Bar Cordon Noir.

Sometimes life can suck. Then sometimes you find a little spot of paradise that’ll make the hard yards worthwhile.

My job has me away from my home in FNQ a lot but as a consolation, I do earn the ability to get away and travel to places like Japan.

Recently we took advantage of the cheap pricing on flights to Osaka that leave Cairns and while we were there we ventured up to Kyoto.

It was there I happened upon a bar by the name of Cordon Noir. A small joint. Well appointed and somewhat upper class without the snobbery also containing a wall full of Japanese whisky plus the others.

Along the bar was also a smallish desktop humidor.

Great service, good drinks, well kept cigars and jazz playing in the background.

Paradise indeed.

I don’t remember all of the drinks I had that night but the whole experience was on the money. If this sort of thing is what your into and you’re over that way, pay them a visit, you’ll be quietly pleased.

The Japanese know how to make a single malt.

the Cohiba Robusto.

Montecristo No2 FTW!

Seafood, South Island style.

While we were over at NZ, the M.R.S wanted to visit a spot she’d discovered when she was here last with the Kiwis we know from the South Island.

A few hours lazy driving north from Christchurch is a small seaside town named Kaikoura. If you hang a left turn at the beach and follow the road you’ll come across a small kiosk setup that’ll sell ya the kind of stuff I have in the the pictures below.

It’s all great stuff to eat and the drive ain’t to bad either as it’s a nice part of the world.

If you want the lobster, you’ll have the choice of what they have stored on ice at the kiosk. It comes pre-cooked, they just give it heat up on the b.b.q .

Watch out for these noisey lil feckers though, they’ll be onto your table quicker than a greens voter would be your taxes, if you let them that is.

Goals are for losers.

I’m reading a book by Scott Adams (author of the comic strip Dilbert) called How to fail at everything and still win big.

He has a take on succeeding that makes sense to me. In chapter 6, Goals vs Systems, he details how people who are goal orientated often fail due to the fact that once they reach their goal, their mission is over. And also, that  repeated failures to reach a goal, which as he details in his experience, being a fairly constant factor in our economy, leaves that person in a perpetual state of failure. That state wears at people and often causes them to drop out of the game.

People, who are systems oriented, base their success on what they do on a regular basis and modify that activity to steer themselves in the direction they want. And by refining that system by applying the lessons learned along the way, earn their success.

In the world of dieting, losing twenty pounds is a goal, but eating right is a system.

A spectacular system beats passion, every time.

AHC Behesque-a Review.

Marca: Artisan Hand Crafted.

Vitola: Behesque (52 x 192mm)

D.O.M: Batch No (1-2-2106).

Visual critique: Visually this cigar appeared consistent with no major deformations along the cigar. Although, as a curiosity, when I looked along the cigar I could see what appeared to be the impressions from the cigar mold (perhaps?) The cigar is cylindrical but has a series of faint lines along its body that correspond with the surface of the cigar appearing slightly flattened (think ever so slightly box pressed), not that this distracts from the presentation of the cigar in any way. It’s just something I noticed upon close inspection. To touch, there was a slight deflection, maybe a little too much but not enough to dismiss this example for poor quality. The foot of the cigar has the excess of the wrapper being used to close it off, which adds to the asthetics of the product. The cap was well set and intact. This cigar’s wrapper was of a milk chocolate colour with a faint dark mottling.

Cold aroma: Light/moist vegetal/tobacco/dry straw.

Draw: On the easier side of the mid point.

As another side note, the piece of the cap from the punch cut was oily, a good sign that wasn’t overly present on the initial inspection.

Post lighting aroma: Full bodied timber flavours.

The method I used to light this cigar was to torch the foot until it was glowing and then exhale through it and leave it sit to settle down for a short period and begin to combust.


1st Third: The flavours I got here is what I tend to describe as “Cuban”. It’s lazy I know but from all the Montecristos, ERdM’s etc I’ve had there are plenty of those flavours reminiscent with this Behesque. I’d decribe the flavours from this cigar as: a timber/earthiness, slight white pepper on the front palate. With timber flavours remaining present along with a medium bodied spice, at the back of the palate along with a faint, salty caramel on the retro hale.

The ash colour was initially brown/grey at the foot but changes to a whiter shade after 15mm burn time.

Already I’ve had to correct the burn by using the torch as there was a “canoe” starting to develop on one side.

