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  • TatuajeVITatuajeVI Posts: 2,378
    Unfortunate. I am considering smoking a couple super premiums from fuente this friday. celebrating a friend's engagement and I need an excuse to smoke some really good sticks. Think I'll bring an OpusX and a DC 30th Anniversary. I'll report back on the two and hopefully I have a better experience than you. My first OpusX (I had it in February - the ****) was outstanding.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    Rob1110:
    Picked up two of the GOF DC 06 with the lighters on here fairly recently and have been staring at them ever since. Finally lit one up yesterday and was completely disappointed with this stick. Maybe I got a bad one in the bunch, but The wrapper was cracked in a few spots before lighting and cracked and split even further while I was smoking it. Not what I would expect from a Fuente super premium.

    On top of bad performance, the flavors just weren't there. It started off ok with some wood and slight sweet notes. Surprisingly, no spice in there at all. About an inch in...bitter. This continued until I finally just put it out and tossed it in total disgust and disappointment about half-way through.

    This puts me at 0-3 with Fuente super premiums latley (Casa Fuente was completly flavorless and the Lost City just lost my attention and failed to wow). Not looking good. I've also noticed the latest opuses that I've had just weren't nearly as good as the older ones I have stashed away. What the hell are those guys doing? Have they given up on quality now that they have the undivided attention (not to mention, wallets) of more than half of the cigar world?
    eh, your probably right. I enjoy the gof's from 06 but I have one that was damaged in the box I have. Not bad just some tearing near the band. I hear that the opus cigars have lost their goodness they once had however I hear a lot of people say that the 09 bunch was pretty good. I have enjoyed all the opus's I've had thus far. I wasn't a huge fan of the FX though, and I doubt I'll like the casa fuente. Overall I think fuente just doesn't deliver on my taste profile. I only really like a few cigars from them, woa maddy, opus, gof, well and the anejo. Thing is, I personally feel that there are better cigars out there. I'd almost smoke a ruination over an opus now.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    phobicsquirrel:
    Rob1110:
    Picked up two of the GOF DC 06 with the lighters on here fairly recently and have been staring at them ever since. Finally lit one up yesterday and was completely disappointed with this stick. Maybe I got a bad one in the bunch, but The wrapper was cracked in a few spots before lighting and cracked and split even further while I was smoking it. Not what I would expect from a Fuente super premium.

    On top of bad performance, the flavors just weren't there. It started off ok with some wood and slight sweet notes. Surprisingly, no spice in there at all. About an inch in...bitter. This continued until I finally just put it out and tossed it in total disgust and disappointment about half-way through.

    This puts me at 0-3 with Fuente super premiums latley (Casa Fuente was completly flavorless and the Lost City just lost my attention and failed to wow). Not looking good. I've also noticed the latest opuses that I've had just weren't nearly as good as the older ones I have stashed away. What the hell are those guys doing? Have they given up on quality now that they have the undivided attention (not to mention, wallets) of more than half of the cigar world?
    eh, your probably right. I enjoy the gof's from 06 but I have one that was damaged in the box I have. Not bad just some tearing near the band. I hear that the opus cigars have lost their goodness they once had however I hear a lot of people say that the 09 bunch was pretty good. I have enjoyed all the opus's I've had thus far. I wasn't a huge fan of the FX though, and I doubt I'll like the casa fuente. Overall I think fuente just doesn't deliver on my taste profile. I only really like a few cigars from them, woa maddy, opus, gof, well and the anejo. Thing is, I personally feel that there are better cigars out there. I'd almost smoke a ruination over an opus now.
    i agree. the fuentes that i like are the OpusX, Anejo, GoF, and Don Carlos (but much like the OpusX only after a few years in the humidor) the flavor profile is not my cup of tea all the time. i have to really be in the mood for one.

    i do feel that they do a decent job at maduros in general though. the reserva maduro i can smoke just about whenever, but they tend to end on a note that i dont like all that much. i always take that one extra puff thats too hot and bitter

    i will almost always take an LFD DL or an AVO Domaine over an OpusX. (still LOVE the OpusX though)


    and you are right about the 09 opus being good. IMHO the 09 OpusX is as good as the 06 was in 06. so far that has been my favorite year. plus they age VERY well. snag up the 09s while you can. hope '10s are good.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    Hopefully you guys who haven't had the DC have better experiences than me. I had an 05 Carlito a while back and remember enjoying it, but didn't feel it was a $20+ stick. I have a few more 05 carlitos and one 04 as well as two more 06 DCs. I'll give it another chance before I give some expensive sticks away but I think the general consensus is that some of the higher Fuente stuff has gone down hill a bit.

