Monday, July 26, 2010

Oliva Serie G Figurado (Cameroon)

Another beautiful warm sunny weekend in the Pacific Northwest - temperatures in the mid to upper 80's, light breeze out of the north, could not be more picture-postcard perfect. Superb weather for enjoying a fine cigar outdoors!

Anyway, Friday night at the Tobacco Patch there was an Oliva Cigar Event. Since Oliva's are one of my top brands, I made it a point stop by.

We started off at the Thai restaurant just a couple of doors down (best Thai food in town), then headed over to the Patch.

The event was pretty standard as far as discounts go - buy 3 Oliva cigars and get 1 free, and 20% off box purchases of Oliva's. Also, if you bought a box, they throw in an Oliva 6 cigar sampler. So of course I bought a box. I could have bought the same thing online for less, but I like this little shop and the guys that work there treat me very well - that's what it's all about.

So the box that I bought was the Oliva Serie G Figurados (Cameroon), they come 25 to a box. They threw in an Oliva Polo shirt and the 6 cigar sampler box as well.

Anyway, since the boxes were sealed and I didn't feel like opening them up at the store, I decided to buy one more single cigar for the evening. I bought an Oliva Serie V, which I've smoked a few times before, in fact I reviewed this variety back in May of 2009. My opinion has not changed at all. Still one of the best cigars on the market for the price.

Saturday night I opened the box of Figurados - this is another cigar that I've smoked many, many times before and to this day it is still one of my favorites - Medium bodied, exceptionally smooth, perfect draw and billows of smoke - something about the Cameroon wrapper that I really like! If you like a mild cigar that's smooth as hell, this cigar was built for you. You won't be disappointed, that's for sure!
My Rating: 9.5

This was really a nice long weekend for me. Sunday night we went to a good friend's house for what turned out to be a phenomenal dinner, and afterwards we sat out on his deck smoking cigars, drinking Courvoisier and watching the sun set over the Olympic Mountains - spectacular view of Lake Washington and the Olympics from his place.
BTW, I had a Fuentes and a Padron, I'll take the Padron any time over the Fuentes, but both were excellent smokes, especially with the Courvoisier VSOP. ;)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Hammer

Went out to dinner on Friday night over in Houghton - we ate at Shamiana Restaurant. We haven't been there in a while so we thought we'd try it again. Ugh! What a mistake. Both the food and the service were substandard. Sad, because this place used to be so good!

Anyway, Friday night we stopped by the Tobacco Patch for a cigar, I bought a J Fuego Natural Belicoso for myself and an Oliva Special for my lovely wife. Lots of people walking around downtown, mainly because of the Kirkland UnCorked Wine Festival that was going on all weekend, but also because the weather was perfect.

I've got to tell you that I'm starting to like these J Fuego cigars more and more. The Natural Belicoso that I smoked on Friday was outstanding. Medium body, perfect draw, smooth taste, basically a cigar for anytime of day. I'm thinking about buying a box or them, or maybe a box of Origens. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday I had to work until early afternoon, and Saturday night we had friends over for dinner. Everything turned out really good, thank God, after dinner we moved outside to sit around the fireplace - dessert, coffee and a handful of cigars that my good friend had brought. Unfortunately I can't remember any of the brands - probably too much booze. Didn't get to bed until 3 AM too. ;)

Sunday was the Kirkland Classic Car Show in downtown Kirkland, also it was the last day of the wine festival. We're kind of lucky that we can just walk downtown, parking really sucks when they have big events like this.  Anyway, at the car show there were probably a couple hundred cars on display, all in MINT condition. I wish I would have brought my camera, a couple of cars were totally ($$$) amazing!  (Jaw droppers!)

So after drooling over the cars, we strolled over to the Wine Festival at the marina. The festival is also a Street Fair, so there's lots to look at and plenty to eat, and of course you can sample a boatload of wine. One of the cool things that I saw this year was at the dog trainer booth. You can't believe how well-trained those dogs were, and they were all just your ordinary run-of-the-mill mutts. Definitely want these guys when I get my next dog.

On to the main event on Sunday evening

So I bought this $20+ cigar last week at the Patch and I've been itching to try it ever since.

Padron Family Reserve 1964 No.45
If you look closely at the label you'll see a little hammer between the 19 and the 64 - kind of cute.

Anyway,  when I first lit this cigar I thought that it would be no better or worse than the cigars I've been smoking all weekend, but surprisingly this little jewel proved me wrong. The cigar is near perfect. No kidding. Box pressed, oily, but firm wrapper, medium to full-bodied, maybe a little jagged on the burn, but everything else was delicious. Smooth and full flavored taste never quit. I didn't want it to stop - believe me, this cigar lasted forever too! What a great smoke though. I think you'll enjoy it once you get over the sticker price. ;)

My Rating: 9.8

Monday, July 12, 2010

4th of July

You know how they say that bad things happen in 3's...

