To touch once again on the issue of Cuban cigars I brought up last time, or to expand upon it, I suppose, the issue of fakes was brought up. I was saving that for a separate discussion, so here it is. There will be no shortage of criminal behavior in this regard. How many people unfamiliar with cigars would be able to spot the difference between a Partagas Serie D No. 4 and a Rosa Cuba robusto without bands? It may look like a worthwhile investment to have some bands made and but a bunch of cheap bundles and reband them. I hope I’m not giving anyone any ideas, but I would hope that anyone stupid enough to not have thought of this is scenario isn’t smart enough to run a business anyway. So unsuspecting newbs wanting to try their fist Cuban cigar and willing to shell out a $20 to do it will get as much of a crappy experience as they might get smoking the real deal right off the truck! How many of us have seen everyone posting pictures of the Cohibas in the box with the sliding plastic lid that they got at a resort in Mexico? Fakes are already a big problem one that will get much worse when the embargo is lifted, and may already considering people misunderstand the recent relaxation of rules about what you can bring back from a licensed trip to the island. As always, I deeply appreciate the comments and discussion!
Oddly, I’ve been on a bit of a large cigar kick, at the time of year I should be smoking little cigars. Thursday I reached for a San Cristobal Revelation Odyssey, an interestingly sized 5¾” x 60. This cigar was a Christmas gift from one of my vendors at work. This gentleman owns a steel company in Oxnard, CA and shops at Olde Oaks Cigar Co. in Thousand Oaks, CA. This is a really neat shop with a really good and well priced (for CA) selection of cigars, and what appears to this non-drinker to be an incredible booze selection. The lounge is nice as well. Anyway, this San Cristobal Revelation is one of his current favorites and he wanted to share it with me. I can see why he likes the cigar, the man may not smoke cigars more than once a week or so, but he has good taste, and this one is loaded with flavor. I found it to be medium bodied, smooth with a hint of savory sweetness. It started off with a hint of pepper, a signature of the manufacturer, the My Father factory. This size is round, but several other sizes have a box press, and it has an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper and a really beautiful band. This is a winner in my book and I would reach for this cigar without hesitation.
Friday evening I thought it would be a good time to smoke the Foundry Compunds, Elements and Musings Dubnium: the Cheshire Cat. As we all know, Dubnium is a chemical element with symbol Db and atomic number 105. It is named after the town of Dubna in Russia, where it was first produced. It is a synthetic element (an element that can be created in a laboratory but is not found in nature) and radioactive; the most stable known isotope, dubnium-268, has a half-life of approximately 28 hours (thank you Wikipedia), and a Cheshire Cat is a fictional cat popularized by Lewis Carroll in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, not sure what one has to do with the other except that neither occurs naturally in nature, or has a damned thing to do with cigars. Knowing the beautiful mind of Michael Giannini as I do, one quickly learns not to question these things, the just are, reason and logic play no part, and that’s OK as the Foundry cigars, despite the gimmick and novelty, deliver in quality for me. This was a cigar on the milder side, but heavy on the creamy soft flavors that I deeply appreciate on occasion. It had a sweetness and perfect burn and I found interesting and unique flavors as I frequently do in this line. That’s probably what keeps me sampling the Foundry line every chance I get, besides the fact that the Compounds, Elements and Musings series is generally wallet friendly, this 6″ x 60 box press cost me under $7 locally, and many are priced lower than that. Innovative packaging, unique tobaccos (although, to be fair, it could be just about anything considering they rarely specify the tobaccos used), and a neat story and the trust I have in Michael makes me a fan.
Yesterday, after a heavy, wet snow over night which was (thankfully) only a few inches, I opted for the second of three cigars from the Rocky Patel Bernie Parent BSB No.1 40th Anniversary set, the Vezina. It’s All Star weekend in the NHL, so I figured it would be appropriate, and I wanted to smoke it anyway, so there! The Vezina is the trophy awarded each year to the goaltender “adjudged to be the best at this position”, and Bernie Parent won it in 1974 and 1975. The cigar has a cedar sleeve, covering a beautiful Ecuador Habano wrapper, and is 6½” x 52. My friends at Halfwheel have a nice write up on this series of cigars, however they have spelt Vezina “Venzia” on two occasions, making it darned near impossible to find in a search, which isn’t pertinent to this story, just fun to point out. I enjoyed the cigar, although it wasn’t as distinctively good as the Conn Smythe with the broadleaf wrapper. Not to say it wasn’t a wonderful smoke, but those aren’t hard to find these days, and I certainly won’t avoid it. Burned great, tasted great and evokes great memories of both a childhood watching the Broad Street Bullies win the Stanley Cup twice in a row, and times hanging out, smoking cigars with the legendary goaltender and wickedly funny story teller and friendly guy, Bernie. Now I’m looking forward the the third in the series, the box pressed, Ecuador Sumartra wrapped Lord Stanley. Should I wait until June to smoke that? I’m not sure I can wait.
My boss called me into his office yesterday morning, and instead of firing me, he gave me this interesting ashtray made from a well cap by a guy who works for a local well drilling company. I’m more of a fan of having the business end of a cigar suspended over the ashtray, but this is an interesting design and will have a place in the smoking porch. It’s a much appreciated gift, much better than a pink slip! That wraps up today’s episode, tune in Wednesday for more literary regurgitation as I meander through the wonders of the cigar world! Until the next time,