SGDG Magazine

Music: Dave Koz At The Movies

Lush, heartfelt, and elegant, At the Movies finds smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz celebrating his favorite movie themes. Featured here are such classic movie melodies as “Over the Rainbow,” “The Shadow of Your Smile,” and “The Pink Panther” as well as more contemporary songs like “A Whole New World” and the main theme from Schindler’s List. Showcased beautifully throughout At the Movies is Koz’s deftly melodic and supple saxophone sound, which truly evinces his obvious love of film and film music. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s often backed by a full orchestra and big band here, adding to the widescreen, cinematic sound he’s going for. Also engaging are Koz’s guest artist choices, including trumpeter Chris Botti, vocalists Johnny Mathis, Barry Manilow, Donna Summer, and others.

Dave Koz has created a great salute to songs from the movies that is fresh in it’s approach, pays tribue to the songs, and gives them a unque updated vibe.

It kicks off with one of the most famous movie thme songs ever, and considering that Over The Rainbow has been covered by countless singers, it is appropriate that here we have a smooth instrumental cover, with some sampling of Judy Garland. Other songs with a smooth instrumental bent include; The Theme From Schindlers List, Cinema Paradiso Suite, and The Pink Panther. A great feature of this release is that Dave spans the generations. This is not about old movies, new movies, in between movies, it about good music from good movies, of all periods.

The vocal tracks shine in a different light. Anita Baker, Vanessa Williams, and Barry Manilow, all work with Mr. Koz seemlessly, and all lend a vocal class to their reads of these songs. Speaking of vocal class my all time favorite, Donna Summer delivers a beautiful, simple, restrained take on A Whole New World. Donna and the artist known for this song, Regina Belle are friends and Regina has covered some of Donna’s material in the past. Here Donna returns the favor, and shows many of today’s vocalists that you do not have to over-sing to be heard.

Dave Coz

Eight-time GRAMMY® nominee Dave Koz remembers the first record he ever purchased – Tower of Power’s 1974 album, Back To Oakland. It had a powerful impact on him, as his latest album, Summer Horns, shows. Teaming up with three of his most talented and trusted colleagues – Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot and Mindi Abair – Koz revisited the music that made him want to pick up the saxophone in the first place: classic tracks from Tower of Power and other brassy juggernauts that ruled the airwaves from the late 1960s through the ‘70s – bands like Sly & the Family Stone, Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago and Blood Sweat & Tears.

Related Items:

The LifeStyle: Bentley To Debut Fastest Ever Production Car in Geneva

What you’re looking at is the fastest production Bentley ever made. The 2015 Continental GT Speed has once again been the recipient of even more power. Its 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 has been increased from 616 horsepower to 626 hp and 607 lb-ft of torque. Instead of a 205 mph top speed, drivers will experience 206 mph. Like the hardtop, the GT Speed Convertible has also received this power boost, and has a new top speed of 203 mph.

2015 Bentley Continental GT Speed has its Geneva Debut

Bentley has also lowered the cars’ chassis, stiffened the suspension, and added new carbon fiber front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser. Riding on a set of dark tinted 21-inch alloys, both the coupe and convertible have a striking presence. Cosmetic touches such as red brake calipers, bits of chrome throughout, and dark tinted alloys that match the tinted head- and taillights are particularly nice. Inside and you’ll find the familiar diamond-quilted seating patterns, along with new stitching and color options. There’s also a new sound system and even neck warmers. We’re still waiting on official pricing, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see at least a slight increase from last year.

2015 Bentley Continental GT Speed has its Geneva Debut
2015 Bentley Continental GT Speed has its Geneva Debut
2015 Bentley Continental GT Speed has its Geneva Debut
2015 Bentley Continental GT Speed has its Geneva Debut
2015 Bentley Continental GT Speed has its Geneva Debut
2015 Bentley Continental GT Speed has its Geneva Debut

Distilled Spirits: Cohiba Extra Cognac by Martell

CohibaCognacCognac and a great cigar make a fine pair. It’s worth noting that Cohiba released a similar spirit with Bisquit back in 2005. Good things come to those who wait though, right? Cohiba Cognac by Martell is made from top of the line eaux-de-vie (a.k.a fruit brandy) that’s been aged between 40 and 50 years in oak casks. That means it’s had plenty of time to infuse with rich oak accents and develop a deep amber hue. At 43% ABV, it’s also the ideal amount of alcohol to sip while puffing away. In tribute to the Cohiba connection, the bottle is distinguished by a silk-screen print of a traditional Cuban tobacco field. A special wooden box is part of the package as well — though sadly it’s not a humidor.

