With over two weeks in Ireland over Christmas and New years, I've been a bit quiet with the blogging, but not with the cigar smoking. No way hose.
After an early ferry across the Irish sea, we kicked things off with a night out with the Doyles, Kaz, Rolo, Chip Lanigan and Suzie. An early meal in a great little Thai restaurant, followed by a gallon of Guinness in Delaneys pub in Smithfield, and we were on our way to the first major hangover of week.
I brought some Culebra with me for the three amigos so needless to say, after a lovely meal, a good few pints, a great cigar and many victorious games of pool, I was a happy man, if more than a little bit merry.
Kaz and Rolo gave me a fantastic birthday present of a box of Macanudo Robusto and John and Gill brought me the coolest box of matches ever, all the way from Mexico!
The following morning and we were on the road to Galway to enjoy a week of gale force winds and driving rain. Not exactly cigar smoking weather but I made do and set up shop in the car (Don't worry, I won't start calling it the ci-car), with some good English bitter and even better Guinness to keep me going.
I got a nice surprise when Gearoid and Cillian produced cigar shaped Christmas presents which turned out to be a Cohiba Siglo VI, a Monte Cristo and a Partagas Serie P No.2. Excellent cigars, one of which didn't make it back to London. I also got a box of assorted seeds from Ina, some of which will be planted this weekend when I kick off Gardening 2012.
There wasn't a lot else to do as the weather made things difficult, but we did manage an afternoon at Ashford castle, for champagne afternoon tea, as you do.
Ashford castle is a lovely spot that has been graced by all sorts of famous people over the years. Larry Hagman, Bob Hope, Sir Alex Ferguson. Surprisingly, they declined my photo for the famous faces gallery. Their loss. I won't be making that offer again. Nice cakes though.
Check out their webiste http://www.ashford.ie/ which starts off with a breathtaking fly-by of the castle and grounds. A great spot that definitely worth checking out if you ever get the chance.
My Christmas day cigars were a Cohiba Behike 52 and a Cohiba Robusto. The robusto was first up. This was a present from my wife for my birthday and it was full and tasty cigar. A real pleasure to smoke, taking well over an hour and going down well with some chilled St. Peters best bitter.
I was really looking forward to my first Behike. There's been so much hype over these cigars, and with a fairly heafty price tag coupled with some great reviews, I had great expectations and was even feeling excited about what was surely going to be a great cigar.
Well, you should never smoke your heros, as this cigar let me down. It only got interesting towards the end and was nowhere nearly as good as the robusto I had earlier in the day. Certainly not worth the price tag. The burn was off and although the cigar looks great, I found it lacking.
Maybe the bigger ring gauge behikes are better, but I'm sorry to say that the 52 was a disappointment. My advice is go for a robusto.
Barney, in case you're reading this, I was planning on having the special edition Partagas you gave me in Luxembourg as my Christmas cigar, but I decided it was too special and to keep it long term instead, so it's now safely back in the humidor.
I had a lot more cigars over the Christmas, so I'll cover them off next time. I might even have a new cigar smoking buddy in the making...
|Best birthday ever|
|Behike - Nice but no great cigar|
|Best robusto ever|