So how was the Smoke Easy this year and where the heck was I ?? Don't ask....
Anyway, beautiful weekend here, miraculously that big ball of warmth and brightness known to most of you outside of western Washington as the sun has been hanging around here for the last few days teasing us. Fall colors are almost at their peak, so it's been gorgeous outside.
Let's see, what did I do this weekend?
First off, I met some pretty big dogs in the cigar industry up at the Lit Lounge on Friday night. Ed Ryan, one of the regional cigar reps invited us up to meet Glen Case from Exclusive Cigars. Glen is the mastermind behind the Kristoff / Vengeance / Brittania cigars. These are big on the east coast, but brand new to us out here, so it was kind of a privilege to be one of the first in the area to try some of these sticks. Glen's a pretty cool guy too - good-looking, very articulate, charismatic, and definitely passionate about his cigars. Unbelievable how much he travels every month. My lovely wife would definitely disown me!
Couple other celebrities at our table - Don Hanes, very well-known cigar rep out here introduced me to Abe Flores from PDR (Pinar del Rio) Cigars. Abe is a little more soft-spoken than Glen, but definitely just as passionate about his product - super nice guy.
BTW, Don if you're reading this, the waitress said that you paid my tab on Friday night. WOW! I owe you one, OK!
So anyway, let me go down the list of what cigar I smoked over the weekend...
Friday at the Lit Lounge
Cuban Stock Royal Selection Toro (box press)
I saw a box of these in the humidor up at the casino and I just had to have one. I'm a sucker for a box pressed cigar, I love the feel of them and this one is a truly great cigar. Not too strong, incredibly smooth and volumes of rich creamy smoke. I loved it.
My Rating 9.6
PDR 1878 Pinar del Rio Cubano Especial
This is the cigar that Abe Flores gave me and I smoked this one right after the Cuban Stock. Now I've got to tell you that I was drinking rum with the Cuban Stock and French press coffee the rest of the evening, both beverages went superbly with each of these cigars.
OK, so the PDR 1878 has a beautiful dark oily wrapper, nice feel to it, not too spongy. Judging by the wrapper I thought this might be a nicotine bomb, but it turned out to be a very enjoyable medium bodied smoke. I liked it! Plus it was basically a smoke factory - no kidding. This was the smokiest cigar I've ever seen - the smoke billows out of it. Paired with the dark coffee it was phenomenal. My only complaint was that I had to re-lite it 3 times. Who knows, they were probably fresh from the factory and needed a little time in my humidor. Anyway, it was an exceptionally good smoke.
My Rating; 8.9
So on Saturday a few cigar buddies came over to mi casa to help me detail my wife's FX35. I should re-phase that, on Saturday I helped a couple of cigar buddies detail my wife's car. It took a whopping 5 hours. My friend has every known Griot detailing product there is, and believe me we used them all. Holy Cow, that car looked brand-spanking-new when we were done. Rumor has it that we'll be doing my car next month. (oh boy!)
After all that hard work, I grabbed some cigars and booze and we headed out to the back deck. I made a fire in the fire pit, distributed the cigars, poured a few glasses of rum and scotch and we kicked back and just took it easy. I still had a few Oliva Serie G figurados left, but that's the last of them. Yes, that's one of my favorites.
Late Saturday night we went to dinner at the "Olive You Restaurant" in downtown Kirkland. I love that place, the food, service and ambiance are fantastic. BTW, I saw Edgar Martinez having a beer up at the bar.
Anyway, after dinner we strolled over to the Tobacco Patch for a late night cigar with the gang. I forgot to bring a cigar with me, so I went inside and picked out a Casa Magna Colorado from the humidor. Very nice cigar indeed, but I would more than likely rate it a tad lower on my list than the Oliva, PDR or the Cuban Stock. Really, nothing wrong with it, just not the top of the list.
My Rating: 8
Lastly, Sunday night after a BIG Brazilian feijoada dinner, I kicked back with my daughter out on the back deck. I'd been looking forward to trying out the cigar that Glen gave me on Friday night. I lit up the fireplace and grabbed a cup of fresh coffee.
Kristoff Brittania Reserva, Torpedo (Exclusive Cigars)
Glen told me that this cigar was named after his daughter Britney, and not surprisingly the Kristoff cigars are named after his son Christopher. It's really a good-looking cigar - beautiful wrapper, long torpedo size, but what's most unusual about it is the pigtail top and the unwrapped foot - very unique. Of course they're the first things to go bye-bye once you lite it up.
So I've heard that this is a good morning cigar, maybe because of its Honduran Connecticut wrapper, but personally I found it a bit spicy for the first cigar of the day. For me, this was the perfect cigar to end a great weekend, kind of a celebration cigar. I'm not going to tell you that this was the best cigar that I smoked all weekend, but it was pretty close. Very smooth, good draw, and a big flavor made this a delicious smoke.
My Rating: 8
Thanks you guys for the wonderful cigars - I hope we can do it again soon!
So I asked Don Hanes this question: "If you could only smoke one cigar brand for the rest of your life, what would it be?"
He answered back: "A free one".
My kind of guy!