All tagged Cuba

La Gloria Cubana Regional Release Spain Serie D No.5 - Teeling 24-Year-Old Single Malt

This, the La Gloria Cubana Regional Release Spain 2017 Serie D No.5, was one of the more curious cigars I've had for a while, with parts I loved and parts I most certainly did not. The drink for matching, on the hand, there is no ambiguity about it. An utterly stunning malt. A brilliant Irish whiskey. 

The cigar first. I do like a number of the La Gloria Cubana cigars from over the years. But I am not at all fond of short, fat cigars, whoever makes them. They do little for me. People say that they are useful if you are rushed for time. If I am rushed for time, I am not going to be bothering with attempting to shoehorn a cigar into that time. Apparently, and not for the first time, I am not in the majority on this…

Ramon Allones RR Estupendos Asia Pacific 2006 release – Colosia Amontillado - Oakridge Meunier Rose 2016

Is there a more popular cigar for Regional Releases than Ramon Allones? There are bucketloads of them. Why is that? Is it because the brand is not considered good enough for regular Limited Edition releases, so they make do with Regionals? And if so, does that mean that Havana ranks Regionals below Limited Editions? Who knows? 

I'd go so far as to venture that no other brand is used as often for Regionals as RA, which I suspect few would have guessed when the program started. Of course, I could sit down and go through and count the split between brands and find out just which of them is most used, but we all know I am not going to do that. And these days, when the idea of fact-checking for articles has become a farce, why bother? It is now in print, so it must be true…

Trinidad ‘La Trova’ - Wild Turkey ‘Master’s Keep’ ‘1894’

A little while since I tried one of these gorgeous cigars. Last time, with a cracking Yamazaki 12-Year-Old. This time, a terrific Bourbon, but we’ll get to that. 

The cigar, the Trinidad ‘La Trova’, is from a box coded RAG AGO 17. The first 2/3rds of the smoke were utterly glorious, though the last third, certainly not in any way a lesser smoke, was simply exhibiting signs suggesting it was too young. I'd hang off these for another year or two, if possible, but if not, you’ll still have a brilliant experience. And showing the requisite patience will not be an easy task…

Partagas Lusitania (LOM Oct 13) – Ron Edmund Dantes 25-Year-Old

We have seen both of these before, though not as a match. 

The pairing came about as after the first glorious Origin, in some stupid blind fit of allegiance and confidence to the soon to be put-to-the-slaughter Maroons, I thought I should do my bit. And as every sports fan knows, superstition is incredibly important. Whether a red hanky in the pocket, refusing to allow anyone to leave their seats during an important innings (awkward if the innings takes several hours and one has had a few drinks), putting your left pad on before your right or having the same cigar as you had last time the team won, it all matters…

Partagas Lusitania (LOM Oct 13) – Glenfarclas 40-Year-Old Malt Whisky - Sullivan's Cove Double Cask XO Brandy

Time of writing, we are nearing the third State of Origin game, which will most likely see the glorious Queensland Maroons lose only their third series in the last 749 years. I thought we’d go down 3-0 but against all odds, we were magic in that first game and got home. I had decided that, as it was likely to be a miserable evening with the footy, I should smoke and drink well.

I went back to that gorgeous box of Partagas Lusitanias from 2013 and decided to go old malt – and in keeping with the double act, the Double Cask XO Brandy from Sullivans Cove…

Ramon Allones ‘Old’ – Michter’s Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey

Rob posted a thread recently about one of his mates who likes to smoke half-finished cigars the next day or even later (and no, it is not me and I have no idea who it is). Last night, I felt a bit like a small cigar (very rare) and as I am on a bit of a bourbon kick, I was cracking the Michter’s Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey, I thought something caramelly. What better than an aged PLPC?

But then I remembered that away in the back of the humidor (in several bags for protection – not so much of it but of the rest of the humidor), was a cigar I had started but not finished…

Partagas LE ‘Privada’ 2014 - Yamazaki Single Malt 12 Years; Archie Rose Rum

Set myself up for a terrific evening with a big football game (fans in Australia will be well aware of the coaching swap between Souths and the Broncs in the NRL and the acrimony that went with it, so a real grudge match), a cracking cigar and a couple of sensational drinks. Well, the Broncs crapped the proverbial bed and the footy was a nightmare so forget that.

The cigar, the Partagas LE ‘Privada’ 2014, was a one-off in the humidor. It was a leftover from when Rob and I did them for a video (checked it out – RG3 was still playing for the Skins, so another lifetime)…

Por Larranaga RR Belicosos Asia Pacific 2008/Lagavulin 8-Year-Old, 12-Year-Old, 16-Year-Old.

