After last Sunday’s cigar adventure, I spent the beginning of the weeks going back to some favorites and cigars I’ve posted about recently, then sometime around Thursday I grabbed one of Dean Parson’s Epic Habano Robustos from the humidor and lit it up. I will come right out and say it, the Maduro in the Epic line is one of my favorite cigars, it’s hard for me to not smoke them when I have them in the humidor. However, the Habano is right up there. This is a 5½ x 52 Robusto (I love that extra ½ inch!) with an Ecuador Habano wrapper, Dominican binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. All of Dean’s Epic cigars are rolled in the same Dominican factory where Kristoff cigars are made (and I’m at a loss for the name of the factory, but I’m pretty sure that’s right…). These hit the market in 2014, which makes me wonder why there’s still no mention of them on the website. The Habano for me was sweet with some cedar and spice. I quite enjoy this, not quite as much as the maduro, but it’s a close second. I’ve found little fault with the Epic line in general, Dean is a cool cat, if you get a chance to meet him do it.
Friday I grabbed a E.P. Carillo Generosos Toro, which is an exclusive of Casa de Montecristo in Chicago. This is weird, as much as I am a big La Gloria Cubana fan from way back, I’ve not smoked a great many EPC cigars. It may be because the first couple I smoked didn’t really “wow” me, but there have been a few recently that make me want to dig deeper into the line. I’ve had great success with the Robolo size made for Best Cigar Prices. This toro is 5 7/8″ x 52, with a rosado-ish Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, Dominican binder and Nicaraguan fillers. It’s a solid medium in strength, had a lot of woody, nutty flavors and burned quite nicely. These have been around a few years, and I wish I had known about these when I visited the Casa de Montecristo shop in Chicago a couple of years ago, although I’m sure the Chicago pricing would have scared me off. this was a very nice smoke, thanks again to Craig at CDMCigars.com for sharing it with me.
Yesterday it snowed pretty good for the majority of the day. Fortunately, since it’s spring in PA and the ground has been warm, it didn’t really accumulate all that much and the roads were fine. I took a trip over to the Wooden Indian again for a La Palina event. La Palina has been on of this site’s longest and most loyal supporters, of course I wanted to show up and pay my respects (and restock some favorite cigars). I finally got to meet Clay Roberts, the COO and co-president of the company, who has been a notable name in the industry, having worked with Rocky Patel, AJ Fernandez and Alec Bradley prior to making the move to La Palina. I’m surprised we hadn’t met before, but that’s probably due to my own negligence. So, as you would expect, I picked up some La Palina Maduros, which fall under the El Diaro line and are made at Raices Cubanas in Honduras. I lit up the 60 Maduro, which is their 6″ x 60, and was quite happy. This is a great San Andrés wrapped cigar, very dark and oily and delicious. It’s got a Honoduran binder and Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo fillers. I had a bit of a time getting the wrapper to burn at the start, but that was quite possibly an environmental issue which some time in the humidor will surely fix. Sweet with some spice, like the Epic Maduro mentioned above, I have trouble keeping my hands off these. It seems like many of my favorite cigars are maduros, which has been the case for 20+ years! That doesn’t keep me from trying everything though. Cigar events at the Wooden Indian are always top notch.
I also picked up a couple of the Black Label petite lanceros. Funny, I thought I had some of the Black Label robustos in my humidor, but to my surprise and delight, it turns out they were actually Family Series Miami Babes, which I selected for my evening walk after the snow stopped. Now, if I had to do it again (and fortunately I will be able to), I would have selected a different cigar for this wintery spring evening. The Babe (5¼ x 50) is made in Miami at El Titan de Bronze, wrapped in Ecuador Corojo 98, an Ecuador Habano binder and Nicaraguan fillers. This is a refined and sophisticated smoke, with delicate flavors that would probably have been better represented in more comfortable surroundings. You can bet I’ve learned my lesson, and the other cigars in this line that I am fortunate enough to posses will be smoked in as close to ideal circumstances as possible. I’ve smoked very few of the Family Series, it’s just hard for me to open my wallet that wide, but I think they are worth it for a special occasion cigar, very well made and delicious.
I’m going to vent, and this isn’t going to go over well with a certain local (to me) cigar store chain, but I can’t hold it in. Said local chain has a show they do on local cable access (and YouTube) that is really terrible. I love the idea of having some cigar programming on mainstream media, don’t get me wrong, but it has to be of a sufficient quality, in both content and video/audio, to promote the cigar culture. Bufoonery, bad information (for instance, pulling a cigar out of a tube and explaining the white fuzzy blotches as plume instead of the mold that it obviously is) and simple things like a patron eating in the lounge outside of the room the show is recorded in don’t present the cigar culture positively. I was suffering through an episode last night and, thankfully, just as one of the presenters was showing one of the store specials and explaining that a particular cigar was not to her liking, the screen went blank and after waiting a few minutes I moved on to something entertaining. It would be one thing if this were only online where the audience would be largely cigar-geek types, but this is going out to the general public, who will either be mis-informed by watching it, or turned off by the off-color, juvenile comments and jokes. I don’t watch it because I can’t take it (and I’ve been invited to be on the show, that probably won’t happen again…). I could hold my tongue no longer.
That’s all for now, until the next time,