Friday, July 31, 2009

A Great Video On Tasting Scotch: Highland 12

This is a great step by step to tasting. He does a really good job walking through the steps! Single Malt TV is great!

I actually tasted the HP 12 as well. I found it a delightful fruity AND smoky dram. Full of complex sweet tastes then that smoky finish he discusses. I did find it to be a little unpolished though, it was a very interesting transition and the flavours are bold and fast in disappearing. Great drink though! I would give it a 7 of 10.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cigar Review: Rocky Patel I-Press

I got this little guy for my cousin after a gun show. I read that it had a slow burn and a creamy wood smoke with a little touch of earthy notes and spice. So we sat outside and let her rip! Here is the bio

"I-Press is made from all aged Nicaraguan long fillers bound in a rich Honduran binder. The combination of these tobaccos brings forth a medium to full body that is complex and incredibly flavorful. The blend is completed with a dark, oily, maduro wrapper that adds a pleasant sweetness with some earthy undertones.Due to its box-press, I-Press has a conservative draw with a slow burn and the flavors produced are very rich. The cigar itself is complex with some spice noticeable in the rear of the palate. Like all Rocky Patel cigars, I-Press is well constructed and guaranteed to satisfy."

Well as advertised, sort of hard draw but it made it last quite a long time. It was really rich and full of flavour. I'm a huge spice guy but it had a great full body to it. Even on that windy day you could see the smoke lingering around you. I give this press an 8 of 10!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cigar Review: Isle de Sol

This is a great cigar for under 5 bucks. It has a nice mellow flavour and semi-sweet wrapper with a hint or mocha or espresso. You can pick these up for real cheap and they are great if you are not looking to blow a lot of money on a cigars. I recommend these to my stingy friends for they have a great sweet taste and at half of the price of other cigars. I picked up a 5 pack of these on for 8.50! That's a deal. It is not the most complex taste or finish but still enjoyable none the less. Overall, I give this little guy a 6 of 10 (price is not a factor in my scales).

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Scotch Review: The Laphroig 10 Yr

WOW, that's how you describe Scotch's like this. They are so different and unique that they demand respect. I think you have to experience the peaty Scotchs to really appreciate them. It is an Islay Malt, so they can be traditionally very peaty. Now I never even tell people about the region they are from because just like the color of the whisky, it tells you nothing. Distilleries can make whatever taste they want, they don't have to have a particular taste just because of their region. They often do but like color it is variable. SO HERE WE GO!!!!!

Color: a deeper gold, almost brown, polished mahogany

Nose: campfires, burning wood, PEAT, iodine

Palate: It starts off with a full bodied, smokey mouth watering burnt taste. Your senses are overwhelmed with the peat and smoke. It engulfs your whole mouth and quite frankly tastes like you are drinking a swamp! It then settles for what tastes like a sea breeze. There is salt and seaweed in there, then to top that off a hint of something sweet. It is the smallest hint of something appetizing at the end of bitter mauling of over powering flavours. So you wanna try it now?!

Finish: My buddies call this one dragon breath, it has a very long over powering finish. The most interesting part of this little gem is that it is good. Yes I enjoy the bog like flavour. As you drink this dram you can just visualize an old cellar filled with barrels or a burning campfire, or even better a burning pile of peat! It is interesting how this drink is actually good. I love its unique flavors and overly burnt taste.
I give this interesting dram a 9 of 10!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Scotch Review: Glenfiddich 15

I had my cousin over from West Point and we had a little Whisky/Whiskey tasting party! He had heard of Glenfiddich. He had the 12 at a bar, and he said it was ok. I agree there is nothing special about the 12, that is why I got the 15! If you haven't noticed I love sweet and complex Scotch's and the Glen 15 is exactly that. It is very sweet yet a little unrefined and powerful, like a stronger tasting Dalwhinnie or Mac.

