Friday, January 23, 2015

Bolivar Super Coronas EL 2014


Habanos SA is still able to launch cigars with a ringe gauge which doesn't cause a trismus. This Bolivar has a ring of 48, a length of 140 mm, it's an Hermosos No. 3. The first of that size in the actual portfolio  if I remember it correctly.

The wrapper is typical for an EL: dark, a little bit rustic-style and a decent oily shine. A good smell of honey and the Bolivaresque earthiness... seems like a promising smoke. The construction feels very good, evenly rolled so I still have again no issues to fire up before cutting it.

The first third starts already with a big bang: intensive notes of roasted coffee. There's a hint of earthy aromas but at the moment they're in the background and not coming up to intensively. After a few puffs there's a significant peak with a big load of ammonia. It's no surprise because this cigar is still young and fresh but it come up out of a sudden and was a bit unexpected after the first puffs. It came up quickly and it vanished quickly and made room for a touch of white pepper... a bit biting in the nose but not really unpleasant.

During the second third the intensity is still rising. Ammonia is completely gone, no more coffee. The earthy notes are still present, paired by some dark chocolate, leather and cedar wood. The aromas are all on the strong side but nevertheless the smoke of this cigar is very creamy, you want to chew it.

The leather and earth aromas carry over to the last third where a peppery note hits the palate, there's also a touch of polished wood. It was white pepper in the beginning, now it's more like a fresh-ground black pepper. A decent bitterness joins now but it doesn't feel unpleasant and it's no big surprise in regards to the fact that this is a young cigar.

Burn and draw were very good over the smoking time of approximately 80 minutes. The light grey ash was very firm during the whole smoke.

Finally I'm really happy with that stick. It's one of my preferred brands. It's a cigar with the typical flavor profile of the brand. It's a fantastic size. It's a great cigar with a very good aging potential. I wasn't sure about it before but now I'm sure that I need some of those for storage.

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

A visit to... Oban


There's not much to say about Oban: the city is really nice but the distillery tour was the worst that I had during the trip. The tour made an unprofessional impression, the tasting after the tour was more than simple: just an ordinary 14 yo. standard Oban. Oh stop! I forgot the cask sample that we got... 2 drops per person! Yes, 2 drops. The guy measured it with a pipet. When he asked me for the taste I told him that it was impossible to taste anything when you just wet the tip of your tongue but there was no chance to get any more of it. I'm sorry to say but it was my first, last and only visit to this distillery. Due to the stupid Diageo "no-pictures-policy" the number of pix in that report is also limited...

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

01/03 - Smoke-off 2015


It's always nice to meet new people who share the same passion for cigars, that's one of the great things in the cigar world... Last week I met with Michel and Sebastian at the Casa Nero for a smoke... or two... maybe three... and it's a very nice afternoon...

We started with an Upmann Epicure, really fresh from the middle of 2014. They aren't available at the big vendors in Switzerland, so it's a bit harder to get them. Those cigars were machine made until approx. 2003, now they're totalmente a mano. The smell of the box itself is really amazing and so I was curious to smoke the first of those... and I was surprised in a positive way... a very good cigar for the buck!

We continued with a Custom Rolled, Corona Gorda sized, with a pigtail. The blend was very close to the ERdM blend, not too strong but with intensive flavors and some kind of bloomy aroma... a very good smoke too.

Based on the fact that we talked a lot about vintage cigars we decided to skip the Upmann Monarch Tubo, which's approx. from 2001 and smoked something older. The cigar of choice was a Partagas Palmas Grandes from the 80s and while the last one I smoked was a bit over the top tastewise, this one really hit the spot for all three of us. An old style Partagas like it should be... and the size of a cigar like it should be too because my "comrades-in-smoke" don't like those new stove-pipes with the 50+ RGs either...

A fantastic afternoon which'll be repeated for sure...

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Custom Rolled (left), Upmann Epicure (right)

Upmann Monarch Tubo from 1998






Partagas Palmas Grandes from the 80s

Sunday, January 04, 2015

01/02 - Cycling in the dirt


Luckily not too far away from my home, therefore I took the chance to watch some cyclo-cross, the first race in 2015 in Bussnang. Temperatures around the freezing point but some really decided to ride with shorts... The weather was ok during the first half of the race but unfortunately the forecasted rain came in earlier than expected and it started to rain heavily... that's the reason why I didn't wait for the Elite race, bad luck... I hope you enjoy my impressions anyhow...

