I walked into Civil Cigar Lounge in D.C. with the idea of getting a bite, watching the Heat game and maybe running into a few old friends. What I didn’t expect was what transpired over the next 60 minutes.
I was greeted in the corridor by Paul Spence, the general manager. Paul is the consummate host and has forgotten more about the cigar and bar business than I will ever know. He invited me into the bar where I sat and asked the bartender to serve me up his recommendation of a pale ale. He selected a Firestone IPA, poured it into a chilled glass while I pulled from my Savinelli leather cigar case what would be my companion for the evening… the Alec Bradley Nica Puro. After I cut it, a gentlemen sitting next to me at the bar named Terry offered me his lighter, which I graciously refused. “I prefer the first light to be with a match”, I told him. As I put the flame to the foot, I caught just the slightest note of pepper, which quickly disappeared. By the time I smoked the first inch, the cigar had smoothed out and produced cloud after cloud of beautiful billowy smoke. The even draw, white ash and slow burn brought to mind notes of leather and coffee. As with most Alec Bradley cigars, this toro was thick, dense and full of flavor.
Once again, Alan Rubin and his team hit the nail on the head.