Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Big Cigar Weekend

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!

Side note:
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!



Chris said...

How come you didn't go to the Cigar Smoke Easy? I went and was able to drag my dad along with me. Otherwise it would have just been myself. I had a great time, got a ton of cigars and never really tried any of the free liquors that were on display. I was bummed that I didn't win anything cool from the raffles, maybe next year. I'm a bit bummed to not read a review about the event. I thought for sure you would have gone.

I was in Kirkland on Friday night and stopped into the cigar store. I swear every time I go into that place the guy working there makes it seem like younger people aren't allowed in there. I walked in and asked if I could go into the humidor but stopped me and asked if I was looking for something in particular. Which I was but it wasn't in the walk in in first place and then kind of sent me on my way after I found what I wanted. I always feel rushed out in that place...I don't know. Kind of annoys me.

Anyways, I picked up a Vintage 1997 to give it a try as well and collect the cool ring on it, haha. I'll probably smoke it sometime within the next couple weeks. On a sad note, I'm down to my last Cabaiguan cigar. Not sure if I'm going to order another box or maybe try to find another "go-to" cigar.

Good read like always.

Kirkland Cigar Club said...

I thought for sure I was going too, but at the last-minute things changed. Oh well, there's always next year.

Let me know the next time you're down my way - I'll make sure they treat you right! Nothing worse than having someone looking over your shoulder while you're trying to decide what to buy! JEEZ

You know if you like Cabaiguans, which I do too, you might try one of the Cuban Stocks. They're really good.

Thanks for the comments Chris!

Chris said...

That is funny that you mention the Cuban Stock. I have tried one and I loved it. I need to get my hands on some more of those.

Well every time I go into the shop there in Kirkland it's always the same guy, the uni-brow guy(no offense, haha). But whatever, I got what I needed and was on my way.

Too bad it's getting colder, I don't go down town to Kirkland a lot but now that it's getting colder my chances of going down there are slimmer. So it probably won't be till it gets warmer before I go down there to hang around and smoke a cigar to meet some fellow cigar smokers.

Kirkland Cigar Club said...

Too funny Chris - there's more than one uni-brow down there, but I think I know who you're talking about. :)

Yeah, you've got to be a real diehard to want to smoke cigars outside in the wintertime. Surprisingly you'll usually find someone at the Patch year-round. We're nuts!