The ‘Humour-dor’ Returns – 6th November

I’m pleased to announce that we’re hosting the third ‘Humour-dor’ at James J Fox on the 6th November.

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I’m not the biggest fan of using the blog to advertise things, but it would be great to meet some of the readers. As such, if you’re in London, or within striking distance, and like the idea of an evening of cigars, comedy, and whisky then please pop along!

The evening’s cigar will be a Juan Lopez No2 – an excellent cigar which often flies under the radar. I think it’s a wonderful cigar, and gave it a score of 93 when I reviewed it on the blog. You can check out my review of it here.

We’ll have three Scotches, a Bourbon, and a Japanese whiskey available for tasting on the evening too. All, we think, excellent choices which are a little bit different – perhaps you’ll find a new favourite?

There are also canapés, soft drinks, and wine available. There really are few evening’s in London quite as much fun.

You can buy tickets online: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/706915
(If tickets are still left on the day, they will also be available on the door for £45)

Flyer: Humour-dor Nov 14

I fully expect the evening to be a huge success (we’ve already sold plenty of tickets, mostly to returning guests), and the November line-up of Neil McFarlane and Matt Green is excellent! The first Humour-dor was an excellent evening which I took the time to write up some thoughts about. You can find those thoughts, and some photos, here.

Humour-dor, Tuesday 14th May

Well, the weather yet again causes a major case of anonymity for the Cigar Monologues!  Thankfully though, whilst the weather has prevented me from sampling too many cigars for review, I have been quite busy with another venture of my own…

I run a small entertainment company – as a ‘professional hobby’ – which organises comedy nights and corporate entertainment.  (For those of a curious nature, please check out the company’s website: www.thecomedycoalition.co.uk ). A couple of months back I had the idea of combining my two passions of cigars and live stand-up.  I dropped the good people at JJ Fox a line, and the ‘Humour-dor’ was conceived! The vision was comedy as it used to be – viewed through a thick fug of smoke.  The night would be a typical cigar party… Everything included! A Hoyo de Monterrey Churchill cigar, as much aged Scotch as you could handle (served by a beautiful lady on the bar), some canapés to keep you going, and two brilliant comedians!

The night was a success! Attendance was a little low, but it was a great experience, and thankfully those in attendance had a good time – which was the whole point of the evening! As ever happens in these situations, the night continued long after we’d left JJ Fox, and after a few drinks and more cigars at the Stafford Hotel, an stumble through Soho and Covent Garden (via another bar and a casino), it was time for a late arrival at the hotel… Thankfully, one with a 24-hour bar… Cue my good friend (and occasional guest on CM), Mr Ward, and his generosity with the bar’s Cognac!

I’ve included a few photos for those who weren’t able to make it, and I hope that if you’re in London or nearby, you’ll keep an eye out for details of the next Humour-dor event in a few months’ time. (If you definitely want to know the details as soon as they are released, drop me a message via the Comedy Coalition website, or the Cigar Monologues Facebook page.

For the record, the whiskies on the night were: BenRiach 16yo, Clynelish ‘Distiller’s Edition’, Dalmore ‘Tweed Dram’, Fettercairn ‘Fior’ (Ltd Edn), and Kilchoman ‘Machir Bay’.

Happy smoking, and I’ll be back with a new review within a few days.

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And now for something completely different…

I had noticed how long it had been since I had posted anything on the blog. Alas, the reasons are two-fold. Personal issues have had a bit to play, unfortunately; plus it’s always more difficult to convince yourself that a big cigar is the ideal way to spend an afternoon when the temperature is below freezing. So, I shall bring you all up-to-date on a couple of things: firstly the cigars I have managed to smoke over the last couple of months, and secondly a quick round up of a great trip to the Blackfriars Plymouth Gin Distillery this week.

So then…

Just before Christmas I made the trip to Ajay’s La Casa del Habano in Teddington for a UK Cigar Forums festive meet-up. I enjoyed trying the new release from H.Upmann, a stick from a jar of Noellas. It was an interesting cigar, with a reasonable (though not exciting) first third, before building to an excellent finish – give these a few years and they’ll be awesome. I also enjoyed a fabulous Bolivar – the Simones, the 2007 and 2008 Canadian RE. It’s a cigar with an awful lot of good press around it, and has been reviewed highly around the cigar blogosphere, and it certainly deserves all the good words written about it. The Bolivar was strong, but smooth and very tasty; it had a different profile to what you’d perhaps expect of a Boli, but it was extremely good. At the event I also picked up a Ramon Allones Superiores, a new cigar for the LCdH chain of franchises only; I’ve yet to try it though.

Apart from that evening, I’ve only really had a couple of mini-herfs in Plymouth to keep me going. In that time I’ve managed to squeeze in: a Zino Classic No1 Tubo; a couple of Trinidad Reyes’; a Partagas Serie P No2; and, a new release to the UK, the La Aurora Preferidos Platinum Edicion. The latter being an excellent cigar. The Trini Reyes were all as you’d expect from Trini Reyes – consistent and of a high quality. Even the Zino was a decent cigar, better than the standard range of Davidoff cigars on sale at the moment.

