Made In America: La Casa Grande Cigars

first_img How to Identify, Treat, and Survive a Spider Bite Cigar Humidors 101: What They Are, How They Work, and the Best Picks How to Cook Steak in the Oven One of the finest cigars I’ve had in years came not from Cuba, nor from the Dominican Republic, nor from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (though… that’s not really a surprise), but rather from The Bronx. Specifically, it came from the La Casa Grande Tobacco Company at the famed (though rather insipidly named) Arthur Avenue Retail Market.Related: How To Prepare a HumidorBefore we talk about the cigars, lets talk about Arthur Avenue. You know those places you can visit that make you feel as though you turned a corner and found yourself in another country? This is not one of those places. Arthur Avenue, which is located in the Belmont section of the Bronx borough, is vigorously, albeit uniquely, American. It, like so many other enclaves of culture blended in years gone by and seasoned by the generations, does not feel like a neighborhood in an Italian city, it feels like an American “Little Italy,” and anyone who knows a Little Italy or two knows that’s a construct of its own. The same can be said of an American Chinatown or any of the other countless neighborhoods around the country where one distinct culture settled and then proceeded to swap influence.So. Arthur Avenue. There’s a lot of mozzarella there. And pizza, yes. And great coffee, gelato, fresh bread, Catholic churches, and more than a few excitable older men shouting back and forth across small tables laden with loaded ashtrays and crumbs of biscotti. And if you step into the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, it’s a great spot to get a cigar, too.You can watch one of the master cigar rollers from Las Casa Grande roll a cigar right before your eyes at the booth they keep just inside the doors of the market. And then you can take about five steps across the hall into the company’s walk-in humidor and buy one of their fine cigars (or five or a box or whatnot). And if you light that cigar up later that same afternoon, you’ll learn that freshness counts. Big time. In fact, the Colorado Corona (see below, dear reader — oh, we do a quick guide) I selected was one of the smoothest, richest cigars I can recall enjoying; it had notes of caramel and coffee and a vague nutty/woody flavor, and the cigar remained mild many inches into the burn.Related: How to Properly Smoke a CigarNow, was part of the enjoyment a result of the power of suggestion established by my watching the cigar roller at work? Maybe. But who cares? All I know is that some damn fine La Casa Grande cigars are being made right here in The Bronx, New York, NY, United States of America, baby.And in case you were wondering, here’s the simplest break down of cigar color/strength and size:Claro = lighter brown or tan wrapper (and usually indicates milder profile)Colorado = medium brown or reddish wrapper (and stronger flavor)Maduro = deep brown wrapper (and by now you’re getting it)Oscuro = black wrapper (yep, big and bold flavor)When it comes to size, the basics are:Panatela = narrower diamater cigarCorona = medium gauge (most common)Robusto, Presidente, Churchill, and a bunch of other wacky names connote a thick cigar.Note that those names relate to thickness, not length. Length can be described as petite, grand, or with some other terms from the lexicon, or simply as short, medium, or long. Editors’ Recommendations How to Cook Rice Perfectly Every Time How to Make Loco Moco, a Hawaiian Staple Dish last_img read more

Crown Royal Releases 2 New Limited-Edition Whiskies

first_img The Best Bottles of Whiskey You Can Buy For $20 or Less The Best Whiskey for Whipping Up a Whiskey Sour All the New Whiskies You Need to Drink This Fall Editors’ Recommendations If you’re looking for a Canadian whisky fix, Crown Royal’s got you. The well-known brand recently released two brand-new, special-edition whiskies to the lineup. At two different price points, Crown Royal is offering drinkers a couple different ways to expand their whisky collections this summer.The first new addition, Crown Royal Texas Mesquite, is a nod to the Canadian oil workers that brought Crown with them when they went to work in the oil fields of Texas over half a century ago. The base for this release is a blended Canadian whisky that is then infused with Texas mesquite flavor. On the nose, you’ll get a distinct charcoal smokiness, with some vanilla and caramel underneath. The palate is sweet, with a barbecued vanilla flavor that is followed by caramel and some more smoky notes. The finish is medium-length and has a sweet corn and barbecued meat finish.This is not the first big brand to come out with a mesquite whiskey; Wild Turkey — along with creative director Matthew McConaughey — put out Longbranch earlier this year. The biggest difference between the two is the implementation of the mesquite flavor. Longbranch is filtered through mesquite charcoal while Crown Royal Texas Mesquite is infused with mesquite flavor.Crown Royal Texas Mesquite is being positioned as a summer barbecue mixer in drinks such as a Texas Mesquite Mule (Texas Mesquite, lemon juice, agave syrup, and ginger beer). The whisky is 40 percent ABV and retails for around $25.The second release, Crown Royal 13-Year-Old Blenders’ Mash, is the third expression in the Noble Collection. It comes from a rare stock of Crown Royal’s Canadian whisky and is composed of 60 percent corn, 36 percent rye, and 4 percent barley malt aged in new American white oak barrels for no less than — you guessed it — 13 years. It also happens to be one of the five whiskies that make up Crown’s signature blends.On the nose, you’ll find orchard fruits, butterscotch, and toasted oak notes. The palate is rich in toffee, vanilla, and caramel (hallmarks of high corn mash bills). The finish is medium to long with more toasted oak, vanilla, and some spice characteristics coming through. It is bottled at 45 percent ABV and retails for around $60.Want to learn more about Canadian whisky in general? Check out our interview with the man who literally wrote the book on it, Davin de Kergommeaux. The Best Blended Scotch Whiskies to Add to Your Collection Bruichladdich Distillery Unveils its New Octomore Scotch Whisky Serieslast_img read more