A Sunday with The Gloriana and La Gloria Cubana…

Whilst some of you may have been enjoying the London Marathon on Sunday our resident guest writer, Andrew Paszkowski, was covering a totally different endurance event taking place on the Thames. The annual Tudor Pull, which saw the noble and gracious Royal Barge, the Gloriana rowed by Thames Waterman from Hampton Court to the Tower of London. She was escorted by a small flotilla of traditional Cutters belonging to the Livery Companies of the City of London, with the oarsmen dressed in their full company regalia, tights and all! But in even better news for Andrew he had the company of a bottle Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva and a La Gloria Cuban Immensos… so what did he think to it all? Read on to find out…

Tudor Pull

On this auspicious day I decided to crack open a bottle of Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva, rum from Venezuela I recently discovered. Rum from Venezuela I hear you say? Well, this is a drink that the word elixir was invented for. Although I am much travelled, I was introduced to this beautiful liquor in Chiswick by London’s finest and most original wine merchants, Lea & Sandeman. They recently held a tasting of the Americas, a wonderful selection of wines from the New World to the West.

Some magnificent examples were on show, including a fabulous bottle of Cuvelier Los Andes Grand Malbec 2007. I won’t spoil things by telling you the price but suffice it to say it is produced by the Cuvelier family who also are owners of Ch Léoville Poyferré and my own favourite (and a bit of a namesake) Ch Le Crock in Bordeaux. Perversely, of the 15 wines presented for sampling from Argentina, Chile and the USA, they sneaked in a Pinot Noir from the Czech Republic, Jaroslav Springer 2010 – qualifying in the line up by virtue of the fact that the two chappies behind the wine, Craig and Benjamin Stapleton are Americans. Craig was the former US Ambassador in Prague, proof I suppose that US diplomacy can very occasionally result in something positive (oooh controversial!)

That brings me back to the Diplomático. Wow! It is S E N S A T I O N A L !! Understatedly described as the perfect cigar smoker’s digsetif, this luxurious masterpiece is viscous with golden sweet flowers. But wait a few moments as the spirit under the pallet begins to evaporate and you’ll experience a complex array of spices, Harrods Christmas fruitcake, fudge and Scottish caber tossing honey. It proved to be a brilliant companion to my mammoth La Gloria Cubana Immensos. I shall have to initiate in a new diplomatic mission to persuade the Principality of Andorra to establish relations with Venezuela and start importing this rum to sell at duty free prices, because at £44.50 a bottle it isn’t cheap.

And what of the Immensos? It’s a real fist full of a cigar. A bit of the Partagás factory influence whiffs through; it’s strong but the draw is smooth and delightful, enticing you to savour this very exclusive cigar. And a real marathon of a smoke that lasted all afternoon!

La Gloria Cuban