We’re getting into my least favorite time of year, autumn. People can argue with me all they want, but I don’t like the cool crisp fall days and the leaves turning. Summer is too short, at least it goes by too fast, I’m not a big fan of winter, but at least you know spring is coming, Autumn gets me down. The only upside is that it’s not quite as cold on the cigar porch as winter is, so that’s something. I still prefer sweating over shivering. Anyway, the seasons don’t much effect my consumption, I might smoke more robustos and coronas in the winter, but I always like my evening cigar, and the cooler weather has always made me want more maduros. I smoked a couple this week that didn’t taste too maduro to me, not that they were bad cigars, just not what I expected. First was a Bobalu Box Pressed Maduro toro with a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper. As you know I’ve been working my way through some cigars I purchased from this US-based factory located in Austin, Texas. So far I’ve found the construction has been pretty darned good in all the cigars I’ve smoked from them and the service has been excellent. While this maduro wasn’t what I expected it to be, it was better in that it surprised me with some interesting flavors. The box press is very square, making the 52 ring gauge feel much smaller, it was very comfortable. Besides the Mata Fina wrapper, the rest of the cigar is aged Piloto Cubano (Dom Rep.) Ligero, Nicaragua Viso, Olor Viso (Dom. Rep.) Nicaraguan Ligero and Habana seed (Dom. Rep.)ligero. Considering the three Ligeros in the blend I found this to be medium in strength at best. I’m liking the offerings of this cigar factory, once again, it’s on my list of places to visit.
Thursday was some kind of coffee appreciation day, our regionally popular convenience store chain, Wawa, was giving away their coffee, so I figured it was a good excuse to smoke the Drew Estate Tabak Especial Negra Box Pressed toro, an Exclusivamente Drew Estate Lounge cigar. Drew Estate has several lounges, one at the Wooden Indian that I frequent, so they made a series of box pressed toros just for sale at those lounges. I want to say that they were originally just for the Drew Estate lounge at Corona Cigars in Orlando, but I think they’ve filtered out to the others. Two of the offerings are the Tabak Especial in the Negra (maduro) and Dulce (Connecticut). Of course, I chose the Negra, and I’ve occasionally enjoyed these coffee infused cigars over the past six or seven years, truth be told, I really like them. They have a sweet cap (something I could take or leave), and the coffee flavor that I really like in a cigar is there in abundance. What more can I say about this cigar but that it’s a good smoke with a sweet coffee flavor. I don’t like too many infused cigars, but I’ll smoke these all day long.
Friday’s treat was a cigar that I smoked on the IPCPR show floor (one of the few), and was really impressed with. New from Quesada Cigars this year is the Fonseca Nicaragua, made in Esteli by the Placencia factory with Nicaraguan tobacco from Ometepe, Jalapa and Esteli. This is a very reasonably priced cigar to start with, in the $6-7 range, and is really quite tasty. It’s got a nice spice and some good coffee/cocoa flavors. This actually made a Robb Report piece in early August of the five Nicaraguan cigars you have to smoke. While I don’t necessarily agree with all five I think this new Fonseca is a must try. I was impressed at the show, and I am impressed at home. It’s a yummy smoke.
Finally, yesterday I was looking through the dwindling supply of trade show samples that I consider interesting, and I came across a sampler from Crossfire Cigars. These guys have an interesting story, and do a lot of good things in the Dominican Republic with the proceeds of the brand’s sales. I should probably keep this to myself, but I have a cynical opinion when it comes to “faith-based” charities, I think doing good for the sake of doing good is the thing to do, which I always hope is the case. I guess some things feel like “I’ll do something good for you if you follow my way of thinking”. I could devote an entire site to this discussion, but if I were to start another site it would center around something way more entertaining than my religious opinions. Bottom line, there’s nothing wrong with helping people less fortunate, which is what this cigar is based around, and as long as they keep making good cigars, I’ll promote their brand. Off of my soapbox, let’s get back to the cigar. I really appreciate the new bands on these which actually say what the cigar line is, rather than their old bands that had a secondary band. I selected the Crossfire Maduro first, in the 6″ x 60 Magnum size. This was another maduro that was not a typical maduro. The Ecuador Habano sun grown wrapper was not very dark, but it did look like an Ecuador Habano sun grown, which is probably too much to put on the band. The smoke was smooth as silk and seemed like a very mild cigar to me, but it did build up in strength near the end. It has a bit of that sourdough bready flavor I get once in a while, which I find interesting. Binder and filler are Dominican, which I suppose explains the mildness a bit. This was a really nice smoke, I look forward to trying the other four varieties, especially the San Andrés.
That’s all I have for now, in fact, I’ve probably said too much. Until the next time,