A must-watch cigar movie

I recently had the opportunity to watch James Suckling’s “Cigars: The Heart and Soul of Cuba,” a new documentary about the cigar industry in Cuba.  The film starts in Havana, with Suckling enjoying a cigar on a patio overlooking the city, contemplating the value of Cuban cigars.  From there, Suckling travels throughout Cuba, visiting farms in the famous Pinar del Rio province of Cuba and making a special stop at the Robaina farm.  Throughout, he covers not only the Cuban lifestyle, but also the detailed process in which cigars are …

Aberlour A’bunadh

“I don’t drink much whisky, but when I do, I drink A’bunadh.” Sure, this is a bad paraphrase of an Aberlour review read in the spirits section of the local book store. But Jonathan Goldsmith riding a bull in Spain is exactly the sort of passionate image evoked by a dram of this marvelous spirit. Or maybe a better connection can be made to Dmitri Karamazov. There really is nothing else quite like it in the world of scotch whisky; nothing that combines the sensual, exotic deluge of sherry on the senses …

The Gentleman’s Cellar: Summer Whites that Last

Red Wine is handy. You put it in your cellar and more than likely it will drink well over at least a few years, if not much longer. It may lose its fruit but will probably develop some appealing secondary flavours which offset the loss. Whites are a bit more delicate proposition. If the wine is a fresh, aromatic white there is risk that a lot of the zesty character that makes it delicious on the patio will fade after a year or two. These wines have often ended up in …

The NEAT Glass

Since presenting my case for various Scotch glassware, I have settled into a boring but comfortable diet of Glencairn, with a bit of Riedel to spice things up occasionally. Does the world need another spirits glass beyond these conventions? Have the folks at Riedel and Glencairn been resting on their laurels while a spirited newcomer with better technology is poised to take their spot? Or is the expanding world of premium spirits becoming a trap for marketing gimmicks like the wine accessory world? When you first set your eyes on …

H. Upmann Sun Grown Magnum

Cigar makers have such interesting histories.  It seems that many started their foray in the tobacco industry without any idea that they would become famous for their cigars.  Herman Upmann is one of those who entered into the world of cigars from an industry completely unrelated to tobacco of any kind and become hugely successful.  He began as a German banker who created a line of cigars to promote his banking firm.  Now his legacy lives in H. Upmann cigars, made both in Cuba and South America.  Today we’ll take …

New Releases from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society

For those of you unfamiliar with the SMWS, you may glance at the names below and wonder, “How did these guys get involved in this business?” There is a whimsical nature to the presentation and culture of this famous whisky society which at first glance appears to belong to the bottles of another spirit. Absinthe perhaps? Why not whisky? As soon as you meet the personalities which work for the society, and meet the people that attend the events as part of the society, you realize that there is an …