The last three weeks have been seriously flat out. So it was nice to get the chance to smoke and drink something new. My wife and former sweetheart was in Halifax last week doing her Sheriff thing, but was able to slip away to visit like, the only cigar store in Halifax. Sieverts on Barrington street is the only place I have found in Halifax that has anything different then the few CAO, Don Thomas, R&J etc. I am not complaining about that, and have enjoyed the ones I could get my hands on, but when given the opportunity to get some that I would never find here in Antigonish, you have to take that and run with it.
The staff at Sieverts are always awesome to deal with, yes they know their prices are up there, welcome to Nova Scotia, yes they know they dont have most of the new boutique brands, but they do have a couple that I have been wanting to get for some time. So I created a list of wants, including pictures and descriptions. I was very happy with what was selected for me, 2 Drew Estates Undercrown, 1 Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva, 1 El Centurian from My Fathers Cigars, and 1 Comacho triple maduro.
On the drink pairing side I went with a local spirit, from just down the road in Guysborough NS called Sea Fever Rum. I picked the amber, because well, that was all the liquor store had, but they do make other flavors as well. Regardless of lack of selection, I was very happy getting the amber. I prefer Amber rums, to their white or dark counterparts. Amber' s usually provide a good hit of the sweet, with a balanced boozyness.
For the cigar I decided to go with the My Fathers Cigars - El Centurion. Here are some notes from the website
Staying true to the original blend, Pepin packs the El Centurion with all well-aged Nicaraguan tobaccos. The kicker here is he incorporates the super-unique Sancti Spiritus leaf which morphs this blend into a spicy-sweet beast with notes of pepper and leather. Medium to full in body, El Centurion is tasty right out of the box and after a few months of diligent aging, the real fireworks begin!
So onto the back deck for my first of fall pairing.
My first thoughts of the cigar were, that it felt like I was smoking a cigarette the draw was so airy. I thought for sure I was going to burn through it in about 5 minutes. It lit well, and immediately had a sweet peppery thing going on. The rum would be great with just about anything, but was incredibly nice with this cigar. Flavor bites of vanilla, caramel and even a touch of salt. This rum is aged in casks by the sea, so not sure if that will actually do anything, but this is a sipping rum, no mix required. Maybe a quick squeeze of lemon or lime to really bring out the citrus but nothing more then that.
The first third of the cigar burned fairly quickly, but it slowed up on the second third. It was almost impossible to keep any ash on it as that crisp new fall wind kept knocking it off, but it did hold on for an inch, inch and half at a time. The flavor kept getting more robust as I smoked up to the band and the there was almost no acrid taste until almost the end. It was a true knuckle burner.
I was enjoying the rum so much, i needed a refresher about 2/3 of the way through the cigar. I dont normally do that, so that is a testament to the great taste of the product.
I have two more trips to Halifax in the next month, and one to Hamilton, and yes I already have a cigar shop picked out for that visit. I made contact with Village Cigar Co. over the weekend as they have 2 locations, one in Burlington and one in Oakville. I wanted to know if both stores kept identical inventory or if one was bigger then the other. I am glad i asked because the Oakville location carries 520 types and the Burlington store only 380. So Oakville it will be when I visit in early November.
I am still hesitant to pull the trigger with a US online store again after the fiasco my first purchase turned out to be, but there is one online store in the running. The customer service has been outstanding since I started contacting them a couple of weeks ago.
Its homecoming weekend this week, so going to be a game time decision on if I get a #cigarSaturday or #cigarSunday this week.
Sean "BigBoyRunning" Ryan