We knew it was coming, but now it's real. No joy in Mudville.
Most of Saturday was spent pressure washing our deck and screened porch. As mentioned previously, it's where we spend our time these days when I'm not working, and often when I am. After that chore was done, it was time to sit in the sun and dry out. My beer fridge is getting empty again, but there were still a few cans of Bell's Hopslam Ale to be found. The 10% ABV Double IPA was just the thing to ease my aching back after riding the pressure wash wand all day. To go with the strong beer I pulled out a CAO Flathead 554 Camshaft. The dark Maduro Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and the Nicaraguan filler create a rich coffee, leather, and pepper favor profile that grows in strength as the smoke progresses. I was quite pleased with the pairing.
My after dinner smoke was one I've been looking forward to since I picked a couple up on a trip to Northern Virginia last month. Fratello Cigars puts out some of my favorite blends, including their D.M.V series, and in 2019 they released the second round in the series. The "Virginia" blend features an Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper, an Ecuadorian binder, with Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. The medium bodied smoke presented copious amounts of smoke, a great burn and produced mild roasted, sweet, and nutty notes. Fatigue was overcoming me and the accompanying beverage was a simple carbonated water.
The next morning, since attending religious services is still a crime in Virginia, a live feed of Palm Sunday Mass on TV had to suffice. That meager substitute for the real thing completed, attention again turned to chores around the house. The first of which was to clean the yard of the spring leaf fall in preparation for the first mowing of the year. The leaves tackled, I started looking at the list of chores to take on next. Colleen said, "Why don't you relax and have a cigar? You don't have to do chores all weekend." Well, I don't have to be told twice. (Actually, she did tell me a couple times before I relented.)
I enjoyed the Fratello DMV stick so much the day before that I lit another and sat in the sun, enjoying my newly washed deck. The sunny temperatures in the 70's led to the first "t-shirt weather" of the season. I actually ended up with a little sunburn on my head and neck from sitting out.
After a foray into the apocalypse for supplies, I retired again to the screen porch to enjoy a book, a cigar, and a beer or two. I grabbed a Liga Privada T-52 from Drew Estate to enjoy with a Starr Hill Northern Lights IPA. The dark, full bodied cigar was tempered somewhat by the bitterness of the IPA. It was still a very enjoyable smoke.
That smoke and drink finished, the aroma Irish Beef and Guinness stew simmering inside began to reach my nose. Colleen soon joined me outside and confirmed dinner was at least an hour away. She also had a much deserved beer in her hand. Not wanting to leave her to drink alone, I grabbed another Northern Lights IPA and a Rocky Patel Tavicusa to accompanying it.
Soon we headed inside for a wonderful meal of the stew and fresh baked Irish Brown Bread. It was certainly a fine cap to the weekend.
That's all I know this week. For those waiting to hear tales of the range, believe me, I am anxious to tell them to you. Until then, it's chores, beer, whiskey, and cigars and more social distancing.