Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Humidor Issues

Have you ever lit up a cigar and had the wrapper start to unravel on you, or maybe notice a little cracking on either end of the stick? Well, you're not alone. At first I thought I was continually buying crappy cigars, but as it turned out I actually have a crappy humidor. No wait, it couldn't be the humidor, I have a really nice one($$). Could it be the "operator"?  Ah, of course...

The Quick Fix

First, I needed an easier way to measure the RH/relative humidity in my humidor - my old analog hygrometer works, but for some reason I never check it. Huhn? What's up with that? So while I was over in Georgetown the other day, I stopped by Rain City Cigars and picked up a Xicar digital display hygrometer - it'll measure both the RH percentage and the temperature. Exactly what I'm looking for!

When I got home that night, I placed my brand-spanking-new hygrometer inside the humidor, waited a few hours, then took a look. How embarrassing - that box was basically bone-dry. JEEZus! It would need to be re-seasoned/recharged, whatever you call it, but in the meantime I needed a quick fix for my sticks!

Step Two - Bóveda Humidipaks

Surprisingly I didn't see these over at Rain City, but the Tobacco Patch in Kirkland has just about everything, including a couple of varieties of the Bóveda, so I picked up some of the 72% RH bags. Now since my humidor was almost bone dry, it wouldn't really do me any good to just throw these bags into the humidor and shut the lid, no, my humidor would need more attention than that, so in the meantime time I placed all my cigars into a BIG Ziploc bag along with two Bóveda humidpak and put them to bed.

The next day I take a look at the digital display on the hygrometer that I had placed inside the bag: 70% RH and 67º degrees. WOW!

These humidipaks were made for idiots like me. No mess, no measuring, no brains required, just change them every couple of months (or when they dry out) and you're good to go. What could be easier?

Side note: You're probably wondering what I used for humidification before this? Well, I had a couple of those green foam thingamabobs that are enclosed in a round plastic case. I would add the 50/50 solution of distilled water and Propylene Glycol religiously, but my biggest downfall was not trusting my analog hygrometer, which as it turns out works perfectly; calibrated it the other day.

My new motto: "Always trust your instruments"


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lit Lounge Newsletter March 26, 2011

Upcoming Events at Lit

Our next Tuesday Night Cigar Club event will be on March 29 as we are joined by our good friend and whiskey expert Ari Shapiro.
We'll be featuring fantastic single malts from Bowmore and Glenrothes as well as Macanudo's new Cru Royale.
As always, we'll have free appetizers great specials and lots of prizes. The party starts at 6pm. We'll see you there!

Every Thursday, come take part in our blind tasting experience, Cigar Wars, where we smoke and rate cigars to determine what you think are the best cigars in the humidor.
It's a lot of fun, and more importantly a great deal. Get a cigar along with a draft beer or well drink for only $10. Last week, you rated the El Triunfador #2 by Tatuaje an 81.

Cigar Spotlight - Carlos Toraño Exodus 50 Year

Brand new to our humidor, the Carlos Toraño Exodus 50 year box pressed cigar was #12 on Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 list for 2010.

It's an impeccably constructed and complex cigar, that has been received with rave reviews so far. In this interview, Carlos talks about the Exodus and has this to say:

"This is a cigar for all seasons. If you like a cigar that is a bit stronger, or if you like one that has good taste, everybody likes this cigar. It's very flavorful, easy to smoke, very pleasant, and gives you a good feeling. It's one of those cigars that after you smoke it, you ask if you can have another. It's a very beautiful cigar to smoke."

Lit Cigar Lounge/Snoqualmie Casino | 37500 SE North Bend Way | Snoqualmie | WA | 98065

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Montecristo Classic

I Stopped by the Tobacco Patch on St. Patrick's Day to say "hello" to the gang. Perfect night to sit outside and enjoy a cigar. As an added bonus you could watch all the Irish on their way over to the Wilde Rover Irish Pub, it's just a few doors down.  Anyone make it over there for St. Patrick's Day? That was definitely the place to be this year! What a zoo, and I mean that in a good way! What, maybe a thousand people showed up? Holy Crap!

Anyway, no cigar for me on Thursday - I have to adhere to my "no smoking Monday through Thursday" policy. Don't ask, it's just something I do...

