At this year's IPCPR show in New Orleans, cigars smokers will be treated to another wave of exciting and new cigar releases. Some may be dog-rockets and others are sure to be gems. One of these highly anticipated and sure successes will be Cain by Oliva Cigar Co. Cain is the creation of Sam Leccia creator of Nub cigars. It was designed to be a "Straight Ligero" cigar but contains "other tobaccos for a true burn. The[se] other tobaccos make no significant contribution to flavor." From what we all know of ligero it comes from the top of the tobacco plant and yields the thickest and smallest leaves of the plant, yet also the most flavorful. Because of these traits, special care must be taken from harvest to blending to bring balance in use of these tobaccos. And especially so in creating a straight ligero cigar. Well after having a chance to sample a pre-release Cain thanks to Sam, I would have to say he has another successful creation on his hands.
Thank you for all your birthday wishes - it was such a pleasure to read your comments. As promised, I did the draw yesterday and my favorite business tool - The Randomizer - selected the following 5 entries out of almost 600:
Ticket #328: email@example.com wins a Lotus Jazz lighter
Ticket #107: firstname.lastname@example.org wins a Lotus Vader lighter
Ticket #293: email@example.com wins a Flamethrower Double Flame lighter
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This review comes courtesy of Tobacmon and earns him 5 entries in our current contest.
Scent of Wrapper : Grassy. Scent at Foot : Cedar. Appearance : A few veins with a slight oily sheen Wrapper : Very nice Corojo wrapper with an oily look and small veins throughout cigar. Feel : Firm / Tight. Tongue : Leathery. Flavor on Draw : Earthy with hints of cedar.
Taste : Slight pepper, smooth vanilla. Flavor Changes : The flavor was constant throughout the entire cigar except near the nub I picked up a little more vanilla. Strength : I would say a Medium smoke. Feeling : For the price of this line you can't go wrong. Depending on the size they run from as low as $2.45 box of 20 = $50.00 or the Salamon size I did the review on are 10 for $55.00. I was a little apprehensive when thinking of trying it but will not hesitate to recommend someone to try. Scent of Smoke : I really could not notice anything. Heat on Fingers and in Mouth : None Draw : Starting out with this shape I thought it would be just fine and it was a great draw. Finish : This smoke picked up slightly and started tasting more wood, nuts and earth. The leather was starting to fade. Other Aspects of the Cigar Smoking Experience : The burn, draw, construction and taste of this smoke were all very good. Make any notes beyond what you noted already : The only down point of the cigar is that there were only a few thousand made and when they run out they will be gone. This is my understanding. What a shame. I may have to get a box and let them rest.
I would rate this cigar as a "Very Good Cigar." 8/10
All my family and friends know that I enjoy rare and exotic alcoholic drinks. The direct consequence of this is that I often receive some bottles from different countries as they remember about me when they travel and bring me the drinks as a gift. Whereas some of the beverages do not deserve a blog post (I still can't finish a bottle of rakia that was given to me a couple of years ago), sometimes the stuff is simply amazing.
This little series of 2 blog posts will concern brandy (locally called cognac although cognac, as its name suggests, can only be produced in the Cognac area in France) produced in the ex-U.S.S.R. regions, such as Armenia (now a separate country) and Dagestan (a republic of the Russian Federation).
According to a biblical legend, Noah's Ark moored to the Ararat mountain (now located in Turkey). When the water rushed back, he walked down and started growing grapes (besides other things). He would be the first person to have tasted wine...
Armenia has been known as a grape-growing country for over 3500 years. Production of brandy started in 1887, using recipes and technology similar to the French ones (the French began distilling cognac in the 17th century). The volumes grew and more and more factories were opened. After the revolution, the industry was nationalized and was named "Ararat wine and cognac trust". At that time, the Armenian cognac was already very popular and in high demand both in the USSR and abroad. It is known, for example, that Winston Churchill was fond of this drink (everytime I write an article about alcohol, his name comes up) and Stalin was personally supervising the shipments to the Prime Minister.
In 1998, the Yerevan cognac plant (the biggest and by far the most famous one) was bought by Pernod Ricard (second largest world alcohol distributor, group behind Chival Regal, Mumm, Malibu...) for $30 million. One year later, a chart was put in place strictly regulating the production.
The bottle that I received was a ApApAт (ararat) 5 stars (which means that this is a 5 years old brandy). It was a simple, very pleasant drink that, as other cognacs, is a good fit for a full-bodied cigar. It is definitely on par with a good French VSOP. I recommend you to try it out, especially considering the fact that the price is not very high. A bottle will cost you $20-$35 depending on the store. You can compare prices by clicking here.
Enjoy and let me know what you think! If you have already tried Armenian brandy, feel free to share your experience.
As you might know, we are celebrating our second birthday. And we are celebrating it with some nice prizes to give away - 5 cigar lighters provided by BuyLighters.com. You still have a few days to participate, jump in for a chance to win!