That’s right folks, we are officially getting settled into our new top secret location. Where is it? I can’t tell you, that’s what “top secret” means. Is it really located 30 nautical miles out in international waters? I can’t tell you that either. All I can say is that there may be a rogue submarine named the U4-69 and we may now be doing the podcast from the deepest bowels of… dammit I’ve said too much. It’s going to be a serious work in progress over the next few weeks but I’m very pleased with how fast we’ve adapted after our abrupt expulsion from our beloved pub a week earlier. Yak Boy (that’s Cody to you podcast newbies) really stepped up his game and spun his magic to make us feel comfortable and at home so we could put together a fantastic show for you. And you know what? It’s starting to feel like The Corner Of No Hope 2 already.
THE CIGAR – MONTECRISTO ESPADA QUIllON
A puro, for those not well versed in cigar terminology, is a cigar comprised entirely (wrapper, binder, filler) of tobacco from a single country. A collaboration between Montecristo’s world-famous Grupo de Maestros and the famed Plascencia family, the Espada is Monte’s first ever Nicaraguan puro and it honestly doesn’t resemble anything else in their entire portfolio. The first thing I noticed about the mammoth Churchill as I slid the cello off was how damn heavy this sucker was. This cigar feels like you’re holding a five pound dumbbell in the palm of your hand! The series of wrappers surrounding the stogie are stylish and a nice aesthetic change of pace from the brand. It’s just an impressive sexy looking cigar right from the get go. I was also thrilled, obviously, that a manufacturer finally submitted some Churchills for us to review! Not only is it my favorite vitola but the larger size allows us more time to experience it and really talk our way through it on the show. I mean we do a 3 hour plus podcast for better or worse and sometimes a small robusto is up in smoke before we even get back around to discussing it. Everything’s coming up Milhouse tonight!
Tonight we once again utilized The Cigar Pairing Guides provided to us by The Montecristo Social Club to select both our submitted cigar and its alcoholic beverage pairing partner. The Guide promised us a complex and deeply satisfying smoke and I firmly believed the stogie lived up to the hype. The Espada was complex for sure: hickory and woodsy notes, natural sweetness, and rich tobacco flavors all jumped out at us through clouds upon clouds upon clouds of billowing white smoke. Everyone at the table gave it a big thumbs up but I found Tut’s summation the most telling. He had smoked an Espada prior to tonight’s show and didn’t necessarily care for it. But tonight he was picking up flavors and profile changes that weren’t apparent at all during that initial smoke. He credited the masterminds behind the Cigar Pairing Guide for finding the perfect beverage to pair with this cigar to accentuate its strengths, to help it come alive and reach its maximum potential. I think he’s right on the money.
THE BEER – MURPHY’S RED ALE
It was suggested by the Cigar Pairing Guide that we pair the Montecristo Espada with an Irish Ale and I quickly learned that those aren’t so easy to come by. As I walked into my local Spec’s liquor store to procure the required adult beverages for tonight’s proceedings (damn, that sounds way more fancy than what it is – a couple of schmucks sitting around the bottom of a submarine), I was quickly overwhelmed by cooler after cooler of IPAs, Pale Ales, Quadruple IPAs, Stouts, Sextuple Hexatruple IPAs, Ciders, Undecuple Hendecuple IPAs… but only TWO Irish ales were to be found. I went with Murphy’s Red Ale over Smithwick’s simply due to the fact that Yaks has drank more Smithwick’s in his life than any other beer and I like for us all to tackle something relatively new or at least not a beverage that’s in our regular rotation. It’s the same reason we will never do a pairing podcast where we team up the Drew Estate Undercrown with several tall cans of Steel Reserve Malt Liquor. Mense and I call those “week nights”.
The verdict on this pairing was unanimous – the Red Ale was a fairly one note beer that, while tasty in its own right, GREATLY benefited from being paired with the Espada cigar. The cigar helped the beer’s cause in that it never got boring (a common downside to beer for me personally) and it seemed to inject some flavors that we caught on the back side of each sip. And from listening to Tut’s testimony, the beer also did it’s part to bring out the very best in the cigar. A true match made in pairing heaven. When this whole pairing thing works out like this it’s almost spooky. And speaking of spooky…
THE FILM – THE GUEST (2014)
Take a look at the still photograph above pulled from The Guest’s heart pounding finale. Recognize those masks in the background? If you said “Hey Cade! Those are the iconic Silver Shamrock masks from Halloween 3!!!” well then I both love and respect you immensely. Although I’d love and respect you more if you were able to recognize them ten years ago when there was literally just a dozen of us H3 devotees in the known universe, when we were shunned and publicly laughed at, before AMC began showing it 20 goddamn times in a row every October and now everybody and their mommy thinks it’s the coolest little “underground cult classic” that they personally discovered. Give me a fucking break you posers! I was trying to grow a Tom Atkins mustache and pounding down High Life road beers in tribute to this marvel of a film as far back as I can remember and I’ll be damned if… Whoa!…whoa…ease up big guy… what the hell just happened? Sorry about that ladies and gentlemen. Not many things can get my feathers ruffled these days but as any listener of the podcast surely knows by now I am obsessed with all things John Carpenter and Halloween 3 is one of my all time favorite films. Not just Top Five Horror Films but TOP FIVE FILMS PERIOD. So, needless to say, any film that tips its hat to these sacred influences of mine in a creative and refreshing manner is going to get my attention in a big way. The Guest is that film.
Also, do you recognize that scarecrow in the still photo above? If you said “Hey Cade! That’s the scarecrow from the opening credits of Halloween 4!!!” then congratulations because you have great taste in genre cinema and I’m very proud of you! But I’d be a lot prouder if you had 8 VHS copies of Halloween 4, 3 DVDs, and 2 laser discs in your closet like I do and AMC didn’t play the shit out of this classic until every wannabe horror hipster motherfuc… whoa…whoa…whoa… my apologies again folks. I’m a passionate guy who holds several movies very dear to his heart and, in all seriousness, Adam Wingard’s The Guest not only serves as a minor tribute to these films I grew up on but it offers these sentimental nods and winks all while being a completely original story and never trying to be cute about its unusual influences. It’s a thriller, an action film, a dark comedy. It’s the film that introduced me to the revelation that is DAN FUCKING STEVENS.
This actor is an incredible talent and I am amazed that he hadn’t had a major breakthrough prior to this. He delivers a Daniel Day-Lewis caliber performance in The Guest. I was reminded of the powerful impression that the actor AJ Bowen left on me in Wingard’s A Horrible Way To Die, so I don’t think it would be a crazy notion to give some serious props to this director for pulling the major goods out of his cast. I could go on and on about the amazing soundtrack by Steve Moore, the never ending hilariousness that is “Drunk Dad”, and so on and so on BUT this is finally the moment on the episode page where I IMPLORE you to actually listen to the damn podcast because we really go into this film DEEP. It’s what we do best and there’s simply no way I can try to do it justice here. Come to us, let us open your mind…
The Espada cigar paired beautifully with red ale and vice versa. They brought out the best and most interesting aspects of one another. And the film was entertaining as hell and really generated some great conversation at the table. Swing hard and long enough and your bound to hit some homers! So check out the podcast on iTunes or streaming below and so help me God if I catch you watching AMC this October I’ll ring your little… whoa…whoa big guy…. just think of how Tom Atkins would conduct himself at all times…cool as a cucumber. Thank you for checking out The Tuesday Night Cigar Club and we’ll see you next time when we review another cigar, adult beverage, and film. May the wings of liberty never lose a feather.