Wednesday 27 June 2012 Reviewed is now live and up and running!!

I have been following @CigarStix for a while now on twitter and I have been eagerly awaiting the launch of thier new site. They have been promising a site like no other with a varied range of boutique cigars that would suit every smoker.

Boy have they delivered!!!

Arriving on the site you are greated by a short video displaying all the cigar brand that can now be purchased through Cigar Stix. Click into "Premium Boutique Stix" on the left and you are greated with an array of brands to chose from.

Now to be honest, a lot of these brands are alien to me. I have only ever heard of the likes of Sosa and Oliveros. Perusing through the other brands I am wondering why?

There are Cigars from Blue Mountain which contains the fantastically named El Cartel. A cigar I have ever seen the likes of before and would stare at in wonder ( thinking how do I smoke the bloody thing). There is also Cigars from Don Corazza, including its very tasty looking Torpedo, La Tradicion Cubana which has great figurados like the Great Pyramid FS and Chulo Fs and Silencio Cigars and their Salamones range among much, much more.

Its not only Cigars though. Cigar Stix boasts a wide selection of Cigar Accessories which include Humidors, Cutters and lighters among an assortment of other items to make you happy. You could also buy Cigar Art from Aclaimed Cuban born artist Alberto Godoy.

When your money is all spent you can still spend hours on this site looking through the Articles of Interest. From Cigar History to Plugged Cigars its all here. Move on to the Cigar Glossary and its a haven of knowledge that is a great reference to the newbie and aficionado alike. Cigar Stix also have gone that extra bit to let you know how to set up and care for your humidor.

So if your a seasoned smoker or you are about to pick up your first stogie, Cigar Stix has it all. Reasonable pricing and free shipping until July 4th 2012, you could go to worse places than this site.

Now to find out the biggest question off all. Do they ship to Ireland???

Monday 25 June 2012

Montecristo Grand Edmundo Edicion Limitada 2010

In this post I am going to attempt my first proper review. I have just finished the Monte Grand Edmundo EL 2010 and I feel it warrants a post of its own so here we go!

A nice dark wrapper. Smooth veins and a few bumps. Nice and oily. Very enticing

Pre-light draw:
Tobacco funnily enough. Not much else

Creamy!! First few draws had thick, heavy, viscous smoke and the appearance of a lovely almost bright white ash that makes me happy!

First 3rd: 
Slight hints of milk chocolate. Very feint mind you I had to concentrate hard on what I was getting. Light to medium strength and developing in flavour towards the back of the first 3rd

Second 3rd: 
Wow. The Milk chocolate was kicked out off town and replaced with strong black coffee. It felt like I had just swallowed a full cup of Cubans finest. The first cigar I have had were that coffee taste was so prevalent and with that the cigar moved to a firm medium bodied cigar.

Final 3rd: 
The spice moved in. I couldn't put my finger (or taste buds) on what it was exactly but I loved it. Not as harsh as black pepper, it left a tingle on my lips that you may get from Spicy chicken wings. (The tingle, not the flavour) Woodiness also came through with hints of leather. The Cigar was now on the full side of a medium bodied cigar. Just how I like it.

No bitterness or harshness at all. Smooth until the very end and still full of flavour

OK to start but opened up perfectly after the first 3rd

Two touch ups but nothing major. Just me being anal and looking for the perfect burn

Time to smoke: 
It took me almost two hours. Probably could be smoked in an hour to hour and a half but I took my time and enjoyed every bit!!

Value for Money: 
At around €30/€35 worth every cent

I burnt my fingers. I wish it was longer.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Cigars, Sunshine and Memory Loss

Ten Days have passed since my last post. A lot has happened. Its just a pity I cant remember most of it. Well most of Sunday anyway!!

Lets start with what I do remember;

Ireland lost all three games they played in Euro 2012 and are out of the Tournament. The support they received has done the country proud and goes well beyond football. (No matter what Mr.Keane may say)

England Qualified last night after another controversial goal line decision and will play Italy on Sunday. They will look at it as justice for Lampards goal against Germany in South Africa.

After my last blog post I sparked up a Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill (Cuban). It was my second time smoking this cigar. I had sampled it at the James Fox night I attended and with all that was going on I didn't take much notice of it. The second was not great. The taste was OK, nothing outstanding. It was the attention I had to pay this Cigar that dragged it down. Constant touch ups and wonky burn is not what I look for in a Cigar. 

