We had an exciting couple of days cigar-wise this week! After fighting with the cold that prevented me from enjoying much of anything for a few days, my wife and I took off Monday morning for the Big Apple, New York City. Of course, there are a lot of great cigar spots in the city. We took a walk toward one of my usual spots, De La Concha. Unfortunately, the shop is closed for renovations and will reopen sometime in the first quarter of 2015 as Davidoff of Geneva 6th Avenue. They had a temporary store across the street in a nonsmoking building so stopping in for a smoke wasn’t an option.
After wandering around some more, and checking in to our hotel on Times Square, we walked a few blocks down 42nd Street to the Nat Sherman Townhouse. Juan greeted us and showed me around, pointing out their cigarette selection, pipes, accessories and finally the humidor. Their humidor is nearly half filled with Nat Sherman cigars, and rounded out with an impressive selection from Padrons to Liga Privada. I noted some La Sirenas and Quesadas and many other great cigars you’d expect. I selected a Nat Sherman Epoca in the Breva corona size and sat down in a comfy leather chair. The shop is a gorgeous space, open to the second floor where the offices are. It’s beautiful. The staff is amazingly attentive and knowledgeable as well. The Epoca was a treat. It billowed sweet smoke and had a very unique exotic spice about mid way through. I rather regret only buying the one cigar to smoke, but I’ll try to find some in PA where pricing should be a little easier to take. It was an exceptional cigar. As we were getting ready to leave Michael Herklots stopped to say hello.
Monday evening we had the pleasure of attending a party at The Liberty Warehouse in Brooklyn to celebrate our friends Mitchell and Karyn Orchant’s birthdays, specifically Mitchell’s 50th. Mitchell and Karyn share the same birthday, however Karyn is much younger than her husband. The venue is amazing, overlooking the Statue of Liberty, and was lavishly decorated. There was loads of great food and a bar, and the entertainment for the evening was the Stan Rubin Orchestra, a 13 piece band playing all the big band classics. It was a beautiful evening so it wasn’t unpleasant to be outside, where there was seating and fire pits. There were loads of Mitchell’s US friends there, including many I knew from the cigar industry and the old Usenet days. Cigars were plentiful and welcome inside. I started with a Ramon Allones Specially Selected, and closed the evening with new Inka Secret Blend for the US market. This cigar was a 6″x 60 Peruvian puro. I’ve smoked the C-Gars Ltd. UK blends before and really liked them, and this version was also very good. I will revisit these in a couple of weeks, but this is a cigar to watch out for, and as soon as I know where these will be available I’ll let you know. I’m a sucker for cigars with Peruvian tobacco in the blend. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends. Mitchell really knows how to throw a party, it was quite a soiree. Thank you, again, to Mitchell and Karyn for a wonderful evening!
Tuesday we wandered around Manhattan and made our way to Martinez Cigars on 29th Street. This is a very small storefront where they are actively making the cigars. There were three men rolling, one pair and a gentleman that does his own bunching and wrapping. They have aging room in the basement where they age the cigars for six months after they are rolled. I bought a few of the cigars, and smoked a Flatiron No. 6 robusto. This cigar was terrifically constructed. It had some very interesting flavors that I’d characterize as “old school”, not unlike the Epoca from Nat Sherman. The burn was straight and even and it produced loads of smoke. If you find yourself in the city, stop in and have a smoke and watch the rollers practicing their art. We wandered back toward Times Square, where I believe you aren’t allowed to smoke, and got some dirty looks. Oh well, I was outside. If they were worried about the children seeing smoking, perhaps they should consider the paradox of Disney and Sesame Street characters wandering around along with patriotic women wearing nothing but a bikini bottom and body paint. Anyway, great cigars, great couple of days!
That’s it for now. I’ve managed to beat the cold for the most part, so I should get back to the normal program for Sunday’s post! Until then,