Monday, January 14, 2008

My Weekend Cigar: How Triumph trumped my Avo XO

By Gary Korb

Interestingly enough, today's post is the perfect follow-up to my previous "Cigar Catastrophes" post. Last Friday night, my wife and I took a ride down to New Hope, PA to visit some close friends we hadn't seen in a very long time. My friend (whom I shall refer to as "B"), retired early and is now a full-time musician. Since B was playing with a new band, our plans included seeing him play at a local eatery and micro brewery called The Triumph Brewing Company. Nice place. Friendly atmosphere, good home-grown beers, and pretty decent food.

Since the bar is on the Pennsy side of the Delaware River, smoking is permitted. I came prepared to enjoy the food and music with an Avo XO Intermezzo. I even brought an extra for B, because he's the one who turned me on to the XO series. A wonderful cigar. Creamy, medium-bodied, and very flavorful with a fantastic aroma.

So there we are - my wife, B, his wife, and me. I noticed that most of the people around us were smoking cigarettes, B included. We have our dinner and drinks. We're all feeling good, and it's time for the band to start playing; so B exits and heads for the stage. I light up my XO.

I'm about a quarter-of-an-inch into it when a young fellow comes over and very politely says, "Excuse me Sir, but we do not permit cigar smoking in here." Aghast at this comment, I say, "Are you SERIOUS?" "Yes," he replied, "We only allow cigarette smoking in here." "But cigarette smoke stinks!," I retorted, not wanting to seem too impertinent. Then I stuck the cigar in his face, waved it under his nose and said, "Smell that! Now doesn't that smell better than cigarettes?" "Well, yes, but I'm afraid that's our policy," he said, maintaining his composure. OK, I knew I wasn't going to win this one, and so I had no choice but to begrudgingly put the cigar out. In other words, "NO SOUP FOR YOU!"

Here's where the real disaster comes in: I decided that since I couldn't smoke my cigar, I'd pacify myself by chomping on it. Since I didn't want to suck on a cigar with ash on it, my next move was to cut off the ashed end. But as the cutter clamped down on the foot of the cigar, the wrapper just broke up into pieces, exposing the binder below and completely ruining the cigar altogether. That was it for me as I tossed the mess into the ashtray.

So, if you're ever in New Hope, and just want to enjoy some good beer, food, and music, I recommend the Triumph Brewing Company. But leave your cigars at home. If you want to have a cigar, I think Havana on Main Street might be more accommodating.

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