Last weekend my wife and I took a little trip to Cape May, NJ to just relax and recharge. Fortunately the superstorm from last week wasn’t as mean to the little town on the southern tip of the state and we had a nice visit. We happened across a nice little cigar shop in the Washington Street Mall, which is a three block long pedestrian mall a couple blocks off the beach. The store is called “Up In Smoke” and has a pretty good sized walk in humidor. The gentleman working there, Buddy, seemed to be knowledgeable and helpful, however the combination of New Jersey’s cigar tax, resort prices, and the absence of a place to smoke kept me from making my usual courtesy buy (and I tried to buy an issue of CigarPress magazine, but Buddy hooked me up). The Opus X Lancero priced at $100 wasn’t even tempting! I’m, admittedly, spoiled living in Pennsylvania and not having a cigar tax like most of the other states, but seeing cigars that retail around $4 at home priced at $10 scares me off. However, I had no problem paying $10 each for some beautiful, hand blown glass Christmas ornaments for our tree this year (as un-macho as that sounds!). These two ornaments spoke to me and I had to have them! I didn’t have a cigar on the trip, but it was still a really nice weekend away with my wife, we were able to relax and unwind.
Monday evening called for a walk and a smoke. I decided to give one of the NUb 464Ts that I got from the aforementioned Thompson’s auction to see how they were. I picked a maduro. I hadn’t had a NUb maduro, and it looked really good. I snipped a bit off the end and the draw was really easy, a good sign. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that cold weather really increases my desire for maduros, I think because they have such a strong flavor. Not that maduros are strong nicotine-wise, it’s just that a lighter, more delicate flavored cigar will get lost in the cold air. This NUb had a pretty potent dose of power right off the bat, but it mellowed out as it got warmed up and was a very entertaining smoke. One must take care smoking this shape as one wrong move and the cigar can shoot out of your mouth like a torpedo. I always thought is was called a torpedo due to the shape! Anyway, I think these need some more humidor time, but that probably won’t keep me from trying the other wrappers. These will be good on the other side of winter.
Tuesday evening I opted for a rare treat of a cigar that I like a great deal, which is a shame because I may not get to smoke many of these in the future. The regular production La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Tabaqueros have a Connecticut shade wrapper on the first couple inches of the cigar, followed by and Ecuador Sumatra wrapper. These are excellent cigars, but for special events they made some cigars that start out with the Sumatra wrapper and morph into a rich, dark Connecticut broadleaf wrapper that is just amazing. I came across a lonely little robusto version of this that I picked up at an event last December and fired it up. I have to say that I had endured a day of frustration, always happens when one dares take time off work. It was a day of catching up and putting out fires, and I needed the respite of a great smoke. It was also freezing cold! It had been the first “bike-worthy” day in nearly 2 weeks and I had to take the scooter to work. I found out the following: 23 degrees is too darned cold to spend 30 minutes outside driving to work. I wish the bike had a heater. Anyway, I digress. This cigar was awesome. Rich, earthy and full flavors that gave me a nice hour to settle down and return to normal. If you ever get to attend a La Gloria event, don’t just do it to get one of these awesome smokes, if you can hang out with Michael Giannini you will be doubly rewarded, because he’s a really cool guy who know his stuff.
I’m pleased to be able to say that the 12 Days of Spectacular Giveaways is coming along nicely. I’ve already got five of the days just about completed, with confirmations for another 6 of the days. If you thought last year’s contest series was spectacular, just wait until you see what’s in store this year! I don’t want to rush things, time goes by fast enough as it is, but I’m getting really excited about this! Mark December 12-24th on your calendars.
In other news, Smoke Inn announced today the release of the latest cigar in their “microblend” series, the Tatuaje Apocalypse. I got a press release, other’s have posted it, so just head over to http://www.tatuajeanarchy.com/ to see what it’s all about!
That’s all I got, until the next time,