Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in pictures


Lemme sum up the passed year with one pic of each month.... it was a nice year, I'd a lot of fun and met many wonderful people.

  • January
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
Meeting with Dan and Dave in Kreuzlingen

  • February
Enjoying some vintage Port on the way to the Pharmacy

  • March
10th anniversary of the CCC in Wiesbaden

  • April
April 2010
Wonderful time in West Chester, PA

  • May
Two times Marc

  • June
Herfin with some friends...

  • July
Rhine falls in Schaffhausen

  • August
Wedding of Gabi and Max

  • September
Zoo Eichberg

  • October
 
Constance Halaveli, Maldives

  • November
Whiskytasting "Back to the 70s"

  • December
    A lot of snow in December

    Happy New Year 2011


    2010 is almost over, so I take the chance to wish you all the best for a healthy and prosperous year 2011.

    Thx for the support and the comments.... I´m really surprised that I have more than 6´000 visitors since the start of this blog at end of January.

    Be sure that you´ll find here some more cigar and whisky tastings, reports about different events, my trips and all the joys of life. 

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    Wednesday, December 29, 2010

    Homemade filled pasta


    Two weeks ago I decided to make some pasta on my own... inspired by the pasta squares filled with blood sausage we'd a while ago in Wiesbaden.... unfortunately I didn't get the needed blood sausages and due to this I decided to make it with some salmon filling.

    Pasta dough is easy to make... and after preparation and rest time I rolled it out, cut it into pieces and put the salmon cream on it.

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    The closing was a bit difficult, the squares always re-opened and some filling came out, but in the end all kept close and were ready to put them into the boiling water.



    After a short time they all came up to the surface, showing that the were ready to serve....

    While I took care of the Pasta, Tanja prepared some sauce... in this case with sage and butter... that's it. Some fresh grated Parmesan on the top of it.... Voilá.... here ya go...

    Sunday, December 26, 2010

    A choice of Belgian beers


    A while ago I was in the Netherlands for business reasons and on my way back I made a stop in Belgium and picked up some bottles of the famous Belgian beer to try it at home.

    Here's a little report about it.. and don't worry: I didn't try them all at the same day...

    I've to say that it's a nice experience, interesting stuff of which I'll buy more in future for sure. Keep some bottles to age them, then try them again in 4 or 5 years....


    Delirium Tremens - cool name, interesting beer.

    Coming from the Huyghe brewery which is close to Gent where they brew beer since 1654. The beer I tried was "created" in 1989.

    Really fruity in the nose, but it has also some bitterness in the taste... it's some kinda.... creamy. It's triple fermented and has 8.5 % of alcohol... not too bad.

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    Trappist Rochefort 6 - dark and palatable.

    This beer is coming from the abbey Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy in Rochefort and is on of three beers that they brew there...

    Somber and copper brown.... pleasant maltiness, some hints of roast aromas.... very palatable and somehow delicate tastewise even though it has 7.5 %. But there is still enough body that it doesn't seem to be flat. I think I'll take it again.



    Trappist Rochefort 10 - a beer like honey.

    Reddish-brown, very dark color, with a very compact head and an aroma of figs, feels like honey in the mouth. The alcohol profile is a major component in the flavour of this rich ale.

    Black as the night.... cream, malt, honey.... very fat in the mouth, some hints of licorice. 11.3 % warm the throat... but still very pleasant.... on the whole a bit too sweet for my liking....



    Westmalle - another dark one which goes down well.

    The abbey Westmalle is brewing beer since 1836, it was sold outside the abbey the first time in 1856. It's one of the 7 Trappist beer that exist nowadays.

    Dark, close to black in the glass... very malty, intensive notes of caramell... there's definetly more sweetness than at the Delirium or the Rochefort .6.. and a bit weaker with 7 % only... it's a Dubbel, which means it's fermented twice.



    Orval - Le Val d'Or, the golden valley.

    The alcohol content after the brewing is app. 5.2 %. During the bottling process sugar and yeast'll be added, due to this the beer'll have another fermentation in the bottle and the alcohol content can increase up to 7.2 %. The sticker on the bottle claims 6.2 % as an average. The monks in the abbey Notre-Dame d'Orval started brewing beer in 1932.

    Amber-colored and somber... some kinda salty, intensive malt, yeast and some nice bitterness in the end... very complex... oh yeah, that´s a beer I really like. One of my favorites.



    La Guillotine - don't lose your head.

    La Guillotine comes from the same brewery as the Delirium Tremens, from Huyghe brewery. It's bottled with 8.5 % of alcohol....

    Good taste of yeast and some decent bitterness... but still creamy... nice beer.