    The first opus I smoked was most likely an 07 perfexion #5 and I remember that stick blowing me away. Shortly after, I had a **** and really enjoyed that one too. Luckily I picked up a few of each and have been aging them since. When I went back almost a year later to find more perfexion #5's had come in, I was really excited but noticed the wrapper was a bit lighter. When I got home and compared, it looked like the difference between a beautiful rosado (07) and a slightly darkened connecticut (08). Long story short, I smoked one of the newer ones and wasn't impressed at all. Now I pay close attention to the wrapper on those.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    First, I'll mention that I've never been a fan of the Partagas brand. The first stick I tried was either the 150 or 160 series. It was a long time ago and all I really remember was I paid over $20 for a stick I didn't really enjoy all that much. Next was one of their standard lines (again I don't remember exactly which one) and again was disappointed. I stayed away from the brand all together until Squirrel recently sent me a Partagas Black. I had always been intrigued by that particular line, so I figured I'd give them another shot. While I didn't love that cigar, I liked it enough to say I'd smoke it again.

    Enough back story, let's get to the cigar at hand. I recently picked up the Cifuentes Fall 04 Septembre on the daily deal here (5 cigars for $15 with free shipping from the Father's Day promo). I wanted to let them rest a while, but ccom is nice enough to ship humidified, so I didn't feel bad about pulling one out of the humi early to light up.

    Considering these were rolled back in 04 and have been aging since, I got what I expected. The cigar was mellow, smooth and very consistent throughout. The flavors seemed well married and there was not much evolution to the smoke. Not to say it was a bad smoke, it was still fairly complex, but everything came and went the same on every puff. Very earthy flavors - leather, earth, barnyard and tobacco. Not sweet, not bitter, not spicy, just earthy. Would I buy more? Maybe, at the right price, but I'll stick with what I've got for now. Maybe let some age a few more years to see where they go from here.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    Rob1110:
    First, I'll mention that I've never been a fan of the Partagas brand. The first stick I tried was either the 150 or 160 series. It was a long time ago and all I really remember was I paid over $20 for a stick I didn't really enjoy all that much. Next was one of their standard lines (again I don't remember exactly which one) and again was disappointed. I stayed away from the brand all together until Squirrel recently sent me a Partagas Black. I had always been intrigued by that particular line, so I figured I'd give them another shot. While I didn't love that cigar, I liked it enough to say I'd smoke it again.

    Enough back story, let's get to the cigar at hand. I recently picked up the Cifuentes Fall 04 Septembre on the daily deal here (5 cigars for $15 with free shipping from the Father's Day promo). I wanted to let them rest a while, but ccom is nice enough to ship humidified, so I didn't feel bad about pulling one out of the humi early to light up.

    Considering these were rolled back in 04 and have been aging since, I got what I expected. The cigar was mellow, smooth and very consistent throughout. The flavors seemed well married and there was not much evolution to the smoke. Not to say it was a bad smoke, it was still fairly complex, but everything came and went the same on every puff. Very earthy flavors - leather, earth, barnyard and tobacco. Not sweet, not bitter, not spicy, just earthy. Would I buy more? Maybe, at the right price, but I'll stick with what I've got for now. Maybe let some age a few more years to see where they go from here.
    The blacks are sort of bland now-a-days to me. Yeah I like 'em but not enough to go out of the way for them. I tend to agree that partagas hasn't really hit me either but I do enjoy their limited 98 cigars as they are rather tasty.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    Picked up a 5 pack of these a few weeks ago and just stuck them in my humi to rest. Pulled them out the other day to take a look and noticed one was cracked pretty badly around the head, so why not smoke that one to see if I like them. Once I got into it, I realized the damage was much worse than I initially thought, but I was determined to get through this cigar.

    Aside from the cracks in the wrapper and slight burn problems due to them, this was a wonderful cigar in the flavor department. Wood, fresh cut hay and sweet spices with a burst of pepper on the initial light made this a great and complex cigar. Hopefully the others don't have the same wrapper problems.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    For Father's Day, my girlfriend and I took our parents to Capital Grille for a fantastic, but VERY expensive dinner. Afterwards, I decided "what better way to cap off such a great night and outstanding meal (not to mention celebrating NOT being a dad - no offense to any dads) than to light up one of my prized cigars?"

