Monthly Archives: July 2011

Ramon Allones Specially Selected

Review Date: 28th July 2011

Box code: Unknown (purchased as single)

Of all the Cuban Robustos this is one that is usually in the top couple of recommendations so I was looking forwarding to sparking this one up.  This particular stick was purchased as a single and has been sitting in my humidor for about 6 months and was ready for my consumption.


The first thing I notice is the near perfect triple cap that moulds beautifully into the main body of the stick.  The colour is light brown, unremarkable but even.  I assume this came from a cabinet as there is no sign of box press.  The construction is consistent throughout just giving slightly to the touch down the entire length.


At cold there is a beautiful sweet tobacco smell with a small amount of grassiness.  This is a highlight; I recon I would have picked up a few more based on this aroma if I had bought them in a bricks and mortar. Very nice.


When lit the draw is just how I like it.  I call this medium resistance, none of that wimpy Robusto T stuff I have experienced recently.  The smoke comes in good quantity and leaves a peppery spice on the back of the pallet.  This dies away quickly and is replaced by dry flavours and toasty tobacco.  These flavours are quite pleasant but certainly not for those looking for the fruity notes.  There is a small amount of powdery cocoa around the middle third but that is the only deviation I really experienced.  The smoke given off however was exceptional.  The scent was one of the more floral cigars I have had in recent times.  I really enjoyed the creamy clouds wafting past my nose leaving a delicate floral aroma.  A sexy mose.


I had high expectations with this cigar and although it had no particular faults it was just a bit ‘ho-hum’.  I have heard of RASS’s having dark fruit & fruitcake flavours but this one gave me none of that.  This would be a great BBQ cigar or something to smoke while otherwise occupied.  For the price point this makes a good value option.  If I was selecting a box to put down for a while I would be looking for something with an oilier or more interesting wrapper as this could be an indicator.  I have certainly seen tastier looking sticks.  I will definitely try again.

BTW: I enjoyed the cigar with a Little Creatures Pale Ale.  The light fruitiness (peach & apricot) of the beer was a surprisingly nice combo with the toasty cigar.  Give it a try.

Rating: 85 points


Posted by on 28th July 2011 in Cigars, Cuban Cigars

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La Chouffe

Date: 12th July 2011

Alcohol: 8.0%

Volume: 750mL

Price: $14.95 (bottleshop)

Manufactured: Achouffe, Belgium

It’s a Belgian beer and it has a little dwarf on the front; of course I was going to pick it up.  The first time I came across this beer was when I stopped by the local Belgian beer café and noticed the dwarf on the menu.  I didn’t try it at the time but made a mental note that we would meet again.

The story of the Brasserie d’Achouffe is not unlike a lot of micro breweries these days.  Two blokes like beer and think,’ we should make our own beer and sell it… we’d make a fortune’.  The two blokes were in fact brothers in law and started brewing in 1982.  Think it as a Belgian version of Mountain Goat.  As happens they were bought out by Duvel in 2006 and probably now sitting on a pile of money drinking their profits.  Good luck to them.

Appearance (3.5/5)

The beer pours a golden amber colour and is clear without sediment.  I have heard a few people say that it is a cloudy beer.  I can only assume that the clarity is due to the 750mL bottle keeping the sediment well away from the bulk of the beer.  The bubbles are larger than expected but still provide a classic Belgian head for the life of the beer.

Nose (4/5)

The nose is unmistakable Belgian yeast from about 3 feet.  Someone could open one of these in the room and you would have a good idea of what was going on.  On closer inspection you get toasty grains and a general smell.  The best I can do is something like candy floss.  Overall appealing.

Flavour (4.0/5)

Once again this is a caramel bananas beer.  It hits you right at the back of the throat and is very moreish.  The other fruit further forward in the palate is yeasty apples; sounds funky but is quite pleasant.

Finish (3.5/5)

The finish is all yeasty, honey goodness. Not particularly complex but it hangs around for some time.

Rating: (15/20)

I really wanted to like this beer and all things considered it’s an enjoyable drop.  La Chouffe is not however, a sensational beer.  I would definitely buy it again but it just doesn’t have some of the complexities of some of its local competitors.


Posted by on 14th July 2011 in Beer


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Gage Roads – Sleeping Giant IPA

Date: 3rd July 2011

Alcohol: 5.4%

Volume: 330mL

Price: $18 per 6 pack (bottle shop)

Manufactured: Palmyra, Western Australia

For the uninitiated an IPA is an Indian Pale Ale.  This is a style of beer that is particularly popular in the Britain, not the least being with some of the bigger brewers like IPA and Fullers.  The story that I had heard previously about IPA’s was that they were a style of beer that was brewed with a ‘slightly’ higher alcohol percentage to help them survive the journey from Britain to India in the 1800’s.  If Wikipedia can be believed that is myth and it notes that rather they are brewed leaving little residual sugar and heavily hopped.

I love the look of this bottle and label.  I think Gage Roads have done a great job in creating a product that catches your eye in the bottle shop.  It caught mine and now I’m ready to give it a rip.

Appearance (4.5/5)

The beer has a great burnt amber colour verging on coppery red.  The head is fine and creamy in colour, only very thin but hangs around for the life of the drink.  Well done.  All in all, a good looking beer.

Nose (3/5)

When I first ripped off the crown I got a great whiff of hops that got the brain ready for an exciting beer.  The disappointment set in once poured as all but a trace of the hoppy smell was replaced by a fairly simple caramel nose.

Flavour (4/5)

Stone fruit is the dominant flavour, peaches and apricots that are softened by some dark caramel that matches the nose mentioned above.

Finish (3.5/5)

It takes some time to get past the peach and apricot flavour before you start to get some of that hoppy bitterness.  Not a lot there but still quite enjoyable.  Overall I would class this a medium to sweet beer.

Rating: (15/20)

I am not sure whether this score does this beer a disservice.  I like the beer and think that it would go well with some spicy food but probably not great as a session beer as the fruit can become somewhat cloying.


Posted by on 3rd July 2011 in Beer

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