Montecristo, Romeo and H. Upmann, and Goose’s Cigars Anniversary

imageIt’s been a nutty week. I planned on posting something mid-week, but time got away from me. Then, yesterday we went to our local SPCA to donate some old towels and stuff, and ended up adopting another dog.  I’m already doubting the wisdom of this, but apart from having to break up a bit of an incident last night, I’m sure it will work out OK.  Cherry is a very sweet brindle pitty, and we have a lot to work on.  Most of the time, Macha seems to like having a playmate, but they need some apart time now and then.  It’s part of the experience I guess. Our SPCA is not a no kill shelter, so seeing this sweet, beautiful dog had been the longest resident got to me and made me do irrational things. No excuses for not taking evening walks now!

 

GoosesHumidorWednesday evening we went to Goose’s Cigars in Limerick, PA to help them celebrate their 5th anniversary. It had been a while since I visited Goose’s, and I was surprised to see the humidor vastly expanded. It used to be a rather small, U shaped arrangement with a door on either end, with the area outside of that having tables and displays of gift sets, specials and samplers.  They’ve walled off the whole area and taken the glass out of the old humidor making a huge walk-in humidor that has all of their stock. It was a great improvement.  They also have a imagelarge Vape and Hookah selection, as well as RYO tobacco at the far end of the store, making it a full service tobacco store.  The Montecristo Lounge was the focal point of the anniversary celebration, with the local Altadis rep, Tom there, as well as his boss, Paul.  I chose the occasion to purchase some cigars from the Altadis line that I hadn’t smoked yet, and lit up the Montecristo Espada Guard, a 6″ x 50 toro. This is a unique Montecristo as it’s made in Nicaragua by the Placencias from Nicaraguan tobacco, all from 2008, 2009 and 2010, from Jalapa, Ometepe and Condega (it’s a bit confusing, they list a image“Habano Jalapa Viso Ometepe Vintage 2008″ in the filler on the website, perhaps someone from Groupo de Maestros can clarify that!). I don’t smoke a great many Montecristos, for no other reason than I just am busy smoking so many other great cigars that I forget to get back to the traditional brands.  This Espada was really nice, and a special smoke. It was sweet with a bit of spice and quite a good cigar, and, you know me, it should be for the price. I splurged because it was a special occasion, and have no regrets. Happy Anniversary to John, Joanne and the gang at Goose’s Montecristo Lounge, nice to see things constantly improving!

 

imageOne of the cigars I picked up at Goose’s was the H. Upmann The Banker Annuity,  a 6″ x 52 Toro with a very annoying, yet visually attractive paper sleeve. I say it’s annoying because as I was removing the cigar from the cello the paper sleeve and bands stayed with the cello and tore the wrapper near the head. Way too many bands and wrappings for my tastes.  The cigar had a very loose, open draw, and burned quicker than i’d like. However, the flavor was very nice, a bit of coffee and old baseball glove.  I’m glad I got two of them so I can see if I have the same experience.  The website says that the blend is a recreation of the Upmann brothers blend from 1844, which seems like some marketing nonsense to me, but, once again, I invite the Groupo de Maestros to weigh in!  A quick website complaint, since I’ve referenced two Altadis brand websites already, is that they don’t have the sizes listed anywhere. I had to use retailers websites to confirm sizes and names, mostly because I was too lazy to make note of them at the time I smoked the cigars. I think a brand’s website should be a one stop shop for all the information about the cigar, blend, sizes, whatever. Things like this get under my skin!

 

CasadeMontecristo_ExclusivoJohn Giese gifted everyone at the anniversary event one of the Montecristo Casa de Montecristo cigars that only are sold at Montecristo lounges. I’ve had the pleasure of smoking this cigar on one occasion before, and really enjoyed it. It’s not a small cigar, it’s a 6″ x 60, which came out in June of 2014. It’s got a nice, Ecuador Sumatra wrapper and Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers and burned really well and was quite tasty. It’s rich and smooth, and not anywhere near as mild as the typical Montecristo.  Quite good, and worth a try if you happen to find yourselves in a Montecristo lounge. I’m fortunate to have two within a short drive.  Both this cigar, and the following cigar have black and silver bands that are very difficult for an amateur like myself to photograph.

