Thursday, April 25, 2013

Morning Smoke

The Life of A Blogger.... What’s a man to do?

As a “Good Times” blogger, I am often charged with the duty of eating great meals, traveling to amazing destinations, drinking Craft Beer in the mornings and sharing my limited knowledge of rum with you. It’s a hard life, but I know that you are all waiting to see what’s next! You are my inspiration!

As much fun as that all is, I know that you all understand that I am also the guy that works in the fields, mends the fences, helps the wife with the real business that keeps us afloat and drives kids here and there, all while trying to have enough fun to share with you!

 Not much in this world grounds me the way a good cigar does. A simple stick of hand-rolled tobacco simply has a way of bringing me back to the important things in life, like not much else can.

When I set fire to the foot of  a quality, hand rolled imported cigar, I am taken back to a simpler time! It’s a strange thing to say, but my world almost becomes black and white. I can almost feel the Humphrey Bogart hat on my head, and I can honestly see the crappy old film grain through my sunglasses!  I feel like a combination of Ernest Hemingway and Fred Astaire. Life takes a step back and I take another puff!

I recently responded to a Facebook request from Thompson Cigar Company and found myself in possession of a Toro (6x50) Nicaraguan beauty called Magna Carta.

This is a long-filler, Habano wrapper, hand rolled cigar is manufactured exclusively for the Thompson Cigar Company.

It’s medium strength rating had me somewhat confused, as the wrapper looks pretty light to me.

As with anything that I want to get a truly accurate taste test on, I sparked this bad boy up first thing in the morning. Long before my Chili Dog and Malto-mints could destroy my palate for the day.

The first thing I noticed about this cigar was its construction. The overall appearance is flawless. The cigar is quite even from foot to head, and shows no signs of wrapper damage. There are no scrapes, scars, splits, dings or dents to detract from it’s beauty. It is evenly firm and exhibits a slightly oily sheen on the wrapper. So far so good!

Smelling this stick, fresh from it’s cellophane reminded me of my days sniffing out the best cigars during the 1990’s cigar craze.

A simple earthy, cedary aroma made me smile from ear to ear.

Once I set fire to this stick, I was surprised at how mild and clean it was. Earthy flavors sprinkled with a touch of black pepper keep me smiling, while the woody, outdoorsy character keept me intrigued for what is to come.

Becoming a touch stronger in the second half, the peppery notes crescendo just before giving way to a complex leather and wood character that is still ultimately mild and enjoyable.

Toward the end, I was delighted to find dark chocolate, vegetal fullness and perhaps a touch of coffee. Keeping in mind that I could have been craving coffee at 9 a.m. And this may be all my imagination.
This cigar left a great impression on me, and as luck would have it, served quite well as the first cigar of the day!

I would say that the strongest attribute to this cigar is it’s construction. It was able to hold a 3” ash and never threatened to make a mess of my shirt from dropping ashes. It is evenly constructed and beautiful to look at.

That said, the flavor and aroma compare well to cigars easily double the price, with three times the pedigree and 10 times the media hype!

I can very easily see this smoke making its way into my regular rotation.

Matter-of-fact... I may need to go order a few now!

Have a great rest of the week.... I hope you find something great to smoke!

~Cheers

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

STOP CISPA!

As a man who makes 90% of his entire living from the First Amendment, I have felt compelled to speak out against this piece of legislation.

As far as I can tell, CISPA would violate our Fourth Amendment rights and severely limit our First Amendment rights when speaking freely on the Internet!

We typically steer clear of politics here on BigKahunaBrew.com, but this is an issue too big to ignore.  This is an issue that will touch every person reading this and every person with an e-mail account.

Please contact your legislators to tell them that you DO NOT support CISPA!

CISPA makes a mockery of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, CISPA “would allow companies to bypass all existing privacy law to spy on communications and pass sensitive user data to the government.”

While news media was focused on the dramatic events of last week, the U.S. House of Representatives quietly approved CISPA, with a vote of 288 to 127.

CISPA allows the government to snoop on private emails. It grants companies the right to disseminate individuals’ sensitive, private information — like medical records — without their knowledge or consent. And it grants those companies broad immunity from civil and criminal prosecution, making them easy targets for government arm-twisting.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Thanks to our Military

I have been holding off on posting this video for a few weeks. I just thought that it deserved the right timing.

With emergency workers being called to duty in Boston, Texas and even locally on the highways of Colorado, I thought that this was a good time for me to extend a personal thank you to those who serve.

We truly appreciate all that you do!