The second of the week was on Monday evening. I was meant to go to a leaving party for a fried but I was too tired to get off the sofa. Instead I torched up a Bayamo Robusto (Honduran). I've had a few of these. Smoking them to get rid off them really. A nice Cigar but as I have said before, who wants "Nice"
On Tuesday, I was gifted a cigar, one I have never seen before. It was an Alvaro Cedros. After a lot of searching I found out that it is an Indonesian Cigar. Sold mostly in Spain, primarily the Canary Islands. I'm still unsure whether it can be smoked dry or not. Either way I have it in my humidor. I'm in no rush to smoke it. 

My penultimate cigar of the week was theLa Floridita Toro (Nicaraguan). I had this cigar with a large jug of freshly brewed coffee. Its amazing the difference it makes. Coffee can turn an average cigar into a great smoking experience.
My final Cigar of the week was on Sunday. A Cuaba Piramides EL 2008 (Cuban) I enjoyed this cigar a lot. That could have been due to the sunshine and Gin cocktails but more about that later(If my memory returns).

Other Cigar Related News:
Thursday I ran home from work to join in on a Conference call to the US. I was speaking to Jeff and Irving from Cigar News. The website is launching on August 1st and going forward I hope to be part of the Cigar News team. More to follow in time....

I have also been invited to take part in an online Wrapper seminar hosted by Jose Blanco from Joya De Nicaragua. This event is in association with Buttheads Tobacco in Danbury, Connecticut who generously sent me out the Cigar we will be sampling. I picked it up yesterday and it looks amazing. a single cigar with four different wrappers. It should be great. It kicks off Thursday @ 8pm EST. That's 1am for me but it will be worth staying up for

My friend Stinky in Las Vegas, from Stinky's Ashtrays has also started a YouTube channel. Check out his videos here and enjoy his new jingle. Its great

That brings me on the Sunday and the Taste of Dublin. An outdoor event held annually in the Iveagh Gardens in Dublin City Center. I went along with Mr.Bic and John There Now. This is where the memory goes blank. A lot of alcohol was consumed and no food was consumed which both equaled to a very drunk man with very little memory. I woke up the next morning with a smashed phone and a bruised body and I think I lost my dignity along the way.

All I can say is the Irish don't do things in half measures....Apart from their football.

RyJ Wide Churchill

Alvaro Cedros

Bayamo Robusto

La Floridita Toro

Cuaba Pirimides El 2008

The Lads enjoying Stogies

Sunday 10 June 2012

Rants, Plugs and Praise

Ireland got hammered by Croatia today in their first game of Euro 2012. Somehow people were surprise

I am not a major fan of International Football although it is very hard not to get caught up in all the furor when Ireland are in a major competition. My only problem is the constant references to Stuttgart in '88 and Italia 90. A time when Ireland done quiet well under a manager who instead of utilising, in my opinion, the best midfield Ireland have ever seen, chose to pump the long ball up to two ten foot tall donkeys.

Ireland are nowhere near the standard of the teams in their group and it amazes me how people are shocked at a defeat. Anyway, football rant over, and depending on Thursday and Mondays game, I could be back here singing "We're all part of Trappy's Army"

Back to the important (sic) stuff. The Flora Women's Mini Marathon took place on the bank holiday Monday and over 40k woman ran the race. One of them was the Mrs. It was a glorious day in Dublin and with a creak in my neck (long, painful story) I sauntered up to St. Stephens Green to meet her at the finish line. There was around 33 minutes on the clock when the first woman crossed the line. I was expecting the Mrs any second now!!! An hour later and a bit more colour on my face, she crossed the line. I was later told that due to the large amount of people, the Mrs didn't even cross the start line for ages. Her official time for the 10k run was 01:18:25. I was very proud.

The next day I was helping Mr.Byrne move to his lovely new house. I was cast in the role of "Furniture Removal Guy". After a few hours lifting, dragging, pushing and pulling, the majority was done. At least I know if all else fails I can move furniture for a living. Who needs the Gym!!

The rest of the week was uneventful. A few nice Cigars, one or two not so nice. I have taken to Twitter in a big way recently. You can find me by typing in @CigarDoorman. (I am also on Facebook: Cigar Loving Doorman - Shameless plug - Please like my page!!) What has really surprised me is the genuine love for Cigars. Cigar pictures, discussions, comparisons etc.. you get the drift. The Cigar community is a big, lovable, happy and generous family and I am proud to be a part of it.

