The cup holder ashtray from Stinky Cigar was something I purchased on a whim a while back. After losing more than one cigar off the table at the brewery when I went to refill my beverage, I ordered this to hopefully alleviate the issue. Designed for the cup holder in a car, the ashtray will not stand on its own when the lid is open, however it has still proven useful in many instances.
Monday, October 26, 2020
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Friday, October 16, 2020
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Several days of steady rain killed the idea of yard work or visits to enjoy the outdoors at a local brewery. Instead I passed time over the weekend relaxing on the porch, listening to the sounds of the rainfall, and enjoy cigars on the deck. For one such interlude, I grabbed long time favorite, the Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro and settled in to appreciate a lazy afternoon.
The Sun Grown Maduro features a chocolate brown, dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper that surrounds a Nicaraguan binder and filler. This cigar has a robust flavor profile featuring cocoa and espresso notes. There's just enough cedar spice to add an accent, but not predominate. The 5 x 50 box-pressed stick burns evenly and slowly.
Saturday, October 10, 2020
I swear the last week lasted 10 days. On Friday, I finally had a chance to sit and relax with a drink and a cigar. And more importantly, sit for a couple of undistracted hours and chat with Colleen. It was the first real down time we've had since last Friday.
I grabbed a CAO Pilón from the humidor. I had never tried this one, and figured the smallish 5 x 52 Robusto would allow time for a followup smoke. (I was wrong.) Scanning the whiskey cabinet, I opted for a long-ignored bottle of 1792 Small Batch Bourbon.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
I've been eyeing a couple large vitola cigars in my humidor, waiting for the time to enjoy them. With no trips planned, no major errands lined up, and (sadly) no shooting last weekend, the opportunity arose to spend some time with some of those more time consuming smokes.
I kicked off the weekend with a La Flor Dominicana TAA 2019 50th Anniversary Maduro. The cigar is a limited-edition release available only to retailers who are part of the Tobacconists' Association of America (TAA). I obtained it a couple months ago as part of a LFD sample from a local shop. This 6½ x 54 stick features an extreme rectangular box press shape. The dark Mexican San Andrés Maduro wrapper encases a Dominican binder and Dominican Criollo filler. The two large gold bands give the cigar a striking appearance.
The beverage of choice this evening was Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery German Chocolate Cake Lager. This flavorfully-named beer starts life as a traditional German-style Doppelbock. The classic German-style lager is then conditioned over cocoa nibs, toasted coconut, vanilla, and pecans. The aroma is dark chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of coconut. The base dopplebock is the predominate flavor with a mild caramel sweetness. The added cocoa and nuttiness that come through are a pleasing addition. The vanilla aspect is on the mild side. The 8% ABV is muted with little alcohol presence in the flavor.
When I first saw this bottle I assumed it was a stout, and was intrigued to read the label further to find otherwise. The LCCB variation of the style was done very well. Oft times augmented beers tend to come off cloying or candy-like, especially went comes to vanilla additions.
The 50th Anniversary Maduro was a medium-bodied smoke. The tightly packed stick gave off notes of cocoa, coffee, and earth. The flavor profile has a creamy, sweet aspect to it as well. The box-press presented some issues with the burn, requiring several touchups to keep it even, though that was not unexpected. The flavor profiles of the beer and the cigar were quite compatible and played well together. This large stick burned for a long two hours and 15 minutes. The bottle of beer I split with Colleen gave out well before that. Fortunately, the beer fridge offered many more options, all stories for later.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
It's been thirteen years since I started rambling in these Musings. That seems like forever in blog years. What started as Musings Over a Pint eventually expanded to include much more than just beer interests.
It's been a fun adventure, and remains so after all these years. I still consider it mainly an exercise for my own enjoyment, and I regularly go back and reminisce on older posts. Every so often I get a hint that a few other people enjoy it too. The post count pales in comparison to that of some blogs I read, but the 3,114 posts made here so far represent no small amount of time spent with a computer on my lap.
I'm looking forward to many more years of jounaling this adventure, assuming the prohibitions and added taxes against alcohol, tobacco, and firearms continually pushed by democrats don't squelch the fun in the future.
Saturday, October 3, 2020
Friday evening I decided to treat myself to something from the "old stuff" stash in the basement. My choice, after much deliberation, was Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Ale. This particular bottle was from the 2007 release.
Thursday, October 1, 2020
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
After a fun morning of shooting Saturday, I retired to the back deck for some long-awaited treats before dinner. I'd recently picked up a new cigar from Black Label Trading Company, and had an interesting bottle of bourbon waiting in the wings.
Monday, September 28, 2020
It was raining lightly but steadily during my drive to the Cavalier Range for Saturday's monthly IDPA match. Despite the weather prognosticators indicating the rain would have stopped by the time I left the house, I was hopeful I'd be shooting in clear skies shortly. The mist was still falling as we gathered, and everyone lamented the sight of plastic bag covered targets. However, the match directors opted to delay the start for 30 minutes or so to let the rain pass. Success! We'd be shooting at un-bagged targets!