This Cognac is not from Cuba. This Martell is a high quality cognac, the cognacs name is a reference to the taste, which goes well with a cigar. The eaux-de-vie spirits have an age between 40 and 55 years. You can buy this Martell bottle online at a price of $551.

It is impossible to describe a cognac and not to mention its producer. The house Renault-Bisquit has a long story, which begins from the year 1819 where a young man Alexander Bisquit has founded the company and started this very successful business. To its double name the enterprise is obliged to the merge of such houses as CASTILLON RENAULT and BISQUIT-DUBOUCHE in 1991.

The characteristic feature of this beverage is an amazing freshness and a pronounced flavour of orange, almond, hazelnut, vanilla and honey. The finish is continuous with obvious hints of honey, spices, dairy caramel and dried fruit. The cognac has been produced at the personal request of Fidel Castro and is a perfect match with Cohiba Robusto – the most famous Cuban cigar brand. The stogie is medium to full bodied with tones of spice, wood, clove and wine.

Martell-Cohiba-Cognac2

Unfortunately it’s impossible to say the same about another well-known Cuban cigar El Rey Del Mundo Tainos which is a Churchill of a great taste. This is a light bodied high quality stogie with woody and floral notes and easy, agreeable draw. Still, Cohiba Extra Cognac overwhelms this cigar releasing too much of sweetness whereas El Rey Del Mundo seems to be too simple and tasteless.

In the combination with Ramon Allones Specially Selected, both the stick and the beverage show their might, obviously generating a powerful and sharp feeling that is very pleasant. The most important why this pair goes pretty well is due to the richness of its aromatic nuances, which match together so well.

In the pair Cohiba Extra Cognac and Rocky Patel Vintage 1992, the beverage simply ruins cigar’s flavor completely dominating it. The only thing that is left unaffected is the peppery aroma, which becomes harsh during the procedure.

Martell-Cohiba-Cognac3

Purchase Here:
Cognac Expert

Cigars: Estella by Espinosa


Erik Espinosa began working in the cigar industry in 1997. During the early 2000s, he teamed up with Eddie Ortega to create EO Brands, which produced Murcielago, 601, and Cubao cigars. In 2012, he went out on his own and opened up his La Zona factory, where he continues to make outstanding cigars using some of the best premium aged tobaccos, such as La Zona, La Jugada, and 601.

In 2013, the guys at Atlantic Cigar began working with Espinosa to develop a small-batch cigar that adhered to the quality and blending style that has made Espinosa such a star in the industry. The final result, which has now been released in early 2014, is Estella by Espinosa, a medium to full-bodied Nicaraguan puro.


 

The Estella by Espinosa is made at the La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. Estella is produced in small batches twice a year. It has been released in 3 sizes: a Robusto Extra, a Grand Toro and a Grand Corona. The cigar are available in 10-count boxes or 25-count bundles.

I tried the Robusto Extra for this review.

If you are interested in trying the Estella by Espinosa, you can check it out here.


Appearance:

The Estella by Espinosa has a slightly oily wrapper that has a medium brown color. The texture is consistent and silky with a slight grain and minimal veins. The cigar is finished with a triple seam cap and feels well-packed with only a slight give when squeezed. The Robusto Extra size is good for those looking for a slightly larger robusto, but still want to enjoy a thicker and shorter smoke.

Tasting:

The unlit cigar offers aromas of barnyard, leather and dried fruit. Once cut, the cigar’s cold draw has mild sweet tobacco flavors with caramel, raisins and cedar.


1st Third:

There was very little spice on the light, with woody flavors upfront. The spice built and provided flavors of cinnamon and pepper. There was a hickory aftertaste with layers of sweetness. The draw was easy and provided good amounts of smoke. The strength began around medium-bodied.


2nd Third:

The middle of the cigar developed a toasty characteristic with roasted nuts and caramel. The hickory stuck around and was one of the predominant notes. A raisin and dried fruit sweetness lingered on the palate. The strength of the cigar remained around medium-bodied, perhaps moving slightly towards full-bodied.

