18 Pastures can be a tough golf course just outside of Vancouver. A lot of seniors who live in the area love to golf there because of the very very affordable rates.. Just under $23 for a round of 18 holes and a shared power cart… You can’t lose, well, the one thing you WILL lose is a lot of golf balls and maybe a whole bunch of blood if you run into a bear in the trees as you look for your ball…
There is a possibility that my Cohiba may have saved my life today.. There’s a statement for all of the hysterical non-smokers who are reading this right now. I had my cigar lit on the front nine and somewhere around hole 6 or 7 I shanked one into the woods ( which line every fairway ) and as I was entering the trees I heard a bit of rustling and saw a black mass running into the opposite direction… There’s a good chance it caught a whiff of the Cuban tobacco as I neared and probably didn’t like it one bit. Whew.. Black bears will take a route of escape 99% of the time when you meet them in the wild…. It’s that 1 % that always has me wondering.
The back nine was full of the bravest deer we’ve ever seen in these parts… You’d hit a ball close to them and could almost touch them as you walked up to your ball in the fairway… They see a lot of people I guess and we don’t seem to concern them at all…
Last group of animals we saw was a family of skunks… Not a lot of glamor there…..
For some reason we are actually having a late summer in Vancouver and every morning I wake up and see sunshine.. Very strange year we’re having and for the longest time we thought that summer wouldn’t come at all because of constant cold winds blowing over us day after day from January to June.. It was awful as we golfed a lot this spring but the amount of clothing required meant that your swing was hampered with feelings of being bound up.
Today will be different.. Low wind speed, warm temperatures and I’m thinking that a trip to one of our local tracks called 18 pastures just may be the ticket.. I was gifted a few Cohiba Lanceros this spring and after 4 or 5 months in the humidor, these beauties will be ready to smoke. I have to say that the cigar I’m going to take along today will probably make up for the trouble I’m heading towards with a golf course that is as difficult as it is..
When trying to give this course a slope rating, a whole new way of rating slope had to be adjusted because this one is right off the charts. You need to pay close attention to every club in your bag and a course like this with target golf requirements puts a lot of pressure on your irons like no other. Leave the driver in the bag for many shots off the tee, go for the 5 or 6 iron and you’ll be a lot better off..
I’ll be meeting up with some good friends for today’s round. These are golfers that don’t really take the scorecard very seriously when playing such a tough course.. Its all about the hang and all about a great cigar to help the time go by as you’re digging around in the forest for your lost balls..
Father’s day is an occasion where many sons and fathers get together and either knock a golf ball around, catch a fish or two, share advice and light up a great cigar after dinner. This time of year is usually busy at cigar shops where sons purchase their father’s favorites and Cohiba is a brand that sells very well. This time of year is perfect for sitting out on the deck with a cigar in one hand and a glass of something potent in the other because of the warmer weather that has finally arrived. The winter months are a royal pain for many cigar enthusiasts, with the winter and icy winds that blow a chill deep into your bones and insure that your cigars burn unevenly. Many space heaters take the terrible chill out of countless garages and work shops during the winter months, a guy has to do all that he can to get the most enjoyment out of a premium cigar.
My father is NOT a cigar smoker, NOT a cigarette smoker and the glare I get from him whenever I light one up in his presence is something that I’ll always remember but I do it anyway. Funny how we tend to sacrifice almost anything, including a parent’s approval, to enjoy a wonderful cigar with family. I have a sister who is a cigarette smoker and we’ve shared a lifetime of laughs and memories around a community ashtray. I’ll never trade those moments for the world. When I was younger I used to compare smokers and non-smokers and wonder what made people tick and why some smoked and some didn’t .. For a great number of years I told myself that I preferred the company of smokers to almost anyone else but as I get older I’ve relaxed my harsh judgements and see people for what they harbor within.
