Saturday, July 31, 2010

07/30 - From the rain into the sun


Ok, as stated on Thursday we made a trip to Ticino on Friday... and started again in the morning with heavy rain.


Two hours later we recognized that the sun is still there.... much better view than at 7.30 am when we left home. It was a pleasure to the blue and sunny sky....


First part of our trip was to Como, where we got fresh prawns which'll be a nice dinner... afterwards a visit to Foxtown in Mendrisio (where I found a box of LGC MdO No. 2 from 1997). And then the enjoyable part of the trip started.

Driving to the direction of Locarno and then making a right turn into the mountains where we arrived at the Verzasca dam, the highest dam in Europe, being built between 1960 and 1965. You may ask: Where? And I guess many of you know this famous place. The bungee jump at the intro of the James Bond movie "Golden Eye" was shot at this location.



There was also some bungee jumping today... but not for me! Going down 220 m / 722 ft.... CRAZY!!! You could hear the screaming of the people who jumped echoing in the valley.... Nice to watch it, but too afraid to do it on my own. NEVER EVER!!



The other side of the dam gives you the view on the wonderful lake.... peaceful.... totally clear water....







We continued our way deeper into the valley, which is surrounded by mountains which have an average height of app. 2400 m / 7900 ft through old villages which look really beautiful.We took something small for a late lunch in a lil restaurant at the way and could see the village of Corippo on the opposite side which seems to be hard to reach... no street seems to be there. Impressing area.... very silent.... maybe to lonely to live there.


The valley is a dead end.... leading to the village of Sonogno, an idyllic place where we took another stop and walked around to enjoy the atmosphere of this place.... small restaurants, little shops selling local specialties... all the old, stone-built houses....















On our way back we stopped at one of the many churches we saw on our way. The people here are said to be very religious.... counting the numerous churches on the way seems to be one proof of it.


This valley is packed with attractions, so we found this waterfall which was close to the street.... the water in the basin was crystal clear, an open invitation to dive into it... but there was no way to get down there... maybe you get downwards, but then you'll have a problem to get back to the street... it's really a pity.


Another highlight, the double arch stone bridge called "Ponte dei Salt". In the background you can see a lot of people lying on the rocks in the river. It´s popular to go there for swimming... you can see the people all along the river wherever there´s a possibity to come down to the rocks. The water is totally clear... perfect for a refreshing bath on a hot day.



We left the area with a last view to the Lago Maggiore.... it was a fantastic day with perfect weather and temperatures close to 28 °C / 83 F... Arrivederci Ticino....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

07/29 - Sick of the rain...


After 4 weeks of nice and hot weather, it broke down last week and now it's raining all the time....

Although it's more convenient at work now, it still sucks to know that you cannot sit outside in the evening.... temperatures of 15 °C / 59 F and less are not really the conditions which I like for that.

I think it should be a good idea to take the car tomorrow (havin a day off) and drivin down to Ticinio where the weather is much better than here at the moment.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

07/26 - Comparing two Montecristo Robustos


After I got a Jar of the Milleniums a while ago and also having some Singles of the EL 2000 (beside two full boxes sittin deep in the humidor) I decided to make a comparing smoke with those two....

Both are (more or less) from the same year, both are Montecristo... one matured in a ceramic jar, air tight closed and opened the first time after 10 years. The other one comes from an ordinary dress box which allows definitely more air exchange than the jar.... there should be definitely a difference in the aging process.

A nice challenge to do.... let's fire up and start with the Millenium Robusto.

Matt, dark colorado colored wrapper with a light reddish touch with a smell of dark chocolate, roasted coffee and tobacco.

The first puffs.... wow.... this cigar starts like a steam hammer! Wood, leather and tobacco... those are the dominating flavors which hit the palate.... ten years old and really strong.... there you see the effect of the maturation in the Jar, which is closed tight with nearly no air exchange. When I opened it, I had to cut the seal which means it was the first time after 10 years that it was opened......

In the second third the cigar gets smoother... flavor of strong Espresso and dark chocolate.... a very nice combination, and now very creamy..... but there's a lot of nicotine.... what a smoke.....

The last third again shows some really strong flavors: leather, earthiness and black pepper with a strong background aroma of tobacco.... still strong and getting a little bit harsh in the end.

This cigar is really great and I'm happy that I have - beside my 5 Singles which are left now - a full Jar which will rest for sure another 10 years.... Now I'm curious for the EL 2000.....


Ok, let's now switch over to the second one, the Montecristo Robusto EL 2000. We split a box a while ago during our Herf in Kreuzlingen and I still had some left of those which I kept for me.

The smell reminds a little bit of the Millenium, but there is a much more sweeter touch in this one... a hint of honey and licorice.... the wrapper is dark colorado, EL typically (which means not very fine) and matt.

