Monday 30 April 2012

A Wet Week

You think we would get used to rain in Ireland. Even in Dublin, which is apparently the driest place in Ireland, we are surprised when it rains and this week, boy did it rain.

The first half of the week was nondescript and boring, much like the Montecristo Open Regatta I had on Wednesday night. I have read good and bad reviews about Montecristo's "Open Series". Not one to judge I thought I would give them a try. I have developed a penchant for the "Torpedo" shape cigar so opted to try the Regatta.

Now I am not saying this was a bad cigar nor am I saying it was good. It was just Hmm!! I say it would be a great cigar for someone who has never tried a Cuban, or any other cigar, before but as far as inspiring even a enthusiast ( Do you like how I have upgraded myself from novice!!) like me, it doesn't stand up.

Thursday was a different story. The Mrs was off and we went out to Dundrum for a visit. A quick stop off in the Credit Union and we were on our way back into town towards Alfies for Lunch and Cuba Libras. They do an amazing €10 lunch meal that satisfies even my appetite. After eating we went outside and bared the elements as I smoked my first Vegas Robaina Unicos.

I loved this cigar. It started perfectly and even though I am not one for tasting notes it was almost sugary. This lasted well into the second third and was accompanied by a lot more flavours that my palette is too naive to describe. The overall feel was that it was truly a desert cigar. I will be picking up a few more.

Friday we paid off the balance towards Cuba. All we need now is spending money and a couple of years paying off our Credit Union loan!!

It was work then for the rest of the weekend ending on Sunday when I got thoroughly drenched. I couldn't feel my fingers or toes and was never happier to get home. After defrosting I felt I needed a long smoke. I went to the humidor and picked out a Trinidad Fundadores I had been looking at for a while.

Once again I was not disappointed. A long cigar but a not too large ring gauge. I lay on the sofa watching The Cube (What a show) puffing away and in total bliss. A medium cigar that changes flavour all throughout the hour or so of smoking, finishing almost full bodied but not too strong. Probably better when smoked in company but I didn't care.

So now its Monday. The biggest game of the season is on tonight and depending on the result it could be a great night of food, drink and cigars. Otherwise it could be a short lived night where there will be no talking to me. We will know which by 2130 tonight.

Monte Open Regata
Vegas Robaina Unicos

Trinidad Fundadore

Monday 23 April 2012

Super Sunday

"Football, Bloody 'ell" were the words uttered by Sir Alex straight after the 1999 European Cup win. I would bet he was thinking the same on Sunday, without the jubilation however.

Man Utd were 4-2 up with seven minutes to go and finished 4-4 handing the encentive back to c(Sh)itty. Its going to be fun next Monday at the "Emptystand" stadium in Wastelands and that is all I am going to say on that subject. 

So leaving Slatterys on Capel St a little dejected, the Mrs and I sauntered home in the drizzle to pick up an umbrella. Umbrolly in hand we made our way up Grafton St thinking we should have brought our sunglasses instead. You got to love Irish weather!!

As is now becoming a habit on my Sundays off we climbed (and I use that term litterally) the very steep stairs of The Decent Cigar Emporium. I mentioned in my last blog entry that I needed to be more diverse in my selection. I have noticed that my new Twitter friend from  Cigar Stories was partial to the odd Ramon Alones and if it was good enough for him...and so on and so forth.

I search the shop but couldn't find any. They were probably there and if I asked I would have certainly picked up a couple but once again I got distracted by the cigars on display. I will, some day, make it through every single one. Type, that is, not every cigar....Although!!!

So with Diversity in mind I picked up another two Montecristos!!!! In my defense they are two I have not had before. Along with them I picked up two Bolivars and one Vegas Robaina. My selection in full was:

1 x Montecristo Open Regata (keeping an "open" mind)
1 x Montecristo Grand Edmundo EL 2010
1 x Bolivar Gold Medal
1 x Bolivar Belicosos Finos
1 x Vegas Robaina Unicos

I read that that the Bolivar is among the strongest of Cuban puros, however as I enjoyed the Partagas P2 and D4 I have been assured that I wont find the Bolivar too bad. I was recommended to smoke them after a nice meal, which I certainly will.

Speaking of Meals, the Mrs was hungry. While debating where to go I thought it only fair that she picked up a few treats for herself. She protested but I won her over in the end with Macaroons from Brown Thomas and the Diamond Edition of her favorite Disney Movie, Lady and the Tramp. It was an apt choice!!

