Friday, May 30, 2014

05/17 - Whiskyfair Limburg


Limburg was calling and all the malt maniacs were coming.

This year I went there with two friends from Switzerland... to make it a relaxed weekend we started around noon on Friday. The drive was a bit tough, therefore it took us until 7 pm to arrive finally there...

After the check in we walked from the hotel to the Villa Konthor, the place where most of the people meet at this weekend. Definitely a good choice because this evening was already a blast. We met there some guys from Austria who invited us to share some Aberlour 18yo, Cadenheads in the brown dumpy bottle from the 60s with them... What a great whisky! Of course we had some more stuff from the Villa... the negative highlight was an old Edradour, but we've been warned before that it has the typical distillery character... which means something like soap, perfume etc.

Whisky, beer, cigars and good company: the prefect "ingredients" for a fantastic evening that ended in the early morning hours in the hotel where we washed down all that stuff with a big glass of Chimay Bleue.

Welcome to Limburg

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
Diplomaticos No. 4 from the mid-90s

9yo. Laphroaig from the Whisky Fair

Aberlour 18yo, Cadenheads, brown dumpy bottle from the 60s

Tasting some more whiskys...

Edradour

Reto after trying the Edradour


The next morning - after a short night ;-) - started with sunshine, a good breakfast and a walk to the city of Limburg. Luckily we'd some presale tickets therefore we could use the side entrance which made it much easier to enter the location where we immediately stuck at the stand of Max Righi from Whisky Antique.

This year I enjoyed definitely much more of old and rare stuff than the years before: Bowmore from the 70s, Longmorn, Highland Park from the 70s, several Springbanks from the 60s, 70s and 80s... Glendronach from the 80s, a 30yo. Lagavulin (ceramic jug), a few old Laddies, Ardbeg 1973 from Connaisseurs Choice and Sestante etc.... the list is long...

The hours flew by and around 6.30 pm we walked to the Werkstadt Lounge for the Talisker BBQ event. The food was ok, even though it was again no real BBQ, the whiskys were... ok, just some ordinary Taliskers like the 10yo, Distillers Edition, Storm and the Port Ruighe. Nothing to be enthusiastic about... so we moved again to the Villa where we meet again some known faces and spent there the rest of the evening...

After these two days we're all excited to come back next year... the last weekend in April is already marked in the calender.


The sun is shining while we're waiting for the doors to open

Selection from The Whisky Agency

Old Bowmore 14yo.

Glendronach 8yo from the 70s

25yo. Highland Park, 70s/80s

Springbank 33yo.
 
Max pouring in some old Longmorn

The Whiskykanzler and the Dutch

Nosing some 12 yo. Springbank from the 70s

Slainte!


Let's drink that Springbank 1978 straight from the bottle

Another Springbank

Macallan 1973 - a dream dram

Ardbeg 1975 from Wilson & Morgan

Ardbeg 1973 - I tried it and I loved it

Old Laddies rock...

An extremely sherried Laddie... awesome!

Another Ardbeg from 1973, Connaisseurs Choice

Bowmore 1974, 21yo.

It was crowdy but not as packed as last year


Old and rare Bruichladdich


Waiting for the next dram...


The day at the fair is over.... now beer and cigars...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Punch Punch 1995


Very decent odor of strands, dry sawdust comes to the nose while having the cigar in the hand with its colorado-claro colored, matt and fine wrapper. It's very boxpressed and seemed to be good rolled.

After lighting up and cutting you have a perfect draw and you can find directly the flavors that you had before in the nose: strands and dry sawdust, mixed with some little hints of wild honey and black pepper. The woody part is some kinda basis (lasting the whole time) for all the other flavors which come up during the smoke.

The second third, which is also based on the woody component, is characterized by upcoming maltiness, some hints of nutmeg and a pure taste of old tobacco... The sweetness of the first third has fainted away, it's getting a bit more animal-like.

Also in the last third the sawdust is present and giving the base to leather, black pepper and still the tobacco. It's like the flavor of freedom, like sitting outside somewhere in the fields and enjoying this flavorful cigar....

The cigar wasn't bitter or harsh at any time, a very pleasant smoke for a time of app. 90 minutes. The ashes was a bit fragile, so you had to take care that it comes to the ashtray and not to the table or the floor...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

05/06 - Fresh Custom Rolled Cigars


Marc gave me a call that a torcedor will be at his shop soon... another good chance to visit him again after I was in NZ for two months and to meet with him was definitely overdue. As all of the Portmann family he knows my preferences very well and so I could immediately fire up a Laguito No. 1 sized cigar with a good portion of ligero in it when I arrived at the shop. That's true customer service!

As usual we moved the location later to the Cubaclub where we spent the rest of the evening with some really interesting topics which were about everything else but not cigars.

I smoked another one of the fresh cigars, really excellent stuff... obviously he got a good batch of tobacco... good to know that I will have the chance to smoke some more of those at the Portmann event at the end of May in Romanshorn...

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, widnau, 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






Tuesday, May 13, 2014

04/30 - The smoking Four


Our last joint herf is already a while ago, I think it was back in January if I remember correctly. Therefore I was really happy that we found a date which matched for all four of us to smoke another fantastic cigar.

This time we smoked a Montecristo Edmundo Dantes, Conde 109. There've been two batches, the first released in 2007, the second batch released in 2008. Our sticks were from the second batch with the boxing code USE MAR08.

Another detailed report about the evening can be found on feltedhat.com, here are my impressions of this smoke.