The first third also starts strong but it is very mellow and creamy in the mouth with tastes of wood and pepper added by some pleasent sweetness. To the end of the first third roasted nuts are coming up... There's a touch of that typical vintage flavor, not too much, but you get it....

The second third comes up with some more pepper, really spicey... dark chocolate and fresh roasted coffee, some cacao.... all well balanced and very complex....

The last third.... the Grand Finale.... pure tobacco and charred wood is covering like an oily coating the palate... no harshness, still creamy in the mouth. Full-bodied and coming along with a good portion of nicotine but a lot of weaker then the Millenium..... that's an impressing smoke.


So, what's the conclusion... who's the winner of that competition? I can make my judgement for this moment and on the other hand I'll make a preview: the EL was the winner of tonite but I'm sure the reason is the kind of packing.... the maturation in the Jar is much slower than in the dress box..... For me the Milleniums have a really high potential but they should still rest for another 10 years... even more....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Jar Mania Reloaded


There are chances you have to take if you are on the hunt for good and rare cigars....

It's really impressing if you cut the seals after 10 years and open it for the first time. They're all dark like chocolate and the smell is overwhelming....

Get your Jars in a row...

This Millennium Reserve Commemorative Jar – Montecristo Robustos was produced in 6000 units. This ceramic Jar, made in Spain, contains 25 specially produced Montecristo Robustos.

And they are special: I had the chance to smoke one outta another Jar a few months ago and it's a absolutely great smoke....

Maybe this is a nice occasion to make a side by side review with a Montecristo Robusto EL 2000, of which I still have some singles left from our boxsplit.


A nice pick up... I'm happy with that.... and some more'll be happy too....

Monday, July 19, 2010

COH Custom Rolled Pyramide


Marcel ordered two singles of those two weeks ago and handed me one out to try it...

The first obvious fact of this cigar was its weight... it seemed to be much heavier than the Montecristo No. 2 I had with me, a cigar of the same size.

The wrapper of that cigar´s very dark, with a light shine. An intensive smell of dark roasted coffee, leather and tobacco comes to the nose.

Ok, let's fire it up... and... wow.... the draw is surprisingly light, especially when you take into account the weight.... and it´s on with the first puffs: what has been found in the cold smell is now in the taste during the first third, added by some black pepper and hints of dark chocolate. Medium bodied at this time, seems promising.

The second third is slightly disappointing, no real development. Good flavors, but no change... the aromas even get a little bit flat.

The last third gets better then.... with tastes of wood, leather, dark chocolate and still the roasted coffee in the background... Full bodied now, a good cigar after a big meal.

All in all a solid smoke... not sure if they're gettin a bit sick now, I just base this conclusion on the 2nd third.... the smokin time was about 90 minutes.



Sunday, July 18, 2010

07/17 - The Return of the Non-smoker


Ok... I'm bitchy.... but it still makes fun.... I called Dan a non-smoker when he was here in January and I'm sure that he'll keep this name until the end of his life.... that's his cross he's to bear....

I arrived around 11 am at Portmann's... Urs is still on vacation but Marc, his son who's running the other shop in Vaduz, was here today... and gave us an ERdM Elegantes ER Suiza 2010 as a first cigar of the day.


Marcel and Dan were already there, Ralf arrived a bit later and met us to sit together in the humidor room to smoke and talk.



Later on Marc took us downstairs where we'd the chance to have a look at the Hoyo de Monterrey special humidor that they won at the auction at the Festival in Havana back in February... a very nice piece of art.

We changed the location and took a short ride to the Seerhein to enjoy the weather before the rain should come. Alex, a friend of us, met us here too...

The table was overloaded with 5-finger-bags, card boxes and air bubble foil... it looked like a child has unwrapped all his birthday presents.... a nice beginning of the payback for that what Ralf has started....

Is it X-mas?

We also got a little package with a box of Fonseca Hermosos No. 4 ER Benelux 2010 which I lit up immediately... not too bad, but not sure if I really need a whole box of them... It's definetly a nice presentation with the paper around each cigar. The taste was good but I think I should smoke it without havin smoked several cigars before to get a better impression of it.


Fonseca Hermosos No. 4 ER Benelux 2010

Another cigar I smoked was a Custom Rolled from Ravi of COH, which I got from Marcel. I took some notes of which I gonna write a review soon.

Custom Rolled Pyramide from COH


More cigars like a '05 Diplomaticos No 1, a 1994 and a Dunhill Varadero had been burnt to ashes, not to forget the late lunch we also had... It was a nice day that we spent together, I really enjoyed it.

1994 from the special humidor

Dunhill Varadero

Nub of a Dunhill Varadero


Dan, I hope you come back again this year and I'm sure we gonna have again a lot of fun...