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  1. I’m very biased because I happen to like James Bond A LOT, but this vote is closer than I thought it would be.
  2. Had one about 4 months ago. I really regret writing this because it might cause a run but I thought it was FABULOUS.
  3. Whether the cigars are fake or not, it would be unlikely that they can even get a license to sell tobacco. Doesn’t Maine ban smoking in public places like bars and restaurants? I’m assuming that would extend to outdoor dining areas that are restaurant adjacent.
  4. I love this topic as I had many many discussions about this a few months back. I certainly can't claim to have any definitive answer about whether: A - what is the driving force of "faux meat's current popularity or B - whether it's here to stay. But I can say this. It's wildly popular in Los Angeles. And there is something resonant about it. I see people ordering "Impossible burgers add bacon" all the time. So I know for a fact that for whatever reason, this product has crossed many lines, not strictly vegetarians/vegans. My guess is that the message of "meat is bad for the environment" has taken hold to some extent and these products represent a "have your cake and eat it too" option. There is another message that seems to be floating around, though. And that is "eating a lot of meat is bad for you." I'm not going to wade into a discussion as to whether that is true or not, but a quick check of the ingredient list of Beyond or Impossible products would seem to suggest that you're robbing Peter to pay Paul. From speaking to my customers, I think there are two very different mindsets happening and both are interesting. For Meat-eaters, the faux-meat represents a kind of break. You like eating meat but today you feel like eating one less hamburger. It's a kind of "savings." Maybe you want to bank that savings and have a huge steak tonight. But regardless, by not eating that burger you are doing something good, be it for your body or for the environment. For Vegetarians/Vegans, the faux meat is almost the opposite, it's an Indulgence. Now when your friends go to the burger place and stuff their faces, you don't have to eat a salad. You can participate in the enjoyment and tropes that others are experiencing. I think that is a powerful experience.
  5. Dovetails pretty well with what I think as well. Late 16 to April 17 wasn’t awesome.
  6. I’m going to land on the unpopular “yes.” Not because I feel really compelled to chat with my aunt in Schenectady but because while it does mean that a lot of fake news is spread, it does democratize the acquiring of news. Anyone with a smartphone can “make news”. There are positives and negatives with that of course that I haven’t completely reflected on or unpacked, but that leveling of the playing field does seem to be very “of the moment” and allow for the questioning of some sacred cows.
  7. I’ve ordered XYZ number of boxes from 24 over the years and each has been better than the last. For whatever reason, I had this one box that I got a couple years back that has always stuck out. When it was new, it never had the sheen. It had some green spots on the wrappers. For whatever reason, this box got smashed with the ugly stick. I’ll admit, it’s first use was what I handed out to folks who came over who really wanted to try a Cuban cigar but stated they don’t really like cigars ( so sue me - I didn’t fork over the Cohibas). Here’s the thing. I had my first from the box at some point last year and I’ll be darned - it was fabulous. The box still needs time and I would guess there are still about 40 left. But boy oh boy does it deliver. Not the prettiest but might mighty tasty. First half. Ignoring the cracked wrapper, this one was actually not the ugliest. Some small green spots still showing. Draw is perfect. The front half of this PLPC has started its turn to caramel city. There is still plenty of elbow and funk but it’s starting to settle down nicely. Smoke production is great. Second half. This cigar is almost there. I’d say in one year or 18 months, perfection. The end has some strength and acridity but that’s to be expected as it’s barely two years old and I generally don’t expect much from these until 3-4. Paired with a Manhattan. It was a good pairing because it brought out the caramel sweetness in the first half but a gin martini would have been better in the second, to stand against some of the tannin. Right now I’d give the cigar an 88 but in two years it will be a solid 92. They ain’t much to look at, but Pres knows how to pick the winners.
  8. Not the most famous guy out there but he’s as clever and quick as any of the greats. Plus Oh Hello was a great play and Big Mouth is the funniest show on TV.
  9. Great one. I never listened to Fleetwood Mac growing up and listened to a TON of Pink Floyd, so this was an easy answer for me but were it not for that fact, I would be really torn.
  10. Great advice on the PLMC. I suppose I was referring to the Quai Corona that I have from 12-15. My last box is ETP 15. All have been made at Partagas factory. I haven't had a chance to try any of the new Quai Coronas that have shown up around these parts with the pretty bands. That said, I do like Quai with some age on them so my 15s are likely just coming into their own. They used to be reasonably priced, available, and REMARKABLY consistent.
  11. Gosh - now I REALLY need to try a PLMC! Never had. But I was going to say PLPC. Presumably, for it to be the cigar of the decade, it would have to be excellent, consistent, represent good value and be available (because who wants to spend their time hunting down some esoteric smoke). If they hadn't been discontinued, I would have said the Quai Corona. I love them and find them to be wonderful and consistent performers but the new ones are culty (never had a new corona) and the older ones have become hard to get at reasonable prices. That said, I do love me some Quai Coronas.
  12. The wines were really excellent. Most felt the 66 was the star and the 81 might have faded a bit. I thought the 78 was so complex and elegant and the 81, while somewhat faded still was great with food. The old story of "If there are 5 people, there will be 6 opinions." Since the topic of the review was cocktails, a friend gave me a bottle of this stuff called Singani 63 and asked if I could make something with it. It's some sort of Bolivian brandy that is being hawked by Steven Soderbergh. (That last sentence seems straight out of Mad Libs). I wasn't a huge fan of the spirit but I did try some version of a daiquiri with demerara simple syrup and lime. I wish I could say that I discovered a magical elixir but it tasted like . . . Bolivian brandy, lime and sugar. The martini was better. Serves me right. Stick to what I know.
  13. Pornography and cocktails have a lot in common.
  14. Quietly thought similarly. Years ago, I was told be a super-know-it-all that a cocktail was, by definition, a spirit, something sweet, and bitters of some kind. Seemed like a very rigid definition but I looked it up in my old Savoy book and the guy was basically right. So a Manhattan is a cocktail (whiskey, vermouth, bitters) but that means that the way I make my martini (gin, vermouth, no bitters) technically wouldn’t be one.

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