We decided to hit Luigi Malones in Temple Bar. Wings to start, followed by Ribs and topped of with Toblerone Cheesecake. I think the Mrs had something to eat as well.

Full belly's, Shopping bags in hand, wallet a lot lighter we went to the Morgan so I could smoke my cigar in some sort of heat and comfort (the weather had taken a change for the worst) Mojitos were ordered and I sparked up my Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill. Just under an hour of bliss, even while sitting in the cold. There is definitely something to this whole after dinner cigar thing!!

Content with our days work we decided to head home to watch Lady and the Tramp. To our dismay it didn't work. Straight out of the cover and it was jumping all over the place. Needless to say we were not amused.

So the day ended as disappointingly as it started. We were just glad that we had a great time in between!!

My Treats

Her Treats
RyJ Short Churchill

It kept the Ash very well

Thursday 19 April 2012

Cigar Choices

After all the furor of last week, I am happy to report that this week was totally nondescript.

I finished of the weekend in work without any drama (always good) and a short sleep later a new week started in the Studio. I am building an online presence for two company's so I spent a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter. Not a bad way to spend a weeks work.

So, as I said, pretty uneventful week (so far). I did manage to sneak in two cigars this week and a third tonight. The first was a Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto.

The second I had last night, a Partagas Series D No.4. For some reason I kept looking at this in my humidor and always put off smoking it. I was slightly afraid of it if the truth be told. I had heard / read that it was a powerful cigar and not for the novice. Long story short (too late for that) I smoked it, I loved it. Its up there with the Monte Petit Robusto, P2 and Monte No.2 as my favorites. Maybe I not so much of a novice anymore!!

As I type I see a trend emerging, I am trying to keep my smoking diverse and want to try all that I can however I keep falling back on the Monte's. I am also growing a fondness for the Partagas even though I didn't like the Presidente I smoked. Maybe I smoked it too soon into my cigar journey.

I have held off on the Cohiba's because of this very reason. I have had a few in my time but I was wet behind the ears and only pretended to enjoy them. I have a few in the humidor including the Behike 52 and the 1966 but I cant bring myself to smoke them. If I smoke them I wont have them anymore. Does this make sense?

Anyway, If you have any suggestions for me to try, please let me know. I am off now to have a Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No.1. Second Hoyo in a week. Please, I need suggestions!!

HDM Petit Robusto

Partagas D4

HDM Epicure No.1

Saturday 14 April 2012

Meeting, Football and Cuba

Why cant I just have a quite week?

After the madness that was Easter all I wanted to do was put the head down and take it easy. It started all so well with Monday being very nondescript. It all stopped there though!!

Tuesday I had a security meeting in the Central Hotel in Exchequer St. I met up with Diamond Dave(DD) and Marco and went for a pint in the Bank on College Green. A swift one there was followed by another in the Exchequer Bar beside the hotel. Another swiftly and we were up to the meeting.

Two Hours of my life wasted. Due to my partial deafness I had to keep asking DD what was going on and if it applied to us. I could see the amusement of this faded very quickly on his part so in short I sat in the conference room not having a clue what was going on.

The meeting was followed by another few in the Exchequer and a short walk later another couple in the Temple Bar. I had work the following morning so I had to cut the night short. Home and straight to bed and not a stogie smoked.

The following night Manchester United were playing Wigan. Ill be brief about this.

To cheer myself up after the game I selected a Montecristo Edmundo from my Humidor. I enjoyed it but nowhere near the pleasure I got from the Petit Edmundo. I have said it before but mood, surroundings etc.. have so much to do with the enjoyment of a fine cigar.

I got an email from the Mrs on Wed night while I was out. It contained a link to a travel site dealing with trips to Cuba. I looked at it briefly but dismissed it as a pipe dream. Thursday things heated up. When I came home from the Studio we spoke about the holiday, the cost what it would contain etc..

In the end we decided why not. To celebrate I grabbed a Trinidad Robusto Extra. It took me over and hour and a half to smoke the thing. It was a fine cigar, started off well and stayed that way all the way through.

Friday she booked our holiday. 10 nights in Cuba in August. 3 in Havana and 7 in some resort up the road. Now all we have to do is pay for it. Friday night in work started off well but ended up a very long night.

As I said before...Why cant I just have a quiet week!!!

Montecristo Edmundo

Trinidad Robusto Extra

Monday 9 April 2012

Easter Pt4: Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday started off Very well. I crawled out of bed and into the living room to watch Manchester United Vs QPR. United won 2-0 to go eight points clear at the top of the table with man city playing Arsenal later that day.

