Monday, November 29, 2010

11/28 - X-mas market in Balgach


Traditionally the X-mas market in Balgach is at the first Sunday in Advent.

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This event also means that many people come to this lil village in the northeast of Switzerland, it's well-known in other regions too... and it's only for one day....

All the stands of the people who are selling hand-crafted stuff, mulled wine, different kinda food etc. are located in the old part of the village which gives this market a special flair... and the advantage for me: I just have to cross the street to be there....



Santa Claus and his lil helper had been also there, and it was fun to see the respect and also some kinda "fear" even some app. 10 yo. kids showed when he talked to them...


Luckily the temperatures dropped down this week and due to this it was cold yesterday... best circumstances to enjoy some hot mulled wine and another Swiss specialty... cheese fondue... this time filled in a bread....


See you again next year... first Sunday in Advent.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Caperdonich's gone


Two weeks ago one of their Whiskys, a 1972 bottled by Duncan Taylor, was part of our Whisky tasting.

I told the guys that the distillery is mothballed since 2002 and that it can be revived... but a few days ago I read a report that the buildings've been demolished and that the distillery is gone now. No way back.

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Source: duncantaylor.wordpress.com

Their Whiskys'll be still available for some years but one day they'll be completly gone.

Caperdonich is gone. Gone but never forgotten.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

11/20 - Custom rolled cigars in Kreuzlingen


On Friday and Saturday Juanita was at Urs´ shop in Kreuzlingen, so we took the chance for some more fresh cigars.

We combined it with some shopping in Konstanz and after all was done we crossed the border back to Switzerland and entered the shop.

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The shop was surprisingly empty and so I immediately ordered (as usual) a Laguito No. 1 con mucho ligero. Fantastic cigar... which was followed by the same again... I don´t want cigars which are shaped like chair legs as some other people who order a cigar for their likin.


We spent app. 2 hours in the humidor room while having a very interesting conversation with a guy who´s supplying medical machinery for surgery etc. Later we changed the location to the lounge where we relaxed as always.

Another nice Saturday...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stand up and fight


The EU parliament is discussing new regulations for the sale and advertising of tobacco.

There are plans to make it more strikt which will end up in plain white cigar boxes, only warning stickers and ugly pix on it, no more walk-in humidors, no more consulting in the shops.

It´s unbelievable that they want to reduce the free will of the people in this way.

But there´s one thing we can do:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

11/19 - Curling with my colleagues


Two days ago was our annual staff outing, this time we went to a place in St. Gallen to play Curling.

Very popular in Switzerland... and the first time for me... and the last. Due to the fact that my right knee is damaged (Arthrosis) I got immediatelly aches after entering the ice, so I quit before I really started.

But anyway... it was fun to watch the guys and I was the one who took the pix of all.

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After an introduction where they learned the basic things they played some innings before we left the place to go a restaurant in St. Gallen where we spent a nice evening with good food and conversations.

Due to the smokin ban it´s not possible to smoke inside, so I relinquished the cigar.




Wednesday, November 17, 2010

11/16 - Some spirits from Alsace


The history of this distillery, which is located in Ribeauville in Alsace, goes back to the 60s of the last century. Jean-Paul Metté distilled his first Eaux de Vie in the sixties.... In 1985 his godson Phillipe Traber came into the business, he's running it until today after Jean-Paul Metté retired in 1997.

If you wanna know more about it check out this link: www.distillerie-mette.info

Today 87 Eaux de Vies and 27 liquors are produced at the traditional distillery...

Thx to Jerômé, who introduced the Spiritueux de Cannelle to me during our vacation on the Maldives (this experience made me curious about the other stuff) and also thx to Marcel for organizing the samples.

Yesterday Marcel picked me up and we took a short ride to the next village where we went to the Restaurant Sonne. First we'd some Cordon Bleu for dinner to get a good basis for our following tasting. Tanja's with us, but drove home after dinner and so Marcel and myself went upstairs to the lounge.

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Our tasting panel consisted of the following:
  • Café Arabica: intensive smell and taste of coffee, a good starter.
  • Marc de Gewurztraminer: reminded both of us of a Grappa, less bitter and a bit more intensity of the grapes.

  • Framboise / Raspberry: very intensive taste, you might think they added some aromas; smelling like putting the nose into a box filled with raspberries... coating the mouth with a really pleasant taste.

  • Vieille Mirabelle / Old Mirabelle: comparable to the experience with the raspberry, maybe a bit less intensive.

    • Gingembre: it takes getting used to it... interesting taste and smell with some hints of lemon grass... maybe the warning on the bottle is missing that it should only be used for external application. I don't need it again.

    • Vieille Prune / Old Plum: oh yes... that's it! That's a winner... very good in the combination with the cigar I had at this time....


    • Cannelle / Cinnamon: this one I already knew but I was again overwhelmed by the smell and taste... normally cinnamon is not one my preferred aromas, but this spirit is awesome... another thumbs up.
    To sum it up: we'd another fantastic evening and some new ideas for upcomin tastings we could do....

    I'm coninvced that we'll visit this place next year in spring, for sure an interesting experience...



    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Juanita ends her tour in Vaduz


    Sometimes it takes one year until you have another possibility to get some fresh cigars, now it happend 4 times in the last few weeks.

    Juanita, who's on tour through Germany and Switzerland, will make a last stop at Vaduz before she goes back to Cuba.

    Source: www.5thavenue.de

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    11/12 - Whiskytasting "Back to the 70s"


    The fourth Whisky tasting that we held in the Griffins Business Lounge in Kreuzlingen, topic of this one was "Back to the 70s"... and I'm happy that Urs could join us too....

