Welcome to Kenfessions, my occasional and irregular blog, looking at the world of cigars and drinks, and hopefully matching the two. The good, the bad and the downright ugly. No doubt, it will veer off on all manner of tangents, but we will try and stick to the subject (when it suits).

- Ken Gargett

Montecristo No.2/Navazos en Rama & Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No.2/Navazos P.X. Gran Solera

Montecristo No.2/Navazos en Rama & Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No.2/Navazos P.X. Gran Solera

Yes, sherry again. A couple of completely different sherries today with two No 2’s.

I have already detailed the background of Equipo Navazos, such an exciting producer from Jerez, one of my favourite places (actually, I really prefer nearby Sanlucar, but everyone thinks in terms of Jerez).

So, their en Rama with a Montecristo No 2 and a glorious PX with the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No 2.

I understand that sherry has a very different image for some. They might not be aware of what an extraordinarily versatile wine it can be – bone dry to incredibly intense and luscious. And these two are from opposite ends of the spectrum.

For the late George Warner of Lake Jackson, Texas, however, sherry took on an altogether different image.

Poor George. He may have felt fortunate to have married a woman some twenty years his junior, the undoubtedly delightful Tammy Jean, although after a quick glance at said TJ’s mugshot, perhaps ‘fortunate’ is not the word. They met at a bar. This will come as no surprise given what followed.

George did have a soft spot for sherry. Texas sherry. Apparently, that is a thing.

Now, mention child brides, the deep south, any form of alcohol and someone named Tammy Jean and most of us would have more alarm bells ringing than if we heard a politician make a promise. With good reason. Originally, it seemed that two people could not possibly be so dim as this pair, but perhaps we have underestimated TJ.

It just so happens that poor George had a problem with alcohol. Actually, he had two. George loved his sherry way, way too much. Sadly, he was textbook alcoholic, but he was not keen to take the sensible option.

This brings us to problem number two. George had what is perhaps most kindly called a ‘throat ailment’, which prevented him from drinking alcohol. George was, however, nothing if not inventive (or perhaps Tammy Jean was – we may never know). And he was determined not to be denied.

Hence, either George or Tammy J came up with a somewhat novel, indeed cracking, idea. George would take his Texas sherry in the form of an enema, administered by Tammy Jean – hey, for better or worse, right? I wish I could say I had the imagination to make this stuff up but no. It is all there in the media and court reports from the home of the Cowboys (yes, had to slip that in).

The happy couple were apparently fully aware that George’s ailment meant he was not to ‘ingest or consume alcohol’ (and if my time at law school taught me anything – yes, the jury is still out on that – it is that students will be enduring hours of fun deciding whether or not an enema constitutes ‘ingesting or consuming’). I actually sent a good mate of mine, a local law professor, the details of this sad affair. Suffice to say, he was delighted and his students will indeed be discussing that very question next exam.

We are not talking hotel room service tiny bottles here. Police reported that the bottles used were “at least 1.5 litres” (although as this was Texas, I doubt that they have ever heard of a litre, so I am assuming that the reports were translated into English for the rest of us). It seems that George was not content with just a small sip (or tip, as the case may be?) but ‘consumed’ (forgive me, I have no idea of the correct verb in a situation like this) not just one but two of these very large bottles.

Perhaps we could take a moment to reflect on the potential quality of something called Texas sherry which comes in large flagons. Perhaps George was wise to slip it past the tastebuds any way he could.

Anyhoo, it seems that Tammy Jean performed her wifely duties and tipped at least three litres of this rough fortified where the sun truly does not shine. Poor George immediately shuffled off the mortal coil, a blood alcohol level of 0.47%. Tammy Jean admitted administering the enema but not killing her hubbie. She was charged with ‘criminally negligent homicide’, which carries a maximum penalty of two years, which seems criminally negligent itself.

Tammy Jean was charged with a second offence, allegedly unrelated. That indictment? The offending act took place one month before the tipping ceremony – burning her husband’s will, ‘with intent to defraud or harm others’. The charge sheet noted that both indictments are “against the dignity of Texas”. One would have thought that boat had sailed long ago. Meanwhile, sales of sherry in Lake Jackson plummeted.

In the end, the charge of burning the will was dismissed. It seems that there was no evidence remaining. Yes, that would be because it was burnt.

And the charge of homicide was also dropped. Seems there was plenty of anecdotal evidence that George was quite fond of a sherry enema – although it really does not seem the sort of thing you’d discuss with your mates at the pub. He was also known to ‘enjoy’ similar misadventures with coffee and soap. Why, George, why?

At least they did make a contribution to American life. The whacky frat boys at the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter at the University of Tennessee apparently got bored with ‘Animal House’ re-runs and came up with ‘butt-chugging’, based on the real-life adventures of George and Tammy Jean. So far, no fatalities, though one coma. What is really scary is that the press report on our frat friends described George’s Texas sherry as “definitely more upscale than the box wine” used by PKA. The mind boggles.

Last word to the grieving widow… “That’s the way he went out and I’m sure that’s the way he wanted to go out because he loved his enemas”.

RIP poor George. You are in a better place. Even if it is a coffee tin in the garage or a mouldy old box riddled with worms six foot under.

Now, if anyone is still keen on matching a cigar with sherry, the Monte 2 and en Rama (pretty much a new ‘natural’ style of fino) were not a bad match. Perfectly serviceable. It was the Epi 2 and the PX which was a stunning combination. The richness and sweetness of the sherry was perfect for the Christmas Cake and raisins of the cigar.

Bottoms up!


Juan Lopez No 2/Delamain XO ‘Pale and Dry’

Juan Lopez No 2/Delamain XO ‘Pale and Dry’

H. Upmann No 2/Holgate Mt Macedon Australian Pale Ale/Holgate Temptress Choc Porter

H. Upmann No 2/Holgate Mt Macedon Australian Pale Ale/Holgate Temptress Choc Porter