Already in a good mood, I was off with the Mrs to see the in-laws. We met them in Wynns Hotel where I had a couple of pints of Carlsberg. They had the match on in the background but I chose to be sociable and try not too watch it. It didn't really work. Arsenal won 1-0 and at that point I was a very happy man.

Oh, before I forget. It was our four years since the day the Mrs bullied me into saying I was her boyfriend. Four years later we are now "Life Partners". It the closest she can get without having me put a ring on her finger!! ( I will get battered for that!!)

So as it was our anniversary I decided I would treat her to dinner and use a meal for two voucher I had won at the Dublin Pub Box. (I'm good like that) Luckily for me it was a voucher for the Porterhouse Central that we both like and eat in quite often.

We settled in and I had the large suicide wings to start and she had soup. We both opted for steak, a 10oz Rib-eye for myself and an 8oz Flat Iron for herself. The wings were washed down with a bottle of Old Speckled Hen and we (by that I mean I) went for a bottle of Australian Riesling for our mains. I know, I know, steak with white wine but we ordered the wine before we decided what to eat.

We finished our meal with two fine deserts. I had the Ferrero Roche cheesecake and a chocolate bourbon pecan pie was ordered for the lady.

Nice and full we left to find a nice heated smoking area so I could enjoy a cigar. The weather was shocking but luckily enough we are dab hands at this sort of thing. We ended up in the back smoking area in SamSara. They have a lovely area out the front that looks great but for those in the know walk all the way down the back. Nice soft leather couches with more than ample heaters to keep you toasty.

I opted for the Montecristo Petit Edmundo from the collection the Mrs got me. I had never had one before but I would certainly have one again. Probably the first cigar I have smoked that I would buy a full box without any hesitation. It was superb. After a full meal it aided my digestion. That full feeling that can put an end to many an evening was totally gone by the time I finished my cigar. I was full of flavour and never overpowering. The biggest plus was the size. As I said the weather was shocking and although the heaters kept the cold out I wouldn't have liked to sit for a couple of hours with a large cigar. The petit edmundo took me 50-60 mins and that was me taking my time. A seasoned smoker would probably get 35-45 mins from it.

I took my time and I loved it.

Off we went then to meet a few friends in Dacota. A few hours and a few whiskeys sours later we headed to the Mercantile for one and then to the Mezz. It was here that I pulled out my second cigar of the evening. It was a Hoyo De Monterrey Petit Robusto. It looked great and felt great although I could get no smell from it at all.

Maybe that was an indicator. I took great care (as always) with removing the cap, just above the first ring, took my time toasting the foot before bringing it to my mouth, then it all fell apart, literally. After a few draws, the wrapper started to unravel, a couple more and the whole thing was loose. I tried my best to salvage it but to no avail. Less than half way into the first third it was unsmokable.

I have no reason for this but hopefully by my next post I will. I have once again tapped into the Decent Cigar Emporium combined brains and once they get back to me I will let you know.

All in all it left a bitter taste in my mouth after such a fantastic day. That is the thing with cigars I suppose. They are 100% natural product with no two being completely identical. I am sure the torcedor in Cuba wouldn't be happy to hear what happened. Maybe one day I will get there and tell him myself!!

Hoyo De Monterrey Petit Robusto

Montcristo Petit Edmundo

Easter Pt3: Holy Saturday

Not Much to report on this day as I was in work for 13.5hrs. Pretty uneventful but it gives me an opportunity to post a few pics of my growing collection.

The Mrs bought me my first humidor for my birthday at the end of January. It is a glass top humidor that she bought in James Fox for around €100. We have seen it since in the Decent Cigar Emporium for about €20 less.

So bare in mind on the 23rd January I just received my first humidor and I had only one cigar to put into it. It was a Davidoff Special R.

As I write this on the 10th April, you will have seen from my previous posts that I have been buying and smoking a lot of cigars in the last eleven weeks. I wish I had time to smoke more but the offset of that is my collection has grown considerably. I have attached three pictures of my humidor collection within those eleven weeks. I don't have the exact dates of each pic but you will get the general idea. A passion for cigars, a few quid invested every now and then topped with an understanding girlfriend all ads up to a collection building very fast.

The final picture was while I was seasoning my new humidor. What I have done since is separate the cigars I want to age or keep for special occasions in one humidor and the cigars I hope to smoke as soon as I can in the other.( I will post pics in a later post) The hardest part for me now is choosing which one to smoke.

