Black Midnight Fire was one of three cigars debuted by boutique cigar manufacturer Paul Stulac at IPCPR in 2012 (the others were White Blinding Light and Red Screaming Sun). Previously I tried Red Screaming Sun, which retails in a similar price range. I enjoyed the flavors a lot, but was displeased with some construction issues. I also tasted the Classic Lord of Albany, a cheaper smoke that I thoroughly enjoyed. I gave the Black Midnight Fire a whirl to see how it measured up. They are hand-rolled by Guillermo Pena in Miami (something you don’t run into every day in the world of premium cigars).
As I stated in my best cigar books post, proceeds from sale of books would be given back to one lucky reader in the form of a gift certificate. Here is another one. It is a gift card for $44 that can be redeemed on Amazon.com (doesn't work on .co.uk or .fr).
Just leave a comment on this post to be entered in the draw. The winner will be announced in one week, next Thursday.
PS Want to support CigarInspector.com? Just do your Amazon purchases through this link.
Avo Domaine at 52% off - if the #30 are as good as the perfectos we reviewed back in 2009, then $150 for a box of 25 is quite a good deal for these medium-bodied, smooth cigars. Don't forget to use a coupon to save a few more bucks (hint: RCIGAR17 might net you a nice discount).
Cigar Sprint Sale - Cigar.com has an interesting concept where the price goes down under your eyes, and once someone snatches the product, it's gone... to be replaced by another one. It looks pretty cool so check it out if you have never seen it before.
Spotted a nice cigar deal? Post it in the comments area below!
The Lord of Albany, a 6 x 44 lonsdale, is a new addition to the Paul Stulac Classic line, and comes in two different wrappers: Natural and Maduro. These are both Ecuadorian Habano wrappers, but the Maduro wrapper is aged longer than the Natural wrapper. In appearance they are quite similar, and I would be hard-pressed to tell them apart on sight. For this review, I tried the Natural.
When you think of Irish whiskey, odds are one of the first names you think of is Teeling. Until relatively recently, most of the whiskey produced in Ireland came from three distilleries: Cooley, Old Bushmills, and New Midleton. The Cooley distillery was founded in 1987 by John Teeling. While the Colley distillery was purchased by Jim Beam just a few years ago, former manager Jack Teeling decided to start his own brand. And that is how the Teeling Whiskey Company was born. Teeling Irish Whiskey is the flagship product for the brand.
This small-batch whiskey was hand-selected and then matured in barrels formerly used for rum. It’s non-chill filtered and 46% ABV. The rum barrels are noteworthy, since it is far more common to mature Irish whiskeys in barrels which were previously used for sherry or bourbon. As a result, there is a very distinctive flavor to this whiskey. The 46% ABV is also notable, since 40% is much more common for Irish whiskeys. Small-batch production like this is uncommon as well. So naturally, there is a lot to get excited about here, especially backed by the Teeling name.
The bottle is very dark green, almost black, so there isn’t a whole lot to see when you look at the bottle. You can only see the color of the whiskey when you pour it. It turns out to be a beautiful golden yellow. Lifting the glass to my nose, I smell something that immediately reminds me of Christmas. It takes a moment to figure out why, but I believe it is a combination of dessert-type aromas blending with the sharpness of pine. Focusing more closely, I detect vanilla, caramel, and apple. The smell is very much a warm apple pie on a crisp winter day with the Christmas tree nearby.
This whiskey is very smooth on the palate. The flavors are sweet, with vanilla taking the front seat and apple still prominent. There are also elements of lemon and something syrupy and almost floral. I taste hints of caramel and coconut. The finish is a bit of a surprise twist. Instead of staying sweet, the flavor turns peppery, contributing a nice warmth and balancing out the sweet flavors. That hint of pine is there in the backdrop the entire time, contributing a sharp edge. That spicy sharpness keeps the sweetness from becoming overwhelming, and also makes the flavors glow.
You can purchase Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey for around $50 per bottle. While that is by no means cheap, it is also not ridiculously expensive, and the quality is very high. It is a unique blend, and one which is very evocative for me of wintertime and Christmas comfort. If you enjoy sweet whiskeys with balanced flavors, it is definitely worth a try. I will savor this one.
If you’re just getting into smoking cigars, a lighter is one of the essential items you’ll need. And if you’ve been smoking for years? Then you know that there’s a lighter for every occasion. Readers often ask us about our favorite lighters or those that we'd recommend.
The five cigar lighters featured in this article were designed for ease-of-use, functionality and style. They’ll make a statement wherever you go, and they’ll get the job done flawlessly!
We didn't include luxury ($100+) cigar lighters in this selection because those we've owned were often inferior in terms of reliability (Dunhill I am looking at you). And if you're looking for a tabletop cigar lighter, don't forget to check Robustojoe's extensive guide published a few months ago.
The Casa Magna line has been very popular for years now, and has won quite a few accolades. In fact, previously we’ve reviewed the Casa Magna Colorado Corona, a very enjoyable stogie. The Casa Magna Dominican is a Dominican puro very recently added to the line. According to Terence Reilly of Quesada Cigars, the goal was to create a new taste profile to appeal to a broader international market. It’s available in five sizes: a 6 3/10 x 52 belicoso, 7 x 49 churchill, 6 x 46 corona, 6 x 60 gran toro (gordo) and a 5 1/2 x 52 robusto. I tried the corona.
As far as I can see, this is a house blend for Cigars International, as it's available on their site and affiliates.