11.3% ABV along with a Casa Magna Colorado Gran Toro cigar
I’d already celebrated my 30th birthday with a party at Blind Tiger, a decadent last weekend in Philadelphia, and with further plans this upcoming weekend in Syracuse, so I decided to spend my actual birth date in solitude, completely enjoying a deluge of some of my favorite vices all by my lonesome. Kinda like Chris Farley’s final day but with no drugs, no hookers, and/or no chance of death. OK, minimal chance of death. And hookers.
In the early morning and afternoon, I overloaded with good coffee and some of my favorite movies (“Hoop Dreams,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Aguirre, the Wrath of God”) before switching to beer and cigars in the early afternoon. The cigar of the day was Casa Magna’s Gran Toro, the same cigar that in the Robusto size was rated 2008’s #1 cigar of the year by Cigar Aficionado. A stupendously economical stogey for around $5-$6 a stick, I’d had my first the previous weekend at the legendary Holt’s. I was on an empty stomach then and found the cigar incredibly spicy and a bit of an asskicker and, thus, somewhat not deserving of its lofty status. This time around though, with my innards settled and some stout to nicely pair with the smoke, I found it more smooth and palatable. Quite good. PASS
Interlude rant that proves I’m a dickhead: As communication becomes more and more ubiquitous and all people achieve more and more relationships (or, er, “relationships”) in their lives, birthdays start to, well…kinda suck. No, they don’t suck, per se, I’m being overly dramatic, but lately, on my actual birthdays, I’ve started to feel like a motherfucking secretary. For a guy who hates phone calls, looooooooathes phone calls, one’s birthday becomes a never-ending string of my cell vibrating more than a sexual toy owned by a lonely fat girl. It was kinda impossible yesterday for me to completely relax and fall into a slumber of my vices when I was answering my phone like a switchboard operator every few minutes to have awkward don’t-know-what-to-say conversations with relatives, friends, and exes I never even think about on the other 364 days of the year.
Even worse, is when you miss a phone call on your birthday, and you of course know why the person just called you, but not wanting to be rude and ignore correspondence, you call the person back to essentially say, “Hi, it’s Aaron–uh, you wanted to wish me a happy birthday?”
Finally, my birthday taught me one very interesting thing. I have a TON of Facebook friends who I not only don’t remember being “friends” with, not only don’t even know, but don’t even recognize their names! And, oddly enough, my Facebook friends that I don’t really know were many of the first to wish me a Happy Birthday on my Wall. I guess the kind of person that would Facebook friend a human being they absolutely don’t know are also the kind of lonely persons that would e-wish that same human being they don’t a Happy Birthday as fast as humanly possible. Yeah, I should probably unfriend some people and thin out the waste. Seriously, stop clogging my News Feed with lame status updates, John Rathmuller.
Yeah, I know I’m a dickhead. I’m lucky to have any friends. And how sad would I be if I truly got no calls, e-mails, texts, or Facebookings yesterday?! OK, so ignore my rant I guess.
In the early evening I switched to more higher octane beers to couple with some rare steak. The beer highlight of the entire day was my first foray into Rochefort 10, the #12 beer in the world according to Beer Advocate and the #1 widely distributed beer in the world according to Rate Beer. In fact, it’s that very piece of cake accessibility that has led to me ignoring it for so long, but I’m so glad I finally grabbed it. You should grab it too and, assuming you don’t live in the kind of city that gets excited when a new Olive Garden or Cheesecake Factory opens in town, I’m certain your local beermonger will stock the Rochefort line, one of the seven trappist monasteries making frat sodas. This quad has a very boozy smell. The taste is rich and silky almost like a wine or port. Banana, toffee maltiness, and a little spice. This beer came with high expectations and met them as it is probably the best quad I’ve ever had–admittedly a style category with not a lot of contenders–a bit ahead of La Trappe’s and St. Bernardus 12. One further note, I had this beer right off the shelf and thus not much aged at all. I would love to try it not so young when the hot booziness would probably be a little smoother.
Finally, I saw another human nearing midnight and bday + 1 when a girl brought me several cakes she had made for me–coconut cream, carrot cake, and straight up yellow birthday cake. I don’t much like cake in normal circumstances, but drunk I dove my hands in sans utensils and ate like a wolfboy. I found crusty icing in bed this morning. At least that’s what I think it was. Gross.
A terrific 30th. I may start spending them all alone until I die of a heart attack at age 35.