On New Years Eve I stopped in to CigarCigars store near my house for a smoke and picked up a handful of Tortuga Reserva Maduro “El Coyote Negro” in the Cedro No. 500 belicoso size. These were, sadly, marked down, and I’d seen this box on the bottom shelf in the past. I think the right thing for me to do is to go back and grab some more. Of course, Victor Vitale’s Tortuga line has been a favorite of mine for several years, and I like to keep a bunch on hand, and this is nowhere near the first time this brand has come up on these pages. I was checking, and I think the first mention of Tortuga was early in 2012, in a piece I wrote after visiting the Reading Terminal Market in Philly, Victor’s home town. The El Coyote Negra No. 500 had some age, the cello was amber, and the cigar was awesome. These have a Brazilian Oscuro wrapper and Nicaraguan filler and binder, and are made in Honduras. I’ve been hoping to catch up with Victor as it’s been way too long, but the last I heard he was working on another Ora Vivo Armand Assante cigar, which is exciting as I really enjoy those too. I think I’ve liked all of Victor’s cigars since launching Tortuga and Ora Vivo, as I mention in the article from six years ago, I wasn’t overly impressed with his ORTSAC line, although it certainly wasn’t bad (Dave Garofalo owns the ORTSAC brand now). I look forward to catching up with Victor again soon!
Odd thing: I can’t remember having dreams about cigars, but yesterday morning I awoke from a dream that was very specifically about Providencia cigars. I’m not sure how that particular brand slipped into my subconscious, perhaps I spotted one or two while rummaging in the humidor recently. I took this as a sign that I should smoke one, so I rummaged again and found an El Padre Torpedo. This is a very small brand, of the retailers listed on their website, none are in Pennsylvania, which is odd because something makes me think one of the owners of the brand has a Philly connection too. The torpedo is a 6″ x 52 with a Nicaraguan grown Connecticut Shade wrapper, and Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers and is a really tasty shade cigar. Their website mentions “mature cigar smokers”, I’m not sure how to take that…I’m old, but I hardly consider myself mature…but it is a great tasting and performing cigar. I had a short, stocky Providencia El Santo (with a Sumatra Nicaraguan Maduro wrapper) on deck for after dinner, but decided that I posted about these two cigars together back in July. I found the El Padre to be a very nice, full flavored, medium cigar.
Have you ever had a cigar that you want to like? You really should like it, because it’s from a company that makes a lot of cigars you really like, and have visited and know some of the principles. In addition to that, it has one of your favorite wrappers. The Joya Black from Joya de Nicaragua is that cigar for me. I know it’s been highly rated, made lists, and all, I just keep trying this cigar and keep being disappointed. I’ve had a selection in my humidor for the better part of a year, and keep trying them and keep having problems. It’s nothing to do with the flavor, it has more to do with getting the flavor, as there always seems to be a draw issue with the samples I’ve smoked. It’s funny, to me, at least, of Joya’s “Modern Line-Up” including the Red, Black and Cabinetta, I only really like the Cabinetta, and I’ve enjoyed that cigar for a long time. The Red never really did it for me, and now the same with the Black. I’ll keep trying, because, like I said, I want to like this cigar, but if it comes to choosing between the Black and an Antaño of any kind, I’m smoking the Antaño. Joya de Nicaragua is one of my favorite factories, I’ve visited twice, I know the major people there, and love most of what’s produced there (Fratello, Sobremesa included), so it pains me to not like a cigar from there.
A quick rant about top <insert number here>, I’m probably missing out by not doing a formal list. I see social media posts by many popular cigar makers when their cigar makes a list. By not doing a Top 10 or whatever list that included those who I know would spread it around, am I passing up good exposure? I post the memorable cigars of the year for me, and I’m comfortable with that. I’m thrilled when my posts get shared (thanks to those who do it!), but I’m here just doing whatever it is I’m doing because I love cigars, certainly not for fame and fortune. I don’t mean this as a criticism of people posting lists, but maybe it sounds that way (I have been called a cynical, sarcastic bastard).
That’s all for today, until the next time,