Final Third:

The cigar finished with the many woody notes that were present throughout the smoke. A slight espresso developed and the caramel hung around. The strength increased slightly towards the end, but stayed below full-bodied. The cigar didn’t become harsh at the end, and I was able to nub it.



Overall:

This is a good cigar for fans of both Espinosa’s work. The flavors were very reminiscent of many cigars made with Aganorsa tobacco. I tasted some similarities to Illusione’s Le Epernay cigar. The construction was solid and the draw and burn were good. The cigar didn’t require any touch-ups while smoking. The strength is just about in the middle, so that there is plenty of flavor, but the nicotine content isn’t overwhelming. These cigars smoke well now, but given a few weeks in the humidor, they will probably really shine.

Estimated smoking time: 1 hour

If you are interested in trying the Estella by Espinosa, you can check it out here.  Atlantic Cigar is the exclusive carrier of this great cigar.

SGDG Lounge+: Civil Cigar Lounge Washington, DC

Owned by the proprietors of W. Curtis Draper, the oldest tobacconist in Washington D.C., the lounge opened on January 14, 2013. An adjacent retail store, stocking a selection of cigars from Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic, opened on December 26, 2013.  

If your looking to smokegood cigars, throw back a few distilled spirits or eat some of celebrity chef Bryan Voltaggio’s one-of-a-kind dishes…three indulgences in one place—the Civil Cigar Lounge in the Chevy Chase Pavilion.

The lounge is right next to Range, the upscale food menagerie with nine open kitchens that Voltaggio opened last month. The Range chefs will be offering a totally different menu of small plates at the cigar lounge, designed to complement the whiskies, Scotches, wine, cocktails and premium and small batch spirits served there.

With two private rooms, 125 personalized cedar cigar lockers, a long bar with 22 chairs, and smoking areas with burgundy leather chairs and plush banquettes, the place is a stunner. Even the restrooms are unique, with antique-mirrored ceilings and wallpaper depicting images of smoke.

Upon entry, you’ll notice the 500sqft retail shop with “world-class” smoking accessories and a glass-encased selection of cigars that range from mild body, to medium body, to Linda Tripp (um, heavy).
They’ve carefully curated a whole bunch of cigars from Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic, meaning places that have the best smokes also have serious Presidente issues.

After buying that stogie, you could stuff it in one of 125 lease-able humidified cedar cigar lockers for safekeeping, or light it up and head out to the…

civillounge03

… lounge area with big ‘ole leather wingback club chairs and a state-of-the-art ventilation system that filters and replaces 100% of the air every two minutes, so it’s gone in like two Nic Cage heist films.

Pair that puff piece w/ one of their eight signature dranks, like this Smoked Manhattan w/ Knob Creek, Vermouth, a maraschino cherry, and a glass rinsed with smoked bourbon.

Or, if cigar puffing makes you hungry, just grab a small plate like this yellow fin tuna tartare with avocado and a soy-lime vinaigrette that’s no joke, mostly because it’s actually a salad dressing.

Distilled Spirits: Gautier XO Fine Cognac

Gautier Cognac is amongst the oldest cognac houses, with a very unique location. Gautier is based in Aigre on the Osme river, and ages in an 18th century water mill. Aigre is also referred to as the “Little Venice” of Charente. The proximity to the water and the resulting humidity and temperature in the cellars gives the cognac a recognizable taste. This cognac house unites ancient history with a modern view on the cognac market. It caters both professional cognac connoisseurs and aficionados as well as younger consumers that like to experiment with cognac and try out new and trendy cocktails.

This XO is aged up to 35 years creating a finer, rounder and fuller cognac. A contemporary, elegant bottle of clear glass to highlight the authencity of the product, giving full expression to its rich and natural gold color. Subtle, harmonious, round. A beautiful gold color, floral aromas and scents of toasted bread with a hint of cinnamon.

Nose suggests good maturity with prune, raisin and dried apricot. Full, well rounded mouth with full array of fruits following the nose with pear and peach. Smooth flow across the palate gives some light pepperiness and more dried fruits. Fine oak support. Slight dryness in the light, fruity finish.

Wine Searcher: More Information

Music: Pure Genius, Monk and Coltrane

Pure Genius

This album is “Legendary”,  sit back relax light up your favorite cigar and escape. The fusion of the two jazz greats Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane is pure genius with a hint of magic.  I poured a glass of 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon, cut a Perdomo 20th Anniversary only to realize that I was in the zone, that cigar buzz zone relaxing.

