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About harryleech

  • Birthday 11/14/1980

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    Dublin, Ireland

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Marevas (2/5)

  1. A box of Romeo y Julieta Cedros de Luxe No.3, bought in the LCDH in the now closed Partagas factory, in 2005. I've smoked some great cigars since, along with some not so great ones, but I've never regretted buying that box.
  2. Fantastic game - as Ryan said, as physical as it gets, and the best performance from Ireland in an age. Some really promising young players involved too. I thought Gilroy had a great game, although without the flair of the other 6 Nations debutante on the other wing. I'm actually sorta glad Ireland only got one more try in the second half. My friends and I have a tradition (devised over many Leinster games) of taking a shot of Black Bush every time Johnny Sexton scores. the numerous conversions meant we'd gone through half a bottle of Black Bush (on top of the beers) by the time the game was 50 minutes old... The England v Scotland game was awful dross by comparison. Looking forward to next weekend's showdown already...
  3. Still got any of those C's left Ken? I'll gladly swap them for something you actually like
  4. I think we've all probably gone a bit hog wild with purchases when we started off on cigars- it's a steep learning curve and as your palate develops, you quickly regret the box you bought that seemed like a 'must have' at the time. When I first got into cigars I really enjoyed the Hoyo de Monterrey line - I'm still a massive fan of the Hoyo Des Dieux, Hoyo de Roi etc, but less so the regular line. I have a cracking cab of Hoyo Epi. No 2 from 2004 that I still open every now & then and enjoy a lot, but there are other cigars that I'd prefer to have. The cab of Hoyo Petit Robusto I have is a different story altogether - they were from the first batch to hit the market, and I enjoyed them when fresh, but since then it has been all downhill. I still have about six or seven left and can't bring myself to smoke them, or even to give them away (they're that bad). I'm not completely giving up on them though. I had a happy realisation recently with a box of Monte. 2's that I've been resenting taking up space in my humidor, practically since I bought them. I picked them up in Cuba in about 2009 - I'd been searching the island high and low for a box of Diplomatico No. 2's but on our last day in Havana, decided I'd "settle" on a box of Monte. 2's. I mean everyone should have box Monte 2's in their rotation, right? I regretted it almost straight away. Hated the flavour, the draw, the appearance. Mostly I resented them for not being a box of Diplo 2's. I stuck them in the back of the humidor and resentfully pulled the box out twice a year to see if they'd come around. They hadn't. Then late last year I gave one a go again. Really enjoyed it. Just a flat out great smoke from start to finish. Tried another since then and it was just as good. It's given me some hope that even boxes that we resent buying could some day come around to be something we really enjoy.
  5. Glad to hear you have a healthy skepticism for the media Rob, just don't lump all of us in the one boat! Some of us still like to deal with facts - and the fact is, that Bolt has never tested positive for anything, ever, at a time when drug-testing is the best it has ever been in human history. Lewis on the other hand has - on three separate occasions before the 1988 games, but was allowed to compete as he said he'd ingested the stimulants by accident. And he may well have, but if he was being held to the same level as athlete's are today, then he would have been banned. The rules now state that if something is found in your body, you're the one responsible for how it got there. Spiked by a crazy ex-girlfriend? Your problem for dating her in the first place. Sabotaged by an underhand competitor? Your fault for lending them your toothpaste. That's the level that Bolt is held to and the level that Lewis should have been held to at the time (the rules were different at the time, but not THAT different.) Blake and a few other Jamaican athletes did test positive for Methylhexaneamine, aka DMAA, aka geranium oil in 2009. Like the ephedra, pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanoline Lewis tested positive, although banned it's found in over the counter products and has caused a heap of problems for athletes worldwide. I wrote an article on it two years ago here http://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/confusion-reigns-for-athletes-in-war-on-drugs-2429313.html and one a few weeks ago for the Sunday Times (which is behind paywall so I can't show it here.) Blake et al were caught in 2009 and banned by the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission and despite the fact that there was doubt as to whether or not DMAA was banned by WADA (it wasn't put on the prohibited list until 2010) and it was accepted that the ingestion was inadvertent, the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission still banned Blake, Marvin Anderson & Sheri-Ann Brooks for three months as the chemical structure was similar to that of something that was on the banned list (the list contains a clause for 'associated substances'). Blake missed out on the 2009 World Championships as a result. Not the actions you'd expect from an agency keen to turn a blind eye, or that is asleep at the wheel as Lewis seems to be keen to put across. As well as JADCO, as Bolt has been the world number one for five years or more and the world's most high profile athlete, he's subject