After yet another disappointing Flyers loss Thursday night, we stopped into the cigar bar and I lit up a little box pressed torpedo that Mitchell Orchant of C.Gars Ltd gave me to try at the IPCPR show last year. This was the Inka Secret Blend Rojo Figurado, which is a 4″ x 52 little torpedo that is a Peruvian Puro. I gave this cigar a clip with the V-cutter, which is a little weird on a torpedo, but it works. This is an incredible little smoke, it’s a medium to full bodied cigar with a terrific flavor akin to something with a Habano wrapper. I wasn’t too surprised, knowing that Mitchell had a hand in the blend, and that he survives on a steady diet of Havana cigars. I’ve enjoyed the heck out of the Inkas I’ve smoked, and am looking forward to trying something in the Azul line too. It’s unfortunate that these have UK pricing, I would happily drop $4 or $5 on this little guy, but $8 is a bit steep. Great smokes that are worth trying if you have the chance!
Friday evening’s walk featured a Four Kicks Corona Gorda that I had purchased a few months ago when I visited a shop, and I cannot remember which shop it was. I’m late to the party on this one, I admit, I figured it was time to give it a go and see what the hubbub was all about. I trust most readers are familiar with this initial release from Crowned Heads, made up of the folks formerly of CAO, and blended by Ernesto Carillo in his factory in the DR. This is one of my favorite cigar sizes, 5-5/8” x 46, and I have to admit that my expectations were high. It was a nice smoke, very enjoyable, but didn’t blow me away. Maybe it’s just not my particular cup of tea from the start, but as it progressed it grew on me and by the time I was done I was pretty pleased (with the smoke, not that I was done!). I was recently gifted a robusto by Alex the StogieCop, so I look forward to sampling that size, and I think I still have a Headley Grange with about 9 months of humidor time on it that will be interesting to revisit. Gotta give the guys at Crowned Heads credit for getting back in the game with some good smokes.
Saturday I decided would be Italian day, and I’ll tell you why. I’ve been hearing about fire cured Kentucky leaf here and there. It’s apparently featuring prominently in one of Sam Leccia‘s new blends, as well as a new My Uzi Weighs a Ton from Joya De Nicaragua/Subculture Studios. When I hear fire cured Kentucky tobacco my first thought is the Italian Toscano style cigars (that sounds odd, but it’s true). Back in 2000 my wife travelled to Italy and brought me back some Antico Toscano cigars that I enjoyed. These cheroots can be cut in half for 2 short smokes, or smoked all at once. I received a 5 pack of Toscano Classico and a 5 pack of Toscanello Aroma Caffé from the folks at Italiansmokes.com, along with a discount code for you guys to use on their site (CIGCRAIG10). I lit up a Toscanello after running some errands, and was outside vacuuming out the car. I was surprised by this little cigar, I expected an overpowering and cloying coffee flavor, but it was very subtle. These are strong, but very pleasant little smokes that are certainly quite durable. I probably spent 45 minutes with this little guy. I can see keeping these around for a nice, short smoke. After a nap (during another losing Flyers game), I took a walk with a Toscano Classico. I chose the Intero method of smoking this, which is smoking it all at once instead of cutting it in half. Again, I was very surprised by the flavor of this cigar. It’s a distinctive flavor that one doesn’t get in a premium, Caribbean/Central American cigar. I would say these are strong, but not harsh. Certainly cutting one of these in half and either sharing it or saving half for later is an option that is perfectly acceptable and may even make a bit of difference in the flavor. An added benefit to this style of cigar is that you will look cool smoking them, like Clint Eastwood in a spaghetti western! Thanks to Cedric at ItalianSmokes.com for sending these along.
This contest has been a bit longer than usual, but I think it’s worth it. The prize is spectacular in my opinion and someone is going to be very pleased I’m sure. Once again, my thanks go to Scott at Iconic Leaf, along with his wife Kelly and JR Dominguez and everyone involved. They are making excellent boutique smokes and I can’t express enough how much I enjoy them. They have a bunch of neat sizes and shapes and are magnificently constructed. Thanks to everyone for entering and answering the question “What do you know about Recluse Cigars?” and thanks to Scott for jumping in and answering some of the questions along the way. I’m still waiting for an answer about 2 Guys shipping to CA, so sit tight. Once again I’ve numbered all of the entries, taking out my comments as well as Scott’s and any duplicates and consulted the Random Number Generator at Random.org. I entered the number 47 and it returned number 20, which corresponds to Steven Miller, who needs to send me his address so I can ship this lovely box to him! Stay tuned for next month’s contest which may have something to do with Drew Estate since I’ll be visiting there in the next few weeks.
One more thing:
This comes from Matt Pera regarding the Midwest Smokeout:
You can expect one of the biggest and best cigar shows in the U.S. People travel from all over the world to attend this event. We expect nearly every state to be represented, along with at least four foreign countries. We will have legends from the cigar industry in attendance, including Carlito Fuentes, Tony Gomez, Lou Rodriguez, Victor Vitale and Clay Roberts. A ticket to the Midwest Smoke Out includes 14 of the world’s finest cigars, premium tastings of first-class wine, beer and spirits, gourmet food, live entertainment, and a few surprises along the way.
The event is not just for smokers. We have found that people who do not partake in cigars still want to attend the Midwest Smoke Out to get in on fun. For these people, we are offering a $95 ticket that does not include the 14 premium cigars.
We launched the Midwest Smoke Out in 2010 because we saw a glaring need in the Chicago area for an event that allowed cigar lovers to light up and mingle. Anti-smoking legislation in Chicago has made it more difficult to find places where you can enjoy a good cigar and good company. Our event fills that void and has really become an occasion that people look forward to all year.
Every year we add new features to improve on our success. We have new cigars, new spirits, and fresh entertainment. We are also really engaging people via social media this year. During this final month leading up to the Midwest Smoke Out, we are offering weekly contests on Facebook and Twitter that give people a chance to win free tickets to the event.
When you walk into the Midwest Smoke Out, you know that you are attending a lavish affair. The sweet smell of cigar smoke hangs in the air, live music plays in the background, friends are sharing laughs while enjoying top-shelf drinks – whiskey, gin, craft beer, vodka, tequila, wine, you name it – and mingling with some of the most beautiful women in the Midwest. Booths are set up throughout The Venue at Horseshoe Casino, where vendors offer gourmet food, premium cigars, fine cocktails and more. Luxury cars are situated at various sites on the event floor to be admired. This is a place where people are encouraged to relax. It is a time to unwind, forget the stress of daily life, and just have fun.
While cigars are a highlight of the night, we are very proud to offer a variety of fantastic items for people to enjoy. That includes the best in wine, liquor and beer, mouthwatering gourmet food, the chance to meet some of the most influential people working in the cigar business, exceptional entertainment and much more. We work hard to make sure people who attend the Midwest Smoke Out are spoiled from start to finish.
Visit www.MidwestSmokeOut.com for all the details and let me know if you go and how it is. I’d be happy to post a guest review of the event here.
Until the next time,