The first stage our squad shot had the longest shots of the match; quite the warm up. Three groups of targets were engaged in priority, near to far. All arrays featured a non-threat centered on the group. Two arrays of three had a target hidden being the non-threat, the furthest group was just two partial targets.
|Luckily the bags came off for shooting|
The amount of movement needed along the fault line depended on the shooter's confidence level with tight shots near the non-threats. Technically, I think you could "see" all the targets from just two positions, although every shooter I watched took a few more steps back and forth. To my surprise, this was my best stage. Despite shooting it down 5, it was a stage win in my division and a 3rd overall finish.
The next course of fire had us starting with just six rounds in the gun. Beginning the run facing a wall, there was an open target, and two targets engaged from cover. Successfully making all six of those shots meant you could reload on the move to the last point of cover to find the last two targets. I was -3 for the run.
The next stage also featured a downloaded start, this time with just one round loaded in the gun. We started with the muzzle of the gun pointed at a spot on a non-threat in front of us. At the signal we were required to fire the one round at our choice of two open targets before retreating to cover and reloading. We then engaged those two open targets from cover. The rest of the targets on the stage were visible from two further points of cover. All targets required three hits each. This was a -0 stage for me.
Next up was the "go fast" stage. We started centered on a wall, with an open target to our right which was shot first. There were five more targets arranged behind the wall, and it was the shooters choice from which side to shoot from first. Target priority meant there were three targets to be engaged from whichever side you started on, and two from the other.
Even though each target required just two shots minimum, I think most shooters fired extra rounds, really fast, to enable reloading while in transition. I was -1 for the stage despite extra shots.
The last stage was a long field course with seven targets, some with non-threat cover. We started touching one end of a wall. The first shots were at two targets at opposite sides of the course, but shot from the same point of cover. We then worked our way down a "hallway" engaging targets from different nooks and angles. It was a good "running" course and I was -4 for the stage.
The weather turned out great, but there was still a fairly small turnout. The possible inclement weather, and ammo shortages, are likely contributing factors. There was also a competing VCDL special event at a nearby range that attracted some of the regulars.
It was a good day of shooting. I was moderately pleased with how I shot, even though I was 13 points down total. That had me finishing 9th of 32 overall, and 4th of 17 in SSP. Not bad for a slow, old guy. I'm not going to win any major awards, but it's nice to be somewhat competitive, despite bad knees and old eyes. :-) Now if I only had the range and the ammunition to put in some practice.
|Pasting targets was a challenge at times|
Saturday, September 26, 2020
After dinner Friday I was in the mood for a nice IPA. I was also in the mood for a good cigar. IPA's aren't always the best companions for cigars, so I had to give my selection some thought. I originally had my eyes on some new cigars I'd not yet tried, but opted for the known.
I had a few bottles of Lagunitas IPA in the fridge, left from a friend's visit recently. That part of my choice was easy. Now for the cigar. After a few scans of the humidor I settled on a Black Label Trading Company Last Rites.
Lagunitas IPA pours a golden amber with a frothy white head. The aroma is citrus and pine. The flavor profile has robust citrus and pine hop notes, with a caramel malt backbone. The sweet malt and bitter hop aspects are in good balance. There's a lingering bitterness in the oily finish. This is a not a palate killer, but still highly flavorful.
I felt confident about the cigar choice, having enjoyed many Last Rites previously. The 6" x 60 Toro features a slightly oily Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, over a Honduran binder with Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers. The full body smoke has notes of creamy chocolate, coffee, and cedar throughout.
The bold, mildly spicy cigar cuts through the piney bitterness of the beer very well. At the same time the bold hop flavor of the beer isn't lost in the smoke either. I was very pleased with my selections for this flavorful pairing.
Friday, September 25, 2020
It was an early start to the weekend Thursday when I headed over to 1781 Brewing after dinner for a beer and smoke at the cigar lounge. After a week of very cool weather, one that actually had me turning on the heater for a smoke on the deck earlier in the week, it was nice to sit outside comfortably as the sun set. As usual, the first stop was to fill my mug with a tasty beer. Also as usual, I opted for the Washington's Hare Porter. The mildly sweet caramel and toffee notes, with just a touch of bitterness, go quite well with most cigars I smoke. And the low 5.5% ABV makes it easier to have a refill, should I desire.
In perusing the lounge's humidor, I saw it held a box of Black Label Trading Company Bishops Blend, in the Corona Larga vitola. I have been enjoying the Robusto size sticks I grabbed last July at the shop, but had never tried the slightly larger size.