to out of competition testing year round by WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) who I know aren't backward about coming forward. People can speculate all they want, come up with whatever theory they have that "proves" in their mind that Bolt is a doper ('I was really fast, and I could only do XX:xx, so he MUST be on drugs') but at the end of the day, unlike Lewis (and unlike some of the quite allegations made by USADA against a certain high-profile cyclist) Bolt has never tested positive and subsequently had the test covered up, or had the whiff of scandal from him. All that remains are theories from armchair warriors. In every sport one athlete will dominate in a given era - and once every five or six eras an athlete comes along who blows every previous record out of the water. Phelps has done in it in swimming and I don't see US commentators questioning his bona fides, nor should they. He's a freak, an outlier, whatever you want to call it. I just call him 'great'. Based on his record of testing so far, it seems Bolt is that once in a lifetime athlete. I'm a natural skeptic, but unless something happens to prove otherwise, I think we should be grateful to live in a generation where Usain Bolt is competing, like those in the 1960's and 1970's can be grateful to have seen Ali fighting in his prime, and those in the 1930's could be grateful to see Jesse Owens wiping Hitler's nose in it. But hey, what do I know - I'm only a journalist!
  6. I was fortunate enough to get a preview of this when in Havana in February. A fantastic piece of work and Jose really should consider writing a book on the cigar buildings of Havana. Hope all is well with you Jose!
  7. Just like the Irish, who can talk with expertise on practically any subject, and have a well-rounded perspective on the concept truth.
  8. Ehhhhh, no they're not. Or at least they weren't when we were there a few weeks ago. A case of lazy jurnalism I suspect. Jose Marti airport is the only place where no smoking rules are (sorta) enforced, and even then not really. In the departure area a few weeks ago I smoked a cigar outside the smoking area and blew smoke in the door - none of the staff cared and only the tourists glared. Long may it last...
  9. Still laughing my head off at this, despite seeing it numerous times on Stu's phone at the festival last week... That it says "No description available" underneath the clip on youtube is perfect - no description could do it justice!
  10. I managed to get a sneak peek through a recent proof of the book after a dinner in El Aljibe with Amir, Nino, Andy, Rob & Stu Fox and about 50 cuban rollers & international cigar retailers after the annual baseball game (more to follow on that.) The book looks fantastic - it's clear that Amir not only has a love for the brand, but a real appreciation of its history as well. One of the most knowledgeable cigar guys I know in Cuba was looking though it at the same time and was as impressed by it as I was. To top it all off, the box is one of the best looking that I've seen printed about Cuban cigars - Amir is clearly an excellent graphic designer if this book is anything to go on. Well worth the investment for anyone who loves cigars (even if you're not a big Partagas fan) and I'm looking forward to getting my copy.
  11. Hi Nino, Good to hear you're back in Havana for a good long trip! I got in Sunday, looking forward to meeting up with you at some stage for a cigar or two! Harry
  12. Of all the crazy idea's that we've had over drinks, I think this is by far away the best. That and a cedar-lined Lear Jet...
  13. My experience of the Habanos Festival has been that you survive on practically no sleep, far too much alcohol (which is okay because it's hot), you'll smoke way too many cigars (but that's okay, it's festival week) and occasionally get asked to leave the nightclub because they're shutting up and your singing is annoying them. You will also occasionally wake up in your own bed (hopefully) in the absolute horrors, stinking of booze, sweat and cigar smoke, wondering what the hell you did last night and why you're bleeding. It's wonderful... I'd echo what Andy said - the official events are missable unless you're in the cigar business. The opening night is worth going to for the goody bag, meeting up with people and organising stuff for the rest of the week and to be fair, the food wasn't too bad last year (athough the bar service was abysmal.) Book independently through tour operators, not the festival, or if you really want to save money while staying somewhere nice, rent a Casa Particular for a week (there are lots of websites offering booking services if you don't have a reccomendation.) They work out at 35CUC per room per night, so if there's a few of you going it makes perfect sense. Budget for taxi's (cheap) Mojito's (cheap) Buccanero (cheap) and 'walking around cigars' (also cheap) and at least two good meals a day (Punch Joe's list of Paladares is fantastic and you can eat a good meal for a very reasonable price.) You should get by on $100 per day, give or take. The 'taking home' cigars are where the budget goes out the window. Set yourself a realistic budget and try to stick with it. If you're like me, you'll spend 50% more than that once you're there. If you're like Andy, you go saying 'I really don't need any cigars' and come home with half a LCDH in your suitcase.
  14. I'm a big fan of Punch - Particularly the DC, which I think is the best double corona going, also the Black Prince (may he rest in peace) and the Petit Punch. I wouldn't call them full bodied, but they are full of depth.

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