We just arrived in Nunda NY!! We had been on the road for approximately 16 hours and arrived at my wife's cousins house. After a very quick greeting, it was off to fix some of the hoses from the pool as they decided about 5 minutes before we pulled in to start to break free and shoot streams of water everywhere.
After about a hour or so of trying a few different things, everything was back in fairly good working order. BBQ flamed on and it was time for a drink and a cigar. Now these ones I would like to remind all 6 of you, were completely earned from the week of workouts. It goes completely off the rails once I hit Toronto, but up to this point, justified.
First cigar up is a CAO Maduro ( last picture on the right) and Woodbridge Reserve Kentucky Bourbon. I liked both, but the pairing was a little off. The CAO Maduro was on the stronger side of medium, spicy, and had an earthy quality. The Woodbridge had a soft oaky flavor, that really couldnt stand up to this cigar, something on the lighter side of medium might have been a better fit. Happy to be off the road, enjoying the farm vista and company, can say I moved past the pairing very quickly. So why not spark another stick, dont mind if I do!
My second selection that night was a Psycho 7 Robusto from Ventura Cigar Co. I have def seen these around on the cigar blogs and apps that i subscribe to with varying views for and not so for this cigar. I tried another product from Ventura the Project 805 Robusto not to long ago and wasnt a huge fan, so hopping this one fared a little better. Again, paired with the Woodbridge Reserve. Way better pairing this time. The claim to fame for the Pyscho 7 is that it is made with 7 types of leaf. Now from the outset this might not seem like a great idea, but I have to tell you, I really liked how this cigar changed its flavor as I smoked it. There was a very grassy start, but as it rolled along, I started to get some great coffee, cedar, and nutty flavours. These worked great with the soft spice notes of the bourbon. My only beef is with the wrapper, cool, but kind of annoying to try and get it off.
So off to bed, and then the road again for me, heading to my conference in Toronto for the better part of the week.
Very uneventful drive, no issues at the boarder *whew*!
In to the hotel, quick look around and off to my favorite and very conveniently located cigar store, Casablanca Tobacconist, located right across from the hotel.
I had such a great experience here last year, I was pumped to get back there. Only problem, it was Sunday, and it was closed. GAH
I pressed my face up against the glass like Ralphie in Christmas Story looking at the toys in the shop windows.
Then I saw a shape move wave arms, and yell 'closed, we are closed'. I yelled, no, be open!
The owner had a weird look on his face but came to the door and unlocked it, through the crack I said, 'sir, please, I will be like 10 minutes, I came from Nova Scotia just to come to your store' ( a little dramatic, but jebus I wanted in!) I dont think he was expected that level of begging, so he let me in, and locked the door behind me. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So after a quick boo, I snatched up 4 cigars and paid and was back on the street, bobs your uncle.
Got in a quick workout at the goodlife down the street, then off for the evening festivities.
The next day took a couple of younger fellas attending the conference over to the store now open, to pick out a cigar so we could venture out into the greater Toronto area to smoke, as there is now no smoking anywhere at any time. Brutal.
One of the guys selected a My Fathers Collection Robusto on my advice, as it is one of my favorites, and the other fella took a CAO box press Italia. I picked up an Asylum 13 Orge Double Gordo Dual wrapper. What a monster!!! Great smoke! Wish I had something other then a orange gatorade style beverage to pair with it, but a fella cant be too picky having a stick with a couple of other potential enthusiasts on a sunny day, on the Toronto waterfront. The cigar has some great spice and pepper right off the hop. It starts to really settle down into the spice after the first third, I really enjoyed it, on my get again list for sure.
That was pretty much it for Toronto cigars, at the end of the conference it was time to drive back to the US. Once across the boarder it was time to hit up a Cigar Store that was suggested by one of the Cigar Noise App bros, as a do not miss shop.
So about 15 - 20 minutes for the boarder I found Trader Joes. Loved this place! It is on a reserve so there is way better prices, and the selection here was legit. Not really your Vancouver City Cigars type of venue, but if you want some serious sticks at wicked prices, this is the place to stop. Picked up a few that I have been drooling over for a while, all the prices, like a third of what they would be in Canada - so brutal.
With purchase in hand, it was off to the family. A couple days, one amazing wine tour which included a whiskey distillary, and we were back on the road home with an honorary Ryan to boot! Brooksie boy was on the way to the Scotia with us. This kid is 6 and probably the funniest kid on the planet. He was a great addition on the long drive!