First, my MacBook Pro laptop crapped out; turns on fine, just no display. GRReat...Next, Brazil lost in World Cup play to the Netherlands. Still can't believe that...And lastly, my checking/debit account was compromised. I've had this happen a couple of times before, so I'm somewhat of an expert on the subject, that's why I make it a point to check all my accounts daily. All this happen before I left for work. Great way to start my day...

Anyway, that all happened a week ago Friday, last week I was on vacation. Couldn't have picked a better week - beautiful warm sunny days, temp in the upper 80's, low 90's, plus I smoked some really good cigars.

LFD Cameroon Cabinets - Sno-Casino Friday
Fonseca Cubano Limitado - Tobacco Patch Saturday
4th of July - Party out in Sammamish - no cigars
Nosotros Illusione - friends over for dinner on Monday
Montecristo No.2 - BBQ at friend's house up in Somerset on Tuesday
Casa Fernandez - Wednesday at Marina
Cabaigaun Maduro - Thursday on the deck
Camacho Room 101 - Tobacco Patch Friday
My Father Cedros Deluxe - Tobacco Patch Saturday

Surprisingly I liked them all! The Camacho Room 101, Nosotros Illusione and the Cabaiguan Maduro stood out the most, really great flavor, but overall there wasn't a bad cigar in the bunch. I love when that happens! Would I buy any of these again? Absolutely! ALL of them!

Side note -
One day last week I took my wife to work, I wanted to take her car up to the Infiniti dealer and have the oil in her FX changed. Since I was on vacation, I had plenty of time to mess around with it. So off to the dealer I go. The Infiniti service department takes good care of their customers. I don't mind waiting while they change the oil - the waiting area has all sorts of little goodies to munch on, plus you can have a cappuccino, mocha, espresso, etc. while watching whatever you like on the big screen TV. BTW, the fresh-baked cookies up there are terribly addicting.

Anyway, when I was done at Infiniti, I had to blast over to the Apple store at Bell-Square and pickup my laptop that had been repaired. Turns out that it wasn't a display problem, it was the logic board. Total repair cost $1,227. I looked at the invoice and I asked the gal "is that what I have to pay?" She said that since I purchased the Apple Care Protection plan when I bought the laptop, it was free. FREE! Music to my ears. This is the second issue that I've had with my Mac, so I guess the Apple Care Plan was worth it. I walked out of the Apple store with a smile on my face. Jeez, if I would have had to pay that much money to have my computer fixed I would have blown a gasket. (Mac's are way over rated!)

So after Bell-Square, I needed to drop my wife's car off at her building. My plan was to leave her car in the building garage and then walk home (only 5 miles), this would be my exercise for the day. Anyway, after I parked the car in the garage, I called my lovely wife and we met up for coffee across the street at one of the local coffee shops. We sat outside in a little courtyard area - I think it was near 90º and we're drinking hot coffee. We're nuts, that's a fact. So after coffee I give my wife a kiss and I'm off on my walk, however I just need to make one stop - the Bellevue Tobacco Patch is only about a block away.
As I'm walking up to the Patch, I see an old acquaintance sitting out in front of the store smoking a cigar. I said "hi" and told him that this was my first visit to the new store. He said I'd like it! The Bellevue store is a little bigger than Kirkland, maybe not as big of a selection of cigars, but definitely enough room to match whatever Kirkland has. Everything is well-organized, clean and precisely where it should be. The walk-in humidor takes up most of the store, which in my opinion is its most attractive feature.
So while I was there I found a cigar that I liked, I place the cigar on the counter and paid for it. The gentleman that works there is super nice, so of course I had to talk cigars with him for a bit. Anyway, I say "good-bye" to my friend and start my afternoon walk in this 90º heat back home. I think I made it about 4 blocks past the Bellevue Post Office on Bellevue Way, which is probably a mile away from the Tobacco Patch, when I discovered that I forgot the cigar on the counter. I double-check my pockets and also the laptop case that I'm carrying - nothing. OH NO! So do I walk all the way back or come back later with my car? Oh what-the-heck, let's walk all the way back - nothing like a 6 mile walk in 90º heat. I'm not complaining though, I'll take the heat over our typical cloudy skies anytime!

Looking forward to smoking the cigar that I bought at the Patch - Padron Family Reserve No.45

One other little note - We tried out the new restaurant "Olive You" in downtown Kirkland on Saturday night - EXCELLENT!