Wednesday, December 07, 2016

11/30 - Winter Titans


Our last smoke for this year, at least in this constellation. This time we decided for a true classic, against the trend of bigger and bigger ring gauges. We took a La Gloria Cubana Medaille d'Or No. 2, a cigar which is - surprisingly - still in production but you don't see them too often. Due to the fact that I thought we are some kinda experienced smokers I decided for something special. The cigar was not recent production but has been boxed pre 1985, so it's at least 30+ years old. It was a good decision as it definitely was a blast!

This time Urs had the time to join us too and so we sat in the lounge with a group of 5 people enjoying this amazing smoke. The verdict for all of us was the same: this is an outstanding good cigar and it's definitely among the Top 5 cigars that I smoked this year!

The detailed tasting reports should soon be available at www.feltedhat.com for further information.

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Monday, November 28, 2016

11/18 - Ardbegilicious


Tasting no. 15. Wow, that's definitely impressing. As I know that we had to leave out one date (normally we have those tastings twice a year), this means that I organize those tastings now since 8 years!

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Obviously the date itself was a little bit critical as a few had to cancel their participation directly after I have sent out the invitation. Anyhow... 12 registered and finally we ended up with a very small group of 6 people. No big issue as it makes the conversation easier at some point.






When talking with Urs about the cigar we should smoke with the whiskys my vote was clear for a Bolivar Petit Coronas. This cigar usually has a pronounced citrus aroma paired with the typical earthiness (at least the ones from 1998 that I know so well). Maybe a bit short to last during the whole tasting (which was exactly Urs' argument) therefore he convinced me to take the Bolivar Belicosos Finos. The box he gave me was with a May 2015 code, so just 1.5 years old and it definitely surprised all of us. I went perfectly with the Ardbegs, not too strong with a full load of the expected flavors!

The whiskys itself were all good... and it was interesting to see the difference between the old Ardbegs, like those 1974 and 1975 we had, and the newer releases like Alligator, Galileo and Corrvreckan. Different whiskys, for sure, but not bad at all. One of our highlights also was the Crois Chill Daltain from the Whiskyclub Regensburg, excellent stuff, especially if you give it some time to breath.

All detailed tasting notes will be released in a separate report which will follow in the next weeks. At the moment I was too busy to make it in time before the tasting, writing a book consumes a bit more time than expected.









Friday, November 18, 2016

El Rey del Mundo Gran Corona 1999


Colorado colored wrapper, a little shiny, but not oily, some sun spots. Decent smell of sweetness and tobacco...

Wow... the cigar starts like a thunderbolt! Intensive flavors of bitter dark chocolate, with some decent hints of sweetness... very woody, aromas of walnut.... Even though there are very "strong" flavors the cigar itself is very smooth and creamy...

The second third is still very uncommon imho for an ERdM: wood, leather, earth those are the attributes I tasted.... but it's all very smooth and not overwhelming, a very interesting balance.... And then.... out of the blue.... there is the intensive floral flavor I waited for all the time....

The last third is dominated by the floral notes. Espresso, again the dark chocolate and some sawdust (a bit mouthdrying) came up but they are all based on the floral notes and they don't repress it....

The smoking time was app. 90 minutes. The draw was perfect over the whole time. All in all it was a very nice cigar with the best part (for me) in the last third.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

10/28 - Whisky and.... venison


Approx. 2 weeks ago we, which is Reto, Alex and myself, met for another whisky dinner. Easy concept: good  food, good whisky. That's all. And the result is always the same: three happily smiling faces!

The dinner was a little bit influenced by Reto's and my visit to Islay back in July this year:
  • Salmon tartar as a first appetizer
  • Black pudding with goat cheese on a bed of salad as first course
  • Venison roast and polenta as main course (I went without the brussel sprouts)
  • Meringue (from Gruyere), chestnut vermicelli and vanilla ice as dessert

All accompanied by some really excellent Single Malts like a 1973 Glen Grant from Thosop, 21yo. Ardbeg from Sestane, Caol Ila 1989 and Bowmore 1982 from Signatory... a long list, some of those you can see already on the pictures.

Stay tuned for more of that because this series will be continued in 2017!

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Mont Blanc "Chopin" Meisterstueck, Limited Edition


Mont Blanc's classic Meisterstueck line of pens has been around since the company's founding in 1906 as the Simplo Filler Pen company. Five years later the company became Mont Blanc, and in 1913 adopted its famous 6-point rounded white star logo symbolizing the famous mountain after which it's named.

The Meisterstueck line of pens come in several variations in size, color, and writing mechanism. The "Hommage á Frederic Chopin" Meisterstueck fountain pen has a 14 K gold nib inlaid with platinum. Its body and cap are made of precious black resin and it's detailed in 14 K plated platinum.

With this fountain pen writing is definetely a pleasure...

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

10/19 - Golden Titans


It's been a while ago since we have met the last time (I was on a business trip when the last meeting took place) and unfortunately one of us had to cancel his participation in short terms. We met anyhow and smoked two really excellent cigars as a part of a Bolivar Gold Medal Vertical Tasting.

We had two different boxes, one with a December 2004 code, the other one with a December 2006 code. The '04/'05 which many call the "Wolter's Gold Medal" were in this case from Herzog in Berlin, as this was the other LCdH which received a part of this first release.

This was also the order of smoking, first the 2004, second the 2006. The 2004 Gold Medal was like in the fist in the face, at least the first inch. Wow! What a strong cigar, very earthy and definitely not tasting like a 12 yo cigar which has settled down. The strength reduced a little bit during the second and came back again during the last third but was always on a high level. No breakfast cigar for sure!

