Sunday, 22 July 2012

Pt.2 of 2: Birthdays, Nenagh and No Cigars!

Monday morning I awoke a little bit groggy. It was the Mrs' ACTUAL birthday and we were going down the country to spend a few days with her niece. The In-Laws were also spending Monday night with us so we all pilled in the van and made our way. Destination : Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.

If you were to believe the song, Its a Long Way To Tipperary. Its not really!! With new motorways and dual-carriageways, the journey is a little over two hours.

Before leaving Dublin, we stopped at a garage for petrol and a hot deli counter breakfast. Deli counters in Ireland differs from the rest of the world. You mention a Deli to someone from the USofA and they picture an array of fresh meats, salads, various breads and wraps. In Ireland we have overcooked food sitting under hot lights to the point of cremation.

That said, there is no better sight first thing in the morning than a greasy breakfast roll. Unfortunately I was out of luck. What I did see was two Ham & Cheese Jambons with my name on them, so I thought. The idea of sinking my hungover head into the overcooked pastry, processed cheese and the odd hint of a bacon lardon had me salivating. That though was ripped from me as the woman in front of me ordered the last two. I almost cried.

Back on the road, without my Jambons, it didn't take long before we arrived in Nenagh and pulled into the Abbey Court Hotel. We checked in, paid for the room and dropped our bags off. The Hotel had a leisure center and we decided to check it out straight away.

An average pool, with no deep end I may add, didn't instill much excitement, however in a separate area at the end of the pool I spotted what I though was a very large Jacuzzi. What it turned out to be was much better, a Hydro-massage pool. I spent a good half hour or more having jets of water massage the tired parts of my body. A small spell in the sauna and steam room and I was as good as new.

Hangover gone, it was time to eat. We strolled through the vast metropolis that is Nenagh town and decided to head into the Hibernian bar for some pub grub. The food was OK and with full bellies we headed to Louise bar. A few pints and a few games of pool we stumbled back to the hotel with happy heads on us!!

A trip to the leisure center again on Tuesday morning ensured no onset of another hangover. We had a busy day ahead of us entertaining a seven year old girl and a clear head was needed.

First item on the agenda was a trip to Nenagh Castle. Not much of the Castle is left and the attraction is a renovated Round Tower. We duly climbed to the top, took pictures, and scaled our way back down the narrow steps.

With our excitement in check, our next stop was Jump 'n' Gyms. An indoor assault course type thing with slides and tunnels and all that stuff. The Mrs and her niece were in there element. Shoes off, socks on, they ran towards the big blue slide, crawled through the tunnels, navigated through rollers and poles, jumped around on the bouncy castle and danced in the disco room. I, on the other hand, found a massage chair, popped in my euro and sat back!!

After Jump 'n' Gyms the In-Laws had to make there way back to Dublin. We said our goodbyes and they left us to fend for ourselves. At that point sun was shining and I found the perfect spot for a cigar in the lovely gardens of the hotel. My plans were scuppered when I was informed that we were going back into the town to do a bit of shopping.

Many hours later, exhausted and hungry we were back in the hotel. We decided to go into the hotel restaurant for dinner. We had a fantastic meal. My order of Pork Buns to start, Spicy Cajun Crab and Corn Cakes for main and Hazelnut Sticky Toffee Pavlova for dessert was delicious. The fantastic meal could only be topped of with the Partagas Series P No.2 that I grabbed on the way out to the hotel gardens.

I got as far as the front door. The blanket of rain that greeted me scuppered all hopes. Another day, another cigar free evening. I wasn't happy. We went back to the room for the evening. The two girls spent their time applying transfer tattoos while I read a book. A relaxing evening but not what I had planned.

