Sunday I took a two and a half hour drive to have a cigar. I went to JR Cigar’s store in Whippany, NJ to meet up with Peter Glad from ACigarSmoker.com. The plan was to have a nice relaxing lunch and smoke a cigar, but it turns out that the restaurant is closed on Sundays in the summer! This was a disappointment, as there’s just something special about sitting down at a table with a knife, fork and a Montecristo Tubo wrapped in a napkin. Here’s a little suggestion for the folks at JRs, sell some beverages in the store? They have all sorts of candy and nuts and baskets and leather jackets and assorted stuff. Get a cooler full of sodas, for crying out loud! Anyway, my first stop was the gents room, and as I was coming down the stairs a guy asked me where the restaurant was and I pointed it out and went into the cigar shop to pick up a few things. My phone rings a moment later and it was Peter, who turned out to be the guy who I had just directed to the apparently closed restaurant. We picked out a few things including a Nat Sherman Omerta #7, which is a big 7″ x 54 double corona with a nice dark maduro wrapper. We repaired to the lounge and fired these bad boys up and spent a good 2 hours getting acquainted and trading stories and smokes. Peter is doing a nice job writing for ACigarSmoker.com. He had big shoes to fill and seems to be keeping up rather nicely. The cigar was very good. I hadn’t had a Nat Sherman in a very long time, and this Nicaraguan was quite nice. I smoked Nat Sherman cigarettes briefly in the ’80s, and this was nothing like those, but it was chocolaty and with a nice amount of sweetness and it was good to the last drop. I’m sure Peter will have a good review on his site (here it is). I always enjoy meeting fellow cigar bloggers and have been fortunate to have met a bunch. It was a great day and well worth the 5 hours driving time!
Last night I decided to smoke a cigar that I picked up at JRs, in retrospect I should have put it back after I cut it and found that it had a tight draw. Believe it or not, I had yet to smoke a Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ and was overly anxious to try one. Nice flavor when I could get some smoke out of it, but I mangled it pretty good trying. My mistake not letting a new purchase rest for a few weeks. I also picked up a five-pack of Maria Mancini Robusto Largas and should have pulled an old one of those out of the humidor instead, but I didn’t. I can’t wait to smoke one of the Series JJ in the future and hope that this one was a fluke. JR’s is an interesting store. It’s owned by Altadis, but it has a great deal of General Cigar product, owing mostly to the close ties Lew Rothman, former owner of JR’s, had with Villazon, which eventually became General. I miss Lew’s stories in the old JR catalogs. Lew may be able to claim credit for giving the term “Herf” a wide distribution by featuring the word on a fighter pilot’s helmet on a catalog cover (winter 1997, if memory serves). Prior to that point the term was unknown outside the alt.smokers.cigars usenet group (at least in the context of cigars!). That’s more of a history lesson than I planned, unfortunately I don’t have anything more to say about the Series JJ, as I was left unsatisfied, but I’ll accept responsibility for this one.
That’s it for now, I’m going to try to pick something out that won’t disappoint me for tonight’s smoke. Check out Peter’s take on our meeting Sunday here, and don’t forget to give a listen to last Saturday’s Kiss My Ash Radio show, where I didn’t make as much of a fool of myself as I expected! Keep an eye out for another quick contest coming up and get on over to HoyodeMonterreyCigar.com and enter to win a box of Reposados!
Until the next time,