Monday, March 30, 2015

Partagas 898v 1998


The wrapper is colorado colored. Matt surface and due to the 898 package no pressing. It seemed to be a bit hard rolled but the first impression has nothing to say about the draw how I saw it e.g. at my Montecristo "C" which are all hard as a rock but have a fantastic draw. The smell of the cigar itself is a tremendous intensity of pure tobacco and leather... Wow!

So I lighted it up, cutted it and take the first puffs.... Draw is tight, too tight to be perfect but still ok (it went better after the first half inch).

The first impressions: leather, very intensive, black pepper, also some earthiness... and surprisingly a subtle sweetness like honey... I only knew this before from the Por Larranaga, here it was nearly the same sweet taste... It was embedded perfect in this strong flavor and came up every now and then during the first third.

In the second third it even get's intense.... leather is still there, woody tastes came up and the earthiness rose up more.

The last third was, also as the time before, really a perfect balance of the different tastes... the earthiness vanished (but came back during the last puffs) and in front of a background of wood, leather and tobacco the palate became more and more herbal... also black pepper came back... it was some kind of "grand finale".

I had an interesting experience: this cigar was full of flavors like I know it from much older cigars.... let me call it "vintage flavor"... who has smoked an older cigar (like 20+ yo) knows what I am speaking of. It reminded me tastewise a bit of the Palmas Grandes from the 80s that I have, but still stronger....

Conclusion: Very good cigar...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

03/20 - Whisky and...ribeye steak


Two years ago the regulars' table of the SSMC started in cooperation of Moses and the Restaurant Gemsle... generally a good idea but in the meantime Reto and myself decided for several reasons to continue it on a private basis. Our first evening of that kind was our Bruichladdich evening back in December, which was really a blast with a lot of high quality whiskys...

The next evening was really overdue but because of different absences we haven't been able to fix it on an earlier date. As we all love a good piece of meat, the choice for the main course was easy. After some chicken the last time, I decided for a some nice ribeye steak, some sugar snaps and rosemary potatoes were the perfect sides. Cucumber filled with crabmeat, some shrimps and cheese as a light starter... a homemade Crème Brûlée as dessert.

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Bowmore infused Brats as an appetizer

Cucumber cups filled with crabmeat and cheese

Ribeye steak

Cremé brûlée

And now the question about the whiskys. As we agreed we should enjoy some higher quality whiskys, therefore I'd a close look in the cabinet with the open bottles.

I thought about some different whiskys than the usual peaty stuff I always pull out and ended up with the following, call it coincidence or not but they're all Duncan Taylor bottlings:
  • Macduff 1969

  • Caperdonich 1972

  • Glent Grant 1970 (Reto brought a 1971 Cross Hill)


But finally I couldn't resist the call of Isaly and also took out the Laphroaig 21 yo. from Silver Seal, a stunning whisky which would be the perfect company for the desert and a 22 yo. Ardbeg from G&M, distilled in 1974.



Reto also brought some stuff with him...
  • Glen Grant 1971 Cross Hill Selection

  • Russenschnaps, the 8th club bottling of the Whiskyclub Regensburg which is a sherry matured Lagavulin


  • Some different Scottish beers, of which we had the Nessie's Monster Mash during dinner

Finally I've to say it was a good decision to continue this kind of "event" on a private level. The food was good and the whiskys outstanding... can't wait for the next time!



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Buckboard Bacon


Curing meat is an old and traditional method to preserve meat for storage. Not really necessary nowadays anymore but it's still done for the taste... cured and hot-smoked ham which turned into a buckboard bacon is really a delicious thing.

For the first test I took a piece of pork neck of approx. 1.8 kg, I didn't want to make it too big for the first time, just in case that I wouldn't like it.

For the curing rub I made a mixture of pickling salt, black pepper, brown sugar and some herbs, applied it to the meat which went to the 0°C shelf in the fride for about 2 weeks. After the curing process it was watered for approx. 2 hours to wash out a good part of the salt and left open in the fridge over night.

For the smoking I used some beech wood, glazed it with some maple syrup and added some marjoram... just keep it simple. The temperature was approx. 100 °C for the smoking time and I took out the meat at a core temperature of 63 °C, cooled it down and sliced it up...

My doubts regarding the taste were totally needless, the whole BBB was gone in a short time... and I repeated it with two pieces of meat 2.5 weeks later... instead of maple syrup and marjoram I used two different rubs... Onion Bomb and Red Dust. Different than the first one but also very tasty!

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Liechtensteiner Brauhaus Club Beers


Craftbeers are getting more and more popular in Switzerland, I was really impressed by the variety we have here when attending the Craftbeer Festival in Rapperswil last year in September. One beer that I tried there was from Liechtenstein, in the meantime I tried some more of their so called "Club Bier".


Club Bier 01 - Coffee Stout

Very dark colored, almost black with a nice head. The smell is dominated by dried fruits and coffee based on a moderate sweet background. Very smooth and cerealy in the mouth, dark roasted coffee with some fruitiness and aromas of toast. A good balance of bitter and sweet notes. Long lasting in the mouth with a fruity and pleasantly bitter aftertaste.

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Club Bier 02 - Alpen Pale Ale

Amber colored with a quickly vanishing head. The smell is full of hops, also some bread dough and caramel. The aroma of the hops continue in the taste, very floral, hints of honey and exotic fruits. The finish is more on the dry side (but not unpleasant) with some floral and hoppy aromas.



Club Bier 03 - Bock Stark

Reddish-copper colored with a small and stable white head. Caramel, citrus and nutty flavors in the nose. A very pleasant bitter-sweet flavor with hoppy aromas. The finish is characterized by fruit and caramel.



Club Bier 05 - Wiesnrausch (bottled one day before drinking)

Copper colored with a golden shine, the head is very stable and long-lasting. Citrus, wheat and yeast hit the nose. The wheat is one of the base flavors in the mouth, added by some fruity aromas, maybe banana... very creamy in the mouth. Slightly sweet aftertaste, very creamy...


Friday, March 06, 2015

02/25 - Ich bin ein Berliner


A few days back I met with two friends for a smoke in the QN Lounge in Effretikon, a really nice smoking spot. One of the guys is living in Berlin now since a few years but he was in Switzerland for some business, the perfect chance to meet after a long while.

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One part of our conversation was - of course - about cigars. New releases - just a handful of them will have a RG of less than 50 - and the biggest joke of the actual festival, the Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill Gran Reserva! This cigar was considered by all three of us as one of the worst new released cigars and now they make it even a Gran Reserva! Even though Cuba is still a communistic state, HSA seem to be  the biggest capitalists on that planet... squeeze out of it what you can get... For me I can say that those boxes can rott on the shelves...

Back to some positive things... I'd some nice smokes... the El Rey del Mundo Choix Supreme from 1998 was stellar... what a fantastic smoke. The other one... Partagas Series D No. 3, EL 2001... definitely an outstanding good cigar!