Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Two Caballeros: The second adventure (Part the first)

I had to be an adult yesterday and dress like a normal human being (not like a writer in the throes of summertime, although I still wore Converse sneakers--you'll never get all of me!)* and eat food with other adults and have actual conversation appropriate in public spaces (mostly). I promised my friend Shelagh I would not throw any food, but that was the only promise I made.  Being a grown-up is hard.

The Two Caballeros and their fabulous female companions headed out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants on Federal Hill last night. Insert frowny face here because the food wasn't as good as normal and service was blech. How embarrassing! Pinky swear that the experience is usually waaay better.

But afterwards I did get a lemon coconut cupcake at the bakery on the square, so all food faux pas were instantly redeemed with sugar, as well they should be.

Moving on... (I was setting the scene.)

After dinner, we took a walk along Atwells Ave., which you know I love to do.

Valentino smoked the Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 that was so tight** "I could only smoke half of it and then I put it down," he said, as we recapped the evening's festivities.

Was it good? Not sure. Maybe? I'll let you know with the next one.

Lots of folks on one of our favorite Facebook groups have been raving about the T52, so we were both anxious to stick our faces in the smoke. Or stick the smoke in his face. Whatever.

According to the Drew Estate website, "Meticulously blended over a period of two years to be a worthy humidor companion to our much heralded Liga Privada No. 9 recipe. With notes of black pepper and spice, it is our choice when desiring a stronger, more robust smoke. Like its predecessor, it is a complex marriage of seven distinct aged tobaccos handcrafted by only our absolute best torcedors. Each cigar is guaranteed to be flawless in construction, flavor and character…without exception." Apparently, there was an exception and we were the proud owners.

Honestly, he may have enjoyed it more if he didn't have to work so hard to keep it lit. I will say, it was a pretty strong smoke, or pretty strong second-hand smoke, but I liked the smell--not as harsh as I'd expected. There were lots of notes in there, but I couldn't focus on any of them for sure because I couldn't get any consistency.  "The Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 is tits, its [sic] gangsta and I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to smoke a cigar that perfectly balances out its strength with an rich array of flavors," stated the folks at Stogie Review. How can I not want to give it another shot after hearing/reading that???

There's another in the humidor, so as the Magic 8-Ball says,


His partner-in-crime, Doc, had the J. Grotto Reserve Lancero**** Limitado, made by our friend Paul Joyal. We had picked them up when at his shop a few days earlier, with the intention of (hopefully) me second-hand smoking it.  And it happened!

I forgot to take an action shot. Too much sangria? Maybe.
Too much off-key singing on the plaza? Probably.
So I stole this picture from here.

According to the Stogie Guys review, "Once lit, I find a flavor profile dominated by clove and nutmeg. There’s also earth and roast cashew, with just a hint of cedary spice on the finish, the only spice the cigar demonstrates. Construction is excellent, with no ill effects from the seemingly loose draw."

Halfwheel says, "Lancero all-hand-made cigars use three-year aged select tobaccos … a Nicaragua-grown Criollo 99 wrapper and Criollo 98 binder, plus a filler of Honduran-grown ligero and Jalapa leaves. Like all J. Grotto cigars, it is entubado-bunched for smooth, easy draw and uniform burn. Its pigtail-capped head enhances its distinctively traditional look."

I say it smelled earthily-delish, and I'm looking forward to the J. Grotto Lancero Silk, since we both already love the smell and taste of the 6 x 60 gordo--in fact, it's one of Valentino's favorite cigars! All day those lancero Silks sat in the store, a mere twenty or so miles away, taunting us with their Siren call, but lawns had to be mowed and furniture needed to be sanded today. Insert another frowny face here.  Being a grown-up stinks sometimes.

NOTE: Stay tuned for more adventures from this evening. I need a before-bed snack.

*Almost five years into our charmed partnership, I only learned this past week that sports bras are not flattering and I should probably not wear them.  I was about to protest when he told me this, but honestly, I wasn't doing anything sporty, except some quick typing, so yeah.

**I'm going to go ahead and let you put your own joke here; it's almost too easy.***

***That one too.

****I get giddy when lanceros are in the house. No, I don't know why. We'll dig into that issue another time.

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