Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Good Cigar along for the Ride

I had to traipse The Princess to a practice the other day so I thought that I would get a good cigar in there as part of the process. And I succeeded.

The wrapper on a good cigar is tight with good veins. There are no holes in the cigar that would suggest insects. There are no loose places in the outer wrapper that would suggest drying of the cigar. Either of these problems turns a good cigar into a bad one immediately.

The draw is easy on a good cigar, not to suggest that if your cigar draws hard that it is bad. Quiet the contrary, if your draw is hard it could be suggested that you return that cigar to your humidor so that the moisture in it can be evened out over the course of a few days. The draw is also effected by how tightly the cigar was rolled. Mistakes do happen with premium cigars because they are hand rolled.

I chose a madura wrapped cigar as my treat that day. Nice, tight wrapper, sweet smell of the madura wrapping. Good draw with creamy smoke. A good cigar indeed.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Good Cigar on a Good Day

It is always interesting to me, one of my many revelations, how little of my own homebrew that I actually drink. This came to light just yesterday when a friend and I were discussing getting our families together for an impromptu picnic along with enjoying a good cigar. I say impromptu because we husbands were the ones who did all of the planning. And the planning went something like this:

The players are myself, Phil, and my friend, Scott.

Scott: Phil the girls were talking about getting together on Sunday. Are you off?

Phil: Yep, and I have a new beer that I want you to try. Double Simcoe IPA from Weyerbacher brewing.

Scott: Cool. I picked up a variety pak from Appalacian Brewing that I will bring over.

Phil: Excellent. How did you like that Thunderhop from Church Brew Works I gave you a couple of weeks ago.

Scott: It was really good. A little toned down from what I like, but it still went down well.

Phil: I have to turn you on to Blithering Idiot sometime too, but I just drank my last 2 bottles last night.

Scott: I picked up a couple of cigars the other day too. You want me to bring them over?

Phil: Naw, I have a couple of Romeo y Julietta Maduros we can smoke, or you can just rummage through the humidor and see if there is something you like. I have a friend who has been getting some really good cigars for a guy at work, and he has been passing some of them on to me.

Scott: We better plan the food or else we are going to forget all about it. We have chicken we can bring.

Phil: Great, I am working tonight so I will get some corn, salad, and desert.

Scott: So how much beer do you think I should bring over?

Phil: Whatever you can drink

So you get the gist of the conversation. We spent a good 15 minutes talking about beer and cigars, and all of about 3 minutes talking about food.

It was after this conversation that I actually realized that I hadn't said anything about my beer. Sadness. I try to brew to a taste. And I end up giving most of the beer I make to friends. They try it, tell me that they like it, or not. We discuss that pro's and con's and I put that into the recipe for the next batch.

I need to start drinking more of my own beer. Especially since I am going all grain this coming fall. This is important.

And have I mentioned that I am going to a kegerator system? I don't think so. A friend called me up the other day saying his parents had a refrigerator that they want to get rid of, would I be interested. Hell yes I would be. I am picking that puppy up on Monday and converting it to a two draft system.

More as the story develops.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This is a Good Cigar

There are a number of elements that go into a good
cigar. But lets look first at what shouldn't go into one.

Loose outer wrapper. A good cigar should have a firm, slightly oily feeling outer wrapper. Anything else means that your cigar was not held at the proper level of humidity. In other words, you allowed it to dry out. A dry cigar is not fun the smoke, as it is like smoking leaves. A cigar held at the proper humidity will actually have a pleasant taste when smoked.

A badly stored cigar will also not give off the same kind of smoke that a good cigar will. A good cigar has thick, white smoke and plenty of it.

And the taste. A good cigar has the taste of a good bourbon, or a good beer to it. A taste that tells you that you are smoking something that is meant to give you pleasure.

My good cigar today was a Excalibur 1066 Black Prince. It was a very good cigar. Nice tight, slightly oily outer wrapper. A good draw to it once I cut the cap off. And the only thing missing in the taste was a good beer to go with it. But seeing as I was driving, a good beer just would not have been proper.

And that is what a good cigar is.