Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful spring day, so, after cleaning up some more of the tree limbs from one of the winter’s ice storms, I dusted off he scooter and took it for a spin. Now, when I say scooter, I actually mean scooter. I have a 400cc Yamaha Majesty because I’m a geek, what can I say. It’s big enough to go on the highway and gets 65 mpg. Loads of fun. Anyway, I took a ride out to Lancaster, PA to visit D&S Cigar Lounge. I had met Shaun, the owner, at the 2011 IPCPR show and have been meaning to get out there since. This is a really nice shop in a strip mall outside of downtown Lancaster, and features cabinet humidors lining the walls in the front of he store, and a very well appointed 1502 Lounge in the back with a bar, TVs, and plenty of leather chairs. The lounge was pretty populated for the first really nice Saturday in a while. I hung out in the front of the shop with Shaun. Their selection is very good, with a nice variety of boutiques and mainstream brands, priced well.
They were having a Fratello Cigars event, and Omar de Frias was there too. I met Omar at the trade show last year where he was the talk of the town. Imagine a really tall dude, born in the Dominican Republic, works for NASA in DC, makes a brilliant cigar in Nicaragua, and manages to have store events too. This is a hard working dude, and really a super nice guy. I bought a handful of toros and robustos and proceeded to fire up the 6½ x 52 toro. A little part of me is regretting not picking up some of the 6″x60s too, as these are really tasty smoked. They have a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper with a Ecuador Sumatra binder, and the filler is a blend of Nicaraguan and Peruvian tobaccos, and all this works really great together. These are manufactured in one of my favorite factories, but I’m not allowed to say which one. Omar also said that they are working on a box pressed torpedo in this line, and hinted at working on either a Brazilian or San Andrés wrapped sequel. I am excited to try both, they sound yummy. The toro started out with some spice, and smoothed out in the middle, with some spice coming back at the end. I smoked this one to a finger burning nub and enjoyed every last puff. I gave it a V cut which worked quite well.
The 40 mile ride home was uneventful, and I decided to smoke the robusto on my evening walk (I had a delicious dinner of Chicken Parmesan my wife made that I had to walk off!) I thought the robusto was a little spicier than the toro, which is OK, and obviously the stretch in the middle where it smooths out is shorter. I like that it’s a little bit longer than a standard robusto, it’s 5½ x 52. These are really tasty cigars, if you see them, grab one, and if you don’t, ask your tobacconist to get them! Omar tells me he’s in 100 stores now, which is a heck of a deal for a small manufacturer. I’m happy I got a chance to catch up with Omar and finally pay a visit to Shaun at D & S Cigar Lounge in Lancaster. Here’s the video of Omar from the IPCPR show last July:
I work with a guy who collects bottles, and he brought this turn of the century bottle for me to take a picture of to share with you all. It’s hand blown, and the detail is really incredible. He suspects it was a way to get a nip secretly, back when it was far more acceptable to smoke in public than to drink! Now you’d sooner be vilified for even looking like you’re smoking than having a drink! Support Cigar Rights of America!
I don’t want to forget to mention that in between doing all that yard clean-up and heading to a cigar event, I also appeared on the “Blogger’s Corner” segment of Kiss My Ash Radio yesterday. I don’t think Abe (the host, and owner of the Smoke Inn stores in Florida) is very happy with me for reviewing a cigar that’s virtually impossible to buy any more. I’ll have to prepare better in the unlikely event I’m invited back 🙂 . Anyway, if you don’t already listen, check out the podcast version, if you can’t listen live Saturday mornings. I look forward to hearing what my bud Eddie Ortega had to say on the show, he was the guest in the “Meet Your Maker” segment and was there in the studio.
That’s it for now! Until the next time,