    With a dark, chocolate brown wrapper and its perfect construction, the Opus X Belicoso brought a pre-light draw of raisin and hay. It clipped and lit easily and perfectly, giving lots of smoke with notes of wood and mineral notes followed by a bit of spice. Moving half-way into the cigar, some bitter cocoa notes joined the minerality, which, unfortunately, remained for the entire smoke. The resting smoke had notes of sweet spices and hay. Also, worth a mention the burn issues - the cigar did require quite a few touch ups. While it was still a decent cigar, it wasn't quite worth what I paid for it and the flavors and complexity of the 5 Vegas Limitada 2010 that I had earlier in the day was much better for a fraction of the price. While still fairly young for an Opus (sat in my humi for 6 months), I expected more. However, that being said, I feel these will do better with a few years if those mineral notes begin to disappear.

    On to the Rum. This is a 20 year old rum developed by Gabriel and Associates - owners of the Pierre Ferrand house of cognac. The rum, from what I've read and been told, spends at least 12 years in American Bourbon barrels before being moved to Cognac barrels for the remainder of its life. This aging brings out complexities and subtleties in the rum that you don't find in some other rums in its price range ($40 on average).

    The rum was poured in a tulip glass with a splash of spring water to open it up. The nose is full of vanilla bean and sugar cane. The body is heavy and syrupy, showing notes of vanilla, bananas foster, slight citrus and finally oak on the finish.
  • bandyt09bandyt09 AKA Mr. Barley & Mr. HopsPosts: 4,339 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rob1110:
    On to the Rum. This is a 20 year old rum developed by Gabriel and Associates - owners of the Pierre Ferrand house of cognac. The rum, from what I've read and been told, spends at least 12 years in American Bourbon barrels before being moved to Cognac barrels for the remainder of its life. This aging brings out complexities and subtleties in the rum that you don't find in some other rums in its price range ($40 on average).

    The rum was poured in a tulip glass with a splash of spring water to open it up. The nose is full of vanilla bean and sugar cane. The body is heavy and syrupy, showing notes of vanilla, bananas foster, slight citrus and finally oak on the finish.
    Hey do you know if this rum is avaiable on the market? If so, what is the exact name because I love me some good rum. Any help would be appreciated, thanks Todd
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    The brand is actually called Plantation Rum. It's their 20th anniversary rum - they offer single estate vintage rums as well as a 5 year rum, which is good but obviously younger in taste than the 20 year. I found the 5 year to have a bit more spice with some light floral notes, while the 20 year is much heavier, slightly sweeter, less spice, smoother character and more oak on the finish.

    If you can't find it, I'd also higly recommend Ron Zacapa Centenario and Zaya - both full bodied, dark, sweet, sipping rums in the $ 30 - 40 price range. Pyrat XO is good, as well as the Cruzan Single Estate rum - both on the lighter side with more banana, floral and some tropical fruit notes.

    If people are into the spirit reviews, I'll start posting those here as well, as I'm a bit of a booze snob as much as I am with my cigars.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    I did a review on this cigar (Montecristo Media Noche Edmundo) a while back and this one was pretty similar. I did notice more cedar this time with the bittersweet cocoa more in the background. I did briefly notice that anise note again - still very subtle.

    Paired this cigar with a slightly aged grappa that I picked up recently. I know it is Nardini, but aside from that, all I can make out are the words Aquavite and Bassano. I'm pretty sure this refers to the family, village and estate where the Grappa is produced in Italy. I was told this is one of the oldest Grappa distilleries in Italy.

    This drink is a pale yellow in the glass due to the short aging, where common unaged Grappa would be clear. As with all other alcoholic drinks, as well as cigars, the aging process generally adds so much depth while taking away undesirable traits to the alcohol. The nose is fresh cut grass, grape seed and possibly a very faint citrus, such as sweet lemon. The notes are initial sweetness, white grape and grape seed with grassy and slightly woody undertones. Cut with the right amount of water, this Grappa is really nice.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    Rob1110:
    The brand is actually called Plantation Rum. It's their 20th anniversary rum - they offer single estate vintage rums as well as a 5 year rum, which is good but obviously younger in taste than the 20 year. I found the 5 year to have a bit more spice with some light floral notes, while the 20 year is much heavier, slightly sweeter, less spice, smoother character and more oak on the finish.