Wednesday morning I had a lie in while the girls went to the pool. We checked out of our room for 12pm. Stored our bags behind reception and hit Nenagh Town again. We decided to check out the Heritage Center which was housed in an old County Gaol (Jail) Governors house. After watching a far too long introduction video, we were left to peruse the house at our own ease. They have recreated an old Irish school room, Pub/shop, Dairy and kitchen. The latter two were closed for renovations so the Governors house was short lived.

The best part of the center was the old Gatehouse. This was where prisoners were placed before they were publicly hung. You have to ask for a member of staff to take you there as it is not open permanently. A pleasant woman walked us around the gatehouse, informing us of the history. We got too see the jail cells where the prisoners would spend there last nights. We also saw where the prisoners were hung. What was surprising was the location of the hanging was right on the main street of Nenagh. It made me wonder how many people who walk past that spot on a daily basis actually realise that seventeen men's dead bodies swung lifelessly in the spot where they passed.

We had an average carvery lunch when we returned to the hotel. We dropped the niece back to her mother and the Mrs and I made our way to the bus. A short while later we were back in Dublin.

Suffering from Cigar withdrawals, that night I sparked up a CAO Italia Ciao. This was the first CAO cigar I have smoked. It was part of a sampler pack sent to me from @Cigar_G. I enjoyed it very much but i think it would have befitted from more of a rest in my humidor

We went to Alfies for lunch on Thursday to finish off our mini holiday. Alfies never disappoints for a tasty, economical lunch. That evening it was back to business for me. I had to attend a meeting with the football league. Our new team South William St Celtic FC has been accepted into division 2B. Higher than we expected, we will have to step up the training!!

Fri/Sat and it was back to work. Nondescript as always which is a good thing when you work in security!!

Sunday now and I have watched the Donegal GAA team make history by wining back to back Ulster Championships. Blog update is almost finished so it time for dinner and later on a Cigar.

Its been a tough week. I deserve it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nenagh Castle

Jump n Gyms - Blue Slide

Nenagh's Bouncy Castle

Old Irish Classroom

Old Irish Shop

Old Irish Bar

The Bench that I never got to use
CAO Italia Ciao

The End
Cuba Libra's at Alfies

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Pt.1 of 2: Birthdays, Afternoon Tea and Cigars!

John F. Kennedy once told a story about the great French Marshal Lyautey. The Marshal asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener complained that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshal replied ;
"In that case, there is no time to lose, plant it this afternoon!"

Time is a funny thing. The quotes are endless. "Time flies when you're having fun", "Time is a great healer", "One step at a time" etc...

The last week can be summed up with the following quote by Melanie Benjamin ; 
"What very mysterious things days were. Sometimes they fly by, and other times they seem to last forever, yet they are all exactly twenty-four hours. There's quiet a lot we don't know about them."

There are two reasons I talk about time.  The first is a failed business plan, the second, and more important (so I have been told... continually) it was the Mrs birth(day/week/month!!)

I have several meetings over the past couple of months in regards to a business venture I had hoped and planned for. Unfortunately it wasn't to be so. I spent the weekend in work mulling it over but there was no way around it. The plans had to be scrapped. It was a long weekend.

The following five days have flown past. Time Eh..!! 

Sunday, I was told, was the Mrs birthday EVE!! It was an opportunity to take my mind of things as we walked towards the Westbury Hotel where I would surprise her with Afternoon Tea. It wasn't the at the top of my list of things to do in my life but I was pleasantly surprised.

Sitting in the salubrious surroundings of the hotel (they gave us a window seat) we were served on by a pleasant waitress who was all to eager to please. We ordered two Champagne Afternoon Tea's. The Moet Rose arrived and shortly after the Tea Stand arrived. I looked at the various finger sandwiches, scones and french pastries and the thought of where we were going to get dinner passed through my mind.

Thirty minutes later, only half of the stand was conquered and I was struggling. The food was fantastic and surprisingly filling. A habit of the Irish is to scoff all the food in front of them as quick as possible. Possibly stems from the famine days!! The Mrs and I sat back for a while, took in our surroundings and enjoyed the following hour or so it took to polish off the rest of the food.