So Friday, Cigar Night, of course it was pouring down rain, so we skipped Kirkland and drove up to the casino to gamble a bit, but more importantly, enjoy a fine cigar - INDOORS! Speaking of inside, I was over at Rain City Cigars in Georgetown yesterday and they told me that HB 1683 is still alive and well. Currently it's in the House Ways and Means Committee. Could be interesting if this Bill passes...

Anyway, always a good time up at the Lit. One thing that stands out about this place is that they go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Technically, you could probably sit there all night and never buy a drink or a cigar and they would still treat you as if you were the most important person in the room. No kidding! You can see why it's so busy, especially on the weekends. Nice job Josh! (El Jefe)

Saturday night was actually quite nice outside, but we decided to stay home and have our cigars out on the deck instead of going down to the Patch. We have a pretty good setup here on our back deck - fireplace, patio heater, comfortable chairs, music, plus the bathroom is only steps away...

We started the evening with an Oliva, but finished with a Montecristo Classic. Not a bad cigar at all.

I reviewed this one last year as well: Montecristo

My views haven't changed really, still a very good smoke - kind of a nice change from an Oliva.

I wanted to let you know that their promotion is still going on, but not for much longer.

Montecristo Classic Cigars - $9.95 (that includes shipping)
3 Cigar Trial Samplers
(Click the photo below)

It takes about 6 weeks for delivery, so keep your pants on!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lit Cigar Lounge Newsletter 3/20/11

Upcoming Events at Lit

Our next Tuesday Night Cigar Club event will be on March 22 as we feature Belvedere vodka along with CAO and Sancho Panza cigars. As always, we'll have free appetizers great specials and lots of prizes.

Every Thursday, come take part in our blind tasting experience, Cigar Wars, where we smoke and rate cigars to determine what you think are the best cigars in the humidor. It's a lot of fun, and more importantly a great deal. Get a cigar along with a draft beer or well drink for only $10. Last week, we had a great turnout and you rated the Partagas Black Label Clasico an 89, tying it for our highest rating in the short history of Cigar Wars. Come in and have your voice heard!

Cigar Box Guitars

This isn't a story about cigars, but I thought it was worth passing along. Guests are telling us all the time about interesting things they do with empty cigar boxes, and this might be the most creative one yet.

Small guitars made out of empty cigar boxes are popping up everywhere, including this article in the L.A. Times.

If you're interested in more information on how to build your own, there's an online community called Cigar Box Nation dedicated to this unique hobby!

Lit Cigar Lounge/Snoqualmie Casino | 37500 SE North Bend Way | Snoqualmie | WA | 98065

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Guillermo León Cigars

Relentless rain over the weekend, just nasty, crappy, wet weather. I guess it's typical for this part of the country, but you never get used to it, at least I never have and I've lived here my whole life.

Anyway, on the brighter-side, on Saturday night while we were at the Lit Cigar Lounge, I picked up a couple of cigars that I haven't tried before. BTW Josh, I noticed that my beautiful Partagas humidor is still sitting in there. What, maybe another month before I can come and pick it up?
Backing up one night, Friday night we were down at the Patch. Hard to believe, but the rain had stopped long enough for us to hook-up with the gang and enjoy a cigar and a mocha. Really was quite pleasant for a couple of hours. Got to take advantage of it while you can!

Saturday night started at Kanishka Restaurant out in Redmond, this is their new place just down the street from where they used to be. The atmosphere and ambiance are much nicer here, and the food is just the same - delicious! In my opinion it's the best Indian cuisine on the Eastside. As usual, I ate way too much. Cigar time? Yes!

Torrential rain driving up to the casino, not our normal Seattle drizzle, but that big Miami-rain-drop crap. Ugly stuff. Thank God for valet parking up at the casino.

So I'll skip the part about how much money I lost on the slot machines and tell you about the cigar that I chose from their humidor:

Guillermo León Gran Corona Toro (6.5 x 50 58)
I don't know why I've been choosing the bigger ring gauge cigars lately, maybe psychologically I think that I'm getting more for my money, I don't know, maybe?. Anyway, I liked this cigar, but I think I'd like one of the smaller version better. Big cigars like this can be a lot of work - they don't always burn all that great, you have to give them a little bigger puff, and they can burn a little hot at times. But that being said, it was a good smoke - very smooth medium-bodied cigar, not real complex, but a very satisfying cigar that lasted forever.