The 2006 Gold Medal was completely different. Still strong but not as strong as the other one. Full of flavor, very intensive, less earthiness but with the typical citrus notes like you can find them in a 1998 Petit Corona. 2 years younger but it tasted older than the 2004.

All in all a very interesting experience and two excellent cigars!

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

4 days, 4 burgers


From time to time I have to spend some days in the "lovely" city of Bad Hönningen, a sleepy little town close to Koblenz, as we have a branch office of our company there. This place is definitely out in the sticks, somewhere in middle of nowhere with its boom years back in the 80s. When you've been there a few times you know the menu of the few - hrmmm... in the meantime it's just one - restaurants by mind therefore I decided this time to try something new.

Some research in the internet gave me a nice selection of burger joints which're not too far away by car. I tried three four and had the full range from bad to very good, more to follow in the future.

Here's my ranking of those I tried recently, I start my ranking with the worst of them.


Burgermeisterei, Bad Honnef

The location itself is nice, easy to reach and has enough free parking... but the food was not as good as I heard it from other: the fries were overpowered with salt and some other spices... the meat was a bit dry (and also not a fresh pattie), the same for the standard bun that you can get in any supermarket. It was ok and definitely better than McD, BK etc. but not worth to go there again.

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Huckleberry's, Siegburg

The location changed the owner in the beginning of 2015 and you still can see that it has been a traditional German pub before. The new interior looks good and the ordered burger was... let's say: average. The meat was juicy, not sure if it was a homemade pattie or not, but the standard bun, same type like in the Burgermeisterei, was a bit on the dry side. Better then the one at the Burgermeisterei but again not good enough to make you visit that place again.




Cowboys Burger, Koblenz

In the middle of the city centre, a bit difficult to find a place for parking but finally it was worth it.

Another try and that's definitely a shot in the bullseye! Homemade pattie made of fresh ground beef. A homemade bun, handcut fries! They also have sweet potato fries on the menu! The people at this place know how a good burger should be! They know what they're doing and they're doing a very good job!

All their burgers have Western related names like Clint Eastwood, Django, Lucky Luke etc., I decided for the Django Burger with Jalapenos and Nachos. I wasn't disappointed, that's a place I'll visit again!




Die Fette Kuh, Köln

Last but not least, die Fette Kuh. A while ago I had the chance to go there with two friends to try their burgers as I heard a lot of good things about this place.

The biggest problem was to find a parking space (which should be a general problem in Cologne), but the big advantage of it was that the row was very short when we arrived to place our order. After a short waiting time we received our medium grilled burger (which is the standard if you order there, no need to ask for it), all served in a fluffy bun with a tasty sauce!

I have heard a lot about this place before and I definitely wasn't disappointed. It's a good alternative to the Bad Hönningen nightlife *hahaha*, they also have some nice craft beers and tasty non-alcholic beverages. I really liked the food and I will come back for sure.



Friday, October 07, 2016

09/08 - 09/22 - Florida Heat


Another vacation in the Sunshine State Florida. I know that's complaining on a high level, there are definitely worse places on earth you can spend your time.

This time we took a flight to Miami where we grabbed our rental car and moved to our first stop in Fort Lauderdale. On the way to Fort Lauderdale... well, just around the corner from the airport... we made a quick stop in Little Havana, Calle Ocho at El Mago de las Fritas to try their famous Frita. There another burger place not far away from there, called El Rey de las Fritas, this one was on the schedule to be visited before our departure two weeks later. According to the well-known, Miami-based foodblogger Burger Beast this is the best place for a Frita! At the end of our trip I knew that I have to agree with him...

BTW... for this report, don't expect any infos about sightseeing etc... this time we only did some shopping in the outlets of the Fort Lauderdale area before we moved to the west coast of Florida where spent the rest of our time in a beautiful house with our own pool. Therefore you'll see here more or less just pix of food, beer and cigars...

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As I said before, the first 2.5 days were filled with shopping activities in the different outlets but we also spent one evening at a nice BBQ and burger place that I still had in mind from our last visit, ROK:BRGR in Fort Lauderdale. Their range is really nice and after a delicious BBQ at Tom Jenkins (pix will follow later as we have been there a second time), we were in the mood for some greasy burgers in the evening. I decided for a Kobe style beef pattie (and I guess that it is a Wagyu) just with some pickles, cheese and bacon to get the pure flavor... and it was amazing! As a side we had some truffeled french fries which were tasty too... the grated Parmesan on top made the difference. I had this before in Germany too but the overloaded it with Parmesan which was a killer for the taste. Sometimes less is more!





After our shopping marathon we changed the location to Cape Coral where we stayed for another 11 nights in a house. Of course it was way too big for us but on the other hand it was the smallest house that we found. The price was reasonable, so... no reason to complain!

During our time in Cape Coral we did not much besides some relaxing, cooking and smoking good cigars... maybe some cold beers from time to time... our friends Elli and Seth also spent us a visit and we enjoyed a very nice day together! Seth brought some dry aged Ribeye steaks which were really outstanding good...


















On the way from Cape Coral back to Miami we made another stop in Fort Lauderdale at Tom Jenkins BBQ...





After a quick and really small lunch in Fort Lauderdale we drove down to Miami but before dropping off our rental car we decided another wellknown Frita place in Miami called El Rey de las Fritas. And for us it was a big disappointment: the pattie was heavily oversalted, the sauce was flawless, the fried potatoes tasted like rancid fat. Definitely the worst burger I had in the last two weeks. I was very close to go to El Mago again but after that desaster I wasn't in the mood for any more food...



All in all we'd a very good and relaxing time, I am sure that it wasn't the last time that we took a house instead of a hotel room.