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Everything posted by mi000ke

  1. Ha Ha. What started out as a 6-week stay ended up being 20 months! Just got back a couple of months ago. Borders there still closed but opening next month and commercial air flights about to begin. We finally got on a government sponsored "repatriation" flight back to the US. Even living on a covid-free (for most of the time we were there) Caribbean island, smoking great cigars on the beach each night, diving, swimming, eating great food and (as a hobby musician) getting to gig weekly with a local jazz band, we finally decided we needed return home to see our kids and to make sure our house was still standing. But now that winter is approaching, we're going back in January. I'm not enjoying my back yard gar in 50 degree weather.
  2. Sir Winston, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel with his box-pressed bully stick.
  3. We were staying on Grand Cayman Island when they closed the border in early March to keep out the virus. Still stranded here. The government cracked down pretty hard - total lockdown for several weeks - but they got the virus under control, and we've been essentially virus free for about 6 weeks. Yesterday they removed all distancing and mask requirements and stores, bars, restaurants, etc are open. But the border will remain closed until they think it's safe to let tourists return. Meanwhile I'm stuck here smoking a cigar every night on a Caribbean beach. It's a living hell, I tell you. This is where I'm forced to smoke....
  4. Dive with these sweet guys a couple of time a week. Like puppies - they follow us around and rub up against us looking for attention and a little pat on the back...
  5. If you are anywhere near Watertown, stop into Cigar and Lounge on Dexter St. The owners there are great, very friendly, unpretentious, helpful, and knowledgeable about cigars. I learned a lot from them when I decided to move from everyday cheap cigars to the real deal. They don't sell Cubans, of course, but they will help you to educate your palate and learn more about what you like. It really helped for when I finally decided to start investing in CCs. The downside is that now I'm spending way too much on good cigars
  6. They are close enough to each other to check both. Most of the locals I know go to Old Havana, although you may find a bit more selection at LCDH.
  7. I stuff my tupperware container with a bit of bubble wrap if there is any loose space, just to make sure the cigars don't get jostled during the trip.
  8. I might also consider the following (prices from Total Wine in Massachusetts) Ron Abulo 12 year - $37 Ron Zacapa 23 year - $38 Zafra 21 year - $47
  9. Have traveled 100s of times with cigars over the past 40 years, and always try to bring more than I think I'll smoke - and I usually end up smoking them all anyway. I plan on two a day plus a few for friends and visitors. I now travel to Cayman islands a few times a year, sometimes for more then 3 months at a time, and the gars are bloody expensive there. I have never had a problem getting into any country with my stash. The limit in Cayman is 250g of tobacco products (about 20-25 cigars) but I figure if i'm traveling with my wife we get double that. Anyway, I declare them at the limit, but have never been stopped or checked in any of the many countries I've visited. I pack them in a tupperware container with a Boveda pack and usually some bubble wrap to keep them from moving around. And they keep well in the tupperdor while I'm on the road.
  10. Saw my first show in May 1970 and never looked back. Best show I ever attended was Summer Jam '73. Not in terms of the music (the Dead did not put on a great show) but the scene was amazing. We got there a week early while they were still building the stage and camped out. I had a chance to jam on sax with some folks to a large crowd. Now that I'm retired, I play in a jam band that does a lot of Dead covers. (Note the caption - they were expecting 150,000 and got over 600,000 - bigger than Woodstock. Also nice to remember that I was once "young people" and had a full set of hair )
  11. I had some van winkle 10 and 15 at a bar in NYC recently. I have to say it was some of the best I've ever tasted. The 10 was $20 per shot, and the 15 was $25. I had originally ordered the Weller 12 which is hard to find around here, and the owner gave me a free pour just to compare it to the Van Winkle. While good, it was not in the same league. At those shot prices, a bottle of 10 would come to about $335 and a bottle of 15 to about $415. So cheaper to go that bar.
  12. Hey Cayman17 - have you bought anything from the cigar store next to Lone Star on SMB? I haven't, but it's close to where I live. Wondering if they sell anything legitimate.
