We had a pretty low key 4th of July celebration. All our kids and grandkids were over and we grilled and stuff for the afternoon. Before everyone got here I started the day with an Alec Bradley American Classic Robusto. I pick up a few of these on occasion because they are a really solid, versatile cigar. They are inexpensive, smooth, tasty and well made. I enjoy them and they are a great cigar to give to an occasional smoker, which I did not have the opportunity to do, I smoked it myself.
After everyone left it was time to break into the special occasion humidor and pick out a celebratory cigar. I selected a Havana Hoyo de Monterrey Churchill which was given to me several years ago with the proviso that it might be plugged, and if it was, ditch it and smoke something else (he had also given me a back-up). Unfortunately, I failed to bring a backup along, and the cigar was horribly plugged and I fought with it for my entire walk. The really annoying part was that the little bit of flavor I was able to coax out of the cigar was pretty darned tasty, and I wanted it, I wanted it bad! I usually keep it to myself when a cigar is this flawed, but considering the manufacturer, I don’t feel too bad being critical when the situation calls for it.
I wasn’t going to be defeated, so I went back to the humidor and selected a much more recent production Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No 2. Ah, success. This is about the same size the Churchill would have been by the time I returned from my walk had it not been plugged. This Robusto (or is it a Hermoso No. 4? I forget) burned as well as a Cuban cigar can be expected to burn and had the flavor that the Churchill had teased me with. I’m firmly a believer that there are many cigars that are much better than Cubans but I enjoy the different flavor that only Cuban cigars have and have smoked at least on on the 4th of July for so many years its a tradition. It’s a combination of celebrating our wedding anniversary and the little bit of civil disobedience that this country was founded on that keeps me doing it.
Friday we were running some errands and found ourselves going through Maple Glen, PA, (near Ambler). We spied a place called “Black Wolfman Tobacco” and felt compelled to visit. This is a little shop that has a couple cabinet humidors along one wall, and they roll your own and cigarettes behind the counter. The selection was sparse, but reasonably priced. I grabbed a couple Perdomo 10th Anniversary Maduro Robusto for about $5.25 each. When we got home it was hot, so I grabbed a Gurkha Cellar Reserve Churchill and got in the pool. I like a large cigar for pool smoking, it just seems easier for some reason. I’ve smoked a bunch of these and it’s a nice, smooth smoke. I like these as the first cigar of the day because it’s on the mild side. I had an ulterior motive in picking this out besides it’s inherent pool-worthiness.
My Friday evening walk featured a new cigar from Gurkha, a Cellar Reserve with a maduro wrapper. I’m sure that Oliver Hyams, marketing director with Gurkha, told me what the wrapper was when he gave me this last week at Cigarnival, but I’ve forgotten and I’ll update this when I receive the information. I want to say it’s either a San Andreas or Connecticut Broadleaf as that’s what it tasted like to me. Great smoke! This cigar is right up my alley. It’s got that coffee/espresso that I like along with a little sweetness. Something sticks in my head about Brazilian Arpiraca, but I may be confusing that with the wrapper on the Ghost, which this tastes nothing like. (note: I confirmed with Oliver Hyams at Gurkha, it was Brazilian Arapiraca!) I am certain that this will be released at next weeks IPCPR show, so this is a little preview. I suggest giving it a try when it comes out, because it’s darned tasty! It even has a curly little pigtail cap.
This is getting a little long for a holiday weekend, but I had a lot more time to smoke! Saturday I had another La Gloria Cubana Rabitos de Cochino. I see more of these in my future, the price to quality ratio is off the charts. Later I decided to give the new Alec Bradley Nica Puro a try. Now this is my kind of cigar! My initial thought is that it’s reminiscent of an Undercrown, it’s got that similar heavy body and lush flavor. I found that I had not eaten enough dinner as if it had been a longer cigar than a robusto it may have gotten the best of me. This is a cigar that’s on the stronger side, to be sure. I loved this smoke and appreciate Jonathan Lipson passing these to me last week, as I had been looking forward to trying them. There’s not a lot of Alec Bradley cigars that I don’t enjoy, but this one goes to the top of the list.
That’s enough for today, have some things to get done around the house and some sitting in the pool to do this afternoon. I have to pick out some cigars for today to wrap up the long weekend. Five more days of work and then it’s off to Vegas! Until the next time,