We’ve had another fun week up in the north! Last Wednesday we had another one of our tried and tested Cigar and whisky tasting evenings. So naturally, this week, I’m going to give you a run-down of the fun we got up to across the evening!

Sadly, due to a few last-minute cancelations, it ended up being a bit quieter than usual, but personally I quite like it when we have evenings like that (and not just because it means a less hectic evening for me and my colleagues!) because it means we can shift the pace of the evening to a quieter and more intimate pace than usual, giving our guests plenty of opportunity to ask questions and get to know each other a bit better.

Our last event was a Cuban night, so we mixed it up a bit and had a Honduran evening this time! We were joined by Scott Vines of Tor Imports (our UK suppliers for Alec Bradley and many many MANY other New world brands) to give us the lowdown on what we were sampling.

We started the evening with the Alec Bradley Black Market Punk, which is one of the newer releases from Alec Bradley. Compared to the hefty sizes of the rest of the Black Market range such as the 6” x 50rg Toro or the  6 1/8 x 54rg Torpedo, it stands at a comparatively diminutive 4 ½” x 42 , but don’t be fooled: It’s a real firecracker of a cigar; absolutely packed with rich, spicy flavours from the very first puff, which are balanced beautifully with a creamy vanilla undertone. I believe this was my first time trying this size (although I do sometimes lose track) but as regular readers know, I’m a big fan of “Big flavour in a small package” cigars, such as Partagas Shorts and Ramon Allones Small Club Coronas, so this cigar suits me down to the ground. I’ll definitely be getting more of these in the future.

Our “Main course” for the evening was from Alec Bradley’s Prensado range: The Robusto. Prensado literally means “Pressed” so it should be no surprise that the entire range is box-pressed. Nobody seems to be able to decide on exactly why manufactures started producing box-pressed cigars; Some people say it was to prevent the cigars rolling around in the box during transport (back when a majority of exporting was done by sea) whereas some people say it was to stop the cigars rolling off rollers’ tables while they were being made. Either way, the resulting cigar is another full-bodied beauty. Sweet, leathery notes with a touch of spice, albeit less spicy than the Black Market, but still very satisfying.

One thing a lot of our guests pointed out was just how consistent the quality of the cigars was, when it came down to construction and draw. It seems like New World cigars really have this element down. I always attribute it to the fact Cuba have pretty much established themselves as the king of the cigar world, so New World cigar manufacturers always seem to go that extra mile to prove they’re worthy of being mentioned alongside King Cuba. Well, Cuba may be King, but it could learn a lesson or two from the New World when it comes quality control!

Along with the cigars, our guest sampled a flight of whisky selected by Steph, our budding new whisky buff. For the evening, she had selected the light and easy Benromach 10 year old, followed by the sweet and smooth Tomatin 12 year old, capped off with something a bit special: The powerfully peaty Lagavulin 12 year old, a special release to celebrate Lagavulin’s 200th anniversary.

All in all, I think the evening went down very well with all our guests. There are plenty more to look forward to for the rest of the year, which can be found here. Keep an eye on the October events especially. I can’t say too much at this point, but we’re planning something very special, including a guest and an extremely exclusive cigar to sample… Got you intrigued? Well, watch this space…!

Until next time:

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!


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