29 October 2009
25 October 2009
22 October 2009
20 October 2009
Another entry in the Fall seasonal category is Dogfish Head's - Punkin Ale. This beer was first introduced at the Punkin Chunkin contest in 1994 as a homebrew by Dogfish's owner before he even founded the brewery. Since then, it has been released each year around September as a seasonal and, according to Dogfish, is usually gone by Thanksgiving. It is a brown ale brewed with real pumpkin meat, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. They didn't list any information about the malts or hops, but did say it is 7% ABV and 28 IBU.
14 October 2009
13 October 2009
Last Friday I had the distinct pleasure and privilege of smoking with Mr. George Sosa, National Sales Director of Alec Bradley Cigars, and was fortunate enough to be one of the first to receive their newest release, the Prensado. Not only is Mr. Sosa one of the company’s three principal executives, he is also a retired U.S. Navy – Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, so naturally he and I hit it off right away and he is also the only other person in the industry I have ever met who knew the answer to the riddle of why do Bomb Technicians like box-pressed cigars? If you want to know, you have to ask.
The Prensado was débuted by Alec Bradley at this year’s IPCPR convention in New Orleans and is their strongest cigar to date. It is being released in five vitollas: Corona Gorda, Robusto, Churchill, Gran Toro, and Torpedo. It is made with a Honduran – Corojo 2006 wrapper, a Nicaraguan – Jalapa binder, and Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers. It is box-pressed and has a maduro-colored, oily wrapper that had a little veiny character to it. The body had a mild pre-light aroma with a hint of sweetness and more pronounced aromas at the foot. Interestingly, the filler blend could be clearly seen at the foot as a swirl of light and dark tobaccos. The body was also firm with no soft spots or defects and passed the squeeze test with flying colors.
I made a straight-cut with scissors and tested the draw, which was smooth with light to moderate resistance. The pre-light taste was primarily a pleasant tobacco flavor with notes of slightly bitter cocoa. Once lit it started out mild but shortly began to develop a little spice at the tip of the tongue with stronger notes at the back of the throat. It burned with an attractive blue smoke from the foot and a light grey smoke from the draw, leaving a crisp, semi-dense “zebra-ash”, meaning it was alternately a distinct light and dark grey in color. The early spice, while the dominant flavor characteristic, was mild to moderate and never overwhelming although it did make retro-nasal exhalation a little difficult. This isn’t a big deal of course and is by no means a comment on a cigar’s quality, I just like to do it in order to try and maximize my appreciation of all a cigar has to offer. As it progressed, the spice mellowed in the middle third and maintained a consistent and pleasant flavor throughout. Once into the final third the spice began to reemerge and progress a little farther along the tongue leaving a mild peppery finish.
My overall opinion is that the Alec Bradley – Prensado is a well made, quality cigar. I enjoyed every minute of it and found it to be a good choice for relaxing alone or with friends. The bi-phasic characteristics of a premium cigar were definitely present in this one and in good proportions to each other.
As always, I wish you Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
09 October 2009
It is officially Baltimore Beer Week! It runs for ten days from 08 through 18 October and includes over 300 separate events. There will be beer dinners at local pubs and restaurants, appearances by brewers, and tastings at numerous locations. There is just far too much going on for me to list it here. Just go to the web site and there are lists of events with the locations for each which are spread all over the area so something may be convenient to you. Come out and support this event if you can and have a great time doing it.
05 October 2009
01 October 2009