Wow, it’s been a while since I put a real post together. As much work as it is putting the contest series together, it’s almost easier than droning on about this cigar and that accessory. But it’s fun, I can’t _not_ go on about cigars and their accouterments. It’s gotta come out somewhere, this is the logical place! I’ve smoked a bunch of cigars over the past weeks. It’s a little bit liberating to just be able to smoke whatever the heck I want without having to really write something about it. I revisited some old friends that I wouldn’t want to bore you with again, and took a few nights off here and there. What follows are some new to me cigars that I found interesting, along with a couple new products that I’m evaluating.
One day around Christmas I enjoyed an Oliva Masterblend 3, they mysteriously call it a Dbl Robusto, but it’s 5″ x 50, which puts it squarely in the Robusto category in my book. This cigar had an almost oval box press, which I only have really seen on the San Lotano Oval. It had a perfect burn with a nice, flat ember that I really appreciate. It gave me great flavor that left me wishing this IPCPR sample had been a Churchill. The website describes it this way: “Liga Maestra is specifically blended to deliver the richest characteristics of Nicaraguan ligero fillers and Broadleaf sun-grown wrappers. It is a complex cigar crafted for the most developed palate.” I liked it.
I also came across an old Arturo Fuente Don Carlos No.4 that a friend had sent me many moons ago. This is a corona sized cigar with a torpedo style head. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if it’s been a decade since I sampled from this line, but there was a time when the Don Carlos Robusto was my favorite cigar, along with the Hemingway Signature. It’s a cigar that I associate with a some great memories. This one was well aged and tasty. The Cameroon wrapper is flawless and it has that signature flavor that you only get from a well aged Cameroon cigar. It was very nice Christmas Day smoke.
A few days before Christmas I took delivery on a new humidor from HumidorDiscount.com. They offered to allow me to evaluate their newest Adorini humidor, the Carrera Grande Deluxe in black laquer. This is a huge 150 count humidor with a tray, humidifier and hygrometer. I have been really impressed with the Cedro Deluxe humidor from Adorini and this new Cerrera is built just as well. The walls are a good one inch thick and it’s solid as a rock. The lid closes with a nice, soft “whoosh”. It has the same magnetic plate hidden in the lid so the humidifier and hygrometer can be positioned however you like. I’m a little CDO, so I have then centered nicely. This one also has the same ventilation ribs in the Spanish Cedar lining that accept dividers, and it also came with the label clips if you have that need. I suppose these would be handy for unbanded cigars or to record dates, I’m lazy, I just dumped a few boxes worth of cigars in after a generous seasoning period. I haven’t decided on a theme for this one yet. I think it’s going to be for cigars that I plan to feature here, but I feature most everything here anyway, don’t I? Of course, this came a great time, as I had just mentioned the need to finally break down and get a 100+ quart cooler. This beauty will eliminate that “need” for the time being. I’ll periodically mention how this humidor is performing, so far I’ve been impressed. I need check on the hygrometers though, in both this one and the Cedro, as they were a little off of the digital. I had them all in the humidor with a tray of water for a few days and there was about a 5 point swing between the four. I don’t suppose that’s too bad.
I used another product I was sent to evaluate, the Elertus Smart Sensor, while setting up the new humidor. I mentioned this in a post a couple weeks ago (here). This is an impressive little gizmo and I’ll be sad to send this back. It connects to your home WiFi router and you can download apps for iPad/Phone/Pod or Android device to monitor several different things. I get text messages on my dumb phone when there is physical movement or the temperature or humidity deviated from my pre-selected guidelines. I can also check in on the website or the Apps to see what the temp and humidity are in real time. There’s sensor I could attach to tell me if the lid was opened, but I didn’t feel a need for that. This was the fourth humidity reading device I had in the new humidor while it was getting ready and it seemed to read about in the middle of the digital (which was on the low side) and the analog units. Point is, it seems to work well in humidors from what I can tell.
Friday afternoon my wife an I needed a relaxing day out of the house, so we ventured to Cigar Mojo in nearby King of Prussia to smoke some cigars and relax in their comfy leather chairs. Jenn wanted to get some reading done, so we parked in the seating area in the front of the store as opposed to going in the lounge with the TVs. There was a pretty good crowd in the lounge for a place that’s only been open for six weeks. I bought some cigars and lit up an Illusione Rothchildes. I had actually asked Trae a few weeks ago if he was getting these in because I wanted to try them. He ordered them on the spot and got them in. He should have no problem moving these well priced and exceptionally good smokes. I will smoke more of these without hesitation. The size is great at 4½ x 50 and the San Andrés wrapper while not as pungent as I expect, was delicious. For $4 and change this is a must try cigar.
After the Illusione I lit up an Aging Room M356 Rondo. This is a 5″ x 50 robusto that is the little brother of the No. 2 Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year. I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about. This was a good tasting cigar that I had some trouble keeping lit. I found this to be an overly strong cigar, but it was subtle, it snuck up! I had to stop for a Coke on the way home. Yeah, it was bad…but the cigar was tasty, and I have another one resting in the humidor that I’ll leave along for a while and try again when I work up the courage! I have a Quatro Fortissimo from the IPCPR show that I still have to get around to. I told Rafael Nodal Jr. it was too pretty to smoke in it’s little coffin box when he handed it to me, so he broke the seal on the box so I’d have to smoke it. It still looks too nice to smoke! I’ll get to it though, maybe it’ll help if I take it out of the coffin and put it on the top tray of the new humidor. We had a great afternoon hanging out at Cigar Mojo, talking to Alan Price, who has been helping out in the shop, and Trae, one of the owners. Certainly a great new shop in the Philly area that must be visited.
One other thing, real quick. If the winners of the 12 Days of Cigar Giveaways that already haven’t can confirm that they’ve received their goodies in the comments, I’d appreciate it! I want to make sure everyone is happy! Many thanks again for everyone for making it such a success!
That’s it for now, until the next time,