Here we are on July 5th already. It seems like the summer is flying by and it’s barely started. In two weeks I’ll be in New Orleans at the IPCPR show, doing my best to collect information about the newest and greatest products. I don’t think I’ll do too many of the video interviews this time around, but I do have a little something special planned. We’ll see how that all turns out. I managed to smoke a few cigars this week, let’s have a look.
I received some Ventura Cigar Co. Psyko 7 Maduro Robusto samples a couple of weeks ago, and was really looking forward to trying them out. I had first smoked the natural wrapper Psyko 7 back when I was a guest on The Cigar Authority show back in November of 2013 and was really quite impressed. This is another impressive cigar, right up my alley. It’s got a San Andrés wrapper, an Ecuador binder, and an interesting blend of fillers including ligero from Nicaragua and Pennsylvania, some Honduran and Dominican and Pelo de Oro from Peru! How can I not like this cigar! The samples I smoked burned perfectly and had great, complex flavors of espresso, cacao with a nice sweetness. I appreciate the extra half-inch on this 5½” x 50 robusto. This is right up there with the Fratello Bianco as one of my newbies of the year so far. Very nice smoke.
After I had some more dental work done Monday I celebrated after with an Arturo Fuente Double Chateau Sungrown. Boy, is this a tasty cigar! It’s 6¾” x 50 with a cedar sleeve (which I removed before lighting, of course) and a black foot band. The standard Cheateau series is more common in the Connecticut Shade wrapper, and I’ve enjoyed my share of those over the years, but this Ecuador Sungrown wrapper is quite special. It was solidly medium, but it had loads of great savor flavors. I would definitely say that in the Fuente line, save for the Hemingway, Don Carlos, Opus, etc, the sungrown wrapper is my choice.
When I visited Holt’s a couple weeks ago I picked up some of the CroMagnon Mode 5 perfectos from RoMaCraft as I’d yet to smoke that shape and have heard so many great things about it. It’s not a huge cigar, 5″ x 50 in a perfecto format, tapering at either end, your old school, 40’s Warner Brothers cartoon shape. It was quite the fun cigar to smoke, and it was loaded with great, meaty flavors that really made me smile. Burn was perfect, it was well-balanced and not the powerhouse one expects from the name. I look forward to seeing Skip and Mike at the show this year, it’s been too long and they are really making great smokes.
The folks at Gran Habano send a few samples a couple of weeks back, and the Gran Habano Corojo No.5 Maduro 2011 Gran Robusto caught my eye. This is a 6″ x 54 toro with a dark Nicaraguan Maduro wrapper, Costa Rican grown Habano binder and fillers from Jalapa and Costa Rica. This was a great spicy cigar with some bitter dark chocolate that was really to my liking. It burned well, the draw was good, and it was a cigar I’ll smoke again. I find the banding to be a little too close to Cuban Limitada bands, that’s probably what they were going for but I think a little originality from a company that definitely has some original products would be better. I’m not going to mistake that beautiful dark wrapper for any Habanos cigars, and I would probably choose this flavor profile over most Havanas as well.
Yesterday was the 4th of July. My wife and I celebrate our wedding anniversary that day, as the US celebrates another birthday. I always choose a special cigar to mark the event, and there’s generally an element of civil disobedience involved that I’d like to think the founding fathers would approve of. Yesterday I selected a Havana Punch Churchill that was a gift from a friend a few years ago who serves our country and will remain nameless to protect the guilty! This particular cigar had the distinction of bearing a “Vintage 1999″ secondary band which denotes that it was selected by Hunters and Frankau (the UK importer of Habanos cigars) as an exceptional cigar. I agree with their assessment, it was an exceptional cigar. While the draw was a bit more snug than I like, it smoked very well, needing no corrections, and the smoke had a delicate flavor that was quite delicious. It had a bit of the unique Cuban spice, and was a milder, but very special cigar. It was the perfect way to celebrate a special day. I wish I could be as complimentary about the Rocky Patel Freedom I smoked later in the evening, there was a sour component to the savory flavor that didn’t do it for me, and I wished I had chosen better, but the red white and blue band seemed appropriate for the occasion. The Punch Churchill was sublime though, and I’m fortunate to have had the chance to experience it.
That’s about it for today. We’re heading in to Philly again today for tea, then maybe a visit to Smoke in Manyunk after. Until the next time,