    For this event I chose 4 Whiskys which have been distilled in the 70s, which're in particular:
    • Bunnahabhain 1976, 31 yo, Murray McDavid, Oloroso Sherry cask
    • Inchgower 1974, 34 yo, Scotch Single Malt Circle, Re-Fill Sherry cask
    • Caperdonich 1972, 37 yo, Duncan Taylor Rare Auld, Re-Fill Sherry cask
    • Glenfarclas 1971, 35 yo, Whisky Fair, Oloroso Sherry cask
    cigar, cigars, cigar's, blog, blogger, tasted, tasting, tastings, tasty, smoke, smoked, smoking, smokes, smoker, vaduz, kreuzlingen, schweiz, switzerland, suiza, swiss, suisse, whisky, whiskys, whiskies, whiskey, whiskeys, blind tasting, experiment, experiments, review, reviews, reviewing, eldondo, balgach, portmann, portmanns, portmann's, lonsdale, lonsdales, robusto, robustos, corona, coronas, box, humidor, humidors, boxes, tobacco, tabak, zigarre, zigarren, rauchen, verkostung, heiko, blumentritt, heiko blumentritt, jar, jars, ceramic jar, ceramic jars, trip, trips, pharmacy smoke, ans, lounge, edicion, regionales, limitada
    Left to right: Scottish Water, Glenfarclas, Caperdonich, Inchgower, Bunnahabhain

    Some nice Whiskys that you won't drink every day and you cannot find at every corner.... due to this a good choice for this evening.

    Before we started I met with Marcel, we'd something for dinner and then I smoked one of the new Ramon Allones Superiores. Not typically RA, but also very good.

    Ramon Allones Superiores

    My recommendation was to take an ERdM to smoke which should match perfect with those Whiskys, but Urs hooked us up with a box of Partagas Serie D Especial which he brought with him. Thanks a lot, a gesture we all really appreciated.

    All I can say: it's a perfect match. A good combination with all 4 Whiskys.

    Partagas Serie D Especial, gifted by Urs Portmann

    I was really curious how the other participants would like the Whisky I've chosen, so... here you go...

    I don't put down the impressions of the Whiskys here, because it's been done a while ago by myself when i pre-tasted them. Just have a look in the spirits archive...

    All of us enjoyed the 4 excellent Whiskys, with the the first and especially the last being the winner of the evening.

    To give you a little impression of the fantastic time we had, here are some pix...


    Myself in action...


    Is there really no peat in this Whisky?


     

     


    After we finished the official part of the tasting with the last sips of our glasses one of the guys made me the best compliment, he said: "I'm lookin forward to the next tasting..."

    Again... thx to all who joined and made this evening a great time.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    11/11 - Patoro in Vaduz


    Yesterday I spent another evening in Vaduz at Marc's shop. Patrick J. Martin was there to present his new Patoro cigar. Three sizes, 30 cigars per box, limited to 30 boxes per size and year.

    He also brought a torcedor with him who rolled some fresh cigars for the people (he only put the wrappers on the prepared sticks, so it's not comparable to the Cuban rollers who'd been here before). I got one from Marc when I entered the shop but it was not my personal liking: much too light and no real flavor. The San Cristobal from the 2009 book and the Familiares of the Vegas Robaina 5th Anniversary humidor had been much more enjoyable.

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    After the shop closed we moved to the Cuba Club where we'd a really nice time.... good conversations and nice people.... the perfect recipe for a evening to enjoy.





    Left to right: Patrick J. Martin, Marc Portmann

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    11/11 - Sad news for the Zoo Eichberg


    I reported about our really impressing visit there in September and due to the fact that we both really enjoyed the visit there, we felt sad about the news we heard this morning on our local radio station: they have to close the Zoo Eichberg do to the fact that there is no money to run it anymore.

    To be honest, it's really a pity. It's a very unique place, maybe an experience you can only get once in a lifetime to be so close to wild animals. I'm glad that we'd been there 2 months ago, but I'm really sad that it was the first but also the last time.

    Friday, November 05, 2010

    Juanita (from LCDH Melia Cohiba) is comin to Kreuzlingen


    After we'd the possibility to get fresh rolled cigars in the beginning of October in Kreuzlingen and end of October in Vaduz, when Fidel González Rodríguez was here, now we'll have another chance to smoke some freshies and watch this art of cigar manufacturing.

    On 11/19 and 11/20 Juana "Juanita" Ramos Guerra will be in the shop in Kreuzlingen. She's from the LCDH in the Hotel Melia Cohiba in Havana, one of the casas on the island where our beloved cigars come from.

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    Source: www.5thavenue.de

    I'm sure that I'll be there on Saturday (Friday is blocked because we'll have our annual works outing) and I'm pretty sure that I'll meet there some known faces...

    Monday, November 01, 2010

    Bunnahabhain 35 yo, 1973 - 2008, The Whisky Agency


    Nose: Decent smell of rum raisins (smellin the influence of the Sherry), hints of gun powder, some honey.. it takes some time to develop in the glass... and you should give it this time... the smell is very complex and the aromas seem to be melded together and hard to crack... every time you smell at it you get a new impression.

    Taste: Wow. It´s directly there... no compromises... Sherry, oak wood... and exotical spices... those are the first things hittin my taste buds. The dried fruits are in the foreground, added by ripe apples and a mixture of orange and ginger, hints of lemon... there´s some kinda "dirty taste" in the background, hard to define what it is....

    Aftertaste: Very, very long aftertaste in the mouth... dominated by dried fruits and the spices... The maturation in the Sherry cask definetly left a mark on this 35 yo liquid gold...

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    The guys from "The Whisky Agency" took an excellent cask, and I´m happy that beside that bottle, which I split with some friends, I still have a full bottle left...