I can’t see any cigar on a day like this to be better than a Cohiba for it’s classic taste and full body. The original Cohibas before the Siglo series with their grassy profile are a favorite of mine but in recent years I’ve learned to enjoy the Siglos and can see that for every occasion there is a need for different flavors and strengths. The world is made up of millions of different personalities and needs and adapting to the moment is what I’ve been striving for lately. I guess we’re all looking for a balance.
Happy Father’s Day !
I’ve been a big fan of many kinds of music through the years but as I get older I keep going back to the jazz albums I used to listen to in the early 70′s…. I was a big fan of Miles, early Coltrane and then Weather Report as time went on. I wasn’t yet a cigar smoker back in the 70′s, something I regret today, but I can remember hearing albums that were beautiful and timeless.
One of my favorite composers was always Antonio Carlos Jobim and one tragic thing is that most people usually remember him for composing ” The Girl From Ipanema” , a great structured song, but certainly not the only masterpiece he composed. He is regarded as one of Brazil’s greatest treasures and the more you listen to his music the more you’ll understand why that country considers him to be so valuable to their culture.
I was on youtube tonight and didn’t plan on having a cigar until I found this song… It is “Wave” by Jobim but NOT recorded by the master… Instead, this is a recording from 1973 by Oscar Peterson with strings arranged by Claus Ogerman. The album is called “Motions and Emotions”… As soon as I heard this track I was stopped dead in my tracks as I listened to the song…. I played it again and then went over to the humidor and chose an Esplendidos, went back to the computer and lit up and played the song again…. Oscar’s piano solo at the end of this song is stellar and the strings are divine.
The cigar tasted better with a song like this in the background. This made me sort of sad about the condition of jazz bars these days with no smoking policies because when listening to something this beautiful in a live music environment, there is nothing better than a great cigar and a glass of Scotch on a table in front of you.. These days all you smell in a jazz bar is chicken wings…. Good grief!!!! Something is wrong with us…. Cuba is still where its at!!!! Period
So anyway, sit back, light up your most prized Cohiba and listen to THIS !!
Traditionally, New Year’s Eve is one night when we pull out all the stops, dress up in our finest garb and ring in the new year with Champagne, music, dancing and for some of us, handing out and smoking some of the best cigars in our humidors. Cubans and Non-Cubans are usually set on fire and sacrificed to the tobacco gods so that the new year will surely bring prosperity, comfort and good health. All should unfold nicely as long as you light something that pleases them.
Christmas, of late, has resulted in more than a few new cigars sitting in my humidor so as time goes by I find myself with something that can’t wait to be lit and a night like that is a good enough reason for me so I’m thinking of taking a few options in my travel humidor. I DO have friends that love cigars but quite often are not carrying any so I’ve become the guy that passes a few out to close friends. I love sharing the experience with my friends and look forward to contributing to their evening.
I plan on taking Cohiba Lancero, Robusto and maybe a Genios for the maduro guy in the room… Maybe I’ll be the maduro guy… Don’t really feel like making any plans yet and will let everything unfold.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you plan on smoking.
Today was a day to travel around Vancouver and see some of the entertainment around town during the Winter Olympics. Vancouver has been bustling with excitement for locals, tourists and even a lot of attractions for kids. Today I started off with a visit to my favorite mall in North Vancouver where a stage was set up outdoors with a giant TV screen showing a few different Olympic events: skiing and curling.
The stage was set for a relaxing morning with a cappuccino and a Cohiba Lanceros. I stopped into a local coffee haven for folks from North Van and picked up a double espresso and chose a chair well away from mothers, children and the “pain in the butt” non-smokers. When I went to my humidor this morning I found a Lanceros with a silky claro wrapper and knew that the choice would be perfect for what I had in store… But….. I had no idea that events would unfold that would almost cause me to forget that I was smoking one of the most popular Cuban cigars ever rolled.
