I’ve been in my fair share of cigar lounges of all shapes and sizes. Brand new or centuries old, only seating a handful of people or catering to a massive crowd, each has their benefits and drawbacks. As someone who has helped design a cigar smoking lounge before I’ve spent a good bit of time trying to figure out what key features make for that “perfect” cigar space, and I think I’ve got it narrowed down to a handful of things that you need to hit to be successful. Or, at least, to keep me coming back. Read More
Wine. Whiskey. Cigars. Three areas where there are so many different varieties and brands on the market that it’s nearly impossible to find something you’ll like. And what if you walk into a store and they don’t have your brand, how do you find something similar? Thankfully with cigars there are only a couple things you need to remember and look for to understand what you’re getting and find something that you might like.
I’m making my way through the Texas whiskies, and one I keep seeing again and again is the Firestone & Robertson TX Blended Whiskey. It’s on just about every shelf, shouting it’s “TX” branding as hard as it can, so I decided to give it a try and see whether the contents can live up to the packaging.Read More
Cigars can be an expensive habit. You can find deals online or less expensive brands, but when I want to really enjoy a good cigar I know it’s going to run me north of $10 a stick. Which isn’t terrible as a sporadic expense, but doing that regularly can add up. Thankfully there’s a way to get your fix, have a decent cigar, and walk away with most of your wallet still in tact: buy the store brand. Read More
The Texas Hill Country (an area south and west of Austin, for those not familiar with Texas geography) is full of more amazing craft breweries, distilleries, and wineries than you can shake a stick at. One of the oldest distilleries in the area is Treaty Oak Distillery, and after years of producing gin and rum they’ve finally put out their own bourbon: the Ghost Hill Bourbon.Read More
Thanksgiving is a time for family to come together from across the country, share their experiences, and catch up on what they missed during the year. This Thanksgiving, one of my relatives brought a little gift from their corner of the US: a bottle of bourbon from their local distillery.
As soon as I took a sip, I was already trying to find where I could get a bottle locally back in Texas. That bourbon: the Traverse City Whiskey Co. XXX Straight Bourbon Whiskey.Read More
Bourbon is a very American drink, big and bold. Scotch, on the other hand, is a more delicate and delicious spirit with nuances and variations in flavor that could be compared to the terroir of a fine wine.
When I’m feeling like a mellower drink, I turn to my trusty scotch collection. A staple of this collection is Oban — one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, and also one of the most interesting in terms of their location.Read More
When I started reviewing whiskeys my wife asked me a very important question: am I only going to do the “good” ones? No, I responded, I need to do them all. In order to understand the height of perfection, I needed to also understand the depth of awfulness that was available. I needed to understand what would constitute a zero star spirit so I could properly calibrate my scale.
In other words, I made a mistake.Read More
My wife works from home these days. She has her own office setup in our spare room, and while she has a decent desk, the lack of real-life interaction with other people means that she often spends the entire day sitting at that desk. She had asked me to look into getting her a standing desk of some sort, but none of the options seemed very appealing — either way too expensive or pretty ugly. So, overestimating my budding woodworking skills, I volunteered to build her one.
In theory everything was as easy as pie. We found some plans for a design she liked online (here from BuildSomething.com) and I had most of the requisite tools already in my workshop (theoretically). But along the way I made three critical errors that resulted in an end product that I couldn’t even give away for free.
Here’s how I screwed up and how to avoid it in your next woodworking project.
Austin may be a hot spot for craft beverage makers, but four years of living in San Antonio taught me not to discount our neighbor city just down I-35. San Antonio has one of the crown jewels of Texas distilleries (in my humble opinion, at least) tucked away in an industrial park on the north side of the city.