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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A month of absence…

Well, I’m very sorry for my long absence and lack of reviews or thoughts on the cigar world.

Unfortunately I have been suffering from illness for a while, so have not been in the frame of mind to sit down and thoroughly enjoy a cigar. However, the last week has been a pleasant return to the cigar fray.

I made a trip up to London this past weekend to meet up with a good friend for his stag-do (catching the rugby at Twickenham then a night out). On the Friday, when I was on my own, I made a very enjoyable trip to JJ Fox, as I usually do when I’m in the capital. When I arrived, we were locked out of the humidor, owing to a slight oversight which saw the key being locked into it… Still, they had some Partagas Shorts which had been saved… As I love this particular cigar, I bought one, lit up, and waited for the entertainment of the locksmith with great anticipation (enjoying the company of some other friendly customers whilst we waited). Then I bumped into an acquaintance I had smoked with at JJ Fox back in May, a very interesting guy, and a fellow ex-Royal Navy man. An excellent afternoon of conversation and escapism ensued, which was just what I needed – the first time I’ve had a clear mind for a long time… The power of fine cigars and fine company. For the record, I followed up with a Punch Petit Punch – which was unbelievably sweet following the powerful, but perfectly enjoyable, two-year old Party Short.

Saturday morning saw me make an early visit to Sautter Cigars, opposite the Connaught hotel. It was the first time I had actually made use of their facilities for a cigar, and enjoyed talking to the various people working in the store. I decided to plump for a Hoyo de Monterray Epicure Especial No2 – a cigar with which I had not previously had good experiences (despite its almost unerring popularity). This was much better, no bitterness or tar, smooth and rounded flavours – overall pretty good, if not exceptional. However, the burn was dreadful, as with every other Epi2 I have tried – I sometimes wonder what on earth they do to them!? I also picked up a couple of La Aurora Bristol Especiales, with plenty of age, for a fiver each. They’ve got quite a few non-Cubans on offer at the moment as they are looking to go down the Cuban-only route, well worth a little look, you may pick up a bargain too.

On Monday afternoon, as I was a little bit bored, I bribed someone to join me at the pub with the offer of a free cigar… Well, I say free, but it was an exchange for a pint (still a good deal I think). We both lit up a Zino Classic Premium Selection No1 Tubo –  a good looking Lonsdale. We both enjoyed it, and, whilst not a spectacular or especially interesting cigar, I’m certainly glad I have one more in the humidor to kick back with at a later stage.

Finally, to bring my week of vice to a close: on Thursday, in the very early hours of the morning, I celebrated the first session of this season’s Ashes series with a nice little cigar. Breaking my no smoking in the house rule, I lit up an El Rey del Mundo Choix de L’epoque (UK RE), which smoked nicely and is a nice improvement over the last one I had (which was pretty fresh off the boat).

I hope these ramblings have at least livened up the view when you open up the blog. I have a huge desire to get reviewing again – indeed I have a huge desire to get back to normal again – but a lot of that may depend upon whether I can grow a pair of balls at some stage in my life and learn to express emotion when it actually means something to me…

PS. I have been informed that it is currently Mental Health Week (although it does appear to be erroneous information), so would just like to ask everyone to take a moment to consider anyone suffering from a mental illness, whether temporary or permenant. I was always sceptical of concepts such as depression until I found out first hand just how dibilitating they can be, so please, light up a cigar and ponder for a moment. Thank you.