The first sign of trouble was a sign reading “Free Pizza” that hung proudly in the middle of this closed off open air area in front of a few shops. Usually anything free will attract more than your usual passers by but the crowd that started lining up for the breakfast treat was anything but polite and patient and the sizable german shepherd tied to a bicycle a few feet from the lineup was about to lead the charge in the rude department. A few pre light draws revealed easy air movement , which gave me a bit of relief since these cigars can have the odd construction issue due to their thinner format. I haven’t run into big problems as a rule but now and then slight issues appear. Everything was going well when I clipped the cap off my cigar and applied my torch to the foot, the first few puffs told me that I should take my time because this is the time that cigars are a tad harsh. We all know that they need a moment or two to get into their stride. The pizza line was moving smoothly as well but the trouble started when someone dropped their free slice. The German Shepherd made a dash for HIS free snack, dragging the bike, which caused quite a lovely metallic scraping sound on the pavement. Someone thought it would be a good idea to pull the dog away from the lineup by the bike which caused a yelp to erupt from the canine and the dog and bike’s owner appeared.
The cigar was revealing a strong Cohiba grassy taste combined with a subtle bean flavor that, I knew, would strengthen as well into the first third. The dog and bike’s owner decided to push the man who had the bike’s rear wheel in his hand and the poor guy fell back into a large family of children. Now we have crying children, two angry men ( one father and one dog owner) and one very angry guy who was hell bent for revenge. Next thing that happened was that the pizza company ran out of fresh slices and announced that a few minutes of patience would be required while they went into their restaurant for more.
Alcohol must have been playing a part in this drama because some very strong language was thrown about which seemed to irritate a few mothers holding their children. So now we have a barking dog, angry mothers, an angry dog and bike owner and hungry people starting a chant of ” hurry up hurry up” towards the restaurant. The coffee I was drinking went well with the Lanceros and I was feeling that this may have been one of my more entertaining mornings in an otherwise sleepy neighborhood. The cops showed up!
Things mellowed out in the line-up when more pizza appeared but this was a growing crowd that obviously showed up with a big appetite. They ran out of pizza again and I started to hear sirens and more cops showed up, this time with a paddy wagon. There was a police dog (another German Shepherd) that started barking at the already agitated dog which made the dog owner throw a few obscenities towards the law enforcement officials. The cigar was really starting to taste great when a mother pushing a stroller over in my direction decided that shrieking at me about the foul smell in the air, ruining the whole Olympic spirit. I told her that this was a job for the cops!!
Things got out of hand when a kid wearing a white chef’s hat( who obviously worked for the pizza joint) took down the free pizza sign. The crowd didn’t like that at all … More yelling, more barking, more shrieking about my cigar and I felt that I had died and gone to Heaven. This was an incredible Cohiba and I wasn’t about to put it out… Do you think I’m crazy?? I knew that the cops had their hands full with an unruly mob and so I let the irate mother and now crying kid in the stroller get all of this angst off her chest as I leisurely sipped my coffee and noticed the cigar moving nicely into the second third. Now the “dog and bike” owner was face down on the ground as the cuffs were being applied to his wrists when a folding chair was tossed into the window of the pizza joint. Strong glass and no damage…. But….. More cuffs came out and the inside of paddy wagon was starting to see a few more new faces. The rain started coming down and I decided that it was time to make my way over to the car for the quick drive home.
I love the fact that our city has this much world attention and I’m happy about our athlete’s medals so far. I’m also happy that there are a record number of law enforcement officials from all over Canada in our city, taking care of business whenever the free food runs out!
The Vancouver Cigar Company has produced a straight forward (and more importantly free) e-book called Cohiba 101 (Cohiba 101 Download). I downloaded it tonight and gave it a bit of a look over and was surprised about two things: #1) It was relatively pitch free (just good information) #2) I learned a couple of things about the Cohiba. Also it seems that they actually used some of my reviews that I sent them (Bonus!).
This 101 e-book thing would have been great when I first started smoking cigars.
Cohiba Cigar Blog Entry By Shane