I’m having some palate issues lately. I don’t know if it’s a low-grade head cold that is barely there, or what. I take that into account on the cigars I’ve smoked this week, nothing has been really satisfying or quite right. I should just not even talk about cigars, but it’s Sunday and I don’t have anything else to do! My first clue was a Duran Signature robusto. I first chalked it up to thinking this just might not be a cold weather cigar. Jack Toraño dropped a challenge on Facebook the other night, offering some prizes which I respectfully asked not to be included, I don’t like entering contests, I like having them! I get enough goodies anyway, I prefer to let other people have the chance. Anyway, he wanted a picture of folks with their dogs, I have one of those. Extra points if you were in the snow, got snow, and additional credit if you’re smoking a cigar, I do that every night. So I grabbed my last Duran. I was going to go for the kill and get a picture of me and Macha, in the snow, smoking a Naya F8 Big Jack, the 7″ x 70 in their line named after Jack, but it was cold and I wasn’t wiling to commit three hours to a cigar just then…that’s an obscenely large cigar. I’ll smoke it one day when it’s warm and I have no place to be for a few hours. Anyway, I enjoyed the cigar, but there was something just not there with the flavor. Granted, this is a refined, complex and delicate blend, and smoking it in the cold sometimes isn’t conducive to the proper enjoyment of such a cigar, but this was the first hint that something was off.
So, not wanting to believe I was getting a cold, or that anything was out of the ordinary, I succumbed to the temptation to sample the recently received Henry Clay Stalk Cut. I also can’t help to compare it to the Henry Clay Tattoo, which was a collaboration between Altadis’ Groupo de Maestros and Pete Johnson, and was a very good cigar that was limited, sold out at the trade show last summer, and I wish I had bought more of. I posted info on this cigar last week, and I didn’t find the wrapper to be as much “a dark Connecticut Broadleaf Vintage 2012 wrapper” as much as a chocolate-brown wrapper. While I really enjoyed this cigar, and look forward to revisiting it in the near future, I found it milder than I expected too. Neither of these are a bad thing, it was a great tasting (taking into account my afore-mentioned palate irregularity) and performed flawlessly. I will let the other samples I have rest for a while and see if they match up with my pre-conceived notion of what this cigar should taste like, not that it should taste like what I think it should taste like at all, I just think that if a brand has a certain profile, that should be taken into account with subsequent releases. I don’t imagine this was supposed to be a mild cigar and blame my palate for that. That was a lot of words to say nothing…
Yesterday I took an uncharacteristically early walk with a San Lotano Requiem Connecticut Lancero which was a trade show sample. Since it was before lunch, I wanted something which I perceived would be on the milder side, and this lancero jumped out at me. This is a 7″ x 38 lancero with a pigtail cap, very pretty and traditional. The wrapper is a Equador Connecticut shade with Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan, Honduran and AJ Fernandez proprietary leaf. This is a the cigar that really made me pain fully aware that something’s wrong with my palate. This was very bitter-tasting, off-puttingly so. I kept inspecting the head of the cigar to see if there was tar oozing from it, but there was not. Except for the bitter flavor it was a really enjoyable cigar to smoke (I know, weird, right?). The burn and draw were great and I smoked it well beyond the band (because I’m an optimist). I have a lot of lanceros, and I’m always amazed at the skill it takes to roll this cigar to make it work right. I look forward to smoking this again on a warm day, with a properly functioning palate. I think this was a great smoke that I wasn’t physically able to appreciate.
So, in a last-ditch effort to see if it actually is my palate that’s off, I went with a cigar that I’ve smoked a bunch of and I feel like I’m familiar with. The Six Zero Robolo is a BestCigarPrices.com exclusive that’s made at Tabacalera Palma in the Dominican Republic, the same factory responsible for Aging Room, Señorial and so many other great cigars. This is a San Andres wrapped 4½” x 60 cigar that is generally loaded with rich, espresso flavors that hit me right. While this had a great flavor, it was a bit muted, confirming that I’m just not tasting things right. I have a few review samples I’m sitting on that I was going to smoke for Wednesday’s post, but I think I[‘m going to wait a bit. I really hate it when this happens. Anyway, I dig the Six Zero, and the Robolo size is a bit of a guilty pleasure, it just works for me, what can I say. I always said I liked the Nub cigars, but wished they were longer. This one is a little longer and it’s just about right for me. I know, I’m weird.
That’s a whole lotta nuthin from me for today, until the next time,