~Cheers!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Eco Friendly

As St. John comes into clear view from the front of the ferry that was delivering us from St. Thomas, one of the first thoughts that popped into my mind, was “What beautiful houses and hotels!” Almost immediately, I thought, “What A SHAME that this beautiful island has been cluttered up with these monstrosities!

One of the finest parts of St. John is it’s combination and balance of the high-end resorts and the unspoiled nature of the preserved areas of the island.

The Concordia Eco Resort embodies that mix by providing excellent accommodations for travelers while maintaining a minimal impact on the natural beauty of the landscape.

Located about 11 miles South East of Cruz Bay, the Concordia is about as far away from the hustle and bustle of the port city as you can get while staying on the same island.

Accommodations at the Concordia range from suites with full kitchen to what they call an ECO Tent, which is a small villa with canvas walls.

The Concordia has much more of a community feel to it than the jumbo resorts where we have stayed in the past. Both of the units that were assigned to our party, were equipped with a full kitchen, refrigerator and even come with dishes and cooking utensils.

Keeping to the environmentally friendly goal of the resort, you will not find things like little bottles of shampoo, air conditioning, or maid service where your room is scrubbed from top to bottom on a daily basis.

The rooms are treated more like your own home for your stay. If you make dishes, you do the dishes.

If you want to cool off, go to the pool, open the window or turn on the fan... Or all 3.

The bio-degradable shampoos and dish soap are purchased in bulk and large squeeze bottles are filled for use.

This eliminates thousands of pounds of refuse every year.

Linens are changed between guests, and you make your own bed. 

The resort offers community grills near the pool area where you can grill up some fresh island fish, burgers or any other treat that tempts your taste buds.

This option certainly can help keep the cost of your vacation down, but only if you can keep yourself out of the Café Concordia which offers a full menu with fair prices and stunning views of Salt Pond Bay.

As you may remember from our trip in January, when we only spent about an hour at the resort, they also offer a rum punch that will keep you coming back for more!

One aspect of the Eco Resort that I considered very special was the staff. The people you meet remember your name after the first time you meet them, and they address you by name when they see you around the resort.

The guests, perhaps just by association, take on the same chill attitude and are a pleasure to be around, again, adding to the community feel of the resort.

If you are seeking a truly unique island experience, the Concordia offers a work program where you can literally push a broom for your room!

The work Exchange Program is an economical way to experience the island of St John and the surrounding United States and British Virgin Islands.

If you’re looking for a little more “Action” for the evening, the Concordia is a short car ride from the small local bars on the harbor in Coral Bay.

Bars like Skinny Legs, The Tourist Trap (Actually at the entrance to the Concordia) and Island Blues each provide something different to offer. Ranging from homebrewed beer to live local bands, if you can’t find fun here, you might just as well stop looking!

We certainly want to thank the good people at the Concordia Eco Resort for their wonderful piece of Caribbean paradise and their world-class hospitality.

After spending three days enjoying the pure relaxation and island beauty, I know that this will not be my last stay at the Concordia.... Hope to see you there!

~Cheers

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Great day on the bay

Next to the positive comments from readers, travel is one of the best parts of being a blogger! Nothing compares to the joy a reader brings when they let you know that what you write about brightens their day or inspires them, but the beaches of St. John certainly come close.

We had a great opportunity to stay as guests of the Concordia Eco Resort last weekend, and we were so stunned at the beauty of the location, the quality of the staff and our rooms that we figured a quick video to say thanks was in order.

Shawn from Coastlines and Tanlines and I made this video last Sunday from the beach at Great Lameshur bay.

We hope you enjoy the video and check back later when I get my complete thoughts about the Concordia streight and on paper! 

Thanks for stopping in!

~Cheers



Thursday, April 11, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday To My Lovely wife... @CoKahunasChick! AKA Jessica!

Thanks for being "My Girl!"

Love You!

~Cheers!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Rum and Contemporary Cuisine

It's a pretty rare occasion that I end up calling something "revolutionary."

I don't mean to be sour about things, but seriously, I just think pretty much everything has been done!

One way or another, there isn't much new floating around these days!

Today, I have the great honor to show you something that I believe is a truly revolutionary product!

Rum and contemporary cuisine, by Carlton Grooms and Geoffrey Blythe is a new book on the market that became available for preorder last week, and is available for purchase now. Click HERE to download the book!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Transatlantique Kriek again

Last summer, as I was par-oozing my way around the world of Kriek beer, I brought you a bottle of the first rendition of Transatlantique Kriek from New Belgium Brewing.


Read up on that article HERE.

