Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Herf 26 - Fine Dining Reinvented

August 2nd, 2009 - Renton, WA

In attendance were Fernand, Robert, Joe, Patrick, Daniel, and Pat (remotely). As usual, we gathered to enjoy a good cigar and give our opinion on it by holding a 'group tasting' following dinner.

The five of us were treated to a gourmet feast the likes of which we’ve not seen at any previous herfs. The bar has definitely been set very high now! We started off with an appetizer platter of three kinds of salami, greek olives, bosc pears, and three cheeses. Then a wonderful mixed greens salad kicked off the meal.

The entrees, four in all, consisted of puff-pastry chicken pot-pie, lobster mac and cheese with asparagus tips, mini meatloaf, and zucchini blossoms stuffed with lemon-honey goat cheese. This incredible treat was due to the vast creativity of Patrick’s girlfriend Linh (Lynn).

If that wasn’t enough, dessert soon followed: Irish Car Bomb cupcakes accompanied by cheesecake-stuffed, chocolate-covered strawberries. It was almost too much for the senses to process.

As we were already dinning outside, it was only a few steps to retire around Patrick’s outdoor firepit, though it wasn’t ignited due to the oppressive heat of one of the warmest weeks on record in the Seattle area. The superb meal was the perfect precursor to our mission of conducting the cigar tasting session and continuing the evening’s relaxation and camaraderie.

Our selection for this herf was the Rocky Patel Decade Robusto. An impeccable looking robusto with a standard round cap and measuring 5 inches long by a 50 ring guage. It’s made in Honduras and goes for around $9. This Decade was Cigar of the Week back on May 11th. The current Cigar Aficionado rating for it is 92 (Oct 2008).

Following CA's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression) we began the tasting.

The gentle box press had a very handsome appeal. The dark, chocolaty color of the Ecuadorian wrapper had us all salivating as we clipped, lit, and studied the appearance of this well-crafted stick.

Not one of us had any complaints about the draw of our cigars. Each specimen was perfect. Each burned quite evenly too, with not one relight needed during the course of the evening. We were pleased with the quantity of smoke produced. The ash was stable and well-formed with no noticeable flaking.

Everyone commented on what pleasurable ease it started out with; a little woody (like a soft, light wood) smooth, and easy going. All agreed it was consistently pleasant all the way through and these sticks got mighty short too. Club member Pat (joining us via instant messenger from Lansdale, PA) summed up the experience beautifully, “Rarely do I take a stick to the end, but this was an exception. Loved everything about this stick!”

After throwing out the highest and lowest, then averaging the remaining scores, The Cohiba Club's official rating for the Rocky Patel Decade Robusto is 93. An outstanding cigar!

Here's the points breakdown:
I. Appearance & Construction: 15 pts (100% of the points possible)
II. Flavor: 22 pts (88% of the points possible)
III. Smoking Characteristics: 24 pts (96% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 32 pts (91% of the points possible)

All in all, a very enjoyable cigar which we highly recommend!

See you at the next herf, September 6th.

© 2009 The Cohiba Club - All rights reserved.

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