You pay about $75. Sounds like a lot, right? That's wrong. You're wrong. Try again. You get a dinner buffet of awesome food. You get a dessert buffet. Since it's sponsored by Drew Estates, you get some sweet-ass stogies to smoke during the dinner, which is indoors. Since it's also sponsored by Stolichnaya, you get all you can drink martinis. Let me repeat that last sentence. All. You. Can. Drink. Martinis.
ALL. YOU. CAN. DRINK.
It's literally a buffet of booze. Literally. They came out with huge trays of martinis. But I'm getting ahead of myself. The dinner takes place at the Wiltwyck Golf Club, a very nice place I had never been to before. It's off the beaten path to be certain but from the looks of the place, I'd consider joining. The grounds look awesome and I'm quite partial to golf. In case you hadn't noticed by now, I'm about half Scottish. Nothing makes me happier than drinking while hitting small objects with metal clubs, eating offal, smoking, and then drinking more. I really was in my element at this dinner. Let me illustrate:
That's me on the very right, happier than a pig in shit. I have everything this site is about: booze, cigars, a meal, and good company (Pat is to my left). Look at me. It was bliss. Anyway, we arrived a bit late to the event thanks to Pat being what I call "too stupid to hang up" or what others call "politics". My version of politics is a pair of boxing gloves and a bottle of bourbon after. I think I'd make an awesome politician. At least I'm honest.
We arrive at the club and enter. Big signs on the front of the building stating "The bistro is closed. This venue is smoking permitted Thurs. only" welcome us like a neon sign into Valhalla. Upon entering and checking ourselves in on the guest list, we are presented with our first choice of the night. A pack of cigars was handed to us and we were allowed to choose between either a free cutter or a free hat. I chose a cutter but in retrospect, I kinda wanted one of those Drew Estate army hats. I like hats. The cigar pack was mindblowing to say the least. It had:
1. Tabak Especiale (robusto?)
2. Joya de Nicaragua Dark Corojo Antano (not a favorite fresh so I'm aging it)
3. Liga Privada No. 9 (robusto again?)
Oh, and a little number called The Dirty Rat. I guess it's special or something, I dunno. I threw mine out. It looked gross. I then proceeded to eat salad, not smoke, and drink water the entire time. Then I stopped swearing and became a monk. I'm writing from a monastery right now.
Alright, I laid that on a bit thick. Suffice to say, I nearly passed out from glee upon seeing the Dirty Rat in person. We then went and found a table and sat, clipping our first cigar of the night. Pat and I started with the Tabak Especiale because, to be honest with you, I'm not fond of flavored cigars mostly and if it went out a few times (which it did) while we ate and chatted I didn't want it to be any of the others. Surprisingly, the Tabak really was...not bad. It is made with emulsified coffee and instead of being overbearing like their Javas used to be it's more along the lines of just enhancing the inherent coffee notes in the tobacco anyway. It's actually the cigar I had in my mouth in the earlier picture. It did go out quite a few times though. Isy gave the go ahead on the food so we plowed in. Here was my plate:
That's pork loin, beef short ribs with horseradish, garlic mashed, a roll, some sort of onion salad, couscous, and penne a la vodka. I didn't eat it as much as I inhaled it. It was all very, very good. The best was the penne a la vodka, whose creaminess paired really well with the Tabak. I also got a much needed straight martini, pictured here:
Unfortunately, there wasn't nearly enough vermouth in it so it was pretty much a cold shot of vodka with olives but meh, whatever. I forgot what Stoli was like ever since I did way too much Stoli Razz freshman year of college. It kicks like a mule and has a rough burn. Definitely not something you sip and a bit unrefined for a straight martini. There were other martinis as well: a blueberry-tini, a mochatini, an orangetini (very tasty) and an apple martini. The appletini was the first martini we had and wasn't bad mainly because they used real apple juice instead of that neon green horseshit. Dinner ended and Isy gave a rousing speech, along with a very motivating and inspirational one from Marvin Samel, the co-founder of Drew Estate. There was a toast to the troops in here somewhere (like I said, all you can drink martinis) which was very nice and highly appropriate. Then the raffle started. Just by attending you got a ticket and they raffled off a bunch of cool stuff. First up were some of the crystal ashtrays, then a Drew Estates painting, then the hand-hammered pewter and wood ashtrays made by the Drew Estates Artist Association (well, just their artists but I like this name better). Then there were five packs of a variety of Acids, Ligas, and Tabaks. The piece de resistance was a 40 count humidor from Marvin Samel's private stash. It was created when they first rolled the Liga Privada line out and it held 40 of the first Liga Privadas made. They had been aging in Marvin's humidor since early 2000 so they were particularly succulent. I didn't win anything but it was still awesome. Then the dessert buffet opened and we grabbed more food. Finally, the evening winded down and I got some chatting time with the Drew Estates Crew.
First off, I finally met Dave Lafferty, or Drew_Estate_Dav on Twitter. This man...is funny. We share a kindred sense of humor and let's just say it's not "New Yorker" cartoon quality humor. He is a dirty, dirty man and I could see myself hanging out with him a lot if I actually knew him better. I also got to chat with Marvin a bit and shook hands. Here is a picture of Dave (the tall bastard in the back), Marvin, and myself.
Dave even gifted me a cigar as well. Such a nice guy. Marvin was great too but I felt bad because obviously United Airlines lost his luggage and hadn't delivered it yet. Marvin, I hope you got your luggage back. I shudder to think that there may be cigars floating around perpetually in airspace limbo. Because, if I was the co-founder of Drew Estates, I wouldn't be packing clothing in a suitcase. Just box after box of Ligas, JdNs, and the Dirty Rats. Like this one:
This event was kick-ass. If you're ever in town when Stoli and Stogies is on, you should go. If you're not, you should fly in and go. That great. So thanks for having me Isy, Michelle, Dennis, Diane, Zoe, Marvin, and Dave. Sweet event, folks.
Side note: If you want to see more pictures, you can go to Uptown Cigar's Facebook Page here and check out the entire album. I think.