Color: dark gold, burnt umber
Nose: spices, sweet honey and maybe a little dried fruit or apple
Palate: sweet honey with a spiced apple, very complex and a little overpowering almost as if it is trying to hard to make a vibrant taste
Finish: it has a nice long warm finish with that spicy honey lingering and the liquid itself is very chewy and thick, the fruit nuances disappear a little too quickly

This is a great drink and it is a million times more complex than the 12. I was always a little leery of Glenfiddich but this one was pretty good! It wasn't very smooth with the flavors, coming at you fast, there was no nice flow to it. Still no Macallan...The interesting vat methods on this one do add a little something that set it apart. Go to Glenfiddich's website to read more about it! I would give this sweet and strong Scotch a 7 of 10.

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Tasting Whiskey and RedBreast 12

Ok I'm a big Scotch and Whiskey fan, thanks largely due to my last boss. He showed me the way, from that first smell of what I thought was death in a glass, to my first bottle! So for anyone who doesn't know much about whiskey it is a hard alcohol matured in a barrel, basically. There are different ingredients, distilling techniques, aging processes, and barrels. There is a huge variety in the smell, color, and flavor in whiskey. I feel that this is the reason why people taste and collect this fine drink. So how does one "taste" whiskey? This is a shortened version;

  • Pour the drink into a whiskey glass, I use Glencairn glasses. Any glass will do but it should have a slight tulip shape to concentrate the vapors into a small area. Notice the color as there are actually many different colors in whiskey.
  • Swirl the glass and watch the whiskey settle, look at the "legs" that form on the glasses. This tells a lot about the viscosity and age of the drink.
  • Smell the drink, gentle sniffs, three times. The first sniff you usually just get that smell of alcohol and nothing else. With each progressive sniff you notice more smells. I often smell honey, vanilla, smoke, and berries. ( I like Highlands and Speyside scotchs)
  • Now actual raise the glass to your lips, take a small sip and make sure the drink hits the middle of your tongue. This is possible by sticking your tongue out a little bit on the rim of the glass. This helps relieve the bite of liquor (you can do this with all drinks too). Hold the liquid in your mouth and "roll" it from side to side and notice its sweet/sour/spicy taste. When you feel ready, drink it down and feel its presence drift up your throat and you get another "taste" of the vapors as it travels down. You can add water to the drink but be careful it can alter the taste but also release a whole new level of smells! Use the same water each time.
That is how you taste whiskey/whisky! O and when you see "whisky" with no "e" its a Scotch.

OK so here is the Redbreast 12.
Color: Soft Melted Gold
Nose: It is very sweet smelling with a soft honey linger to it, hints of vanilla and light smoke
Taste:A very sweet start, with a very complex transition to a spicy honey, it ends with a smokey vanilla taste!?
Overall:It has a great lingering taste that is a pleasure to smell in your mouth. I had this with a oatmeal cookie after a spicy dish and it was AMAZING. It was a spicy pasta dish and the sweet whiskey cancelled the spicy out completely for a few minutes, then slowly let it take over my mouth again. It was truly a great pairing.

So if you couldn't tell I like whiskey/scotch! I do not abuse this fine drink as it would be dumb to waste a whole $60 bottle to a drunken spur. So enjoy and I definitely recommend this drink to others! The Irish did well with this one, I'm impressed and I normally drink Scotch only. I will have more tasting to come! I give this whiskey a 7 of 10.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cigar Review: Acid Blondie

I revisited an old friend of mine, the Acid Remi's. The blondie is part of the Remi line (blue) and a very complex mellow smoke. They smell great and taste amazing. They have that pleasant sweet wrapper and very complex smoke that is a great taste of vanilla-like spices. No Acid is overwhelming and the blues are particularly mild but still enjoyable if you aren't expecting a knock out. I can never complain about the first half of any Acid cigar. As always, I get that chemical-ly taste right before the cigar is about 3/4 burnt. I know cigars taste a little different when the burning foot gets closer to the head because of temperature and what not, but all the flavoured Acids seem to have that chemical zing. Some people may enjoy it but to me it seems like a metallic taste and its not my favorite. All in all, still a good smoke and I love the journey my tastes buds go on. They offer such an unusual experience to cigars and for that they should be respected, not mocked. I see so many posts on cigar sites bashing Acids, and for what?! Think about it... I give this cigar a 6 of 10.
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Friday, July 10, 2009

Cigar Review: CAO 65th Anniversary

I was sceptical about this one, I like CAO cigars but I figured this edition was just some promotional line. I decided on this little guy (cool tube that it came in by the way) just by chance at, here is its bio...