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015


I wish all my readers, their families and friends a Happy New Year 2015! May it be healthy and prosperous!

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 in pictures


It's time to sum up another year with some nice pictures... many good memories are connected to those. As always it's really hard to reduce all the pix of one month down to one... a click on the picture'll bring you to the corresponding report... this year was definitely influenced by my 2 month stay in New Zealand where I had the chance for a lot of interesting experiences.

  • January
Picture of the month: January
Smoke Privada No. 1

  • February
 Picture of the month: February
Chinese New Year's Festival in Christchurch

  • March
Picture of the month: March
DramFest 2014 in Christchurch

  • April
Picture of the month: April
The Great Kiwi Beer Festival, Christchurch

  • May
Picture of the month: May
Fresh Custom Rolled Cigars

  • June
Hillrace Hemberg

  • July
Smoke'n'Food... and some booze...

  • August
The same procedure as every year

  • September
Zino Davidoff Legacy Award Dinner

  • October
Swiss Herf, Weekend

  • November
Smokin' Pig BBQ Fest

  • December
Which cigar? Which drink?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Xmas 2014


I wish all my readers, their families and friends a Merry Christmas 2014!




Sunday, December 21, 2014

12/19 - It's a Laddie night


A while ago we decided to have a relaxed evening with some food and a Bruichladdich tasting - some actual bottlings and some stuff from the older days...

As an appetizer we already started with some high quality stuff, the Vintage 1970 followed by the Golder Still 1984. What a fantastic start...


Bruichladdich 1970, 10yo. from the 70s, 1966 Prenzlow Edition

Bruichladdich 1970

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Buichladdich Golder Still 1984



Now to the food... whisky-marinated salmon, no Laddie but an old bottling of the Bowmore Claret, some whisky-flavored cheese and some of my cured and hotsmoked pork fillet. The smoky aromas were complimented very well by the whisky. The 1998 Oloroso Sherry Cask Edition, the 10yo. bottled in the 70s and the 12yo. were a perfect match.

Whisky-marinated salmon

Whisky cheese and smoked pork fillet

Bruichladdich 1998, 10yo. Oloroso Sherry

Bruichladdich 10yo., bottled in the 70s

Bruichladdich 12yo.

The main course was served... and accompanied by the 15yo., Second Edition, which's been finished in a Chateau Yquem Cask... an awesome whisky at an affordable price (if you bought it at the right time). It's followed by the 18yo., another wine cask finished one... this time Clos Uroulat Jurancon, a sweet wine from Southern France at the foot of the Pyrenees.

At this point it's time for a special bottling, a private bottling from some guys in Sweden. I met them last year at the Bowmore House during our time on Islay. We'd a good time together and the offered my the possibility to buy a bottle or two of their own cask that they've at Bruichladdich. 10 years old and bottled at 64.9 %! What a powerhouse! Usually I prefer my whisky neat but this one definitely needed water... and a lot of water was necessary to mellow it down... but then there was a big surprise because it reminded all of us of the old style Laddies which've been distilled in the 50s, 60s and 70s... I'm glad that I've a second bottle of that stuff in my stock!



Bruichladdich 15yo., Chateau Yquem Cask finish

Bruichladdich 18yo., Clos Uroulat Cask finish

Bruichladdich 10yo., Private bottling

Before we'd the dessert, a whisky mousse which has been made with a 1983 Glendronach, we took some liquid dessert.

A 10yo. bottled in the 80s followed by a 15yo., also bottled in the 80s. The 15yo. definitely needs a lot of time in the glass to develop, we gave it at least 20 minutes (that's what I had in mind from my own experience). Both had a nice touch of dried fruits, hints of salt and an intensive aroma of cereals and barley... wow... simply amazing. Those standards from the older days beat the so called high quality products from these days by far...

Bruichladdich 10yo., bottled in the 80s

Bruichladdich 15yo., bottled in the 80s


After those two whiskys my personal highlights follwed:
  • 1966 Jack Wiebers Prenzlow Portfolio Edition... what an amazing whisky... complexity on a absolutely high level, perfectly balanced in the taste... 
  • 1966 Riserva Veronelli, Sherry Cask... another bottling for Italy, massive on the sherry side which needs a good amount of water to mellow it down but than it's an terrific whisky... wow!
Bruichladdich 1966, Prenzlow Edition

Bruichladdich 1966, Riserva Veronelli, Sherry Cask