    If you can't find it, I'd also higly recommend Ron Zacapa Centenario and Zaya - both full bodied, dark, sweet, sipping rums in the $ 30 - 40 price range. Pyrat XO is good, as well as the Cruzan Single Estate rum - both on the lighter side with more banana, floral and some tropical fruit notes.

    If people are into the spirit reviews, I'll start posting those here as well, as I'm a bit of a booze snob as much as I am with my cigars.
    Is that 20 year something you know where to get it?
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    Most of the bigger liquor stores around here carry it, but I don't know if it can be found anywhere. Some states don't carry certain types of booze or can't get them because of some stupid blue law. If you have a good liquor store that you frequent, it might be worth it to ask if they can order it.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    I think it was this past Thursday night that I pulled out a Limitada 08 and decided to experiment with a new cocktail for myself. First the cigar.

    This cigar, after a year in my humi, is almost exactly how I remember it when it first went in there. Mostly woody, some spice, bits of cocoa and some bitterness. Slightly wavy burn line, but all in all, still a decent cigar. I have to say, between the 08, 09 and 10, the 10 was my favorite Limitada so far by a good stretch.

    The cocktail I mixed was mostly following the traditional cocktail theory of two parts strong, one part sweet and a dash of bitters to balance. I used two parts B&B, one part Green Chartreuse, one part simple syrup and a dash of Angostura Bitters. I have to say, I really enjoyed it. The spicy notes in each drink, with the sweet notes from the both and the simple syrup, balanced out with some slight bitterness made this a good, well balanced, strong cocktail with a very classic feel to it. I'll also try another variation with Absinthe in place of the Chartreuse when I get myself a new bottle of Absinthe.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    Almost forgot, I also had a Gurkha Corniche this past Friday night. This is supposed to be the Royal Salute cigar (the triple infused KL XIII cigar) without the infusion process. After smelling the tube and cigar, I refuse to believe that this cigar is not infused at all. It has the same cognac/grape-like sweetness on the nose as well as the draw when unlit and a slight lingering sweetness on the draw once lit. Either way this was a fantastic cigar. Thanks Squirrel for sending this one my way!
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    Last night I lit up a Camacho San Luis y Martinez (#4) and created a few new Gin drinks for myself.

    The cigar smelled of tobacco and slight barnyard. Having already smoked a few of these in the past, I mostly knew what to expect with this one. Wood and spice upon the light with bitter cocoa notes coming in shortly thereafter. While most of the cigar comprised of these main flavors, there was some occasional harsh bitterness that may have been due to drawing too quickly on such a small cigar. When I slowed down and shortened my puffs, most of the bitterness went away. Overall, a good cigar with more of a medium body and earthy profile.

    I purchased a bottle of Hendrick's Gin (if you're a Gin drinker, you have to try this gin if you haven't already) a while ago and just never got around to opening it. I don't drink gin that often, but was in the mood for it last night. Hendrick's goes really well with cucumber and that's what's recommended in a Hendrick's martini. I took it a step further and used the cucumber skin and some simple syrup and gin to muddle the cucumber and infuse that flavor into the gin before pouring. Some simple syrup, gin and a few slivers of cucumber skin in a glass and use a muddler to crush the cucumber. Add more gin and some ice cubes. Allow the ice cubes to open up the gin while stirring, then strain into a martini glass. The rest of the gin/cucumber/sugar mixture was topped off with sparkling spring water to top it off. Both drinks were great, light, slightly sweet and very smooth summer drinks. Honestly, I have to say, it also worked fairly well as a pallet cleanser rather than killing the taste of the cigar.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    Rob1110:
    Almost forgot, I also had a Gurkha Corniche this past Friday night. This is supposed to be the Royal Salute cigar (the triple infused KL XIII cigar) without the infusion process. After smelling the tube and cigar, I refuse to believe that this cigar is not infused at all. It has the same cognac/grape-like sweetness on the nose as well as the draw when unlit and a slight lingering sweetness on the draw once lit. Either way this was a fantastic cigar. Thanks Squirrel for sending this one my way!
    You know right? I don't think it's the same blend though. I could be wrong but I get a different flavor from it than the royal salute. At any rate I enjoy the cigar. btw they come in the same box as the royals... lol.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    Rob1110:
    Last night I lit up a Camacho San Luis y Martinez (#4) and created a few new Gin drinks for myself.