But, onto the Gin Distillery. Anyone reading this, who happens to find themselves in Plymouth for a day or two, must head down to the historic Barbican area of the city and visit the Blackfriars Distillery where they make Plymouth Gin – and inform me of your presence (as I live just around the corner and am always up for a mini-herf). You really should make an hour’s space in your day to take the tour, which I’ve now done a couple of times and would happily do again. The tour gives an excellent background to the gin and the distillery, both of which are unique and interesting in many ways. There is also the opportunity to try the gin (and the sloe gin), made even more interesting given that you’ll have just been introduced to the six botanicals used in Plymouth Gin and how they affect the gin’s flavour and aroma. Finally it’s up to the Refrectory cocktail bar to enjoy a free G&T… and believe me when I say you’ll struggle to find a better gin and tonic on the planet.

In the Refrectory, which is open to the public from 11am every day (but members only after 7pm on a Friday and Saturday as it was proving too popular for the space available) you will find a range of cocktails, primarily gin based, made with great ingredients. The key to a good G&T? Well, of course you have to use a great gin, and my favourite is either Plymouth or Hendricks – neither in the London Dry style, it must be added… Then, use a really good tonic which allows the flavours of the gin to shine through, not overpowering them with saccharin or other artificial substances as most do (including Schweppes). For me, this is Fever Tree, a tonic which was developed by a two-man team including Charles Rolls, who used to oversee Plymouth Gin’s operations. I’m sure there are other good quality tonics out there, but I’m happy to stick with one which I know works wonders. As it is, the Refrectory has both of these key ingredients – plus they use plenty of ice and lime, not lemon, which is always a positive. You can also get some great cocktails, my favourite being the Ginger Tom (with extra ginger for a nice spicy kick). As it was on Thursday I tried the Sloe Motion – a combinaiton of Plymouth’s tasty sloe gin and GH Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne. Very nice it was too. Oh, and do try their mojito, excellently made using Havana Club Anejo Especial, a very nice golden rum from Cuba.

I hope that account of the previous month’s hasn’t bored you too much, and I hope you pop back again soon as I shall start posting the reviews again soon. The weather’s warming and the humidors need a bit of space freeing up I think…

Cigar Monologues – The Update & Competition

The Cigar Monologues blog is nearly five months old now. It’s averaged more than a review a week, though I’d like to increase that in the coming months. It has also reported on two of the biggest events of the summer – the international launch of the Cohiba Behike BHK line of cigars and the UK launch of the Cain brand. There have been sad moments too, CM was one of the first cigar sites to break the tragic news of Don Alejandro Robaina’s passing in April.

You can follow CM on Facebook – please do, click on the link below to get involved. Upload your own thoughts and videos to the Facebook page – it’s your space.

Cick to find the Facebook page: 

WordPress have added a new feature in the last week which allows you to ‘Like’ blog posts. Now, I’m a person lacking in confidence (yeah right), so please help make me think more of myself by clicking the Like button (but only if you actually do…) More to the point though, it’s always great when people leave comments, whether it’s your own thoughts on the cigar being reviewed, or a more general comment, it’s always appreciated and helps to bring the blog alive.

***COMPETITION***

That’s right! The first ever Cigar Monologues competition starts right here and now! Up for grabs is a great cigar prize! You could win a pack of three Macanudo Cafe Court cigars (rated 9.0 by SMOKE magazine). These cigars sport beautiful, Connecticut shade wrapper and are petit corona size, they are absolutely perfect with your morning coffee. The winner will also receive a humi-pouch, as reviewed recently.

How to enter: All you have to do is write a review for a new ‘guest review’ page on the website using the CM format:

  • Appearance /15
  • Smoking Characteristics /25
  • Flavour /25
  • Overall Impressions /35

When you’ve written it, email your review to me: s.griffiths [at] southwestcigars.co.uk

The closing date for entries will be the 23rd August, when I should be back from a sailing trip; if it’s light airs I might be a little late, so the deadline might be extended… Over the days following the deadline I shall post each of the reviews (accredited to their authors) on the blog. Finally, there will be a ‘trial by public’ until the 24th September – whilst not a requirement, I suspect photos would help garner some points… The review which, in my opinion, is the most popular will be the winner! (My decision is final!)

On your marks… get set… write!

Oh, and happy smoking!

The Cigar Monologues blog is born!

Wow, I’ve been telling myself that I’d collate my many reviews in a blog eventually… Now is that eventually!

Why the monologues? Well, I decided that if a vagina could have them, then cigars had damn well better catch up in this dog eat dog world… Plus, many of my reviews resemble archetypal monologues – considerable, rambling swathes of text with no opportunity for anyone to interject.

Well, now’s your chance. I’ll be reviewing plenty of quality cigars (I hope), very few poor ones (I also hope) and moving across my previous reviews slowly but surely. There will also be plenty of photos and bits and pieces of cigar news.

Now, let’s see if I can keep this blog going longer than my others… Either way, please join me in christening this blog with a fine stogie!