Cigars are funny things, they can be a celebration, or they can pick you up when you’re down. Sunday I needed a pick-up cigar after the Flyers lost to the Rangers in a playoff game they needed to win. I went for one of the best cigars I have in my humidors, a Drew Estate Liga Privada Serie Unico UF-13 Dark. I’ve had the good fortune to have smoked a bunch of these and, I have to say, I like them. The size (5½” x 52) works very well, its perfectly balanced and satisfying. It’s consistent in flavor and always burns perfectly. UF stands for Unico Fuerte, and I suppose these are a strong cigar, but I don’t take them as much stronger than any of the other Unicos, or Liga Privadas for that matter. These aren’t inexpensive, but they certainly are a nice treat every now and then. I give it a 98, but very close to a 99.
Monday I chose a cigar from the Toraño 90+ sampler that I broke into a couple months back after giving it a one year rest. This cigar was the 1916 Cameroon toro, a traditional 6 x 50 wrapped in a cedar sleeve. As I joked on my Instagram picture, one is to remove the cedar sleeve before lighting. You think it’s funny until you’ve seen someone try to do it. Not cool. This cigar commemorates the year Santiago Toraño moved to Cuba and got into the tobacco business. I’m personally glad he made this move, as the Toraño company is one of my favorites. This cigar is really tasty! It’s sweet and medium to mild, and maybe even creamy. I enjoyed the heck out of this cigar, if I had one complaint it would be that the ash didn’t hang on too long, but that’s a very minor complaint. It had the Camerooniness that I really like. I should smoke more Cameroon wrapped cigars! It’s another 98 on my rating scale.
Last night, before the Flyers staved off playoff elimination, I sat out in the garage and smoked a Kings Cigars Baron, which is their Ecuador Connecticut wrapped cigar. I had the robusto size, and this either came from the IPCPR show, or from a package I received from them just before the show. I really like the Conde, which is the San Andres maduro offering, and the Habano wrapped enormous King of Kings is tasty. The guys behind the brand are fun guys to be around too. Anyway, this was a nice, mild smoke that was up the middle for me. The flavor was good, but didn’t really distinguish itself from other cigars in the Connecticut category, which I admit I pass over more times than not. It was very well made, burned well and wasn’t offensive at all, and it was satisfying. While my personal preference is for something different, I think this is a good example of a Connecticut cigar. I give the Baron 96, but the website gets a 91. I love these guys and they are innovative and creative, but the website is a pain in the butt to get any information from, and not being able to silence the audio turns me off (warning to those who click the links here). Flashy isn’t always better, at least in my opinion.
This is going to get old fast, but it’s important that we make our voices heard with the FDA. I have to say that Halfwheel.com published and excellent piece on why $10 is a ridiculous reference point for the FDA to deem a cigar to be “Premium” and, therefore, exempt from regulation. FIVE REASONS WHY THE FDA’S $10 PRICE EXEMPTION WON’T SURVIVE
Here’s the link again to voice your opinions on how they define “Premium” Cigars. http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2014-N-0189-0001
I can’t stress the importance of convincing the FDA to exclude cigars from regulation (at least for now) by letting them know that the price and weight of cigars is irrelevant in determining that they are “Premium”, that they are hand made from all natural ingredients (and that can include ‘flavoring’ as far as I’m concerned) is all the criteria needed. As Charlie Minato at Halfwheel properly points out, the state of New Hampshire has a recognized definition of a premium cigar, it being: “Premium cigars are cigars made entirely by hand of all natural tobacco leaf, hand constructed and hand wrapped, wholesaling for $2 or more, weighing more than 3 pounds per 1000 cigars, and kept in a humidor at the proper humidity.” (Thanks to Dave Garofalo and Victor Vitale and all those who worked to write this definition! It’s close enough). Anyway, hit the link above and let them know what you think.
Well, tonight is Game 7 of the Rangers and Flyers and I hope the Flyers play like they did last night! I’m not quite ready for hockey season to be over, although it does free up my schedule to smoke larger cigars!
Until the next time,