Back at home ( 2 days and 18 hours of driving later) it was time for a drink and smoke!
I decided to give my Aging Room Quarttro F55 a try and paired it with one of my new bourbons, the Col. E.H. Taylor small batch. I have to say, this was not a great pairing. The cigar did this weird burn through the middle first thing, and took forever for the outer leaf and wrapper to get going. The bourbon, was way stronger then I anticipated, eventually settled down on the tongue, but did not help the issues with the cigar. I think I do have a cigar that will work better so looking forward to giving the bourbon a go again. Aging Room, a lot of hype with not a lot of go, will try one again, but will be a bit more critical of the feel of the cigar before buying next time.
That brings us to Canada Day Weekend!
So after running a 5km and swimming a 5km race there was def going to be cigars in my future.
I planned on having a couple of cohiba's post swim with my partner in crime, and friend of the show Dave Zinck, but stupidly left them home. He was able to bail us out with a couple of cigarello style Guantanamera cigars. Perfect little snap of smoke after a long day sportsing.
After I got home and hit the ground running in the kitchen, after dinner it was time to kick back and relax before the fireworks started. Nick Carp, a fellow enthusiast, and Rob Porter, friend of the show, were in attendance and a couple drinks were had.
My first cigar was one I have been looking to try for a while, it was a Comacho Connecticut , I paired it with another new to me bourbon, Four Roses small batch. Now this was a pairing for the ages. The above mild flavors of the Comacho with the vanilla of the four roses, holy crap it was a good fit! I. Want. More. Of. These. So I will be on the lookout for more.
I flipped over to Dark Horse whiskey for the next stick. This one was the last of my COTM cigars and to be honest, I cant remember what it was called, but I can remember that it was not great. It did not light well, and it was very harsh in regards to the leaf that was inside. Very forgettable. Clearly.
We did have a great night with friends, watching the fire works cascade over Nicholson hall from the deck of our neighbours. Nick Carp got to try a Churchill length cigar for the first time, and enjoyed the medium flavours of the Don Thomas Classico. Once a major staple of my cigar smoking, from blogs past. You really cant argue with the price point.
So with another Canada in the books, it was time to turn my attention towards #cigarSunday.
On Cigar Noise ( app), I keep seeing many of the CN Nation smoking in the morning. I dont know that I ever thought about having a cigar for breakfast before, but with a fresh pot of coffee on and a R&J reserve burning a whole in my cigar box, I thought, what the hell!
So I made myself an iced coffee, and went out to the deck with my R&J. I really havnt had a bad Romeo and Julieta. They come through no matter the leaf or wrapper, size, or style. What a great way to start the morning. I got to sit and enjoy the sun and breeze, my delightful morning coffee and this little beauty of a cigar. This one came to me by way of new friend of the show, Chad Hasegawa, Chad is pictured above, top row middle next behind me.
really like the pairing of coffee and cigars. They have a natural kinship that is hard to describe, but needs to be experienced if you can. Wont be my last #cigarSunday morning cigar I can tell you that.
Later that day, it was time for round 2.
Now with it being the American holiday on the 4th, I had picked up a very patriotic CAO America while in Vancouver, special for the 4th.
I elected to have it on the 3rd so I could get a fresh start on my training and goals on the Monday, and paired it with a new to me NS local brew, the Sessionista from Boxing Rock Brewery in Shellburn NS.
I wish I would have tried the beer first, it was a great amber hoppy delight, but not the best for the cigar. But like a champ, I worked through it haha.
As you can see from the pick its a two toned wrapper, I know its a fad, but come on it looks cool!! It looks like it would have a strong side of medium flavour, but it was a really good middle of the road smoke for me. Oak and sweet/spice notes were consistent throughout, I goofed up the cut, I think my cutter is starting to dull, but it had a very easy draw for a larger cigar. It was my little way of giving a shout out to my American friends and family on their national holiday.
So yeah, that brings us up to date, a bit of a crazy train of cigar smoking the last couple of weeks, but its summer, vacation time, a time to be thankful that it stopped showering, snowing, hailing, and general grayness that is Nova Scotia 8 months of the year.
Not going to lie, I maybe be upping my cigar intake over the next couple months, with special occasions, and quantity in my possession, it will be hard not to. We will see though.
Sorry for the long entry this week, but wanted to catch you up, and give you some thinks if you are planning on picking up a stick or two or a beverage or nine.
Sean "BigBoyRunning" Ryan