Tonight’s Tasting: Partagas Black Label Pronto and Spezial Pilsner

Life is good.  I scored with an impulsive cigar purchase, and I scored with tonight’s random pairing.

Partagas Black Label Pronto (4 3/16″ x 36)

The impulsive purchase in question was a box of Partagas Black Label Prontos.  You need to understand that I don’t buy boxes of cigars.  There are just too many great cigars out there (and sitting in my humidors) for me to commit to an entire box of anything, no matter how much I might like it.  

But the demonic laugh sang from my computer, signaling the hourly deal from  (I really need to sign them up as an advertiser if I’m going to keep pimping for them.)  It was a box of 25 small Partagas cigars for $49.99.

“No, you don’t need more cigars damn it,” I said to myself (I should probably talk to someone about these conversations.)

“But it would be nice to have some small cigars, for the many times I can’t commit to a two hour smoke.”

“No, it’s 50 bucks, man.”

“But that’s only $2 a stick.”

“Paypal or credit card?”

Famous Smoke Shop (the bastards behind claims these are made exclusively for them, which I will take as true.  The small sticks are made from Nicaraguan and Piloto Cubano Ligero tobaccos capped in a black, DSCN1549and one of the oiliest Habano wrappers I have seen, but I say that in a good way.  I didn’t allow this to mellow in my humidor, smoking it the day after the box arrived, and for that reason I think it was a little too moist.  For that reason, the burn was a little ragged at first, and I had to relight a few times, but setting these minor issues aside, this was an amazing smoke.  I never would have anticipated the rich, spicy taste and copious smoke from such a small contender.  Equally surprising, despite my intention to use these as quick smokes, it took about 35 minutes to finish this cigar.

I’ll give the Partagas Black Label Pronto a 91 on The Morris Scale.  Put a few in your travel humidor for those times when you can’t commit to a Churchill.

Spezial Pilsner by Einhorn Beer Company

The Einhorn Beer Company claims to be a CalifEinhorn Beer Companyornia Central Coast transplant of a German beer company.  If you examine the label on the beer, there is nothing to indicate this is a domestic beer (and notice the Spezial spelling).  The company wants you to think this is a German beer, and proudly proclaims that all of their beers are brewed according to the German Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot) which was established in 1516.  That’s a bizarre claim to make, when you think about it, because I can just imagine what constituted purity in the 1500s.  Mankind didn’t discover bacteria until the 1660s, and it took us another 200 years to figure out the link between germs and disease.  Oh yeah, I really want to drink beer that adheres to a Purity Law that was written before we knew what germs were.

But ignoring the hype, the Spezial Pilsner is a North German style, where pilsners are traditionally more bitter than in the rest of the country.  It is a full-bodied, golden-colored craft beer and has only 5% ABV.   It contains high-quality aroma hops from the Tettnang region in Germany, a small town near Lake Constance on the Austrian border.

The beer certainly pours like a German beer, with a huge foam head.  The nose was citrus, and the mouthfeel was thicker than you would expect from a pilsner.  The taste was grapefruit and very refreshing.  Great beer.  I give it another 91.

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