At that time I mentioned to several people that I wished it were available again. Fortunately for beer drinkers the world over, the fine folks at New Belgium are, as always, a step ahead of the game.

Partnering with Frank Boon’s Brewery in Belgium, this 2 part ale traveled quite a distance to become one damn fine drink in my glass! 

Pouring a bright ruby red with barely a lasting touch of head, the aroma is bright, sweet and funky. Dominated by cherries and that wonderful brett-like funk that New Belgium Sours are known for.

Flavors of golden malt and a medium-sour flavor lay a grand basis for a floral cherry tartness that really comes together at the back of the mouth.

Further sips, and some more warming of the beer reveals some earthy depth to the beer that is usually reserved for brews that are far thicker and darker than this.

There are flavors from this beer that are a bit surprising to me. There are flavors that very much resemble a hearty brown ale. Roasted grains and oak, and a mossy complexity that is only enhanced by the funky horse blanket thing.

The finish is soft and quick, with not a lot of residual sourness.

I will admit to having paired the second half of this beer with ham, mashed potatoes, corn and abut half a gallon of my wife’s super salty, extra greasy Ham Gravy, known far and wide as the best ham gravy in the house!

The thin texture, the bubbles and the mild acidity cut through it all and worked as an amazing palate cleanser.

I believe this beer would pair well with nearly every decadent meal on the table. Add Duck fat, pig fat, beef, lamb or baked chicken. I cannot think of a dinner this beer wouldn’t work with.

Matter of fact... Bacon! That Is All!

~Cheers

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cherry For the Summer!

Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping in!

I hope your week has been awesome enough to get you through the last few days till the weekend!

Easter Sunday turned out so nice here at the Kahuna House that I just had to wast a bit of time outside with a good brew!

Today I’ll share it with you!

We have Samuel Smith Organic Cherry Ale. Certified USDA Organic and weighing in at a whopping 5.1% ABV,

This little beer pours a red amber color with a very thin and whispy pink head that dissipates quickly.

The nose is mostly cherry with a hint of malt.

The cherry flavor comes through from the start. There is just a touch of tartness as the brew slides down the throat. There is a touch of wheat flavor hiding somewhere behind the cherry, but it’s tough to detect unless you’re looking for it.

I wish I could go on and on about the flavor profile, but it’s kinda simple. It’s just a tart cherry flavored beer. Warm or cold, it’s quite quafable, and I can see myself enjoying several more of these thorough the summer.

A perfect beer for a perfect spring-time afternoon in the sun!

This one seems pretty well available in Colorado, I’ve seen it at most of the larger liquor stores, and several of the stores with smaller craft beer coolers. So if you enjoy cherry juice... Err... I mean... Fruit beer, I would certainly advise you pick one of these up for an afternoon in a lawn chair.

~Cheers 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New Rum Group!

As you well know, I find Rum to be as rewarding, vast and entertaining as Craft Beer.

Sometimes, an opportunity comes along to share with you, the readers of Big Kahuna Brew, a new industry resource that I think will become huge in the future. This is one of those times!

A few weeks ago, I introduced you all to Bob Davies, a rum guy living in the Turks. He and a group of four other rum professionals have created a new group to provide consultation and information about the world of Rum.

I am lucky enough to call two of the other council members “Friends” and think that you should get to know them all! After all, what’s a pirate without rum?
The following is the press release from their new organization!


Spirits Professionals Launch International Rum Council


Five well known spirits professionals have come together to form the International Rum Council (IRC). Their mission is simple: Promote, advocate and champion the diverse and wonderful world of rum by engaging consumers through events, seminars and focus groups and by producing and distributing one-of-a-kind material on the topic.

The IRC founding members are Dave Russell (RumGallery.com), Bob Davies (Rumelier.com, OldBahamas.com), Mike Streeter (RumConnection.com, Bahama Street Promotions), Nicholas Feris (RumCollective.com) and Carlton Grooms (RumCuisine.com).

IRC members have traveled the world touring rum distilleries, judging cane spirits tasting competitions, hosting rum-themed cruises and speaking at seminars. Most of all, they are known for their published material and have collectively built one of the largest and most loyal online networks of rum aficionados and fine spirits enthusiasts on the planet.

Their first adventure as the IRC takes place this week in Martinique where they will tour the island's famous distilleries as guests of the Martinique Promotion Bureau. In the coming months, the group will travel throughout the Caribbean, US and Europe researching and promoting rum.


Be sure to stay abreast of the IRC's work on their website (RumCouncil.com) and on Facebook and Twitter.

Have a great week!
~Cheers

The adventure never stops

The adventure never stops
with the Buck Reilly series