    The cigar smelled of tobacco and slight barnyard. Having already smoked a few of these in the past, I mostly knew what to expect with this one. Wood and spice upon the light with bitter cocoa notes coming in shortly thereafter. While most of the cigar comprised of these main flavors, there was some occasional harsh bitterness that may have been due to drawing too quickly on such a small cigar. When I slowed down and shortened my puffs, most of the bitterness went away. Overall, a good cigar with more of a medium body and earthy profile.

    I purchased a bottle of Hendrick's Gin (if you're a Gin drinker, you have to try this gin if you haven't already) a while ago and just never got around to opening it. I don't drink gin that often, but was in the mood for it last night. Hendrick's goes really well with cucumber and that's what's recommended in a Hendrick's martini. I took it a step further and used the cucumber skin and some simple syrup and gin to muddle the cucumber and infuse that flavor into the gin before pouring. Some simple syrup, gin and a few slivers of cucumber skin in a glass and use a muddler to crush the cucumber. Add more gin and some ice cubes. Allow the ice cubes to open up the gin while stirring, then strain into a martini glass. The rest of the gin/cucumber/sugar mixture was topped off with sparkling spring water to top it off. Both drinks were great, light, slightly sweet and very smooth summer drinks. Honestly, I have to say, it also worked fairly well as a pallet cleanser rather than killing the taste of the cigar.
    Interesting. I never thought of using gin with a cigar. I like gin but love, LOVE the bombay blue sapphire. Would you say this gin is better than the Blue Sapphire or just say regular gin? To be honest I haven't had many gins, only a few.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    I personally like it much better than sapphire, mainly because it's very clean, crisp and versatile. I find Bombay Sapphire to be great in a dry martini, but absolutely terrible if dirty and not so great with tonic. Hendrick's is the only gin I've been able to tolerate dirty, is fantastic dry or just with a slice of cucumber, perfect with tonic, but does NOT go well with lime. Where Tanqueray is great with lime and tonic, Hendrick's will do with cucumber and tonic. All in how you drink it, but I thought it was great with a cigar where the cucumber was so light and refreshing and not too overpowering as some other alcoholic drinks can sometimes be.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    Tonight, I pulled out a Perdomo Cuban Cabinet Reserve (at least, I think that's what they used to call them - the white label - might also be called the sun grown). I've had this cigar on a few occasions and it's always been good, but not my favorite from this series. I think I'd have to give that to the cameroon (silver label). The cigar had notes of wood, spice, earth and a papery note. If smoked too fast, a bitter note was also very present.

    The cocktail was a bit of an experiment that I think I will change slightly next time, so I'll give you the new recipe before I try it. Chill a martini glass with ice and water. In a separate glass with ice, add 2-3 dashes of orange bitters (I used a home-made orange-spice bitters - I'll post what I can remember of the recipe if anyone has interest in making their own bitters), 2 shots of cognac (I used Gabriel and Associates - made by the house of Ferrand - Fin Bois - very heavy on Vanilla - very nice cognac at the price point), and a tablespoon of honey dissolved into one shot of water. Stir for 30 seconds to allow the ice to melt into the drink and open the cognac. Pour the ice/water out of the martini glass and pour a tiny amount of Absinthe into the glass and swirl to coat the glass as if you're swirling dry vermouth for a dry martini. Dump the excess absinthe and strain the cognac into the glass. You will get notes of anise from the absinthe with the vanilla/grapeseed and sweetness of the cognac, combined with the honey and balance from the orange bitters. The cognac, honey and orange/spice all work well together. The touch of anise adds to the overall depth of the drink.

    Enjoy!
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    Last night, with hesitation (because I only have one left now), I pulled out one of our forum blend cigars after letting it rest for almost a year. I remember how much I loved this cigar and was truly impressed that a bunch of regular joes hanging around this board, along with Alex's guidance and wisdom, were able to create such an impressive cigar.

    On to the review: The cigar is absolutely beautiful, perfectly constructed, no major veins, seams are perfectly held down, packed densely, heavy in hand but still having a nice draw. The cap was spicy and pre-light draw was mostly barnyard tobacco. The cigar burned evenly, ash held strong, it produced plumes of smoke and the flavors were slight pepper, wood, leather and a touch of sweetness. The only minus was that I did notice a bit of an ashy taste about half-way through. Aside from that, this was a great cigar. So, Alex: when are these going to happen? Last we heard the factory was backed up by about 6 months, about 7 months ago. I'm kind of itching for an update.

