Where there’s smoke, there’s CigarBQue…
The highly anticipated nationwide tour of savory barbecue and stogies (CigarBQue) kicked off in Downtown Atlanta, GA with a bang at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot. The traveling meat extravaganza was 1 part charity event, 1 part chef-driven food festival and 1 part smoke session featuring a bevy of top notch food, wine, beer, craft cocktails and Diamond Crown cigars galore.
The alluring smell of barbecue smoke put a bit of pep in our step to get to the meat-laden goodness about to hit our stomachs. The scene was mature and classy with culinary creations prepared by chefs Jordan Wakefield (Smoke Ring), Jonathan and Justin Fox (Fox Brothers BBQ), Robert Phalen (One Eared Stag), Nagib Sued (Smokebelly) and Justin Kieth (Food 101).
Featured cocktails by Madison Burch (Seven Lamps), J.D. Doyle (Food 101), Michael Searles (The Blind Pig Parlour Bar) and Joel Arvizo (One Eared Stag) kept us thoroughly hydrated for the evening with, of course, a selection of super premium cigars.
Now I know little about cigars, but my friend and cigar expert, Brian Hewitt of The Stogie Review was also in attendance to impart his knowledge as a true aficionado.
Truth be told, these days every handmade cigar is a “premium” cigar with Diamond Crown stogies at the upper end of the spectrum, both in terms of quality and flavor. Produced by the 120-year old J.C. Newman Cigar Company, they are an invitation to slow down and enjoy life. And if that isn’t what a good barbecue is really all about, I don’t know what is.
There were three options of cigars available to partake in ranging in body from light-medium to full. Starting at the lighter end was the original Diamond Crown, a cigar produced at the Arturo Fuente factory in the Dominican Republic. The creamy tobacco blend features a seamless, light brown Connecticut wrapper leaf that contributes most significantly to what you taste and smell. And it usually also looks really cool.
Moving up to medium, we had the most recent addition to the Diamond Crown catalog, the Julius Caeser which was introduced in 2010 to commemorate the company founder’s [Julius Caeser Newman] 135th birthday. This cigar was my favorite of the three featuring a robust flavor profile and a tasty Ecuadorian Havana-seed wrapper.
At the top of the fullness scale is the Diamond Crown Maximus, a cigar introduced to celebrate J.C. Newman’s 110th Anniversary. If ever a cigar band looked like the embodiment of a party, it’s the ornate golden band on the Maximus with a richly-flavored Ecuadorian El Bajo Sungrown wrapper leaf.
CigarBQue is on the move and may be headed to a city near you. Check out the traveling feast of ‘cue and smoke on tour in various cities throughout the summer.
Photos courtesy: CigarBQue Facebook