"CAO 65th Anniversary was blended to match Cano’s personality; it’s rich, complex and is meant to leave you with a smile on your face. The wrapper, binder and filler were taken from various farms and specific regions of Nicaragua to compose this puro. These cigars come elegantly packaged and won’t leave you disappointed. These are a must for CAO nuts and cigar enthusiasts alike"

It had a great wrapper with little flaws and a very traditional smell. Upon cutting it had a great draw and really good burn. I lit it and was pleasantly surprised at what followed. It had a very pleasant medium taste with a great earthy flavor to it. It had no spicy after taste and finished with an easy to handle smell. There were competing earthy notes playing here and it was really really good! It was like burning a nice oaky log on a summer night. Nothing too spicy or strong yet full of flavor. No smokey aftertaste as well. I really liked it and will continue my CAO search to find their best cigar.I give this cigar a 7 of 10.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cigar Review:Java

This is one of my all time favorites, it is a perfect after dinner cigar. The Java is actually a collaboration between Drew Estate and Rocky Patel. Their master cigar minds have come up with this treat! Here is what has to say;

"Java is one of the more recent Drew Estate concoctions. Coffee and cigars have been long time compliments, but Java really puts a new twist on this taste with a medium-bodied blend that has strong espresso notes with hints of chocolate. While the cigar has dominating flavors, it still maintains much of its premium tobacco qualities from its Nicaraguan fillers. The secret to this balance is the infusion process Drew Estate uses in making their cigars."

When looking at its unique box press you are instantly aware of its unique qualities. It has a slightly sweetened wrapper but nothing that noticeable, more like a little taster to enjoy before you get that creamy smoke into your mouth. The draw and burn was perfect for me and the taste is very complex. It is a mild creamy caramel and espresso, this would be like rolling up a good cappuccino and smoking it!Obviously that can't happen but Rocky and Drew have come real close! I recommend this cigar to everyone including those who don't smoke just because it is that good! Also, this little gem is only around 6 bucks! I give this cigar an 9 of 10!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cigar Review: Natural Robusto

Here is probably one of the most under rated cigars of the underrated cigars. This being Drew Estate's Natural. The natural is a combination of many different region's tobacco and a delicious blend of different flavours. Here is the copy:

"When people think about tobacco they really
limit themselves to the major tobacco growing countries like the Dominican Republic,Honduras, and Nicaragua. What most people fail to realize, is that great tobacco is grown and cultivated all over the world. Typically rare African, Himalayan and boutique tobaccos are grown in short supply making them both rare and unique. The limitations on the quantity of this tobacco makes it something that deters most cigar makers. However, where most cigar makers see difficulty, Drew Estate sees opportunity. The Natural line utilizes up to 15 different tobaccos when blending the various sizes. These tobaccos come from all corners of the globe. When these tobaccos are mixed with the premium long filler Nicaraguan tobacco and crafted by the expert rollers at Drew Estate, the result is a cigar unlike anything anyone has ever encountered. This all-natural blend is a must try for any cigar enthusiast."

It is a slightly sweet sugared wrapper but with a more natural taste and smoke to it. It is very mild but its flavour is so appealing you would have to be tasteless to not enjoy it! It is a very light and smooth mocha. For anyone that read my previous post about Dalwhinnie 15, this would be the cigar counterpart. It is very mild but packed full of flavour and it had no annoying after-taste. The Acid's by Drew just have that chemical after-taste, the Natural decided to tone it down and did a great job! Its burn and draw were perfect the whole smoke through and I would definitely buy another. Great smoke, appeals to guys like me who love both ends of the cigar spectrum. I give this great every day cigar a 7 of 10!
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