    The drink was a Bijou. The original recipe calls for 1oz gin (Hendricks), 1oz green chartreuse, 1oz sweet vermouth and 1 dash orange bitters. I modified it slightly since I didn't have any sweet vermouth and left my orange bitters at a friends house and didn't feel like mixing up more. I used 1.5oz gin, 1oz green chartreuse, 1 tsp blackcurrant liqueur, 2 tsp simple syrup and a few dashes of peychaud's bitters. Pour each ingredient into a highball blass with a few ice cubes. Stir for 30 seconds to 1 min to allow some of the ice to melt and strain into a chilled glass. The gin and chartreuse worked well together due to the herbal nature of both. The blackcurrant liqueur added a fruit note to the herbal and spice notes of the other components and the bitters added more depth. I could have seen the drink benefitting from a small spritz of lime or even just a lemon peel. Enjoy.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    Stopped into one of the local B&Ms here after getting Thai food with my cousin and picked up a Siglo VI tubo. I'd been eyeing these cigars for a few weeks as I found a deal online for 5 tubos and a lighter for what seemed like a fair price as long as the cigars aren't crap. At the local shop, I paid $11. I'll start by saying that the cigar is NOT worth $11, but for $6 or less, it's well worth it, but hey, that's what you expect when you shop your local B&M. Besides, I like stopping by to say hi to the owner.

    The cigar was beautifully constructed for an obvious rip off of Cohiba's signature label. The pre-light was nothing fancy, just clean tobacco. No spice on the cap. I toasted the foot with my torch and lit with the cedar sleeve that came in the tube. The cigar was medium at best and gave the typical wood, paper, hint of sweetness profile. Nothing out of the ordinary, but a solid stick. Slightly tight draw with a punch but it opened up with a cut. Burn was mostly even with only 2 touch ups and the ash held solid. I'll wait before buying more, but may consider it eventually.

    The drink that I called a Blue Bourbon (because I'm not that creative) was a quick mixture I came up with. 2 parts bourbon into a rocks glass with ice, one teaspoon of dark agave nectar (hence the blue, after the blue agave plant), and 2-3 dashes of Peychaud's bitters. Stir for 30 seconds and strain into a chilled glass. If you like boubon and slightly sweeter drinks, this one should hit the spot. The bitters add some citrus and spice notes to round the whole thing out.
  • sightunseensightunseen Posts: 2,130
    Nice reviews and I am intrigued by your drink creations. How do you come up with them and how long have you been doing it?
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    Thanks. I appreciate the feedback.

    The drink creations are usually based on some basic knowledge of what flavors work well together, which stems largely from cooking and starts with basic knowledge of notes offered in a particular drink and what complements them. Sometimes I'll take a recipe I find on the web and modify it slightly. It's a lot of trial and error. I also cook with alcohol quite often, so that gives you a better sense of what flavors will meld vs clash.

    What's your poison? I'll see what I have for you as far as recipes.
  • sightunseensightunseen Posts: 2,130
    That's cool. From your descriptions, I would have thought you were a bartender at one time or another.

    I personally am not a big alcohol guy (low tolerance + allergies), but when I do indulge, it's usually a bit of scotch. I really enjoy the Glenmorangie 14 and recently tried and liked the Laphroiag 10. My girlfriend, on the other hand, loves mixed drinks. Do you have any recipes of something for the summer that an amateur like me can whip up for her?
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    What does she drink? I gave a recipe for a cucumber gin martini or cucumber gin mojito a few posts back. The mojito style would just be a bit lighter, but both have that great summer taste and feel. If she does Vodka martinis, I'd take her favorite fruit/fruits and throw them in a bottle of decent vodka (try Tito's handmade if you can find it, otherwise Russian Standard is great for the price - Belvedere is my fav). Let that sit for a few weeks and you have an instant martini - shake in a shaker with some rocks. All depends on what she drinks and what she likes.