    St. Sebastiaan Grand Cru - the soft maltiness.

    Produced at the Brouwerij Sterkens which has a tradition of more than 350 years of brewing beer.

    Blond beer with 7.6 %, a pleasant malty creamyness and hints of banana, dry in the aftertaste....



    St. Paul - the somber Blond.

    Another one coming from the Brouwerij Sterkens, also a blond one...

    7.6 % of aclohol, triple fermented... pleasant bitter notes which reminds of a regular Pilsner beer... good, but nothin spectacular.



    Corsendonk Pater Dubbel - matured in the bottle.

    The Corsedonk monks, originally from the Swiss Windesheim order, are not only famous for their beer but also for the copying of books and teachin of Latin....

    Double fermented, 7.5 %... very dark and somber, taste of caramell fudge, hints of dark roasted coffee and some sour aromas...



    Chimay Bleue 2010 Grande Réserve - the big blue one.

    In order to meet their needs and those of their foundations as well as to sustain employment in their region, since 1862 the Cistercian Trappist monks of Chimay have been developing the production of Trappist beers and cheeses which, owing to their character and qualities are well known and enjoy great success.

    The Chimay Bleue is available in small (33 cl / 11.2 fl oz), medium (75 cl / 25.4 fl oz) and big sized (150 cl / 50.7 fl oz) bottles. The bigger the bottle the better the maturation... especially after a storage over some years it'll give it a fuller and smoother character. Due to this storage the beer'll acquire a light and pleasant taste of port.

    This one was bottled in May this year (there's a stamp with 05/2010 on the cork), so it's still fresh, closed with a cork like a Champagne... but you can guess how it'll be with some years of age.. I guess I need some more bottles to store them. Reddish-brown color, creamy foam... intensive taste of malt and yeast, decent hints of nutty flavors.... oh wow... that's fantastic. Well balanced and even though there are some sweet aromas it´s never too sweet.... Another favorite of the tested range.



    Chimay Rouge - good company for a cigar

    I also tried the Chimay Rouge which is bottled with 7.0 %...

    Exotic fruits and bitterness of a Pilsner, goes well with a cigar...



    Leffe Bruin - some desert beer

    Leffe Bruin... Malty, caramell fudge and pleasant sweetness.



    Affligem - the creamy Triple

    Affligem... another triple fermented... served cool as a Pilsner... good, if you are thirsty, but don't forget that it has about 9.0 % of alcohol... Malt and yeast, later fruits and some bitterness, very creamy.



    Judas - no betrayal at all

    Judas... a triple fermented beer with 8.5 % of alcohol... but you don't feel the alcohol... very smooth, pleasant sweetness of exotic fruits... yeast and some good bitterness in the end...



    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Merry X-mas


    I wish all the readers of my blog a Merry X-mas with their families and friends.

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    For all of those who like poems, here's a funny one by an unknown author:
    If you see a fat man
    who's jolly and cute
    Wearing a beard
    and a red flannel suit
    And if he is chuckling
    and laughing away
    While flying around
    In a miniature sleigh
    With eight tiny reindeer
    To pull him along
    Then lets face it
    Your eggnog's too strong!
    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU!!

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    12/18 - Tracks in the snow


    We got a big load of snow this week... on Friday I'd about 20" on the parking lot at the company... a lot of snow for our region at this time of the year. Driving was a bit difficult or just to get outta the parking lot... I've no 4x4, so I needed the help of some colleagues cuz of the spinning wheels...

    On Saturday the morning was really nice with blue sky and sunshine while we did our Saturday shopping tour... so I decided to make a walk in the afternoon, unfortunately a bit more cloudy then but with some nice sunhine on the top of the mountains.

    It's nice to walk a way nobody else took before... fresh, untouched snow.... It's nice to "listen" to the silence of nature, the only sound you can hear is the scrunching of the snow under your feet.

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    A lonely track in the fresh snow

    I took two cigars with me to smoke during this walk of app. 2 hours. First was a RyJ Churchill from '06, second was custom rolled Laguito No. 1 sized cigar which I got a while ago when the Cuban torcedor's at Marc Portmanns shop in Vaduz.

    RyJ Churchill 2006

    As I told before... the sky was cloudy when I started but after a while the sky opened up partly and the top of the mountains got some sunshine while the rest was still covered by the clouds... a fantastic view which was hard to capture in a pic.

    Seeing the sun breaking through the clouds


    "Hoher Kasten" in the sunshine

    Some ducks in a creek


    Another view on the "Hoher Kasten"

    Isn't it impressing?