 

RoMEo_Anejo_RobustoI took both dogs for separate walks yesterday, and on the latter walk I smoked the RoMEo Añejo robusto, which I had purchased a few weeks ago at another local shop.  This is billed as an aged version of the RoMEo, with a 2010 Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. This has been sitting on the top shelf of the cabinet for a few weeks, where the humidity is slightly lower, but it still burned like it was a bit damp, needing to be re-lit a couple times. It was very flavorful, and I dig the broadleaf, so I imagine one of these that behaved itself would be pretty darned good. I’ll have to pick a few more up to see, and I don’t think they were priced unreasonably.  Good smoke, when it was working right, and lots of potential.

 

I’m going to wrap this up as we have a day full of dog acclimation.  They have taken to rough housing, and we need to break that up quick. I also have some yard work I want to get to, and I’d like to get my annual walk at Valley Forge Park in this Memorial Day weekend, which I find to be inspiring.  Of course, I smoked a bunch of other great cigars this week, the Sindicato Maduro Churchill I smoked on one of yesterday’s many walks was quite good, as well as a great Foundry Worm Hole Hell-E-IN and an Alec Bradley Maxx Connecticut.  It’s the start of my favorite time of year, and while I’ll miss having a pool this summer, it’s going to be a good year with lots of great cigars!

 

Until the next time,

CigarCraig

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La Aurora Preferido and Puro Vintage and an A.J. Fernandez New World

imageOf course, I smoked a bunch of great cigars this week. One that was interesting was an old production La Sirena Trident that I smoked in response to Lonnie, who won the last La Sirena contest I held.  He got a sourdough bread note and wanted to know if I got anything like that. It turns out he was right, there is a pleasant sour flavor that I couldn’t put a name too that I really enjoyed. It’s always interesting when someone names a flavor and you taste it too. Whether it’s the power of suggestion or simply putting a name to a flavor, I thought it was pretty cool. I still need to sit down and compare the new Trident to the old, but when do I have time to smoke two Churchill size cigars back to back (or at the same time!).  I also smoked the Rocky Patel Prohibition Mexican again this week and enjoyed the flavor, although there was a bit of a void in the filler that made it burn a little funky.  I will have to get a few more and try to settle my internal debate on which version I like better, the Mexican or the Broadleaf.  Maybe I don’t need to decide…

 

AJFernandez_NewWorld_BruteA.J. Fernandez came out with the New World last year and it has been very well received. It’s priced well and it’s a great tasting cigar, so there’s really no surprise. Apparently Abdel and his father, Ismael Fernandez collaborated on this blend, which is a Nicaraguan puro, with tobacco from Jalapa, Condega, Esteli and Ometepe.  The New World Brute is a store exclusive for Serious Cigars in Houston, Texas, and is a 6″ x 66, which sounds pretty bug, but the box press makes it feel smaller ( more like a 60, still pretty big). Everything”s bigger in Texas, right? This cigar was only about a week in the humidor, but I had been eyeing an Almirante for a few weeks so I felt compelled to smoke this, and I’ve seen a couple other sites featuring this cigar in the last week or so, so I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon.  First off, it’s every bit as tasty as it’s smaller siblings. I got a hint of some ammonia near the end, which I’m sure some more humidor time will fix. It’s a great cigar with rich coffee and chocolate flavors that I really enjoy, with a hint of a peppery spice.  I’d definitely keep these in my humidor, but they take up so much darned space!

 

LaAurora_PreferidoNo2_CorojoA few weeks ago at another vendor’s event at my local Cigar Cigars store, I noticed a basket on the counter as I was checking out that had La Aurora Corojos in the Preferido No.2 size for $5. I grabbed two, and am a little disappointed that I didn’t empty the basket. First off, it’s a fun size to smoke. Its a classic perfecto shape, tapered on both ends and fat in the middle. These are stated as 5″ x 54, have a barrel aged Dominican Corojo wrapper. Remember when you couldn’t grow wrapper in the DR?  Anyway, this cigar burned perfectly, and had whatever that flavor that is classic La Aurora that I can’t put a name to, isn’t really my favorite, but I know and appreciate it when I smoke a cigar from this great factory.  Like I said, I’m kicking myself for not picking up more when I had the chance, because this was a terrific $5 cigar, and probably pretty darned great at $9 or $10 too. Being the cheap bastid that I am, I have picked up some great cigars on Cigar Cigars’s closeout area over the last year or two, always pays to check that section out in your local shop if they have one.