Listen

Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane 37 min Jazz Listen

Track Listings

1. Ruby, My Dear
2. Trinkle, Tinkle
3. Off Minor (Take 4)
4. Nutty
5. Epistrophy (Alternate Take)
6. Functional (Alternate Take 1)

Buy Poster Online: Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane
Buy CD Online: Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane

 

Distilled Spirits: 1926 Macallan $54k Price Tag

3226065699_59ffc03fb6_z

The Macallan Fine & Rare Collection represents the very best of The Macallan’s oldest maturing stock and the greatest range of vintage single malt ever released. Every year the range is augmented by the introduction of a new vintage release. The full collection of vintages represent a liquid history of The Macallan, offering insights into the aroma and flavours characteristic of this great single malt stretching back to the earliest release distilled in 1926. 

Over the years, the Fine & Rare range has underpinned The Macallan as the world’s most valuable and collectable single malt whisky, dominating auctions around the world and setting world record prices, both at auction and private sale.

Christie’s hosted the first spirits auction in New York since prohibition. Some of the rare whiskies were expected to fetch up to $30,000 per bottle. Startlingly, a 1926 Macallan, bottled in 1986, went for US $54,000 and was announced as the most expensive bottle of Scotch ever sold by Christie’s anywhere in the world. We have already talked about the expensive Macallan Fine and Rare collection. The bottle that spent 60 years in wood barrel was expected to go for between $20,000 and $30,000, but fetched a whopping US $54,000.

Cigars: Perdomo 20th Anniversary


Perdomo 20th Anniversary Sun Grown Epicure (6 x 56)

The Perdomo 20th Anniversary cigars are rolled exclusively with tobaccos grown on Perdomo’s numerous farms in Esteli, Condega, and Jalapa Valley, Nicaragua. The 20th uses the highest primings to deliver a rich, complex flavor profile, and is available in both Maduro and Sun Grown wrappers. The wrappers are hand selected, aged for a minimum of 6 years, and then fermented for an additional 14 months in Bourbon barrels. This an extremely special Nicaraguan Puro from the Perdomo family, a representation of all of their farms coming together to create a wonderfully balanced premium cigar.

Appearance / Pre-light:
The cigar is a beauty. The sun grown wrapper is almost completely veinless and ultra smooth to the touch. The leaf color, especially for sun grown tobacco, is especially light with no blotchiness, consistent in color all the way through. It is extremely well rolled with near unidentifiable seams and an absolutely perfect cap. The cigar has a “slight” press, making it into more of a rounded-rectangle shape than a square. The band kind of reminds me of an Opus X for some reason, possibly the shape and detail put into the design. I clip the cap off easily, the pre-light draw is excellent, the open draw reveals some salty spice mixed with a cocoa sweet tobacco flavor.

Perdomo 20th Anniversary Sun Grown Review

First Third:
As I touch flame to cigar the first few puffs are accented with a spicy blast of flavor. The smoke output is excellent and the draw is open but not too much. After a few minutes and a few more puffs, I realize very quickly this is a complex cigar. There is a wonderful creamy sweetness on the finish intermixed with some floral flavors to go along with an earthy tobacco flavor, which seems to be increasing in depth. Although 56 is about as large as a ring as I like to smoke, the “slight” press of the Perdomo 20th gives it an easy going mouthfeel that does not get uncomfortable. So far the best way to describe this cigar would be to call it very classy. It’s extremely well made with wonderful burn and draw properties. While the flavor profile is very complex and multidimensional, you don’t have to be an aficionado to pick out the flavors. The cigar is very balanced and well blended, and the finish is superb. So far a phenomenal Anniversary cigar for Perdomo. As the first third comes to an end, the spice is ramped up a notch, and the cigar hits solid medium body territory.