We stumbled out of the hotel in a food Coma and across to No Name Bar where we met up with Hollywood and BicBic aka Mr.Heineken (He also was celebrating his Bday) We had a couple of drinks there while I enjoyed a Cohiba Behike 52. 

I had bought the B52 in January and it has sat in my humidor since. I had read and heard a lot about the 52. It was voted Cigar Aficionado's Cigar of the Year. I had been saving it for a proper occasion and Sunday was the day. All I can say is don't believe they Hype.

Don't get me wrong. It is a fantastic Cigar. I enjoyed every puff and I will probably buy another to have alone and contemplate the flavours. My gripe was that I would have to do that in the first place. I have smoked various cigars in company that have not needed that concentration. The Vegas Robaina Unicos that I had later that night was a perfect example.

We left No Name Bar and crossed the road into the Market Bar. I have previously posted about the new smoking area in this bar. Probably the best in Dublin apart from one small problem. They never open it. We didn't stay long.

A quick change of clothes for the Mrs and we were on our way to Harrys Bar. It was a nice evening so we all decided to sit outside. I enjoyed the aforementioned Vegas Robaina Unicos while enjoying a Whiskey Sour.

I love the VR Unicos. It has never let me down. It seems to take on the personality of what you are drinking. The last one I enjoyed was with a nice Cuba Libra and I was treated to a nice sweet, sugar cane flavour. This time I was treated to a nice smokey woodiness. The sugar was still there but not as prominent. I will certainly pick up a box when I am in Cuba.

More than thirty to forty people ended up sitting outside Harrys Bar for the joint Bday celebration, drinking pints, shorts, shots and cocktails. On a Sunday night as well. The Market Bars loss. 

The Group split after Harrys. The more drunken bunch decided Copper Face Jacks was the place to be. The others, led by myself, opted for the Grafton Lounge. After all, it where all the cool kids hang out!!

The GL threw up a few faces I had not seen in a while. It is also where we met and joined the Fitzpatricks. A quick few drinks there and we were off to Lillies. Its not every day I get to hang with Pop Stars and Sunday was another such day. Apparently we were in the VIP but apart from one velvet rope and a member of security who didn't know Bono from a No-No, nothing separated the area we were in from the rest of the club. 

We still enjoyed ourselves. No matter what the surroundings, it is the company you are with that makes the night. Later on there was talks of house parties and all night session but we declined. Monday was the Mrs official birthDAY and we had an early start. 

We were on a mini break to Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. More about that in the next post!!

The Mrs and her Moet

Afternoon Tea - Surprisingly Filling 

Cohiba Behike 52

B52 - The End

Vegas Robaina Unicos

VR Unicos - The End

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Jesus Higgs Boson

I would like to start off this post by thanking you all for reading my ramblings and getting me up too and past 2000 hits. It is much appreciated and hopefully it continues

There is also a special mention for what is probably the worlds greatest breakthrough in my lifetime to date. Katie saw sense and dumped Tom Cruise (sorry Hollywood aka The doorman formally known as Diamond Dave)

Seriously though, The Higgs Boson (the God particle) was 97% confirmed this week. That means we are only 3% away from finding out the meaning of life!! I thought Monty Python already covered that!! So for all the practical people out there this is an amazing breakthrough in modern science. As for all the religious people out there, don't worry, God made it anyway!! (Please pick appropriate God)

I last left off smoking the Arturo Fuentes Hemingway Work of Art. It was a great little cigar and very much surprised me. The Hemingway line of A. Fuente cigars are all figarodos and there is a great selection. Luckily the Decent Cigar Emporium has recently got almost the full range in stock so I will hopefully pick up some more before they are all gone!

The WOA was to be my last cigar of the week.