Well, this is awkward. Apparently, this is the third time I have looked at the Por Larranaga RR ‘Asia Pacific’ Belicosos 2008 for Kenfessions. I had not realised that when I sat down with it the other evening. At least, the drinks have been different, so I should be getting it right soon. As the famous Ron Swanson says, “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing”. I think we can safely say that the PL RR Belicosos have been thoroughly whole-assed. Now might be a good time, again in the words of Ron, for me “to put some alcohol in my mouth to stop words coming out of it”…

Cohiba Genios Maduro 5 2007/Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt Wine Wood Reserve; Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt MWR

Some members may recall that I put up a thread about the Chichibu whiskies from Japan a little while ago, as I knew the proverbial bugger all about them. Thanks to those who responded – it was hugely appreciated. I had picked up a few bottles through a local importer, partly because the tiny bit I could find about them was very positive, partly because stocks of Japanese whisky are in dire short supply and it is a bit of the case of grab whatever is going if you want any, but mainly because in Dave Broom’s excellent book, ‘The Way of Whisky’, a fascinating and informative personal journey around the islands of that country, visiting the distilleries and sampling the whiskies, he is obviously utterly wowed by distiller Ichiro Akuto and his whiskies…

Quai d’Orsay Imperiale/Lighthouse Gin; Monteith’s Apple Cider

A Quai d’Orsay type of weekend, not originally intended but very much enjoyed, and a nod to our New Zealand brethren, after the recent tragedy, but before we get to all that, may I just say, why, Habanos, why? And boo, hiss. 

I would like to say that I had never tried this cigar before, but after the debacle with the QdO Corona, who knows. I certainly do not recall it. Rob kindly left one with me for Kenfessions and to have a squizz at it…

Quai d’Orsay Corona/Hine Antique XO Cognac; Asahi Super Dry Beer

I would love to be able to share with you my endless knowledge of the Quai d’Orsay cigars and in particular this neat little corona from November 2011, but there is a problem. I know the proverbial bugger all about this line. By coincidence, I was chatting with Rob a week or two ago and he kindly gave me a Quai d’Orsay Imperial, which I understand has been discontinued, to have a look at. I could not think of another occasion when I had tried one. 

Then this popped up for Kenfessions. Now, as I said, I could not honestly remember ever having smoked one before so I thought I had better jump on the internet and see what I could find out…

H. Upmann Sir Winston Churchill/Flor de Cana ‘Spresso’; Sullivans Cove Single Cask XO Brandy

I’m not one for spiced rums, although I quite like the Stolen Spiced Rum for its enticing smoky characters, and a note that is almost peaty, but I just love the new offering from Flor de Cana, their Spresso. In fairness, it is much more of a rum/coffee liqueur than a spiced rum, but what’s in a name. We are not likely to be including Spresso in any discussion of the great rums, even great liqueurs of the world. But it is seriously delicious and very moreish…

Cohiba Siglo VI Gran Reserva/Causes & Cures Semi-Dry White Vermouth; Glenfarclas 1971

Onward with the two drinks/one cigar experiment. And hard to think of two more completely different drinks.

But first, the cigar. And what a cigar. If ever there was a ‘last request on death row’ cigar, this is it. Should I find myself thinking of giving a cigar 100 points, sadly an all-too-rare occurrence, I do try and think if it could be improved in any way, is there the tiniest flaw, any reason at all not to give 100? This time, no. All as near perfect as one could wish. I’ve read on various sites where some have described this as the greatest cigar they have ever tried. Fully understand, as it is breathtaking…

Cohiba Siglo IV (July 2011)/Foursquare ‘Premise’ Rum; Foursquare ‘Dominus’ Rum

The two drinks for every cigar idea hit a bit of a speedbump this last time. I’ve been at a place on the coast for a while – Queensland summer – and while I brought a number of cigars, I seem to have failed to bring enough different drinks. I do have some fabulous Margaret River Cabernets, but as Rob isn’t here insisting on red wine with cigars, I won’t insult either the cigar or the wine by matching them. 

I searched the dregs of the old man’s liquor shelf – remembering that this was a man who didn’t drink so everything was largely leftovers from dinner parties or gifts from clients…

Flor de Cano Regional Release Asia Pacific Grandioso (July 2013)/Stone Pine Black Truffle Gin/Delamain ‘Vesper’ Cognac

Two very different spirits this time, to go with a lovely cigar.

The Flor de Cano Regional Release Asia Pacific Grandioso, from July 2013, is a most worthwhile member of the regional releases, up with the best. That said, and I am pretty sure that Rob and I did them for a vid when they first came out, it is not one I see often. Assume that production was not dissimilar to usual (a little research reveals that production was up with the top releases – 5,000 boxes of ten)? They just do not ever seem to pop up on the radar. If anyone has any thoughts on why that might be, please let me know. Did they get a bad rap early? Or was it so highly regarded that they just disappeared into the vaults, never to be spoken of again? Sadly, none disappeared into my vault…