Summer, warm weather, picnics and holiday parades – a perfect time to enjoy a fine cigar. My selection is the Montecristo #2 handmade in the Dominican Republic.
Many consider the famous Montecristo cigar brand to be the finest cigar in the world. Montecristo is among the youngest (the most recent addition was Cohiba) of the traditional Cuban cigars now made in the Dominican Republic. It was founded in 1935. Our offering is hand rolled using high quality long filler and binder tobaccos. It is then finished with a USA Connecticut shade wrapper. This refined smoke starts mild-to-medium and remains consistent throughout the entire cigar. It’s one of our most popular cigars.
At 6 x 50, the #2 has the same roll as the familiar Toro shape, but it has a tapered head, hence the Torpedo designation.
A brief historical side note: Before the advent of radio, it was common place for the rollers to be informed and entertained by a reader or lector. Legend has it that their favorite story at the cigar factory in Cuba was Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Montecristo, hence the name given to the cigar.
I would pair the #2 with Kirk & Sweeney 12yr rum also from the Dominican Republic. This is rich but somewhat drier than many other aged rums and it works well with the cigar’s hints of vanilla and spice. It’s a great pairing.
Enjoy, and Happy Father’s Day!
Warmer weather means cigar season is here!
The most recent addition to our humidor is the Smoking Monk series from the cigar firm of Drew Estate. Among their familiar labels is the Acid line (we have the Acid Blondie in stock).
The Smoking Monk series has five blends all intended to match with specific beer styles. All five are rolled only in a generous 6 x 54 shape. This is a lengthy smoke for perhaps relaxing on the 19th hole or while playing a round of golf.
The Hefeweizen blend is on the mild side and an easy smoke. I smoked all five blends and prefer the fuller style of the remaing four: they are Imperial Stout, American IPA, Porter, and Triple Belgian. The Smoking Monk is well constructed and contains high quality tobaccos. Any of these blends smoke well with a fine beer or ale, or simply by itself.
Enjoy one during the Masters Tournament this weekend!
Last week, you may have read about the Classic Corona — here is another cigar from our selection from the highly regarded 5 Vegas family, Gold Nugget. A great cigar at a great price, Gold Nugget mild enough for an early morning or afternoon cigar.
5 Vegas Gold Nugget, 4.5 x 44
The Gold blend is finished with a mild Ecuador Connecticut wrapper, making flavorful with a slightly sweet finish. If you are new to smoking cigars or simply want a mild afternoon smoke, this is the perfect smoke. At 4.5 inches by a 44 ring, it is an ideal size for a cocktail or aperitif.
Need a pairing idea? Try an aperitif or summer cocktail – like a Pimm’s Cup, Grumpy Cup, or your favorite summer ale – no jet fuel required!
A classic summer refresher, and popular in Britain, a Pimm’s Cup is easy to mix up. Fill a tall glass with ice, pour in about 2 ounces of Pimm’s No. 1, and fill the rest with your favorite ginger beer. Garnish with a slice of lemon or cucumber.
Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based liqueur, dark in color, and with some lovely citrus and bitter notes. Combined with Fentiman’s ginger beer, you can have a few and still be standing. A tasty drink to pair with this light cigar!
New cigars at Bottles! And we recommend you enjoy 5 Vegas Classic Corona with a stronger drink – Clément V.S.O.P. Agricole Rhum, a barrel-aged sipping rum. Rich and strong without being overly powerful, the Classic is blended to smoke like a Cuban cigar. A winning pairing to enjoy on late summer evenings.
5 Vegas (Farms) Classic is an exceptional smoke. It receives consistently high ratings, and ranked as one of the best non-Cuban cigars in a Cigar Aficionado blind taste test. The long fillers are a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos, and it is finished with a rich, flavorful Sumatra wrapper. This is a medium bodied smoke, with earthy flavors and just a hint of cedar. The Corona size is perfect for a 45 minute smoke. Your new go-to cigar!
Pair the Classic with Clément V.S.O.P. Rum, an Agricole Rhum aged a minimum of four years. What makes is rum special and sippable is how it’s made – from freshly pressed sugarcane juice, which is then matured in oak barrels. The barrels impart a deep, rich mahogany color and notes of caramel, dried fruits, and spices. The long finish makes this a superior sipping rum to complement the Classic cigar.
Interested in learning more about cigars? But, how do you choose the right one? Watch Don’s video to see an expert’s guide to cigar wrappers, cutters, and lighting.