2nd Third: The caramel sweetness is the first thing I’ve noticed that isn’t so present now with the timber/earthiness becoming more prominent along with a slight vegetal flavour following. I’m still having burn issues with this one. The ash has now reverted to a darker grey. Mid way through the 2nd the caramel re-emerges and remains on the palate after exhaling.

Last third: The first draw at the start of the last third was hot! This nearly obliterated the flavour profile. Fortunately, this wasn’t a consistent factor with the flavours, I was getting along the 2nd third of the smoke, maintaining their presence ableit in a muted fashion. The flavours towards the finale were earth/stone/salt flavours with timber flowing at the back of the palate. Even at this stage I was still having to correct the burn.

Smoke time: 14:20- 16:15.

Summary: I love what these guys are doing here. My only gripe with this example is having to correct the burn all the way through till the end. Something I haven’t had to do with the other cigars I’ve purchased from them. The flavour profile which I describe as “Cuban” (good Cuban that is) as in complex and full bodied, not a consistent, singular profile that you may find more prevalent in NC cigars. I’ve smoked a few of this producer’s vitolas and they’re appealing in the fact that the flavour profile, being complex , keeps you engaged with it. They’re something I find I can really sit back and enjoy.

Which is what I believe cigar smoking is all about.

Artisan Hand Crafted.

I’ve discovered these, not so little, gems on social media recently.

An Aussie expat has relocated himself to Cuba and has gone about sourcing his own tobacco and rollers in order to create his own line of custom rolls.

I’ll get around to doing a proper review of the product over the weekend but suffice to say I’m really gaining an appreciation for what they’re doing with their venture.

It’s said there’s a difference between Cuban and non-Cuban cigars and this topic can be somewhat divisive amongst the aficionados. The argument goes along the lines that, NC cigars can have a one dimensional flavour profile (more or less) and that Cuban cigars are more complex. That aspect is revealed more so (IMO) when you have the opportunity to sample something like what’s in the picture.

Anyways, like I said, I’ll take the time to profile the product over the coming weekend and see if I can detail my impression of these cigars more precisely along with some better photos.

Till then.



A new set of boots.

For a few years now I’ve begun to develop an interest in wine making.

The construction game for me has been a lucrative personal venture and will always be a part of my memories but it keeps me away from home on a continuing basis.

That bit ain’t fun at all.

At the end of the last year, the M.R.S and I travelled over to N.Z. It was there I had my first chance to visit some of the wineries that part of the world is famous for and sample some of the wares.

I’ve been weighing up the idea of a career change, starting a business of my own and developing another skill set along the way for some time now.

It’s only a dream at this stage but it’s one I’m feeling that’d be worth the challenge. Now, I ain’t to romantic about it all. It takes a good decade to develop a brand and that’s if it’s all fair sailing for the start point.

It’s bloody expensive too, I hear. We had the chance to stay (via AirBnB) at the home of a previous mangers of a winery, in Queenstown while we were there. Their advice was the money would’ve been better in the bank.

Seasonal agribusiness I’d like that. You have to maintain employees even in the down season when production isn’t happening, so in told.

Lesson 1.

But I ain’t getting any younger and if there’s anytime to get serious about your aspirations- now’s about the time to get real.

This construction project I’m on is about to close out. Maybe it’s time to start costing it all up and work on some industry experience to get it all going.

More to follow.


Instincts. Learn to trust them.

Social media can be fun. I sometimes liken it to wandering through the jungle with a blindfold on.

I often sit after work, and peel through the twitter feed I have happening and as you can, find all sorts of identities and their opinions.

Tonight, I may have discovered, I have been engaging with a troll account.

I won’t yet name this one, as my verdict isn’t fully set in stone but the signs are there. I came across someone calling “him” out for being deceitful about his identity on a thread about the use of non-lethal weapons for personal protection.

This person claims to be the leader of a minor political party in Australia but as the claimant asserted the party in question isn’t registered with the AEC. The twitter account doesn’t even have a website linked to it to allow anyone to reference their policies.

 I also observed that this person said, tonight, that the group’s website was about to go live soon, so I’ll keep a watch on it just to see what comes up.

I’ve also noted how when questioned about his ideas he can be vague and abusive. Which ain’t a good look for a supposed leader of a political group.

A couple of red flags right there.

I’m going to look into the subject and see if the party is registered for myself, tomorrow.

Something smells odd.

Time will tell, I’m gonna have a little fun with this one I reckon.

More to follow.