 

LaAurora_PuroVintage_2006Yesterday I smoked a new cigar in La Aurora‘s Puro Vintage series, the 111th anniversary Puro Vintage 2006.   My only experience with the Puro Vintage line is the 2003, which is the cigar I smoke on the occasion of the birth of my granddaughters. I have two left in the humidor, but I don’t anticipate any more granddaughters in the foreseeable future.  This tradition started when my first granddaughter was born, and La Aurora president Guillermo Leon happened to be visiting the Wooden Indian in the same town my daughter lives. Chris Lenzo, our local Miami Cigar and Co. rep generously gifted me a 2003 to mark the occasion.I since picked up a few more and smoked one when granddaughter two was born.  Important to note that my daughter is named Aurora, which is one of the reasons the brand has a special place in my heart. The 2006 is a Salamone shape, tapered at each end, and is limited to 1500 boxes of 18 cigars.  The wrapper is Ecuador HVA (Habano Vuelta Ariba), Brazilian binder and fillers from Dominican Republic, Brazil and Nicaragua. I smoked the first half of this example walking with my wife and dog on a nearby trail the the rest while relaxing on my back porch.  When ever I think of the Puro Vintage line, I think of Barry Stein saying he tastes sunflower seeds (the 2003, in specific), and I understand the sensation, and I get that with this 2006. It’s a very flavorful and exceptional cigar, definitely good for  two or more great hours of enjoyment. It’s got a hint of sweetness and had nice, bright flavors that are enjoyable and intriguing. This is a great special occasion cigar, and yesterday’s special occasion was that I got to smoke this cigar!  Thanks to Jason Wood and Gabriel Piñeres for allowing me the pleasure.

 

That’s about it for today.  Not sure what the next couple weeks will bring as I have root canals scheduled for the next two Wednesdays. I can’t imagine that will bring too many restrictions, but I might not be in top form.  I’ve never had a root canal, so I have no idea what to expect. I’ll do my best to continue doing whatever it is I do here!

 

That’s it for now! Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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MBombay Announces the Release of their New Habano Blend

Here’s a press release from the folks at Bombay Tobak about their newest release.  I’ve really enjoyed their Classic and Maduro lines, so I really look forward to smoking this one. Actually, the Classic with the Connecticut Shade wrapper surprised me because I usually prefer a maduro, and the Classic is buttery smooth and delicious.   These are perfectly constructed cigars made in Costa Rica.

 

MBombay Announces the Release of their New Habano Blend

 

Bombay Tobak… creating their MBombay Brand of cigars, is truly focused on Flavor ­forward blends. After receiving much success with their Connecticut Classic and Corojo Oscuro lines, they have decided to “shoot the gap” with a medium bodied, flavor ­packed cigar designed once more to tantalize the palate! The MBombay HABANO ​is WELCOMED into their Core Line Portfolio!

 

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“It is our Passion as a Brand to create an enjoyable Experience for cigar smokers of all levels. It is our pleasure to create a medium bodied blend that truly encompasses the complexity and nuances a tasty cigar should provide.” ~ Mel Shah (Owner/Creator)

Consisting of an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Ecuadorian Criollo binder, with fillers from Nicaragua & Peru… the Habano Blend is offered in 5 vitolas: Corona, Robusto, Belicoso, Churchill, & Gordo. MSRP is from $8.50 ­ $12.50.

MBombay has experienced great success in the first year of existence. The Brand supports its Retailers 100%.. refusing to sell Online, and includes Online Marketing for their Accounts. With over 65 locations and growing within the U.S., this Brand is sure to be around in the Future! Seek the “MBombay Experience” at www.bombaytobak.com.

That’s it for now, until the next time,

CigarCraig

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Leccia Luchador, Rocky Patel Prohibition, LGC, a Rodrigo and a Couple of Swingers Cigars

Leccia_Luchador_ElHombreFirst off, don’t forget to go back to my last post and weigh in on the “where do you smoke” poll.  After looking at it, I should have specified covered patio or porch, any old patio isn’t drastically different from “outside”.  I am fortunate enough to have a screened in porch which worked pretty well all winter long for me. Anyway, let us know where you smoke!  I had a pretty good cigar week this week. Of course, I smoked a Leccia Luchador El Hombre Tuesday, since it was Cinco de Mayo. I had smoked the Rocky Patel Prohibition Connecticut Broadleaf on Monday, figuring I’d follow that with RockyPatel_ProhibitionBroadleafthe Mexican version on Tuesday, but I misplaced it and the Luchador jumped out at me anyway. It doesn’t generally take much to convince me to smoke a Luchador, I love that cigar! The Luchador has it all, San Andres, Pennsylvania ligero, Ometepe, it’s quite the smoke. I really enjoy the Prohibition Broadleaf too, it’s well made with a nice sweet flavor. It’s a very  good smoke, and If I can find the Prohibition Mexican later I may revisit it as well. When I smoked these cigars initially I preferred the Broadleaf over the Mexican, let see how a few months in the humidor treated them. I also managed to smoke a La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show from 2012, the Liga YG-La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Liga YG-2323, which was a trade show sample, before they had the bands for them. When they did have bands, they were of the smokable variety, either made from HTL (Homogenized  Tobacco Leaf) or they had the band printed on the wrapper with a vegetable based “ink”, I forget which exactly. Either way, the presentation was cool and the cigar was very good, especially with 3 years age. It had a very rich and smooth flavor, quite enjoyable and a rather large cigar at just under 7 inches (6 7/8″) x 58.

