Today is the first day of Spring and they are talking about snow! That’s some crap, isn’t it? Anyway, just like everyone else, I suppose, I smoked this years iteration of the Alec Bradley Black Market Filthy Hooligan on Saint Patrick’s Day. I like the idea of snakes being banished as we have a couple in our back yard now that my wife is fond of photographing for what I figure is solely to terrify me. I. Don’t. Like. Snakes. As long as they stay outside, I’ll stay in and it’ll be OK, I guess, but I’m rooting for the hawks on this one, eat them slithery bastards up please. Anyway, the whole Saint Patrick and snakes thing is BS anyway, but I appreciate the notion. I’ve quite enjoyed the previous Hooligans, but this year’s version was a twist on the original, fairly literally. They took the candela cigar and applied a maduro stripe to it to create the barber pole effect. This manufacturing technique became apparent as I was attempting to remove the secondary band, which, like the primary band, was affixed nearly permanently to the cigar. I only mentioned last week how easy band removal enhanced the experience for me. The one benefit to this was that I was able to smoke about an inch of the middle of the cigar as the original candela, and it’s rather amazing to taste how much difference that little strip of maduro makes in the flavor. the maduro takes the chlorophyll-like edge of the candela and smooths it out. I had been looking forward to trying this cigar, I like a candela once in a while, and I liked the similar looking Asylum Ogre line for many of the same reasons, the blending of the candela and maduro wrappers make a unique tasting smoke.
Friday evening we went out to grab a bite, and I stopped for a haircut afterwards and brought along a 1502 Nicaragua Churchill for the walk home. I picked up a few of these when I saw Enrique Sanchez at the Wooden Indian for the 1502 XO launch event. The folks at the shop told me it was one of their best sellers, so I figured I’d give it a shot. This is a Nicaraguan puro, a tribute to Enrique’s young son. The last time I smoked a 1502 Nicaragua I was underwhelmed. I think the Black Gold, the Ruby and the Emerald were so darned good, each in their own ways, that I didn’t originally “get” the Nicaragua. Whether it was the vitola or just the cigar, I don’t know, but after a slow start of not “getting it”, it grew on me. It developed into a rich, sweet, dare I say “Cubanesque” cigar. The wrapper color reminds me of many Cuban cigars, which might have influenced that comparison, it burned MUCH better than a Havana! This was another great smoke from Global Premium and Enrique Sanchez, keep up the great work, amigo!
Saturday afternoon I sat down to watch the Flyers vs. Penguins game on the tablet out on the porch so I could smoke a cigar. For those who don’t know, this is a heated rivalry, us Flyers fans don’t much like the cross-state Penguins, and it’s usually a great game. I selected a cigar that Sam Leccia gave me when I saw him a few months back at Cigars International’s midget wrestling event. This was a cigar that Sam said he found a cache of aging in a factory somewhere (he declined to divulge any details), and was working on bringing to market. The shape of the cigar reminded me of the Cuban Partagas Presidente, the Cuban Vitola de Galera name of which is “Taco”, a 6″ cigar that tapered to around 48 ring gauge, then came to a perfecto foot. Whatever this was, it was pretty special, there were some sweet notes and it had a really clean tobacco flavor, obviously this had a great deal of age. If this cigar never sees commercial release by Sam, I’ll just assume he smoked them all, as I would be tempted to do, great smoke. Too bad the game wasn’t as good as the cigar, the Flyers turned in a lack-luster performance when they should have done the opposite. I still like Sam, despite his being a Penguin fan.
Saturday evening I took a walk with a cigar that’s been intimidating me from the depths of the humidor for several months. Back in the fall I met Lars Tetens at the Smokin’ Goose Event at Goose’s shop in Limerick, PA. Going back 20 years or so, to the cigar boom of the 90s, I remember seeing (and smelling) the Lars Tetens cigars in my local shop. They were the precursor to the Acid line, and there’s some controversy over whether one had anything to do with the other. There’s no doubt that parallels can be drawn between the cigars, as well as the apparent eccentricities of Lars and Jonathan Drew. It’s not for me to judge, they both seem to have done well for themselves. Lars gave me a couple of cigars, one of which being this large Serie D. It’s a 6½” x 52 toro, and was the least scary of the bunch. The unlit aroma didn’t offer any hints of flavoring or infusion, as the “Tropical Candy”, “Brief XTC” and “1980” cigars did, they smell very sweet, and I’m nervous about smoking them. I believe Lars told me that the “1980” was rolled by him in 1980, which would be pretty amazing but the aroma off the foot makes me skeptical (I wouldn’t expect any strong aromas off a 36-year-old cigar). The Serie D was a very good smoke, one I’d smoke again. It burned well, had a sweetness that I liked and was solidly medium bodied, despite the word “full” on the band. Once I screw up my courage, perhaps I’ll smoke on of the others in the coming weeks. Lars Tetens cigars are still out there, I’ve seen them in a couple of my local shops, and I know he visits Goose’s regularly. I hope to have another opportunity to hang out with him one of these days and pick his brain a little.
That’s all for today, until the next time,