Perdomo 20th Anniversary Sun Grown Review

Second Third:
The 20th Anniversary Epicure continues its smooth delivery of a variety of flavors, with more rich, leathery earthiness upfront, and while the sweetness is there it’s taken a back seat. One thing that is mostly agreed upon regarding Perdomo, especially among regular smokers, is that next to Padron, they create one of the most consistent Nicaraguan cigars on the market. I would bet that once I’m done with this cigar, if I sat down and smoked another, the experience would be nearly the same. As someone who smokes a lot of cigars, consistency is something I absolutely cherish in the cigar world. It takes skill and a certain amount of determination by a company to create cigars that offer up the same qualities time over time. I just wanted to commend Perdomo for that, the brand sometimes flies under the radar so to speak. If you haven’t I’d give Perdomo cigars a try, and this is a great place to start. The 20th Anniversary is a shining example of their ability to take tobacco from all of their many fields and create a solid, flavorful stick for a great price. At this point I had to remove the band because it was fairly wide. The second third continues on with an excellent combination of all the flavors I’ve previously mentioned in an expertly blended balance. The rich, creamy smoke has such an enjoyable sweetness to it, and the retrohale just the right amount of spice. I’m getting a very savory, salty taste in my mouth as the the smoke settles, causing my mouth to water a bit, and naturally cleanse my palate.

Perdomo 20th Anniversary Sun Grown Review

Final Third:
I’ve had to touch up the cigar a few times, but that’s what a lighters for, and this Perdomo seems to be all about flavor, which is far more important then a perfect burn. Like I mentioned before, this cigar will easily satisfy a casual smoker or beginner. For someone with an advanced palate, if paying attention you will be able to hit most areas of the flavor wheel, from spice to salty to sweet, leather and earth, vegetal and floral. The depth here is striking and entirely enjoyable. The cigar is still burning smooth, and despite coming to the end is still burning cool. The final third is showing some sweetness once again in the foreground that mixes well with the salty finish. Hopefully the Maduro wrapped version of this blend shows the same complexity of character, I don’t see why it wouldn’t being that the wrappers were both treated to the same aging and fermentation process. After smoking this guy, the Maduro is definitely on my list of cigars to smoke. We’ve maintained a medium body throughout the cigar here, edging up right against the fullest side of medium, bordering on medium – full. The Perdomo 20th Anniversary Epicure, which is 6 x 54, was a very slow burning smoke, clocking in over 2hrs.

Overall, as you can tell by the review, I very much enjoyed this cigar. This is exactly what a celebratory Anniversary cigar should be. The construction was spot on, the burn and draw properties were great, and the flavors were rich and complex. The Perdomo 20th Anniversary will be available in 5 sizes, and will be in stock soon. Check back for stock availability, if you do not get our emails, make sure to sign-up below to be notified when new product comes in!

Source: Atlantic Cigar Company

Distilled Spirits: Aged Brown Spirits


A well-dressed gentleman drinking an old fashioned is debonair and cinematic. A lovely lady sipping on a bourbon is confident and sexy. Here are five of our favorite well aged brown spirits for the new season. You do the rest.

 

sgdg-absolute-amber

Aged Vodka

1. Absolut Amber, $30 Although not commonly known as a brown spirit, aged vodkas have become en vogue in the cocktail and spirits community. Stored in oak barrels for up to several years, this liquid thrill is aged similarly to scotch and bourbon for a taste that’s truly the best of both worlds. Currently, the recently-released Absolut Amber, aged for a minimum of six months in the traditional brown spirits method, leads the pack.

sgdg-basil-hayden

Bourbon

2. Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, $45 Suave and smooth best describes this gem of a spirit. A small batch Kentucky bourbon with hints of spice, pepper and honey, yet light bodied with a gentle bite, this bourbon whiskey is perfect for a smooth sail on a chilly night.

sgdg-brugal

Rum

3. Brugal 1888, $45 Warm like a tropical breeze, Brugal 1888 from the Dominican Republic hits like a sun-fi lled vacation. Aged for six to eight years in American oak barrels, followed by two to four years in Oloroso Sherry casks, Brugal 1888 has complex notes of chocolate, toff ee, caramel and licorice, followed by a pleasant fi nish that lingers like the sun setting on Punta Cana. Its a sterling choice for the holidays.

sgdg-don-julio

Tequila

4. Don Julio 1942, $125 Aged for a minimum of two and a half years in American oak barrels, Don Julio 1942 is an exceptional expression of an aged tequila. With tasting notes of deep roasted agave, vanilla and spices, this tequila is meant to be sipped and savored— no shots needed.

sgdg-glenmorangie

Scotch Whiskey

5. Glenmorangie Lasanta, $65 With inklings of butterscotch, walnuts and warm spices, the Glenmorangie Lasanta is a choice scotch for autumn and winter. Aged for 10 years in ex-bourbon barrels, then extra matured in barrels from Spain, the Lasanta is a true testament to the adage