 

Rodrigo_CoronaProject_VolFriday evening I was in a corona kinda mood and went for the Corona Project Vol. 1 from Rodrigo Cigars. This is a visually interesting cigar, a dark Broadleaf wrapper with a pigtail cap and a closed foot, very rustic.  Here’s what the website says: “Blended as a collaboration between the father and son team of William and Henderson Ventura and Rodrigo owner George Rodriguez, The Corona Project Vol. 1 delivers an all ligero blend of Dominican Criollo 98, Corojo, HVA (Habano Vuelta Arriba), with a Sumatra Ecuador binder, finished in a maduro Broadleaf US Connecticut wrapper.” All ligero is apparent as soon as the delicious sweetness of the extra Broadleaf at the foot burns off. This is a powerful little cigar!  It’s loaded with very direct and concentrated flavor, nothing subtle here. I really enjoyed this cigar, and appreciate Gary Griffith sharing this with me. Many times I prefer smoking a larger cigar, mostly because it makes my daily vacation just a few minutes longer, but when it comes to really tasting the blend, a corona is the way to go.

 

Swinger_Front 9_Par 5Yesterday I pulled out a pair of cigars that I got at last years Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival. These cigars were two double coronas from Swinger Cigar Co., whose motto is “A Good Smoke For All Your Strokes”. While this name and motto could be interpreted a couple of ways, they have a golf theme, and the two cigars they offer are the Front 9 and the Back 9. If they had named their cigars “Wife Swap” or something I’d be concerned and probably avoid the line. It’s a lifestyle brand, but not that kind of lifestyle! They come in three sizes, the 5½ x 52 Par 3, the 6″ x 60 Par 4 and the cigars I smoked, the  7″ x 54 Par 5.  The Front 9 is recommended for “A morning on the links”, it’s has a nice Connecticut Shade wrapper, presumably from Ecuador. I really enjoyed this flavor, complexity and burn of this cigar. It had a really smooth, sweet flavor and was clean and refreshing. This ranks among the better Connecticut shade wrapped cigars I’ve smoked recently and was very relaxing and enjoyable.  I would smoke this happily just about any time of day, although it was a perfect accompaniment after lunch and running errands. I was quite impressed.

 

Swinger_Back 9_Par 5Once the lawn dried from the morning rain, and I ate dinner and my wife an I double teamed the lawn cutting duties, I lit up the Back 9. I had some expectations based on the Front 9, and my preference for darker wrappers over lighter ones.  The difference seems to be the  wrapper, as this is listed as having a Brazilian Corojo wrapper. Unfortunately they don’t divulge any other of the components of either cigar on their website, and I was hoping I’d get an e-mail with information. Anyway, the Back 9 was a very different cigar than the Front 9. Where the Front 9 was perfectly balanced, the Back 9 had an acidic tinge to it that I did not find appealing. I expected a more meaty, savory flavor and this wasn’t there. This cigar did not suit my palate like it’s Connecticut shade sibling did. If I smoked these in the reverse order I may not have gotten around to the Front 9, so I’m glad I stuck with the program. There was just something strange about the Back 9 that didn’t please my taste buds.

 

That’s about it for today. Enjoy your Sunday and I’ll see what I can come up with for next week!  Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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Poll: Where Do You Smoke Most Often

I know this has been done before, but please indulge me and share where you smoke most often.

Where do you smoke cigars most often?

  • In my home (17%, 15 Votes)
  • In my garage, shed or back porch (28%, 25 Votes)
  • Outside (42%, 37 Votes)
  • At a cigar store or lounge (8%, 7 Votes)
  • In my car (5%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 88

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