I picked up a bottle of Steinhart Gin on a recent excursion to their distillery down the road from our campus. I was always curious as to how their gin tasted having already tried a couple of their vodka products. They were very gracious to invite us out and show us around the operation. It was a very cool experience. I have been to many different breweries over the years, but never a distillery.
I try hard each year to keep my birthday on the DL, not that I am avoiding my age or anything like that, I just dont get the hoopla. But I bought a bottle of the gin to give myself a little treat as I do enjoy a martini from time to time.
Now everyone should know that I do enjoy the genre of selfie. I like to think that I specialize in cigarSelfies. I am fairly confident in my ability to capture myself with a cigar and its blue grey smoke, swirling around like a halo or crown. From time to time ( always) I post these stunning pics of myself on various social media platforms like FB and Instagram.
On a fairly recent post I hash tagged #cigarsofinstagram well, I have seen alot of #dogsofinstagram #doorsofinstagram etc etc etc, but no cigars of instagram. I have been getting some positive likes from fellow cigar enthusiasts one specifically was from @cigarnoise so like a good instagramer I threw them a follow. A couple of days later @cigarnoise posted a link to a review and website. So on some additional perusing I found the website and app for Cigar Noise. I downloaded the app and was pretty pumped to see such a diverse community in the intraweb posting pics, and giving reviews of cigars. Mind. Blown. I dont know why these things always suprise me, perhaps I enjoy my bubble so much I dont realize there is actually a world out there haha.
Anywho, I jumped right in this weekend with a couple of posts of my own and got some immediate feedback. My cigar selection was something to be desired but my spirit selection and pairing got some positive feedback. It wasnt negative feedback, just people who have way more cigar knowledge then I do giving me a couple of cents. I love it. I am compiling a shopping list for when I hit the conference trail in a couple weeks for Vancouver, Toronto and Upstate NY to see if I can find some of the 'sticks' ( lingo) that have piqued my interest from the Cigar Noise app. If you happen to be getting into cigars or are looking for some new ones to try i strongly recommend checking out Cigar Noise.
Okay now for the reviews:
So I had the Steinhart Gin and paired it with one of my cigar of the month selections the Gurkha Beauty. I made my martini in my classic way, a little olive brine and 3oz of gin in the shaker with lots of ice, pound the piss out of it ( shake it vigorously), strain into a chilled glass with a couple of olives, a healthy squeeze of lime and bob's your uncle. It was delicious, I could have had a few of those for sure. The gin was incredibly clean tasting, sometimes I find with gin that it leaves a botanical after taste, this gin did not do that. It had fantastic citrus notes and really adapted well to my *cough cough* dirty martini.
The cigar on the other hand, it was okay. This is the first time I have had this brand, to be honest it felt like it was packed loose, it lit well, and kept a good burn and ash, but smoked quickly. I wouldnt say the pairing was awful as the cigar had a very mild flavour, which I was a little disappointed with. I think I was thinking it would have a more present flavour.
Here are the Cigar of the Month notes:
The Gurkha legend originates with colonial soldiers who, at the height of British rule in India, started making their own cigars from local tobacco, some of which was produced in the Portuguese territory of Goa. Expatriates from Britain who were still living in India continued smoking the cigars, but eventually the cigars began to wane into history and legend, as did the rajas’ rule. Today the Gurkha brand stays true to the original essence of those first cigars made so long ago, so the legend will live on. This remains especially true with the Gurkha Beauty. This stunning Dominican handmade was created using an ultra-rare five year aged Connecticut-seed wrapper, and it has a core teeming with Dominican long-fillers and a Dominican binder. Mild-bodied, this stogie features hints of coffee, cream, and leather with a woody and earthy core. Smooth to the nub, enjoy it any time of day with an India Pale Ale.
Mild-bodied part is def on point, very faint notes of cream, but did not get an earthy vibe from this one. Dont know that I would go out of my way for another one.
So decided to give another COTMC selection a try, the Fighting Cock and paired it with one of my top 3 fav scotches, my Dalwhinnie 15year old. This was a very complimentary pairing in regards to the flavours from both. The cigar lit well, but the first third burned fast, as it got into the second third it did slow down a little, but the flavour also changed I would say at least 3 times during my smoke. Nothing really bad or anything, but it was like hitting different leaf every third, not sure if that is something anyone else has experienced with this smoke before, but it was a little strange.
Heres what COTMC had for its notes:
Contrary to what some of you might be thinking, we didn't include this cigar in your shipment for the sole purpose of giving you an opportunity to wise crack with your friends (for example, they ask, "whatcha enjoyin' there buddy?" and you reply "oh, just my big ol' Fighting Cock Churchill…") While it's a heck of a lot of fun to see people's reactions when this inevitably happens, this originally Philippines-produced cigar is genuinely tasty, well-worthy of being featured in our club. And its name actually comes from the Philippine national sport of cock-fighting, not some cheesy marketing ploy. Some years ago, however, production was moved to Nicaragua, where the masters at Felipe Gregorio are now responsible for their creation. Always recognized for consistency, every one that our panel members have ever smoked over the years has been very well constructed and wrapped to just the right firmness, offering a nearly perfect draw. We found the churchill to have a wonderful, medium-to-full-body, with a Habano wrapper, Indonesian binder, and Nicaraguan long-fillers that will lead to a complex tobacco taste with unmistakable notes of leather. Look for a complex aroma with some strong spicy and cedar notes, pleasantly balanced by a lightly herbal finish. Consider pairing this one with a Stout.
I did get the herbal finish for the middle third, and that was probably the best section of the cigar when sipping on my scotch. Again, i wouldnt turn one down, but I most likely wouldnt search it out. So cigars were a bit of an interesting adventure this weekend, the booze was way more successful in regards to selection.
My next post should be from the other side of the country next week, looking forward to seeing Vancouver in a spring/summer mode and have already researched a couple of shops to visit, so if anyone has any suggestions for one over the other, please shoot them out!
Sean "BigBoyRunning" Ryan