Perfect appearance, perfect construction, a nice colorado-colored wrapper... it proofs that the Cubans still know how to make a cigar which definitely looks like a high quality product. The smell is dominated by woody notes which also have some decent "cellar" smell in the background. Not unpleasant, not very much... but it's there.

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, widnau, 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


The first puffs are a big relief: no cellar aroma but a good portion of white pepper (it seems that I'm the only one with this taste) with some hints of leather. The woodiness is there too but it's more a hint than a distinct aroma.

Obviously I cut too much because the draw was a bit too light for my liking, but I've to confess that I like it more on the tighter side. Beside the intesive flavors coming along with the first puffs the cigar gives me the impressions to be more on the light side... an impressions which should be confirmed during the smoke...

During the first third the white pepper aroma is getting more and more intensive but surprisingly the smoke was very smooth while nose-exhaling... like an old vintage cigar even though the taste was definitely not vintage-like, of course not with just 6 or 7 years of age... The taste of cedar wood was joining this distinctive peppery note combining each other to a very complex flavor profile. There were also some other aromas which I couldn't specify at this time.

I was the one who was smoking very slow at this evening which's untypical when I don't smoke alone... therefore I reached the second third of the cigar while one of us was already in the last third... wood and leather were the main components of the mix... joined from time to time by a semblance of dark roasted coffee... one thing was totally surprising: especially while nose-exhaling you got some intensive floral notes which Urs Portmann also smelled in the smoke and which were only present in the cigar that I smoked. Maybe I was lucky enough again to get the "best" out of the selection.

The grand final of this amazing cigar was very creamy, chocolate-like... aromas of dark chocolate and wood pairing again in front of this peppery background. Awesome...

After a smoking time of 2.5 hours I put it to the ashtray and left it beside the dark-grey ash. The smoke confirmed what I expected after the first look and feel: a perfect cigar, good burn, tons of flavor. Negative aspects? It wasn't as strong as I would've expected it but that's not really negative... and the light draw was partly my fault because of the cutting.

I'm looking forward to open my box of those which are from 2007, the first batch.

Stay tuned for our next get-together when I will bring some sticks to smoke... I have something on my mind, but let's see what we'll finally smoke...





Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Queenstown round trip


Another trip through the beautiful landscape of New Zealand should bring us to the city of Queenstown and our way to that place was full of some really amazing spots.

I have been at the two Lakes that you will see now here on the pictures during my last trip but it was an experience I'd to share with Tanja during here time here.

We started our trip in the early hours of a Friday morning with a clear sky and a promising forecast with picture perfect weather.

Lake Tekapo had much more water than back in December but unfortunately the color wasn't as impressing as the last time... we stopped there and enjoyed a walk before we continued our way to the Lake Pukaki... a lake with a stunning color... the Mt. Cook in the background made the scenery perfect...

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
Lake Tekapo

Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo

Lake Pukaki with Mt. Cook in the background

Lake Pukaki

Mt. Cook

Mt. Cook

Just around the corner from the lake and on the way further down to Queenstown we stopped in the middle of nowhere to have a look on the Pellenor fields which have been a scenery for the Lord of the Rings... ok, nothing reminds of the movie but maybe I^ll recognize it when watching it again.

Pellenor fields (from Lord of the Rings)

Pellenor fields (from Lord of the Rings)

Pellenor fields (from Lord of the Rings)

Another lake, another stop. Lake Ohau - one of the numerous lakes in New Zealand and especially in this area...

Lake Ohau

Some driftwood at Lake Ohau

Nice view in the side mirror

After leaving the Lake Ohau our way lead over the Lindis pass and then along the Wanaka river to Queenstown which is located at another lake... the Lake Wakatipu.

Lindis pass

Wanaka river

Lake Wakatipu

Queenstown as a real tourist center, the heart of the city is the so called Steamer Wharf, a complex of buildings with shops and restaurants... we'd a good dinner there while we enjoyed the view on the lake during the setting of the sun. It's a warm day and still a mild evening, we were in need of some refreshment and so we decided for a visit in the "Minus 5" ice bar. The name is program, the temperature inside was around -5 °C. Everything's made of ice inside: the chairs, the bar, the glasses... a cool experience...

Steamer Wharf

Ice bar "Minus 5"

Ice bar "Minus 5"

Ice bar "Minus 5"

Lake Wakatipu in the evening sun



After a night in a room which has been upgraded for whatever reason by the hotel (thx for that) and a beautiful sunrise we drove along the Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy which is also called the "Gateway to Paradise". The drive took us to a great scenery with the lake and the surrounding mountains and we made our way over several gravel tracks to Isengard. Hrmmm... ok... another spot I wanna verify when I watch the movie again... ;-)

Another stop of this seightseeing trip was in Arrowtown, a town which boomed during the time of the goldrush in that area. One street has been rebuilt based on the look how it was at this time... but to be honest: it looks more like a tourist trap to me than an attraction. The leftovers of the village of the Chinese gold diggers was definitely more interesting and gave you a much better impression of that time.

Additionally we saw some action on the river with speedboats and got another approval of the Kiwi's passion for crazy postboxes...

Glenorchy

Isengard (from Lord of the Rings)

Isengard (from Lord of the Rings)

Arrowtown

Arrowtown

Arrowtown

Settlement of Chinese gold miners from the gold rush times

Settlement of Chinese gold miners from the gold rush times

Settlement of Chinese gold miners from the gold rush times

Settlement of Chinese gold miners from the gold rush times

View over the Queenstown area, the city is behind the hills in the background


Jetboat action on the river

Some interesting postboxes...