Wrapper: Cameroon, Honduras, Indonesia
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua
Price: $4.00

Dal's Thoughts:
-was good the whole way
-good flavor

He's a man of few words, ladies and gentlemen.

Ej's Thoughts:
I couldn't stop stealing this from him. It's so wonderful. I want to be best friends with this cigar. It's been described as the "clove smoker's cigar" which is pretty apt. Cloves were the only cigarettes I ever really liked. It had a honey and vanilla taste, with the honey staying as a nice aftertaste.

Overall: Dal: Liked it. Will buy again.
Ej: Loved it. Will buy it again.

My second choice was the Flavours by CAO, Cherrybomb.

Size: Cigarillo
Wrapper: Cameroon
Filler: Dominican
Price: $20 for box of ten

I'll be honest, I kind just wanted that tin. But I found that the cigars inside were excellent. They are flavored but it's not an overpowering taste, something I fear from trying flavored cigarettes and liquors. The namesake cherry flavor is very bright and it has a nice, mellow vanilla aftertaste. It's an easy to smoke cigar, but not something I'd pick if I wanted a more serious smoke. I would definitely recommend this, especially the cigarillos, for getting a girl into cigars due to it's mild and fruity flavor.

Overall: I'd buy again and am glad I got a box.

With it had some whiskey sours with Jack Daniels. They made an excellent pair. Some of the best whiskey sours I've had. My only problem with them is that they were so drinkable that I could see myself losing track of how many I had.

Dal tried a few new beers this evening, but unfortunately doesn't remember them since this was a while ago. However, he would like to note that they were all very good. I would like to note that they all tasted like rotten bread.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

About: My Bar

In a lot of my posts, actually probably all of them, I'll be mentioning Jake's Cigars and Spirits. Instead of having to have the same paragraph at the beginning of every single post, I'm just throwing this up here.

Jake's is one of the very few smoking bars in Lincoln and is the only one downtown, however they only allow cigars and pipes, no cigarettes. The staff in the cigar half are very helpful and are always willing to answer questions and never give off an elitist vibe. They have a nice broad cigar selection, but isn't overwhelming. It does have a bit of a hipster clientele on Friday and Saturday nights, but has a more quiet, mature crowd on weekdays.

It's not the only cigar and tobacco shop downtown, there's also Cliff's Cigars and Tobacco which I'm told leans more towards the the pipe side of the equation. It is strictly a shop though, no smoking allowed. Since I've never been I don't really have an opinion on them. Someday I'll browse around there, though.