I’m off to a late start today, my apologies. I typically get up early on Sundays, but I had a late nap last night that kept me up in to the wee hours, then a migraine put me down for a few more hours. Not that anyone is likely siting around on a Sunday morning waiting me to post this nonsense. I selected another Crossfire cigar this week, this one was the San Andrés in a toro format. Sadly, I can find very little info on these new offerings, the card that was in the bag with the samples has background info and outdated pictures, and the website is behind the times as well. The only thing I can say is that this has a dark, Mexican San Andrés wrapper, at least that’s what the name on the band would imply. I tend to believe it, as this was a tasty smoke, although it started out a bit differently than I’m used to a San Andrés wrapped cigar starting. This cigar was nice, smooth and medium bodied, and I’m accustomed to a “dirtier” start. About halfway through the cigar I had to stop and remind myself I wasn’t smoking a Padrón of some sort, but it took some time to get to that point. Damn fine cigar, I think I’ll get to the one banded Arapiraca next, it looks tasty.
Friday evening I took a walk with a Toraño Exodus Robusto, the new iteration of the Exodus from General Cigar Co. Exodus has been around a long time. I can remember enjoying Toraño Exodus cigar in the early part of the 2000s, and especially enjoyed the Exodus 50 years which came out a few years back (was it ’09?). The new version has some interesting components. The wrapper is a lower priming Honduran leaf from the San Agustin Valley, reminding me of the CAO OSA Sol s little, although darker. The binder is Connecticut Broadleaf, and the filler blend is Mexican, Dominican and Honduran. There is a lot going on in the blend, and the cigar is quite nice. It’s got some nutty, leathery qualities and a bit of pepper. It was quite interesting. I haven’t had a chance to try the colorfully packaged Vault line yet, it shares the same easily-mistaken-for-another-brand bands and bright colors as this new Exodus. Good cigar despite the band, which would have been a brilliant idea if someone hadn’t come out with it a couple of years ago.
Yesterday I spent the morning putting insulation in our living room, an unpleasant job, but far less unpleasant than tearing down drywall (I am NOT looking forward to taking the ceiling down…). After getting cleaned up from that, and getting everything back in place, I sat down with another cigar from the IPCPR show, the Cordoba & Morales Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca robusto. This was a great looking little box pressed robusto, with a dark San Andrés wrapper (another one! Yay!). I wasn’t expecting this to be as strong as it was, perhaps the “white label” name associates with mild to me, I don’t know, but it was a strong cigar for a before dinner cigar. No bother, I loved this cigar. It had a great black coffee kind of flavor, which I love, and it really hit my palate the right way. Great box press, and a wonderful little cigar. Besides the Mexican wrapper, the rest of the cigar is Nicaraguan, with Jalapa, Esteli and Ometepe represented in the blend.
After dinner yesterday I just had to try the new Hoyo La Amistad, another IPCPR show sample. This is another interesting new offering from General Cigar, and another collaboration with AJ Fernandez. Hoyo was traditionally a Honduran cigar, this one is made in Nicaragua. The wrapper is Ecuadoran Habano, binder is a Nicaraguan leaf cultivated by AJ Fernandez in Esteli. The filler blend features tobacco from Esteli, Ometepe, Condega and Jalapa. A pre-light sniff of the 5″ x 54 robusto had that distinctive “barnyard” aroma, and the flavors were very unique and interesting. This was another cigar I really enjoyed, it had some “bright” flavors and was almost full bodied. It did have some dried fruit sweetness and a little spice. This is a winner cigar for me, It’s different from what I usually like, but very tasty. If you’re wondering why there were a couple of collaborations with General Cigar and AJ Fernandez this year, think about who AJ Fernandez has been making a ton of cigar for over the last few years, Cigars International, right? Now, think of who owns Cigar International, Swedish Match/Scandinavian Tobacco, which also happens to be the parent company of General Cigar. Its more complicated than that, but you get the jist. It doesn’t hurt that Abdel Fernandez grew up near the Hoyo de Monterrey farm in Cuba, so he has that connection to the brand. So far, out of the new releases from General Cigar this year, I haven’t found one I don’t like yet, Foundry Time files is a winner, Partagas Ramon y Ramon is a winner, and the Toraño Exodus and Hoyo La Amistad are also winners.
That’s plenty from me today, until the next time,