Monday evening I was in the mood for something interesting, so I grabbed a Monte Pascoal Belicoso. This Brazilian puro came to me from Wesley Genzel who is the US distributor for the brand, and a really cool guy. I first made his acquaintance at the 2010 IPCPR show where I found myself standing in the wrong registration line with him (I was in the wrong line, he was fine) . I was also privileged to be present at the Cigar Journal awards ceremony where Monte Pascoal was awarded the best cigar from Brazil. Now, most of us probably associate Brazilian tobacco with nice, dark maduro wrappers like one finds on the CAO Brazilia, or Toraño Exodus 1959 50 years, but the Monte Pascoal has what I would call a Natural wrapper. It doesn’t have the heavy flavors I associate with the maduro wrappers, of course, and is a really nice, smooth, well balanced cigar. It’s interesting to smoke different sizes of this line and see the differences presented in each vitola, the Minuto is decidedly stronger than the robusto or belicoso. It’s a very cool line, if you can get your hands on some, I’d recommend trying them.
Since I visited with Matt Booth last week, I didn’t want to waste any time trying out his soon to be released Room101 San Andreas. I have a real weakness for Mexican San Andreas wrapper, so it was all I could do to leave this in the humidor for a couple days. I had a short amount of time between dinner (General Tso’s Chicken, Beef and Broccoli) and the Flyers game, so I set out on my evening walk with this little puppy. The sample I received was the same size as the Papi Chulo, 4″ x 42. I’m actually guessing, I was too excited to smoke it so I forgot to measure it. I punched it, and got a blast of flavor on the cold draw. At this point I know I’m in for a treat. And a treat it was! This is a cigar one needs a beverage with, it’s one of a few cigars that makes me salivate, I bee-lined it to the root beer when I got home from my walk. I so enjoyed this little cigar, and too soon it was gone! I generally smoke a cigar to a finger-burning nub, but when I got to that point, it was still delicious. I had no choice but to impale the little bastard with a toothpick and suck the last little bits of goodness from it. I look forward to these being released, I believe the band on this, and I like the band, it clearly states it’s a pre-release sample, says it’s coming out mid-April. I heard someplace that the robusto is the real gem in this line.
I’m not one to re-print every press release that comes through my e-mail box, I feel compelled to share this one with you, as I think it’s really cool.
CAO SAYS JUDGMENT DAY IS COMING
Promotion Gives Fans a Chance to Choose New Blend
Richmond, VA—When their fans talk, the team at CAO listens. From now (April 3, 2012) through June 30, 2012, cigar smokers will have a chance to select an upcoming CAO blend, as part of the brand’s “Last Stick Standing” promotion.
CAO’s senior brand manager Ed McKenna explains, “Rick Rodriguez has been developing blends with our team in Nicaragua and has come up with three which we think are all great. So we’re calling on CAO fans to help us pick the blend that will ultimately be launched as a new CAO collection, to be released late this year, or in early 2013.”
A special three-pack tin called the Last Stick Standing is now available for free with the purchase of any six CAO cigars at participating cigar shops across the U.S. Each tin contains three distinct blends, aptly named C, A and O. The cigars all measure 5 1/2” x 54, which is what Rick Rodriguez considers to be the ideal size for allowing consumers to truly evaluate each blend.
A dedicated website (www.lss.caocigars.com) will serve as a virtual voting booth, allowing cigar smokers to rate each cigar on certain criteria, such as flavor, body, construction and overall experience.
For every rating submitted, consumers will be entered to win a box of the winning CAO blend before it’s available for purchase, or the grand prize, an all-expense paid trip for the winner and a guest to the CAO factory in Nicaragua. Sharing entries on the Last Stick Standing Facebook page will provide consumers with multiple entries to win.
Last Stick Standing, AKA “Judgment Day” events will be held at select tobacco shops across the country, with special event-exclusive offers featuring CAO OSA Sol “Lot T” (4 ½” x 50) and “Lot 46” (5 ¼” x 46 ) which will be released later this year as the first new additions to CAO OSA Sol since its debut last September. In addition, a handpicked group of preferred CAO retailers will host guided Last Stick Standing tastings by Rick Rodriguez who will share his insight on the three blends.
General cigar did something similar quite a while ago in the Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur line, where they sent samples and had consumers choose the favorite of the two. This resulted in what many of us always wanted, an Excalibur with a Cameroon wrapper, the 1066. I had the pleasure of participating in a similar exercise last fall when visiting General Cigar on the DR. We were given three cigars and asked for our input. It’s always fun to smoke cigar blind, and to be able to have a voice in the selection of a new cigar is pretty cool.
That’s it for now, until the next time,