I have dusted off the old football (soccer for the US readers) boots and come out of retirement!! A friend of mine has recently set up a new team called South William St Celtic FC and he needed a reliable center back. I don't think he realised, or me for that fact, how really unfit I am. I briefly touched on this in my last post, however it was all a bit of fun back then.

After years of floating through life on a day to day basis I now have a schedule!! Football training on Monday and Wednesday. Gym on Tuesday and Thursday. I work Friday, Saturday and every second Sunday. Its tough going at the moment. Every part of my body hurts!!

That being said I though I deserved a few drinks and a Cigar after work on Sunday. The Mrs and her mother were at the Snow Patrol Concert in Phoenix park so after work I strolled over to the Morgan Bar. There were a few of the staff from work already there. I brought a Trinidad Fundadores for myself and a PDR Seleccion Reserva for Mr.Heineken aka Bic Bic.

I love the Fundadores and I have never had a bad one. Its a Laguito vitola, a long but thin cigar, not a favorite of many these days when Robustos and other larger ring gauges seem to be in fashion. From the opening to the finish it is fantastic. I was in company and having a few drinks so didn't pay much attention to the cigar (always a good sign for me if I don't need too) however I couldn't help but notice the strong tea leaf flavour that was predominant. I don't drink tea, I actually hate the taste, however it seems to work in a cigar!!

With the new week I was back to football on Monday and a hard session in the Gym on Tuesday. Tuesday night I decided to smoke another cigar. My humidor is very bare looking these days. From two full humidors, my collection is now depleted to one empty humidor and six sticks in the other. Three of them I am saving and want to enjoy. As for the other three....

One of them was the Famous VSL Honduras. I don't like to knock Cigars because what I may not like might be another person favourite, however my advice for the aforementioned cigar, If you don't have them, don't try them, If you have them, throw them away. I think having no Cigar would have been better than a bad cigar.

Lucky for me, I was woke up by the buzzer to the apartment this morning. I though it was my alarm and anyone who knows me will tell you that, for me, alarms don't work. Somehow I came to my senses and jumped out of bed. I made it down to the door just in time to catch the post man driving away. He saw me, stopped, laughed and then handed me a box which I duly signed for.

To my delight is was a 4 pack CAO sampler sent to me from @Cigar_G . I have been trying to help him build his Twitter followers and every time he reaches a landmark he gives away free Cigars. I was the first winner. So get following him and the next winner could be you.

That brings me on nicely to my next topic. Twitter, Facebook and the BOTL (Brother of the Leaf). I have never come across a more generous, genuine, eager to help group of people. We talk about our love of cigars, which is our favourite, new releases etc.. If a BOTL really likes a cigar he wants everyone to share that experience. If you cant pick up that cigar locally or online, more than often he/she will do what they can to send you one. They dont look for anything back, just that you tell your experience of their favourite cigar.

Cigar Giveaways also seem to be an almost every day occurrence on Twitter. Someone may want to reach a certain amount of followers, other may want you to ReTweet something. If you love cigars and are on Twitter follow me @CigarDoorman and I will do all I can introduce you to the generous world of the BOTL.

As for myself, I will be doing two separate Cigar giveaways very soon. Once my Twitter follows reach 5000 and when my Facebook page gets 200 likes. So get following and liking people.

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work of Art

Great Ash

Trinidad Fundadores

Fantastic Cigar

Mr. Heineken 

The Parcel

The Prize!!

Cigars I bought last week

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A Quick Update

Its been two weeks since my last real update (reviews don't count) and I sit here smoking an Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work of Art. The draw is very tight and there is no give in the body of the cigar, extremely hard. What is harder though is remembering what I got up to over the last 14 days!!

I just clipped another few mills of the cap and now the draw is a lot better. Now for the memory!!

(Memories may not be in the correct order!!)