Would I buy it again? Not this size, but I definitely want to try the smaller ring size.

My Rating: 8

Sunday afternoon, still raining, maybe it's time to start construction on the ark? Who knows, maybe it'll stop soon. Anyway, I'd done pretty much everything that I had to do, so I broke out the other cigar that I picked up while I was up at the Lit Cigar Lounge.

La Gloria Cubana Serie N Rojo (6 ½” x 46)
You'll find a coupon for it in this month's edition of Cigar Aficionado.

Anyway, it seems like I've smoke quite a few LGC cigars lately, most I didn't really care for all that much, but this cigar is different, this one I really liked. Beautiful dark firm wrapper, perfect burn, full-bodied flavor and tons of rich smoke. Yeah, this was really good. My only little issue was that I smoked it a little too fast - this is a nicotine bomb in disguise. Oh yeah, I was getting a pretty good buzz, so I had to slow it WAY down. But it was worth it, excellent cigar!

My Rating: 8.9 (yeah, it surprised me too!)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Berger and Argenti Cigars

My good friend Chris was nice enough to write a little something about the Berger and Argenti Cigar Event over at J n J Cigars last Thursday. After reading what Chris wrote I wish I would have gone!
BTW,  if you didn't see the photo of the Grand Prize winner at the Lit Series #7 Event, here it is -

Way to go Chris!
 Señor Chris

So I said I wasn’t going to go to the cigar event down at JnJ because I had class that evening and didn’t want to be out late on a work night either. Well I lied and skipped my class and braved the somewhat late night and checked out the event. It was pretty cool. They had some of their other cigars there as well, such as the Mooch and Classicos. The main highlight was the Entubars. To be honest, they have a cool look to them and kind of strange to me, but I was more interested in trying the Classico. Also, the Entubar is kind of weird to me, most cigars are all similar when it comes to construction and the way they’re made, but obviously you got to do something a bit different to stand out, in which, the Entubar does. I didn’t smoke one when I was there but I did buy some. They had some deals like buy 3 get 1 free kind of thing. Well I bought 3 and the co-founder of the B&A just kept handing out free ones. So I bought 3, got 3 free, haha. My brother and I went in on a box too of the Classico Corona Gordas and they gave us another 12 cigars for free on top of that. So I came home with quite a bit. I’ll have to give ya one to try. I really enjoyed it and it had great flavor and lots of smoke. I got quite a few of the Entubars as well. They have one that has the same wrapper as the Classico and then another with a Maduro wrapper.

After we bought our box, John the owner of JnJ let my brother and I go up to the Vertigo Club to smoke a cigar. He said who ever bought a box that night would be allowed to go upstairs and smoke a cigar. Me having been there before, I already knew what to expect of the place. My brother on the other hand, it was his first time there. He thought the place was the coolest place he’s ever been to. Will was there earlier in the night but I haven’t seen him yet and when we went upstairs to smoke another cigar, Will was already gone to get something to eat. I was hoping he would have returned so I could say hello again, but no luck. I’ll have to shoot him an email.

Well that’s my story about the cigar event. They have 2 more coming up in April. One is on the 9th and the other is on the 29th. Both on a weekend night, so that’ll be awesome, be able to stay out later. 

Nice job Chris!

Lit Cigar Lounge Newsletter 2/12/11

Upcoming Events at Lit

Join us for a St. Patrick's themed installment of our Tuesday Night Cigar Club on March 15. We'll be featuring Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Bailey's Irish Cream along with J. Fuego cigars.

As always the event starts at 6pm with prizes, drink and cigar specials and appetizers.

Every Thursday, come take part in our blind tasting experience, Cigar Wars, where we smoke and rate cigars to determine what you think are the best cigars in the humidor. It's a lot of fun, and more importantly a great deal. Get a cigar along with a draft beer or well drink for only $10. Last week, our tough crowd of discerning smokers rated the EP Carrillo Club 52 a pedestrian 74. Come in and have your voice heard!

