Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Back from Vacation

Monday I was in Miami, sunny, warm, 80º Miami - just returned from a nine-night Southern Caribbean cruise. We've been to the Caribbean many times before, but never to the five islands that we visited this time, that's basically why I chose this cruise, that and the fact that this was also a New Year's Eve cruise. I won't bore you with all the details about how fantastic it was, but I will mention a few cigars that I smoked along the way...

St. John's, Antigua: Montecristo No. 2 (Cuba)

You know, no matter where I go, I always have an eye-out for cigar shops or for places where cigar smoking is not taboo. Spotting this shop on Antigua was like finding a needle in a haystack, seriously! Anyway, their selection was minimal, prices high, but from what I could tell this was indeed a "legit" shop for Cuban cigars. For my taste, the best cigar in the whole store was the Monte No.2, and of course it was also the most expensive. Don't ask what I paid. I'm fairly familiar with this variety, I received a box of them a few years back from a local friend that used to travel to Habana quite often. Let me tell you, 18 out of 20 of these cigars were some of the BEST cigars I've ever smoked - smooth, rich taste, perfectly packed, excellent draw, loads of creamy smoke. Yes, this cigar is just about at the top of my "favorites" list.

So what did I think this time?
The cigar continues to live up to my expectations. A superior smoke and I would gladly replace all of my Oliva's if I could smoke these instead. But, the price-factor and that little embargo thingy make it tough to make this my go-to cigar. Maybe someday?
My Rating: 10

Basseterre, St. Kitts: Patagas Serie D No.4 (Cuba)

I purchased this cigar at the Duty Free store on St.Kitts. It was reasonably priced and I don't think I've ever smoked one of these robustos before. Anyway, I smoked this one back on board the ship that evening.

What were my thoughts?
Meh, nothing special, but then again that's just my taste. The draw was a little tight, the flavor a bit harsh or peppery at times, plus I had to re-light it more than a few times. Now I was in the Caribbean where it's pretty humid, but my other fine cigars performed flawlessly. Oh well, guess I'll cross this one off my list for now. (or until my taste change)
My Rating: 7

Stay tuned for my next post - I'll tell you a little story about the $3 Cohiba that I bought in the Dominican Republic...

Side Note:
When we arrived and when we departed Miami we spent extra nights over at the Four Seasons Hotel on Brickwell. If you have a choice, take the Suite, you won't regret it! Oh brother, I was in heaven...

A rare photo of yours truly enjoying a cigar in the Habana Club.


Chris said...

Sounds like a good time.

I went on a cruise too. I didn't buy any cigars except for when I was in St. Martin and it was 2 beers and a "Cuban" cigar for 2.99. I wasn't going to pass that up since you could walk around the town with a beer in your hand. I smoked the cigar and it taste like crap. It was a small one, so oh well.

Everything else I smoked is what I brought. I think I got about 3 cigars in. But smoked plenty more when I got home as well. Hit up the cigar lounge twice in a week. Was even able to hit up Cigar Wars on a Thursday night. One of the cigars was a Brickhouse. Very good cigar, especially for being a cheap cigar, like 5 or 6 bucks too.

I picked up a El Triunfador Sodo Blend over the weekend after the Hawks game. I ran into Will as well, the owner of The Vertigo Club. He told me to send him an email and I might be joining him for a cigar again in the future. JnJ is a pretty cool shop too. I think they were grabbing more chairs in the back after we walked and I think they were going to offer us to hang out and smoke a cigar there in the shop. (Or at least tell myself that to feel like I made some new cigar friends, haha.) But was only there to get the cigar and be on my way.

We'll have to smoke together sometime.

Kirkland Cigar Club said...

Yeah, it was a great vacation, I'll have to tell you the details sometime. You can tell me how your trip went as well.

I think I might be heading up to the Lit Lounge this weekend, maybe Friday or Saturday night, not sure yet. (too cold to smoke outside in Kirkland)

How about those Seahawks! Jeez, I watched the game on the boat and couldn't believe my eyes... Amazing!