All cigars are Cuban and 100% Puros. All Cigars have been bought in the Decent Cigar Emporium. I must say that I am not sponsored, affiliated or compensated by this shop in any way ( Although I wish I was!!!)

Easter Pt2: Good Friday

I woke very tired after the excitement of the previous day, that along with very stubborn customers, meant I woke up less than enthused.

The Mrs and I went out and about for the day and another day of browsing in the shops was ahead of me. We stopped off in Pizza Hut for a spot of lunch. I was totally zoned out for the day and the Mrs was on babysitting duties to stop me walking into poles.

We went into Brown Thomas and I bought her a DKNY purse as part of her present. That along with a ticket for Snow Patrol and dinner on Sunday. She seemed happy enough. I still don't think it measures up to the present that she got for me.

Next step was shopping for the Easter Eggs. Its tradition on Good Friday to spend it with the Byrnes. The crazy alcohol fueled parties of previous years have slowly but surely morphed into a very relaxed and civilised evening. One thing that hasn't subsided is their love for chocolate.

Two days before Easter Sunday and not an Easter Egg to be found. We decided to go an alternative route and just make up a hamper full of various chocolate treats. So a basket full of chocolate later and a wicker basket haggled out of a shop front display and we we sorted.

I am not a huge fan of chocolate and rarely indulge but I knew Mr.B liked the occasional cigar and that was something we could share. So I perused my humidor for two cigars to fit the occasion. I opted for a P2 for myself (after Diamond Dave ruined his) and a Monte No.2 for Mr.B that I know he likes.

Once we hit the Byrnes, pleasantries and a lovely spread of finger food out of the way, the serious business began. A five hour game of Monopoly ensued with Mr.B emerging victorious. This had nothing to do with the fact that he was the banker or that any rules I previously remember from playing the game didn't seem to stand in the Byrnes. Anyway, it made him happy.

We left the ladies to natter among themselves as we moved to the kitchen to enjoy our fine Cubans. Mr.B enjoyed the Monte No.2 as expected and it is quickly turning into one of my own favorites but a special mention has to go to the P2.

 I was a bit wary of the Partagas after I didn't really enjoy the Presidente I had previously and with DD ruining his P2 I didn't know what to expect. A lot is said about cigar enjoyment. It depends where you are, what mood your in, what your eating or drinking. Maybe all those factors came into play that evening. Sitting with Mr.B, chatting about everything, after a lovely day/evening spent with great company, it was just over an hour of bliss sitting in that kitchen smoking my Partagas Series P No. 2

Monte No.2

Partagas Series P No. 2 (P2)

Easter PT 1: Holy Thursday

A lot went on this weekend so I decided to break it up into a few parts. (Mainly for the amount of pictures)

So the Mrs and I are together four years on Easter Sunday and she asked my what I wanted as a present. As I am all about the cigars at the moment I asked her for the EL 2011 Cohiba 1966. I have read a lot about this cigar and when I saw it in the shop I never had the nerve to spend over €40 on a cigar I will not smoke for a good while. I knew she would get me the cigar and knowing the Mrs probably throw in a second that I could enjoy over the weekend. Nothing could have prepared me for what I received on Thursday.

She rang me on her way back from Dundrum and asked if I wanted to meet her for some Lunch. So I got myself ready and headed up Grafton St towards the Stephen Green shopping Center. I met her and we decided to go to Cafe Mao for a bite to eat. I noticed she was a little giddy and was trying her best to conceal the big blatant white bag she was holding onto.

Once in Mao she told me that she had bought my present but I would have to wait until Sunday to receive it. Less than sixty seconds later, I had convinced her to let me have it early. So as she passed the bag across I knew it was more than one or two cigars. What what inside blew me away.

1 x Humidor
1 x Punch Churchill
1 x Trinidad Fundadores
1 x Trinidad Robusto Extra
1 x Cuaba Piramides LE 2008
1 x Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No.1
1 x Montecristo Edmundo
1 x Partagas D Series No.4
1 x Montecristo Petit Edmundo
1 x Hoyo De Monterrey Petit Robusto
1 x Trinidad Reyes
1 x Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill


1 x EL 2011 Cohiba 1966

I didn't know what to say. I could barely eat my Nasi Goreng I was that gobsmacked. Bare in mind I had not even bought an Anniversary card at this stage!!