New in our Humidor

We've just received a few outstanding new cigars in the humidor worth checking out.
The first is Master by Carlos Torano, a collaboration between Charlie Torano and master roller Felipe Sosa.

Charlie describes it as"having a bold, rich flavor... it's for the man with a seasoned palate, a cigar that fully satisfies after an opulent meal or an evening pairing with spirits. True aficionados will discern and appreciate the balanced flavor and body." 

The second cigar is a gem call Guillermo Leon, named after the 5th generation head of La Aurora Cigars, the oldest cigar factory in the Dominican Republic.

Here's what Guillermo has to say about this cigar.

"Obviously, this cigar is personal for me. It is part of my family's legacy for the past 107 years. In this cigar, I wanted something with deep complexity yet also a stronger smoke than most of our offerings. I think this is something that will please today's smokers."

 Lit Cigar Lounge/Snoqualmie Casino | 37500 SE North Bend Way | Snoqualmie | WA | 98065

Monday, March 7, 2011

LGC Serie R No.6

Surprisingly nice over the weekend, not all that warm outside, but it was pleasant enough to take a nice long walk from my house down to the Marina - I'm trying to finish off the Serie R cigars that I got the week before so I brought one with me, plus I needed to buy some butane over at the Patch.

Anyway, last week was the No. 7, this week the No. 6.

LGC Serie R No.6
5 7/8 x 60

First impression: Ring size is too big, not comfortable in the hand.
Second issue: Terrible burn, totally uneven. (luckily it didn't unravel like the No. 7)

On the plus side - reasonably good taste; little on the full-bodied side.

Would I buy one of these again? Neg, not a chance. Not my type of smoke. In fact, after dinner last night my lovely wife and I were out on the back deck having a drink and smoking a couple of Oliva's. My wife mentioned to me that the Oliva's were far superior to the LGC cigar that we had earlier. I could not have agreed with her more! Good call Honey!

My Rating: 7

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lit Cigar Lounge Newsletter March 5 2011

Upcoming Events at Lit

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Lit Smoker Series event last Saturday. We had a great turnout and everyone seemed to have a fantastic time.

The Macallan was flowing and the La Gloria Cubanas were burning for sure! If you're interested in seeing pictures from the event, click here. Our friend John wrote a great review at his Kirkland Cigar Club blog. Check it out!

We have a special Tuesday Night Cigar Club on March 8 as we're joined by our good friend Jon Stave with Woodford Reserve Bourbon. We have a small amount left of the 2010 Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Maplewood Finish. Try it before it's gone forever! We'll also be featuring the very popular Edge line from Rocky Patel. As always the event starts at 6pm with prizes, drink and cigar specials and appetizers.

Cigar Wars

Thank you to everyone who's been coming out to participate in our Thursday Night Cigar Wars blind tasting. For those of you not familiar, each week we offer a different unbanded cigar that our guests smoke and rate.

It's a fantastic deal - you get the cigar plus the choice of a well drink or draft beer for $10 dollars. Here's the leaderboard, the ratings our guests have given over the past few weeks:

-Cuban Stock Royal Selection Robusto 89
-La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Robusto 88
-Montecristo Yellow #2 86
-Montecristo 75th Anniversary Lancero 76

To participate in Cigar Wars, visit us at Lit any Thursday evening after 5 p.m.

See you soon!

Lit Cigar Lounge/Snoqualmie Casino | 37500 SE North Bend Way | Snoqualmie | WA | 98065

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Berger & Argenti Cigar Event - ENTUBAR

From my friend John over at JnJ Cigars...


WHEN:  Thursday March 10th   
  From 7 to 10 PM

WHERE:  J & J CIGARS in SODO district

ADDRESS:  3207 1st Ave S., Seattle

The spring is just around the corner and let's kick start it by having a Cigar Event at J & J Cigars!

These are highly rated cigars and they are getting a lot of good reviews from the cigar world!  Come and meet AL ARGENTI of
Berger & Argenti.  The specials are buy three get additional one cigar, buy five get additional two cigars and buy a box get TEN extras, on top of 10% discount!  This is an insane deal! 

Also, adult beverages will be sampled.  Therefore, come down to the shop and smoke the winter blues away!