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Continuing the fire pit and power outage story…
After rebuilding the fire, I headed inside to grab another smoke and a beer. The second cigar choice for the early evening was the Liga Undercrown Maduro from Drew Estate. This cigar has been mentioned before in these Musings and is a long-standing favorite.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Monday, September 21, 2020
It was a cool morning as I headed to Charlottesville to shoot the monthly IDPA match at the Rivanna range. It's been a while since we've had a cool weather match, and I had mixed feelings about being reminded (again) about the impending months of lower temps. Nonetheless I was looking forward to shooting the match and visiting with friends.
All four stages this month involved little movement, other than some leaning to see around obstacles. Although I prefer movement stages, the stages were both fun and challenging. The first stage had us facing three tiers of target groups, each with three threat and two non-threat targets in a line. The groups were shot near to far.
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Friday, September 18, 2020
The Celebration is a medium-bodied smoke that surprised me with a bit more flavor than its appearance indicated. The flavors off the bat were creamy and earthy with some light bitter chocolate and cedar. As the smoke progressed toward the middle, the flavors mellowed a bit, and I was thinking I was in for a boring smoke the second half. However, as the last third approached both the spice and sweetness ramped up a bit and kept things interesting. The hour plus smoke was enough for a couple cups of rich, black coffee.
Soon the cows had moved on to other pastures and the household was stirring. It was time for breakfast and whatever the day's activities had in store. I do long for more mornings like that though.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
To start a long weekend recently, I grabbed one of the CAO Flathead 660 sticks and the remains of a bottle of Henry McKenna 10 Year Bottled-in-Bond. It was a great, though bittersweet, pairing.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Friday, September 11, 2020
It's been nineteen years. Memories fade. There's a whole generation that didn't experience the reality of that day. Some never learned history. Some have forgotten history. The events of September 11, 2001 brought horrors to our shores that the world should never be permitted to forget. Today our days are filled with the effects of the Chinese virus, racial tension both real and fabricated, and the Marxist violence in our cities. Yet, none of this compares with the horrors inflicted upon our country by our enemies on that September day.
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
On this festive day, faithful Catholics all over the world take their priests out for a beer and get to know them better. It’s a beautiful Catholic tradition that goes back to the time of St. Hopswald of Aleyard, the first man to take his priest out for a beer.
Okay, St. Hopswald wasn’t real, but your priest is real. Priests are people too, and they enjoy socializing over good food and drink as much as anyone. They also have a thankless and difficult job, a job that we couldn’t get to heaven without. Priests are the lifeblood of the Church, and they deserve some appreciation.
So with that in mind, I would challenge you to do something concrete to show appreciation to your priest on September 9th. Yes, it could be taking him out for a beer, or it could be inviting him over to share dinner with your family. Be creative if you want, but give back to your priest somehow, and let him know that his ministry is making a difference.
Even if you can't do it today, most of the priests I know would appreciate the gesture of a beer any day.
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
After a delightful four day weekend of good beer, whiskey, cigars, and simple relaxation, Monday afternoon provided one last bit of down time before resuming "normal" life. This delightful comb helped smooth the way.
Monday, September 7, 2020
Saturday, September 5, 2020
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
CAO Flathead Carb 660 is a cigar that I haven't smoked in a couple years. Again, simply because there are so many other cigars to explore. The nearly black, Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper covers an Ecuadorian Connecticut binder and Nicaraguan fillers. The smoke produces rich, semi-sweet chocolate, and espresso flavors. It's a full bodied smoke that packs a bit of strength too. The large cigar offers a good two hour smoke. The stick is very sharply box-pressed, with a very flat head. Box pressed cigars sometimes exhibit an uneven burn requiring touch ups along the way. The combination of the large ring gauge and extreme box shape of the Flathead 660 always, for me, produces a burn will require some maintenance along the way. It's also somewhat of an unnatural shape to dry to draw through. Despite the drawbacks, and it's a very enjoyable smoke and one that consistently gets high reviews.
I recently picked up a 10 pack of the Flathead, and although there's very little of the Jefferson's left, there are plenty of other bottles hiding in my cabinet with which to pair the bold cigar.
Monday, August 31, 2020
I got an error when I tried to share the Glenlivet post but didn't think much about it at the time. Then I kept seeing the same posts at the top of my feed. At first, it didn't stand out, as there is a lot of repeated sharing on the platform. Then I noticed that the timestamps of the posts I saw had stopped on August 26. That's when I noticed that my Following count was zero, down from about 400. Well, that would explain why I saw no new content, but not why I was locked out from posting.
Friday, August 28, 2020
Ever have one of those weeks? Yeah, I know, every week. By the time Thursday rolled around I was ready for the weekend. Yet, there I still had Friday to navigate, but I was ready to pretend for a bit, so I headed over to 1781 Brewing for a beer or two and a cigar at the lounge. It had been a few weeks since I relaxed at one of my favorites spots away from home.
Even before left home, I knew my choices for the evening. I had seen posts online from both the brewery and Olde Towne Tobacconist (at the farm) that had peaked my interest.