    Farmhouse (where we go every Saturday) in the foreground, "Hoher Kasten" in the background

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    12/17 - A Bowmorish evening


    Outside we've tons of snow, today was really crazy...

    Chaos on the streets in the Northeast of Switzerland, here: Zurich area

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    Trucks blocking the streets... snow chains are totally overrated

    It's a good occasion to take something at home which warms you up from the inside....

    I got some nice samples of Bowmore this week, so I'll try them tonite...

    Get your samples in a row....

    The first I have in the glass is this one: Bowmore The Ultimate, 28.03.2000 - 30.05.2007, cask 800064, 60.0 %

    Nose: Peat, gunpowder, smoked bacon

    Taste: Intensive smoke and peat aroma, ham, some wood, spices in the background

    Aftertaste: Long and peaty.... warming....



    Let´s go ahead with no. 2: Bowmore Old Train Line by JWWW, 04/1997 - 01/2008, 53.9 %

    Nose: Coffee-vanilla-caramell fudge, some peat in the background, rum raisins, burnt rubber

    Taste: very unique taste... herbal in the beginning, later peppery-peaty... decent note of lavender

    Aftertaste: herbs and peat... very long...

    This one is the winner of the evening for me....



    Sample no. 3 is in the glass: Bowmore Signatory Unchillfiltered Collection, 15.06.1989 - 30.04.2002, cask 20935, 46.0 %

    Nose: Coffee, peat, vanilla

    Taste: Decent smoky aroma, salt, seaweed, vanilla, hints of lavender

    Aftertaste: Smoke and vanilla

     


    I hope no. 4 is a bit more full bodied, not so weak as the last one: Bowmore Cadenhead's Authenctic Collection, 02/1991 - 02/2006, Bourbon Hogshead, 56.1 %

    Nose: Smell of the sea, salt, peat, vanilla

    Taste: Earth, peat, some coffee, salt

    Aftertaste: Peaty and maritim with a lot of salt



    Coming to the penultimate sample, no. 5: Bowmore Castle Collection by JWWW, 1989 - 2004, cask 6126, 52.0 %

    Nose: Smoked bacon, peat, black pepper, wet earth

    Taste: Very clear.. another peat attack, smoke, grass, citrus

    Aftertaste: Long and salty...



    The last one of the really tasty set: Bowmore McNeill's Premium Line, 16 yo., 46.0 %

    Nose: Peat, smoke, grass, spices... wow, what a nice smell!

    Taste: Sweet peat, hints of lavender (but not unpleasant), full bodied, bacon, vanilla

    Aftertaste: Sweetness of vanilla and a lot of smoke....


    A very nice selection, I´m happy that I took that package... I've to keep my eyes open for the Old Train Line, which was really special and rocked da house....

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    12/14 - Smoking on a plane...


    Yesterday I met with Tom and Marcel in Zurich at the Runway 34. It's a special location... The restaurant is in a big hangar and in the middle is a Ilyushin 14 from 1957, which is the smoker's lounge.

    Marcel booked a flight for us to Barcelona (originally we planned to fly to Havanna, but it wasn't available), so we went at first to the Check-In to get our ticket.

     At the check-in desk

    Ticket to BCN

    On Monday was Tom's 40th birthday, so at first we drank a toast to him, with Coke and Rivella. After a short moment in the bar we could move downstairs to the restaurant where we'd been greeted by our flight attendant.



    The restaurant itself is arrangend around the plane which is standing in the middle of this hangar. Drinks are served outta the trolleys that you know from the plane cabins... The food is really good there...  and gave us a basis for the following smokes.











    After dinner we went upstairs to the cigar lounge, which is located inside the plane. In this case it´s for cigar smokers only. I like that sign.


    We took a seat close to the exhaust of the ventilation system (the last time when Tom and Marcel'd been there they set off the fire alarm), where we'd a good view into the old cockpit of this plane.

    View to the back of the plane


    View to the cockpit

    View to the cockpit


    As a first cigar of the evening we started with a Festival 2000 Mareva. Very good cigar with some grassy notes, intensive earthy touch and also flavors of fresh walnuts and almonds.

    Tom and the box of Festival Marevas



     All three of us really enjoyed this fantastic stick and so it was nubbed down to the very end....

    Gimme some fire...

    The 3 Swiss Musqueteers

    Very good until the end

    The second cigar was gifted by Marcel, it's a Romeo y Julieta Petit Corona from the 70s... it's simply amazing how intensive in taste a 30+ yo. cigar can be... just wow! An impressing herbal flavor... another cigar that shows me why I like old and crusty stuff...




    Guys, I really enjoyed this evening... it's a pity that time ran by so fast...

    I'm lookin for the next time we meet....