A big thank you is deserved for Guy and his staff in the Decent Cigar Emporium for helping the Mrs and making her feel at ease. It said it before and I will again. It is truly the best place in Dublin to buy a quality cigar and not feel undermined or under pressure. The staff take pleasure in setting you on the right track and are always eager to help. (God knows I have them tormented)

We walked around the shops for a bit after lunch but I was itching to get home to place my cigars in my humidor and to start seasoning my new humidor. I wanted to look at my new stogies and research them, pick which ones to smoke first and which to keep for a special occasion. I had to do all of this and still be in work for 5pm. The Mrs folded and we went home.

Work was busy that night and with nowhere else to go after midnight the customers took their time leaving. Time that I was precious to me that night as I wanted to get home to check on my new presents and off course my fantastic Mrs who bought them for me!!!

My New Humidor


My New Cigars

RjY Short Churchill Tubos
EL 2011 Cohiba 1966

Dublin Pub Box

So the week that passed was pretty uneventful until the Thursday evening. It was time for the first annual Dublin Pub Box. Bar staff, DJ's, Managers and promoters were pitting themselves against each other in the art of pugilism. If nothing else it was going to be a good laugh.

Off we went to the Wright Venue for the second week in a row. Luckily for me, this time I had no organising to do, I could kick back and relax and I had every intention of doing so.

Earlier that day, the Mrs and I went for a spot of lunch in Alfies on South William St. They have a €10 lunch box meal which includes a starter, main course and a soft drink. I thought I would need two but I was pleasantly surprised. The portions were ample even for a man of my appetite. Our meal was washed down by numerous Cuba Libras. The best of which I have tasted for a long time and all for only €5 a pop.

A couple of hours later we were in the Morgan beer garden with Mr.Bic. A few more beverages were enjoyed until it was time to meet the masses and head out to Wrights. We met outside The Church on Mary St. Diamond Dave joined us along with GayRay, Ste and his Julie.

The event itself was good fun. Out of the thirteen fights on the night only two or three would warrant the title boxing. The rest was pure enjoyment. Something strange with watching people you know try to batter each other!!

So up to the Penthouse in Wright we went after the fights. Settled into their fantastic smoking area and out with the cigars. I had got Diamond Dave a Partagas Series P No.2 and a Fonseca No.1 for myself. Both looked lovely and the Fonsca intrigued me. With its Lonsdale shape wrapped in thin tissue paper it looked very attractive.

The smoking of the cigars didn't go as well. More so for DD than myself. We cut far to much of the tapered head and the cigar ended up burning far too fast. Rookie error for someone who should have known better. The Fonseca was a strange one. Fiddling with the paper to get it off was an annoyance and once cut and lit the draw was very tight. Apparently this is common enough with the Lonsdale format but once I got into it the draw loosened up and I must say it was a very enjoyable cigar.

After the stogies the night took a less refined turn but we wont go into that. Needless to say there was a few sore heads and a lot of stories to slag each other about.

Fonseca No.1

The P2

Monday 2 April 2012

Fingal Film Festival

So after St. Patrick's Weekend and my lovely Bank Holiday I was straight back into work. The week ahead of my was a lot different and stressful than the ones I am used to. We were into the Fingal Film Festival.

We had worked from an idea to a full blown festival in little over 6 months and here it was. Setting up our office in The Crown Plaza in Blanchardstown we were all set to go. 3 days of independent movies, workshops and Q&A screenings. A lot of logistics needed sorting.

Luckily enough everything went swimmingly. We had Workshops with world renowned Directors, Actors, DOP's, Producers and Music Composers. Names like Martin McCain, Arthur Lapin, Joseph Conlon and Aisling Walsh to name a few. We opened our festival with the World Premier of Sean Penn's new movie "This Must Be The Place" and ended with our Awards Night in The Wright Venue.

After a hectic week it was time to let the hair down so to speak and I kicked back in the Wright Venues fantastic smoking area with a well deserved and thoroughly enjoyable Montecristo No 2. The Mrs let her hair down as well but less said about that the better. Needless to say there were sore heads the next morning.

No let up for me though, I was back to working on the door the next day. A very long shift ended with one or two delicious pints and I was set for my Sunday off.

A glorious day of sunshine eventually tempted my out of bed and off I went with the Mrs for a stroll up to St.Stephens Green to meet the Byrnes. Ice cream in hand and shades on we just kicked back and relaxed. It was needed. A lovely meal in the Mongolian BBQ later, we were rolling home. Relaxed and content and ready for the week ahead.

Monte No.2

Siglo 1 I neglected to mention