Like only a whisper spoken in the dark can it caught in the chaos of “I
This thought brought to me by the labored spray of sweat as my last angel struggled in an unrecoverable flat-spin. Crashing on my shoulder back first, I couldn’t help but think “Bet she misses the good one now.” Instead, I said; “Perhaps, I’ll have
I jumped into a cab and sped off into the sunlit
We made it through the holiday traffic and managed to discover Davidoff Cigars. Mecca, in this case, was a small little shop with English enough staff. The section of cigars was splendid and with prices as close to Cuba as I’ve seen. They were very helpful and bent over backward to make my stay enjoyable. I enjoyed a small Robusto and reality returned slowly. Life is to be enjoyed. One should not be aware of their angels, just the blessings each day brings. I inhaled the aged Cuban leaf deep into my lungs and with each exhale felt a little more normal.
The other Cigar smoker in the lounge was Shawn. Shawn is not his real name. It is the name he kindly allows us English tongue handicapped people to use. This is a little example of Georgian hospitality. We enjoyed some small talk as Cigar lovers and became fast friends. He told me that he belonged to the Georgia Whiskey Club and that they were having a Bourbon tasting on Sunday if I wanted to come. I jumped at the idea.
Sunday came, and I met with an awesome, friendly group of locals from all walks of life. The evening's host was Giga Khatiashvilli, and he greeted me like an old friend when I walked into the restaurant-bar 11/11 located at 11 Galaktion, near Liberty Square. He wasn’t just a gracious host, but stepped up to be my interpreter for the evening as well. We sampled two offerings from Jack Daniels, and two more from Bulleit. The opinions of the evening were as varied as the palates they graced. I preferred the Bulleit offering
The tables were graced with various
During the evening, Giga introduced me to his friends and Shawn managed to get free of work to attend as well. I was introduced to Dimitri Gakhov and told he was Tbilisi’s resident expert on cigars. Turned out he is and it also turns out he is a super nice guy as well. Not at all like a stuffy expert! We shared the evening, and I forgot how much I was missing home and my traditional Christmas. While it might sound maudlin, but I wasn’t in the least bit drunk and the room truly was filled with the spirit of Christmas. People of all walks of life and income were enjoying a common love and sharing.
Dimitri and I talked about the Club and his visions for the future and enjoyed a couple of hours between tasks that demanded his attention. One of these was the delivery of the 2015’s and watching him open the boxes once again reminded me of Christmas. It is rare to see a man doing his job that is not a job but a passion and love. If you are within a thousand kilometers of this place, it needs to be on your cigar bucket list. If you are a true connoisseur and love travel, then this should be a destination stop. Georgia has incredible wine and not just the sweet stuff that gets exported to the Americas, but world class incredible vintage
Georgia is rich in history and culture, and while you can find that elsewhere you can not find hospitality like this anyplace. Add to this an easy visa process and incredibly gentle sin tax and you will not find a better place to smoke and drink while you check out a little history.