    Mixing scotch is a bit tougher since there is such a big range on scotch and it seems you like the slightly peaty scotches. Those may mix well with just a dash of berry and some bitters, but will usually do just fine on their own. You could also try a dash of the Laphroaig in some cognac (with the right cognac, this might just work - look for something oaky and not too sweet) to give the cognac a smoky note. Those scotches usually pair well with strong, hearty cigars as they'll easily overpower anything less than med-full.
  • sightunseensightunseen Posts: 2,130
    Lately she's been drinking a lot of Cuba Libres (rum, coke + lime juice). She typically enjoy limey drinks and also floral drinks (like lavender). Thanks for your suggestions on the scotch, I will have to try that.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    Not sure what you're using for rum, but I usually go with darker rums for all rum drinks unless the drink specifically calls for white rum. As I've suggested before, my favorite dark rums are Ron Zacapa, Zaya and Plantation 20 year has become a recent runner up. If she doesn't mind her drinks on the stronger side, introduce her to a Cuban Manhattan. I think I gave the recipe in another thread, but it's 2 oz dark rum, 1 oz sweet vermouth, 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters and you can add a dash of maraschino cherry syrup for a sweeter drink - pour all into a highball glass with ice and stir for 20-30 seconds, then strain into a martini glass with a cherry.

    Lime is easy. If she likes tequila, mix her up a home made margarita. Not that cheapo sour mix and tequila crap. Start with a good tequila (I like Don Julio all around - their blanco is a great mixer, but for a little extra cash, the Anejo is really smooth in a margarita and adds more depth with the oaky, vanilla and floral notes in it - Corzo and Milagro are both good as well for easy to find tequilas). 2 oz Tequila, 1 oz Grand Marnier (Cointreau will work as well), one fresh squeezed lime (you can also add some fresh squeezed orange, blood orange or grapefruit to make it more interesting), 1/2 oz agave nectar and 1/2 oz water. Shake with ice for 20-30 seconds and serve on the rocks.

    Citrus juices in general are great to use in just about any type of booze. Try cooking with some orange and rum or cognac. I recently used rum, orange juice, orange zest, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar to candy some pecans and they came out incredible. Rum and orange work great with chicken. Cognac and orange with carrots and asparagus is really good too.

    For floral, try St. Germain on the rocks. Nuff said. It's a sweet liqueur produced from pressed elder flowers. It is often mixed with Champagne, but it also works nicely with gin.
  • sightunseensightunseen Posts: 2,130
    Awesome. Thanks a lot for the suggestions, I'm going to try and make some this weekend.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    This past Saturday, I pulled a Gran Habano Vintage 2002 out of the humidor. I have to say, I was impressed with this cigar before I considered the price point. The flavors were well pronounced and the cigar was slow burning. Spice, wood and some cocoa dominated the profile. I did experience some burn issues, mostly with a wavy burn, but overall, this was a fantastic cigar for $2.

    Yesterday morning, I grabbed a Gurkha Fuerte XO that had been sitting for almost 2 years. The first one I had was incredibly bitter and I figured lots of rest might fix the cigar. It did fix it slightly, but it just wasn't the most interesting cigar to begin with. Some wood, some cocoa, still some bitter, not very pronounced flavors. Overall, not impressed.

    Last night, I lit up a Gurkha Empire III. The lick on the cap made me think a sweaty, fat person rolled this cigar. It was oddly salty. I almost tossed it, but was too lazy to walk back upstairs for another stick, so I lit up. The cigar brought a very earthy, and.....well.....slightly salty, chewy, leathery profile to it. It wasn't bad for a while, but it started getting old about half-way through.

    With the Gurkha Empire, I sat and sipped some Boggle Vineyards 2006 Petite Sirah Port. Now, I realize that this isn't a traditional port, due to the grapes, as well as the region it's produced (California, rather than Portugal). It is a ruby style port, meaning that it is not generally aged for long and will not age in the bottle (Tawny ports are blended years that have been maturing in barrels and Vintage - not to be confused with Late Harvest Vintage, which are meant to be drunk rather than aged - Vintage Port is generally aged a short time in barrels and meant to be aged in the bottle, sometimes up to 20 years before consuming). This wine was reasonably priced at $20 for a 500ml bottle. The nose was strong in blackberry and cherry notes. On the pallet, it was loaded with blackberry and cherry again with chocolate and a touch of oak in the background. This is a very full, fruity, berried, sweet wine that would go well after a nice meal. Do not look for big oak in this wine, as you won't find any heavy oak or wood notes. Look to a 20 or 30 year Tawny for that.
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