One of the discussions that keeps popping up between myself and my stateside BOTL is the Cuban vs Non-Cuban debate. I will totally agree that I have not sampled the best that NC Cigars have to offer. I have had some good and a lot of just OK. I probably have had only two that I would call bad, however, when I lit up a Cuban Fonseca No.1 during the week, which are probably the lower end Cuban Cigar, I noticed the difference straight away.

Cuban Cigars have a complexity that I have not found in NC Cigars. They may start of creamy / spicy / woody or whatever tastes but you can almost guarantee that there will be a different sensation by the time you finish. It is that complexity, that symphony of taste, that journey that the cigar takes you on, only in Cuban Cigars will you find it.

I was back on the Door on Friday and that put a halt to my cigar smoking. Irish weather is like the Irish women. You just don't know what to expect when you wake up in the morning. Friday was a wet, miserable day. I was standing on the door shivering in an overcoat and scarf. Saturday I was looking for Sun-cream.

Saturday was a long shift on the door as usual. The only thing that makes it seem shorter is the craic I have with Diamond Dave (who will from now on be known as Hollywood - another long story). Hollywood, was however, tired and grumpy on Saturday. Not the best combination when dealing with drunk people. A quick pint after work and I walked home. Once in the door I was greeted with a bag from James Fox that the Mrs had left out for me. What was inside really made my week.

A(n)? XIKAR Xi1 Silver Cutter. I was delighted. On that note I am off to use it for the first time. Now what will I have? Cuban or Non-Cuban?


The Mrs after the Mini Marathon

A.Fuente Cuban Corona (Dominican) A "Nice" Cigar

Fonseca No.1 (Cuban)

Diplimaticos No.3 (Cuban - Discontinued)

Famous VSL (Honduran) Creamy but boring

Xikar Xi1

Monday 4 June 2012

Where to Smoke?: Pt 1 (Maybe)

After the Shenanigans of last weeks Whiskeys tasting I have had a relatively quiet week. I could fill you in on my grueling two weekends on the door. The first involved long hours and little sleep, the second involved a lot of rain.

I'm not going to do that though. Instead, by popular demand, I am going to give a brief outline on the best (but limited) spots to smoke a cigar in Dublin. I am only going to list five to start with and I may revisit this topic as time goes on.

My choices will incorporate the typical Irish weather, day/night smoking. comfort, space etc... They are in no particular order and I will (hopefully) keep the descriptions brief. It is a pet project of mine to, at some stage, have detailed descriptions on every smoking area in Dublin. So if you have your own favorite or a hidden gem please comment and let me know.

I must also point out that most bars in Dublin have made the effort to incorporate a smoking area but I will only outline bars in which I feel I could comfortably spend an hour enjoying my cigar.

1. The Market Bar (Fade St.):
The Market bar was always an "OK" place for a cigar. The outside area wasn't very comfortable and there was the chance of beggars annoying you for money. This has now changed due to The Market Bar converting their upstairs function area into a (almost) fully covered smoking area. Comfy seats, Great heaters and a fully stocked bar. It is a new addition so I cant judge how busy it would be.

2. The Morgan (Fleet St):
A lovely bar during the day with a Semi-Covered smoking area. A mix of wood and iron seats with a couple of bed-seats thrown in. Nice on a warm day but lacks the sunshine. On a cold day try to get under a heater. This area is average size and can get very busy at times. Cocktails are great though. Avoid at Night!!

3. The Church (Mary St/Jervis St):
The biggest and possibly the best smoking area in Dublin when the sun shines. If your not in VERY early, your not getting a seat. A mix of high tables with comfy stools and low tables with not so comfortable seats. If you mange to get a low seat when the sun is shining you wont care and you wont be giving it up easily. In the event of rain, there is a covered area with very strong heaters.

4. No Name Bar (Fleet St.):
I was only in this bar recently. It has a very large smoking area covered in what appears to be a circus tent. Wooden benches that are not too uncomfortable. Sparsely thrown about heaters. A very quirky spot and almost hidden which leads to it being very popular. Bar staff are lovely from my experience. I asked for a Cuba Libra, they said they would charge me for a Rum and Coke because it was cheaper. I liked that.

5. Flannerys (Camden St.)
In my opinion the best smoking area for a wet night. The have a natural turf (peat) fire on the go. I personally love the smell (of the fire). Almost fully covered. If its raining it wont take too long to figure out the wet spots. A mix of high tables and low tables. Comfortable enough I suppose. The downside is this place gets very, very busy and the crowd late at night border on annoying. The will sneer at you for smoking a cigar instead of a Johnny Blue. Oh and then there is the boxing machine!!!