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Our selection this week is Alec Bradley Connecticut Tubo, a mild to medium bodied toro (6 x 50). It has a smooth Connecticut Ecuador wrapper and a mixed filler of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. This is mild enough to be a nice afternoon smoke, but rich in flavor with notes of cedar and earth. The packaging includes the ever popular metal tube. Golfers and boaters love the convenience of the tube – no crushing in the golf bag or in an overnight bag. Also, the tube protects the cigar in place of humidification, perfect for someone on the go.
Because this cigar so perfectly embodies summer, Don is pairing it with the cheerful and crisp Geary’s Summer Ale. Brewing right out of Portland, Maine, Geary’s does summer right with rich, spicy hop tang, similar to a German Kölsch. This is an easy-drinking golden ale with aromas and flavors of caramel, buttered rum, herbs and a dry finish. It comes in a can, so it can be thrown together with your Tubo for a relaxing day out on the course…or wherever!
Each season, the crew at Geary’s, in partnership with the Maine College of Art awards a scholarship to the student who submits the best new design for the Summer Ale packaging. This year’s winning design includes crashing waves and sunshine, practically begging to be enjoyed on the beach! Cheers!
The weather is heating up…and so it cigar season! An array of brand new cigars just arrived at Bottles and we can’t wait to light them up. This week, Don is smoking the rich, medium-bodied Onyx Reserve Toro Maduro (6 x 50). The Onyx is boxed pressed for an easy draw smoke and the aged Maduro wrapper provides a sweet finish.
It is actually rolled at the same Dominican factory that makes Romeo y Julietta and Montecristo. The Onyx, however is rolled with a complex blend of Dominican, Nicaraguan and spicy Peruvian tobacco. The smoke is long (approximately 1 hour) with smooth, rich espresso flavor.
“Over the years, this has been one of my favorite after dinner cigars. I would pair this cigar with a dark, rich rum straight up. This is a high quality smoking experience from start to finish.”
The Onyx will pair well with a dark rum. We have enjoyed it with Amrut Old Port Deluxe from India, which pairs especially well with several different cigars. But today we’re drinking Clément Rhum Select Barrel, which is distinctively smooth while it’s soft vanilla notes compliment the sweet finish of the cigar. With this pairing you’re in for an intense aromatic experience of aged oak and spice.
Onyx Reserve Toro Maduro – $7.99
Clément Rhum Select Barrel – $31.99
This week, Don has selected a somewhat fuller bodied cigar from the Rocky Patel Vintage Collection, a 1990 Vintage Robusto (5.5 x 50). The wrapper is a 12 year-old Honduran Broadleaf Maduro and the filler tobacco was aged for 5 years. Broadleaf Maduro can initially appear strong or overpowering. In Spanish, Maduro means “ripe” or “mature” however these wrappers actually have a slightly sweet finish.
Cigar press at Honduran cigar factory. Photo by Duncan Smith
The Robusto is also box pressed. This means that the cigars are placed in a dress box, stacked on top of each other and physically pressed to give the cigars a square shape instead of the usual round construction. There is a never ending debate among cigar smokers as to whether box pressed cigars smoke differently than round ones. Some say box-pressed cigars burn a bit longer and taste strong, but according to Don:
“They only difference that I have found between the two rolls is an occasional difference in the ‘draw’ and mouthfeel.”
This aged maduro would pair well with W.L. Weller ‘Antique’ Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Not to be confused with the Weller 12-Year or Special Reserve, the Antique is a 7-Year aged wheated amber bourbon with sweet notes of vanilla and a long spicy finish. It’s delicious over ice as the weather warms up and a perfect compliment to the robust Rocky Patel.
Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 ‘Robusto’ – $9.99
W.L. Weller ‘Antique’ Kentucky Straight Bourbon – $21.99
Spring is in full swing and Don is lighting up a new cigar this week. The Acid ‘Blondie’ Natural from Nicaragua is a Petit Corona (5″ x 42), relatively thin and small making for a short 20-minute sweet smoke. It is smooth with notes of honey and cream plus a delightfully sweet aroma. The finish is more robust but generally makes for a milder, every day cigar.
Because of the sweet aromas and taste, this cigar pairs beautifully with the apéritif, Byrrh Gran Quinquina. Quinquina is a type of apéritif wine that usually contains quinine and cinchona bark from South America and known for it’s medicinal purposes. In 1873, Byrrh Gran Quinquina was created by a pair of French brothers following the traditional South American Quinquina recipe, while including notes of coffee, orange, cocoa, all matured in French oak casks. The result is a balanced apéritif of fruit and spice, served on ice–Refreshing!
Find the pairing in store:
Acid ‘Blondie’ Natural $6.99
Byrrh Grand Quinquina $19.99