Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cigar Review: Graycliff Emerald

The Incredible Hulk. Big, green, and full of flavor!? 

I have never had a Candela wrapped cigar. It was a very strange taste but really cool nonetheless. This cigar is filled with Brazilian, Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Grecian tobaccos. Finish that off with the Candela wrapper and this is one mighty cigar. 

As soon as you lite up this cigar you know immediately that there is something just a little bit different about it. It is rich and creamy, but there's something else in there. That strange taste on the finish is what I can only describe as botanical. I personally wasn't a fan but I can see how some people could really enjoy that flavor. This Hulk was just a little too beastlike for me.

I would give this one a try but be prepared. It is a little funky! I give this Graycliff a 5 of 10. Not because its bad, I just didn't care for its particular taste. Getting Hulked wasn't that great, eh. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cigar Review: Victor Sinclair Primeros

Ever have one of those weeks where nothing goes right? Yup. We all have, and sometimes you just need a friend to lean on to make it better. My friend this week was (you guessed it)... was an awesome cigar! The Victor Sinclair Primeros.

This little fella' is a great listener and will surely make your crappy week seem like a thing of the past!

The Victor Primeros is an easy smoking cigar with the taste and construction of much pricier cigars. You can pick up a box of these for around $50 or a single for just 3 bucks from StogieBoys!

I haven't had many Victor Sinclair's, as a matter of fact, I believe this is my first review. I hope you are excited as I am! Probably not, but lets get smoking.

The cigar is wrapped in a gorgeous Connecticut leaf. It is smooth and ready to make any day better! Bined with Sumatra leaves and filled with Ligero, Olor, and Dominican tobaccos. The spec sheet on this cigar is impressive, it has a very good mix of tobaccos so the flavors should be awesome.

Cutting and lighting are a breeze and the first few puffs are excellent. Smooth, sweet and a perfect draw. The cigar stays a nice temperature and really makes smoking enjoyable. It doesn't pack a wallop of flavor, but it has enough undertones to keep me happy. I was literally melting my stress away. This cigar makes a great weekender. As you smoke it, expect the flavor and intensity to pick up but it is still lite. I enjoyed it to the very nub.

I really can't complain here. It was a great mellow smoke and it made me feel one hundred times better after smoking it. It was exactly what I needed. It doesn't have a ton of flavor, but that is not what this cigar was designed for. It's a complex light bodied cigar. And Victor nailed it. I give this cigar a strong 8.5 of 10. Pick one up!

Questions for YOU: What are your favorite de-stress cigars?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Whiskey Review: OYO Bourbon Michelone Reserve

This spicy little concoction from Middle West Spirits will keep you coming back!

For those of you who are not familiar with OYO, shame. Shame I say. It's a craft distillery right in the heart of Columbus, Ohio and definitely worth a try. They have mainly vodkas and whiskies. Delightful wheat whiskies I might add...

This is actually a blend of their 100% Ohio red wheat whiskey and a popular Kentucky bourbon. I am not sure what bourbon they are using but whatever it is, it's a good one. The result is a balanced, complex bourbon with a little bit of kick. To be honest I actually enjoy the regular OYO whiskey more, but this is still a delightful drink.

Color: Dark Russet
Nose: Baking spices, fruit, caramel
Taste: sweet brown sugar, a little rye, and citrus
Body: Medium to full
Finish: short and bitty 

Don't get me wrong, this is a really cool whiskey from OYO and it's a nice one to keep in the collection. Especially if you are from Ohio! I don't think it's their best whiskey but it beats some of the more popular brands at this price point. The other upside is supporting a local distillery, something I hold dear.

Go ahead pick up a bottle. Don't expect to have your mind blown, but do enjoy it. It's a damn good whiskey! Thanks OYO for keeping Ohio on the map. Overall I give this bourbon a respectable 7 out of 10.

Questions for YOU: Anybody else an OYO fan out there? Share your thoughts!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cigar Review: Perdomo Reserve Champagne

Champagne, the drink of celebration so when you slap "champagne" on something, you are making a statement. A delicious, balanced statement! 

This Perdomo has quite a few things working for it. First off, its Connecticut wrapper is triple fermented. Second, it's filled with fine Cuban-seed Nicaraguan tobaccos.  Third, construction and presentation are flawless. Nailed it Perdomo, nailed it. Now lets celebrate!

The smoke itself is very much like champagne.  Smooth, refined, and complex. It is a mild to medium smoke with an absence of any spicy flavors. Do not mistake it for boring though. It has a rich coffee taste with a little creamy sweetness. Very impressive.

This cigar is a great stick and once again, check out the deals. There are some pretty good ones at Stogieboys.com. You can score this cigar for as little as 7 bucks! Not bad for a flavorful easy smoker. I give this lite cigar a strong 8 of 10. 