So when I last left off I was looking forward to a online seminar I was due to take part in. I was sent a custom made "5 Wrapper" cigar to smoke while watching the event. Hosted by Buttheads , Jose Blanco from Joya de Nicaragua Cigars gave a very educational talk on the effect a wrapper has on the blend. As he talked, I watched and I smoked. I was amazed as we went from one wrapper to another the change in flavours I experienced. The seminar was fun, enjoyable and also very educational. I would like to thank Kevin at Buttheads for sending me the cigar and inviting me to take part.

From the highs of the seminar, I awoke the next day with a weekend of work ahead of me. There was only one thing thing to do. Go in and get on with it!! I had a healthy distraction over the weekend though. I started a Twitter campaign to get @Cigar_G to 400 followers. G is a BOTL hailing from Canada. He knows his stuff when it comes to Cigars and the man has a sense of humour to boot. We hit our target around 6am GMT and G was kind enough to offer to send me some cigars.

I awoke tired on Saturday but happy we had reached our goal. My Saturday got better when I received a Tweet saying I had won a sampler pack from Roxor Cigars. Two packs of Free cigars coming my way!! If anyone reading this feels like being generous I will never refuse to try something new (or anything else)!!

Sunday, I relaxed, ordered Thai food and watched England lose to Italy in the Euros. That night I smoked the Montecristo Grand Edmundo EL 2010. Amazing Cigar. So good I posted a review.

Monday came with equal amounts of fear and excitement. I was dusting off my football boots and coming out of retirement. I was joining a new football team and thought the intensity wouldn't be high. Boy was I wrong. 2hr session that evening and my lungs were heaving and my legs barely working.

The next day my legs were not as bad as I feared the would be. They were working at least. I had a full day of meetings around town in relation to my blog, social media and other things cigar related. There were some very exciting proposals put forward and the following few months are looking to be a very exciting time.

I am very vague on the Cigars I smoked in the past two weeks but I do remember smoking a Primo De Cuba Rothschild on Wednesday.The longer these non-Cubans sit in my humidor the better they are getting

Thursday saw a return to the door. The weekend went without a bother until late Saturday night.

 >Doorman Rant<
I, along with Hollywood, are very easy going, pleasant doormen. We treat customers with respect and when needs be are firm but very fair. My place of work attracts a mature, nice, well to do crowd, along with a varied mix of tourists. We do not refuse entry to potential customers without a valid reason.
Sometimes, however, a type of person approaches that will never get into our bar. Saturday night a group of those people approached me, were subsequently refused entry, and proceeded to verbally abused me venomously for a good twenty minutes. All they achieved was proving that my initial judgment of them was correct.

Sometimes its a hard job

>Rant Over<

Sunday couldn't come quick enough. The Mrs and I strolled up to the Decent Cigar Emporium where I bought a few cigars. We left there and went to The Counter for a bite to eat before meeting my Aunt and cousins for a quick drink before they hit the Hills of Donegal and Bristol, England respectively. A short but pleasant catch up ended all too soon when everyone had to go their separate ways. I went home and had my first Ramon Allones Specially Selected. My friend over at Cigar Stories swears by them and he didnt put me wrong. Delicious!!

Monday brought that fear again. Football training and I though the first session was tough!! Afterwards I had to immerse my self in a freezing cold bath for twenty minutes followed by an alternating Hot/Cold shower, after which I massages a load of "Deep Freeze" into my legs.

Luckily it worked. When I woke up today my legs were not half as bad as I dreaded. A few hours in Lispopple Studios followed by a bit of shopping and I was home again.

Now with you all updated and Cigar almost finished (very nice by the way) I am going to sign off. Football again tomorrow night, No pain, no gain and all of that. I have to be fit for the first game of the season in September.

Until next time, Keep 'em Lit and don't forget to follow me on Twitter and LIKE my page on Facebook

Custom Made 5 Wrapper Cigar

Monte Grand Edmundo EL 2010
Primo de Cuba Rothschild

Forgot I smoked this - La Riqueza No.4


My Saviour - Legs recovered in a few hours