Don’t forget to enter Wednesday’s contest to win some great Gurkha cigars. To answer a couple of questions and maybe dispel a myth or two, I am working my way through the sampler (another one, not the one I’m giving away, duh…) and these are very nice cigars. These are predominantly Brick and Mortar exclusive cigars that you won’t find in mail order outlets. The Cellar Reserves have been pretty terrific, I smoked the Cask Blend and it was a good, mild cigar, and the Classic Cigar is actually on my go-to list, I like them a lot. I’ll get to the other two this week. Point is, they are good quality cigars which are eminently smokable. You can accept them for free with confidence!
On to the week’s smokes. I signed up for The Cigar Authority Care Package which is four cigars that go along with the cigars that they smoke on the radio show. Dave Garofalo is losing his shirt on this deal, or at least not making any money. This week’s selection was the Byron Serie Siglo XIX Poemas, a 4 7/8″ x 52 cigar made in Costa Rica of undisclosed ingredients. these are sold in beautiful porcelain jars. Nelson Alphonso is the man behind Selected Tobaco and these cigars, and he’s the guy who designed the Pardon 50th Anniversary humidor as well as the Cuban Cohiba Behike packaging and tons of other Habanos special release packaging. The care package costs $20 a month delivered, and this is a $25 cigar. I’m ahead of the game already. The guys on the show rave about this cigar, and it’s certainly a perfectly crafted cigar and visually appealing. I found it to be a good cigar, the flavor doesn’t “wow” me, it’s nice, medium bodied and inoffensive. I guess this is another for the list of cigars I just don’t get, or the hype made my expectations too high. I will try them again, for sure, who knows if it just wasn’t the right cigar for the moment or what, what do I know. If this is a cigar that is the best cigar you’ve ever smoked, who am I to say you’re wrong, it just wasn’t a good match for my preferences. I do encourage everyone to tune in to the Cigar Authority show, it’s entertaining and informative, and the Care Package is a hellofa deal.
Last week when I went to the Alec Bradley event at Cigar Brothers one of the cigars I came home with was the newly re-banded Maxx in the 5″ x 58 Fixx size. The One Thing I noticed about this cigar was the dark and oily Nicaraguan wrapper. I can’t really say if I’ve smoked the Maxx before other than the Brazilian version that was a Cigars International exclusive, so I don’t know if they’ve changed the blend along with the packaging (on second thought, I’ve smoked the Maxx Connecticut in the Best Cigar Prices exclusive Robolo size). This was a really tasty smoke. It’s a blend of tobaccos from Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico and was full flavored and medium bodied. The flavor was rich and well-balanced and much to my liking. These are priced around $6 in PA, and well worth it. If you asked me if I’d rather have twenty of these, or four Byrons for the same price, I’m sure you know what my answer would be. The Maxx is a great value.
Next up was the newest offering from Recluse Cigars, the Amadeus Habano. this was their new release at the IPCPR show, where I ran into Scott Weeks and J.R. Dominguez a few times. I got in on the ground floor with these guys thanks to Will Cooper‘s introduction, and have really enjoyed all the cigars they have come out with. This cigar is a Habano wrapped version of the Amadeus, which came out last year with an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper. I let these rest a while because the first one I smoked a couple of months ago didn’t smoke right, and that’s been unusual in my experience with the brand. The Amedeus Connecticut is an excellent cigar, and the Ecuador Habano wrapper adds a little bit of a richness and zing to the flavor, and I’m sure the Mexican binder helps out a little too. This is another winner in my book, love the look of the holographic band too, this has a lot of curb appeal and delivers on the flavor side too. I do have one gripe though, and it’s my usual…its been a few months since this was displayed at the IPCPR show, update the website with the details, please!
Since I smoked my first cigar from Southern Draw Cigars a month or so ago, I have been interested in sampling their Pennsylvania wrapped Quickdraw. Of course, the name reminds me of the cartoon character from the early sixties, Quick Draw McGraw. If they come out with a size called “El Kabong’, I’ll know that that’s where the name came from! Another reason it might be called the Quickdraw is because it’s a 4 3/8” x 44 petite corona, and the company is based in Texas, so there’s the wild west theme going on, along with the fact that it’s a short smoke. These also come in a Habano wrapped version, but since I live in Pennsylvania, this one was the one I wanted to try. This is a great little smoke, loads of deep, espresso and cocoa flavors along with some nice sweet spice from the PA Broadleaf. These are made in the AJ Fernandez factory so the construction was top-notch. So far I have really enjoyed everything I’ve smoked from Southern Draw, the blends are in line with my preferences, and the factory that makes them might have something to do with that, but it might also be that Robert Holt is a man of excellent taste and refinement.
Last night’s cigar was another new cigar from the IPCPR show. Phil Zanghi started Indian Tabak cigars in the 90s, eventually partnered with an entertainment lawyer from LA, who took the brand and ran with it, which was a springboard for Rocky Patel Cigars. Recently Phil got the trademark back, but instead of reviving Indian Tabak (which was originally an homage to Indian motorcyles, nothing to do with his partner’s ethnicity, that was a happy coincidence), he came out with the Indian Motorcycles Premium Cigar. In Phil’s both, which also highlighted his Debonair brand, he had a beautiful Indian motorcycle on display. I didn’t get a chance to talk to Phil much at the show, but I’ve heard plenty about this in other media outlets. This cigar had a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper that was oily, almost gritty, to the touch, unique to me, and I liked it. The cigar burned reasonably well, it wanted to run up the bottom a bit, but that’s what lighters are for, to fix the occasional errant burn. It had a very open draw, and, again, rich flavors of sweet cocoa and coffee. Another winner in my book and I can’t wait to get some more. I believe these have been hitting shelves as Phil was touring New England recently for the release, making the official debut at Kurt Kendall’s newest Twin’s Smoke Shop location, the perfect place given Kurt’s appreciation of nostalgic motor vehicles.
That’s enough for today, I may have to go back to posting twice a week so I don’t have to spend so long Sunday mornings typing! Until the next time,