In the past few weeks I’ve been approached by a few retailers asking me to “review” products for them. This is something fairly new to me, but of course retailers are as much a part of the cigar industry as manufacturers, one couldn’t exist long without the other! I figure I’ll do a quick series of posts highlighting these retailers and the products they shared with me. Unless otherwise noted, all I receive from these companies are a couple sample cigars. I’ll only accept these kind of offers from companies who I have patronized myself, and feel comfortable recommending. My hope is that fostering relationships such as this leads to possible contests so that I can get goodies into the hands of my faithful readers. Enough of the disclaimers and altruistic mumbo-jumbo!
I received an e-mail from Sheryl at Stogieboys.com offering to send me some samples for review. I became familiar with Stogieboys.com a few years agoe when they offered a Groupon which I purchased and subsequently turned into a box of Hoyo de Monterrey Sabroso Maduro, a really nice short smoke that I enjoy quite a bit. I talked to Paul, one of the owners on the phone and via e-mail and even featured a discount code here for a while. Anyway, they sent me a couple Cuban Bullet toro maduro cigars to smoke. I can remember the Perdomo releasing the original version of this in the late ‘90s or early ‘00s in torpedo shapes and the cigars were mixed filler and very well priced. These cigars have “Version 2.0” on the bands. The first thing I noticed and questioned was that the two cigars they sent had noticeably different wrapper colors. One of the ways that manufacturers can offer a good cigar at a low price is to cut out costly steps in the manufacturing process, like color sorting. I haven’t had one of these in 10 years or so, and I found this to be a very nice smoke. The smoke was reasonably heavy and it burned and drew perfectly. I have had plenty of cigars that cost twice as much or more that didn’t burn as well as this one. It was a really enjoyable smoke all the way to the end, when I put it down with under an inch left. There was a little bit of a burnt taste off the light, but it smoothed out quickly. That may have been a result of a hasty light.
With the second, lighter colored sample I took a little more care in lighting. This cigar had a little bit tighter draw than the first, resulting in a bit less of the full flavor and strength of the first. It was still very nice and was a pleasant and relaxing experience. I suppose this is another concession made to keep prices down, less consistency. If I hadn’t enjoyed the first one so much I wouldn’t have had high expectations for the second, but I was looking for a repeat performance and I got a bit of a different cigar, which I kind of anticipated given the color difference of the wrapper. I took my usual pictures of each cigar, but inadvertently deleted them and had to settle for stock photos. Pissed me off, but nothing I can do about it! Anyway, this is a nice smoke that is very well priced. I honestly couldn’t tell if it was mixed filler or long filler. A nice, inexpensive smoke from Perdomo that I’ll pick up from time to time.
Yesterday afternoon I sat down on the patio in the nice, warm October sunshine and enjoyed a Tortuga 215 Edición Limitada 2011 Torpedo. This is a really nice Nicaraguan and Dominican blend made by Victor Vitale in the Dominican Republic. It’s a super smooth yet full flavored cigar with outstanding construction. I smoked this while catching up with the audio portion of Stogie411 and soaking up some fall sunshine. The Tortuga line consists of this Habano (I think) wrapped cigar, a Connecticut 1948 and a Maduro 1950, all of which are outstanding examples of the roller and blenders arts, with the Maduro being my absolute favorite. Delicious cigars that are, unfortunately, not widely available. Thank you to Victor for sharing these with me and congrats on your recent nuptials!
The November issue of National Geographic arrived yesterday featuring a map of Cuba on the cover with the caption “On the Edge Of Change”. I’ll be interested to read this article to see what it’s about. Also in the news, there are rumors once again that Castro has had a stroke and is on death’s door (article here). Certainly rumors of Castro’s death have popped up many times, and how long will Fidel be dead before the Cuban government admits it? In some real news, StogieReview reports the impending opening of another Cigars International Super Store in Hamburg, PA (an hour north of my location), right next to Cabellas, which could mean a testosterone filled field trip for many of us.
That’s enough for now, it’s another beautiful day in SE PA, I may have to smoke a cigar sometime today!!