Smoking a cigar in wintery Puget Sound with any degree of comfort and relaxation can be rather challenging. For those of you readers coping with Winter elsewhere on the planet who somehow have not heard about Seattle’s legendary rain, here’s the executive summary — drizzly rain, overcast and temps in the forties. Being a Chicago kid, I still marvel at how the spread between the daily high and the low is often 10 degrees or less, courtesy of warm Pacific Ocean air causing a soggy thermal blanket to nestle in between the Olympic and Cascade mountains to the West and East of Puget Sound. If we happen to get a dry spell, the delighful sunshine is offset by temps in the thirties or lower and sometimes accompanied with a bit of snow. Either way, smoking a stogie outdoors in such conditions essentially sucks. Why outdoors? Well, we have two indoor smoking bans — the Washington State legislature decided to one up California and produce one of the most restrictive smoking bans in the country. The other indoor smoking ban is enforced by our sweethearts who understandably don’t want our homes smelling like taverns.
The Cigar Rights of America and the Cigar Association of Washington are lobbying right now to get a bill passed that amends the existing law in order to allow cigar smoking in premium cigar shops and cigar lounges just like 46 more sensible states in the Union. But until then, we resort to two courses of action: frequenting smoking lounges on Native American reservations and creating man caves.
We are blessed to have three tribes, the Snoqualmies, the Puyallups and the Muckleshoots, who are more than happy to cater to our vices. Tonight, we’re enjoying the hospitality of the cigar lounge at the Muckleshoot Casino. It’s a generously sized room with overstuffed leather chairs and a fully stocked bar. We’ve taken to meeting every Thursday after work during the Winter and as we puff away, we inevitably sit there with grins on our faces as we bask in comfort.
I’ve lit up a Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial. My first outing with this new stick was the result of a gift from BOTL Robert H. but I didn’t take notes in my cigar log book so tonight, I have my pen out. Jaime is the son of legendary Don Pepin Garcia and this is the 2nd blend of his own making — I’m highly impressed with both of them.
This stogie is made in Nicaragua and has a blend of Nicaraguan and Ecuadorian leaf inside with a maduro US Connecticut wrapper that is dark, oily and smooth with a Cuban-style triple cap. Once lit, it imparts delicious maduro flavors and burns perfectly with lots of smoke output. It has a mild spice finish and is very smooth — a real finger burner that goes great with some Scottish single malt whisky. So far, I find the Robusto size to be my favorite. The larger Toro size is also very good but the larger amount of filler leaf means the maduro wrapper flavor takes a back seat.
Warm and cozy in Seattle,
Leafmeister Duncan */:-)