Questions for YOU: What is your favorite Perdomo? And have you ever had champagne with a cigar?!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cigar Review: CAO Concert

Music to my... mouth?!  This melodious cigar is sure to please a crowd. For about $6 at Stogie Boys you can own this classic, and (spoiler alert) it's worth every penny.

I won't go into CAO's story but here are a few fun facts:

1. The CAO Concert cigar was inspired by the brand's Nashville roots.
2. Rick Rodriguez crafted this beautiful piece.
3. It is made using a combo of 4 Nicaraguan & Honduran fillers with a Connecticut binder, then rolled in a Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.
4. It is best smoked while listening to big band jazz, like the old school stuff (true story).

Upon lighting, you get hit with a peppery smell and a thin smoke. It has a tight draw, and takes a little to get going. Once in full puff mode, ya puff mode, it picks up fast with rich and strong flavors. Not for the faint of heart. The peppery start will bite, but it mellows to a woodsy taste and a tad of sweetness. I say tad cause it is mainly earthy spice so don't kid yourself!

It burned great and was a long smoke due to the tight draw. Hunker down with a good book cause it will be a while. As it burned, the spice mellowed and the sweetness kicked up. Still earthy though. It leaves a nice rich taste in your mouth, but a generally dirty feeling. It's all that flavor just hanging out for later.

I was very impressed! I am not a bold cigar guy but this stick was palatable and super complex. Standing ovation for this maestro. Solid 8 outa 10. Pick one up, enjoy.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Whiskey Review: Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey

A baller whisky from the West Coast. I first heard about Stranahan’s from a friend. He was raving about some new whisky from Colorado. I said, “Whisky from Colorado? That's about as crazy as whisky from Columbus!”. I am eating those words…

This is one of my favorites from west of the Mississippi. It has cool presentation, an interesting brand, and a rich taste. The first thing you notice is the tall bottle with the little metal shot glass. Now I never abuse my poor whiskeys by “shooting” them, but the glass is kind of cool. Upon further investigation you will notice handwritten notes on the bottle. They include the batch number, fillers name, and notes. I love this part and think it is awesome! My bottle says “Listening to Cake” and it was filled by Rowland. How personal is that?! Now it isn't a mind blowing idea, but it's different and I love the personal touch. It makes me imagine some kid my age, just jamming out to some Cake and working a long day. Pretty neat. Their brand story is cool too, you can read more here .

Now to the taste!

Color: Russet, brownish gold
Nose: musty, sweet like oranges
Taste: rich brown sugar, citrus
Body: medium, maybe a little syrupy
Finish: short and sweet, a little smokey

This is a great whiskey and should make bourbons think twice about the Westsiders. It's strong and spicy, but still smooth enough to make it very easy to drink. My only complaint: it’s a little pricey for the above-average taste. I still recommend everyone with a whiskey cabinet pick up a bottle, and support our whiskey loving friends in Colorado! I give this whiskey a respectable 8 of 10.

Questions for YOU: Ever have a Colorado whiskey? Any good? What brand? 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cigar Review: C+C Maduro

It's Monday, the weekend is over. Your're back at work. This sucks. You get slammed all day at work (hopefully not literally) and all you want to do is come home, and relax. You want a nice, easy going stick that doesn't remind you that you just dropped some serious $$$'s on a cigar. Try the C+C Maduro. Cheap, smooth, and awesome with whisky!

You can find this little fella for about $5 a stick at Stogie Boys. Not bad. I don't really know much about C+C, but it is a decent smoke for that price. I prefer the Maduro, but the Corojo was rated well too.

The wrapper quality was ok. Nothing fancy, some veins and blemishes. You get what you pay for. The actual cigar was good though. It burned great and had a nice easy draw. I got the robusto so it was just the right length for a Monday night. It's nutty earth tones were clear from the start. The easy-going cigar finished off with a little spice, like nutmeg. Not what I expected for a maduro.

Want to turn it up a notch? Pair it with a great Whisky. There are a few trains of thought here:

1. Pair a cigar with another smokey taste.
2. Pair a cigar with a taste that compliments it.
3. Pair a cigar with a taste that contrasts it.

I prefer number two. I picked Highland Park 12 year for this. It is sweet, but not too sweet like Dalwhinnie. The HP finishes with a great smoky taste, so it is definitely a compliment. If you wanna be a manly man, try a Cohiba with Laphroaig. It's like sucking down a burning peat bog.

The cigar itself was ok, but the experience was perfect. All you have to do with a basic cigar is pair them right and they will tastes like something 3x thier worth. And that's how you cure a case of the Mondays.

Overall, this cigar gets an average 7 of 10 but makes a great booze buddy.

Questions for YOU: What is your favorite cigar/booze combo!?