Thursday we went to G & G Cigars in downtown West Chester, PA to see Ricky Rodriquez at a CAO event. G & G changed hands in the last couple years, and while the selection in the humidor changed a bit, it remains a very nice shop managed by Mike, who keeps a clean and inviting lounge. I picked up a few Flatheads in the 660 size and the Steel Horse Apehanger size and wandered into the lounge and sat down next to Ricky, who was deep in conversation with another patron. I have known Ricky since probably 2010, having spent some time with him in the Dominican Republic in 2011, and seeing him at the IPCPR show just last month. My son and I actually hung out with him and Ed McKenna the first night we were in Vegas at the Circle Bar in the Venetian, where he shared the new CAO Consigliere with us (the re-release of the Sopranos). I sat next to Rick smoking my Flathead 660 for close to ten minutes before he got up and my wife “introduced” us…it was a very amusing moment. It was fairly quiet in the lounge, so we had a great time talking about the cigar world, and the world in general with Ricky. He had been at another location about two miles from home that afternoon, but who among us working folks can make a 12-3 event on a Thursday? It worked out well, the Flathead line remains one of my favorites, and the one I smoked was quite satisfying and lasted until the parking meter expired. Ricky knows his tobacco and is always a treat to hang out with. If he comes to your area don;t miss the opportunity to hang out with him.
Friday I opened the IPCPR sample humidor (which, by the way, is a reasonably large Psyko Seven humidor that my wife won on a Best Cigar Prices Facebook Contest, totally legit and above-board, I checked! It’s a pretty darned nice humidor that can be had at a very reasonable price. It’s been working very well with Boveda packs. Enough of the commercial, and there will be more on Psyko Seven in the near future. Please note that nobody asked me to say anything about this) and pulled out an EP Carillo Dusk Obscure, the largest in this new line at 7″ x 54. The Dusk has a US grown wrapper, clearly a Broadleaf, an Ecuador binder and Nicaraguan fillers, made at Ernesto’s factory in the Dominican Republic. Having been a fan of Ernesto P. Carillo’s work over the last 20 years, it was a treat to finally sit down with him and meet him at the trade show. I don’t get starstruck by many in the cigar world anymore, but Ernesto was one of the people who I was nervous about meeting. The Dusk was a great cigar, and another cigar I will seek out to further sample. It was sweet and had the dark flavors I prefer.
Saturday I wound up a busy day with another IPCPR sample. Remember I said there seemed to be a lot more larger sized samples at the show this year? Well, I’ve been selecting the larger cigars as the weather allows, I’ll have plenty of robustos to get through the winter. I selected the Padilla Anniversary in the 7″ x 50 Churchill size. I’m not entirely clear which anniversary this line celebrates, the company has been around for about 14 years, but I don’t suppose it matters as special anniversary releases will be severely limited moving forward thanks to the FDA regulations. The Padilla Anniversary is a Nicaraguan puro made at Raíces Cubanas in Honduras. It’s got a Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan Corojo binder and fillers from Esteli and Jalapa. This cigar started out pretty smooth and built in strength, ending up to be quite a powerhouse. The burn and draw were perfect, with a good amount of smoke. The band is really beautiful, with the Padilla signature lion holding a trident. It’s quite stunning, and the presentation is completed by a cedar sleeve. This will be a regular release, although limited. It was quite a nice smoke for a Saturday evening.
That’s about all for now, until the next time,