  13. Great bargain selection: Larceny - another Heaven Hill spirit, and at only $24/bottle it's a great value and it's a distant cousin of Pappy's. From their website: Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon has its origins in the long and colorful history of John E. Fitzgerald and the Old Fitzgerald brand. According to lore, John E. Fitzgerald built a distillery on the banks of the Kentucky River in the 1870s and sold his fine Bourbon to rail lines, steamships, and private clubs. The Old Fitzgerald brand was first registered in the 1880s by S.C. Herbst, and was eventually sold to Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle during Prohibition. Pappy moved production of Old Fitz to his distillery where it became the first great wheated Bourbon and eventually one of the most famous Bourbon brands in the world.
  14. This is my go-to cigar bar when in NYC, mostly because I like to smoke outside and this is one of only two places (more below on that) in Manhattan where you can legally do that. They have four small tables that seat a total of about 10 people in front of the store. I was there a few weeks ago, arrived at their opening time, and they were still closed. I waited about 10 minutes, then figured they must have some special dispensation to allow outdoor smoking, so I just sat down and smoked one of my own. Eventually a gentleman showed up and sat down with me to wait. Turns out he was Hudson Bar's attorney and said they often open at random times, regardless of what it says on the web site, and to just wait. The owners eventually opened an hour late. They are very nice folks, by the way. Meanwhile, the man I met also turned out to be part owner of several restaurants in NYC. And the only other place you can smoke outside in NYC is on the patio (but not inside) of his restaurant Brandy Library, 26 N. Moore St. He invited me to go that evening, but I was not able to get there. It looks like a great whiskey bar, though. Actually the third place I found to smoke outside was on the balcony of my daughter's apartment in Brooklyn, if you don't mind getting yelled at by the neighbors sitting on their next-door balcony about 3 feet away.
  15. In 2004 we considered the Boston/New York ALCS to be the world series. The actual WS was an anticlimax.
  16. If you are not bent on getting only Cubans, the Old Havana house brand is a fantastic Nicaraguan smoke.
  17. Although I shoot for about one a day, I could easily do two if I spaced them out. I smoke in the back yard in the summer and on the beach in the winter, but on the rare occasions in the cool spring or fall when my wife lets me go to the local cigar bar, I'm usually smoke three - one after the other - and that's about my limit. But it really is a matter of time and place. I go camping/hiking with some long-time buddies (first guys I ever smoked cigars with almost 50 years ago) for a week every summer, and last year we averaged 5 cigars a day each - all smoked after getting down of the mountain in mid-afternoon until sundown. But there is something about sitting around a campfire with good friends and a beer or a bourbon that makes cigar smoking an endless delight. I'm sure we would have stayed up later and smoke even more gars if we didn't have to hit the trail at dawn.
  18. Nice review. The 1000 series is a great value (in the States) for a very good cigar. I find that if I put them down for about a year, I get 80-90% of the flavor of the 64 anniversary (my favorite Padron).
  19. Heading back to Boston after 4 months on Grand Cayman. Burned a Boli beli on the beach this evening as my last parting smoke of the season. Damn I hope it warms up back home. I was looking forward to lighting up a Parti Lusitania in the back yard tomorrow to celebrate our return.
  20. Have been doing land photography for years, but just started underwater photography a couple of months ago (like starting over from scratch). And here is where I smoke after a day of diving..
  21. At four years old, I declared to my mother than I wanted to be either an alligator or a lion when I grew up. Needless to say, as I sit here in retirement, my dreams were never realized. On the other hand I did try to become a full-time jazz musician after college. But after a couple of years I got tired of eating one meal a day and sleeping on friends' floors. Ended up in the business world somehow, then became a university professor as a second career. But now in retirement I can finally afford to be playing sax in 3 jazz bands and a jam band (still making the same $20 a night plus free beer that we made 40 years ago). It's no alligator gig, but it's not half bad. Check out the jam band - playing some originals at a local music festival https://soundcloud.com/mi00ke/sets/mostly-young-band
  22. Dogs for me, cause they make the best smoking buddies (well, he thinks of me as his bully stick buddy)....
  23. I switched to Cubans about two years ago and went through exactly the same issue. I found that keeping my CCs at 62 made a huge difference, and now I keep my NCs and CCs in separate humidors, 62 for the CCs and 65 for the NCs. Also, try dry boxing your CCs for a day or two before smoking and see if that makes a difference.
  24. Lifelong Pats fan here, but this is EXACTLY what will be happening at our house as well.

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