I mixed it up a little this week. I had determined that whatever was up with my tasters last week had passed, hence the Bugatti post, so I pushed forward. My methodology for determining this, not that you asked, was to smoke familiar cigars for a few days. Fairly straight forward, and it also lets me enjoy some favorites, like a Nica Rustica, La Sirena and BCP’s SixZero Robolo. So I grabbed a My Father Cigars El Centurian Robusto, which is 5¾” x 50, which is a bit long for a rubusto, but I’m OK with that. The blend, from what I can tell, is a sungrown Criollo 99 wrapper, with Nicaraguan fillers of four varietals, Criollo, Corojo Habano, and Sancti Spiritus. I typically don’t care for Criollo 99, there’s just something about it that I don’t get excited about. While I think the El Centurian is a good cigar, it certainly performed well, was well constructed and didn’t have an objectionable flavor, it just isn’t one of the cigars that I might reach for again. Nothing wrong with it, just not in my wheel house, it’s a shame because I really like the presentation and want to like it. I never had the pleasure of smoking the original blend of this cigar.
Yesterday I met up with Mike C., who, along with his daughter, are producing WineadorArt, and we visited Cigar Brothers Cigars in Berwyn, PA. There’s a couple of things I like about this shop, one of the brother’s who owns the place is named Craig, nothing not to like there, right? It’s in an old house, with the store on the lower level and the lounge in the upstairs rooms, of which there are two. Hanging out there is basically like being at home and being able to smoke and watch TV, it’s small enough for intimate conversation with out interuptions or distractions. The weakness is the lack of a large space for events, and, my opinion, maintaining proper storage conditions in the store area, which is one large humidified space. We bought some cigars and went upstairs to smoke. I started with an E.P. Carillo New Wave Reserva Connecticut Belicoso D’Oro. This cigar is 5.7″ x 52 with a well-formed torpedo head. It’s got an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper, Connecticut Broadleaf Binder, and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. I enjoyed this cigar, but I was expecting something a little more Connecticut Shade, if that makes sense. The wrapper was darker than I expected, which intrigued me and lead to the purchase. It burned well, and was tasty enough, just fairly un-unique to me. It was a great cigar to just sit and smoke during conversation without having to think about it. I bought a couple more which I’ll leave in the humidor for a while and revisit. I then moved on to the Undercrown Shade in a toro size. Cigar Brothers had these very reasonably priced and I like them well enough to want to keep some on hand, so I added to the inventory I had at home. While this cigar smoke fairly well, I got the sense that it was not quite as dry as I prefer, going back to what I mentioned about the challenges of having your store be a humidor. I might have had better luck than Mike since the cigars I chose had thinner wrappers, and his selections for the day had thicker wrappers that suck up more humidity. Picking your spot in the shop to buy cigars you plan to smoke there I think is key, and take the ones in the area closer to the humidifiers home to leave in your humidor for a while. I hate to criticize, because I love everything else about the shop (especially Craig’s dogs, who visit from time to time), but having a over-moist cigar be a disappointment in a great environment is a bummer.
Since I had already smoked two cigars while out, when I got home and took Macha for her walk, I went small, with a Viva Republica Advanced Warefare Petite. This 4″ x 41 little guy packs a punch, it’s a peppy little cigar! It’s made at La Aurora in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, with Dominican, Nicaraguan and Pennsylvanian leaf in the filler blend. Jason Holly, the brand owner, is a Pennsylvania guy and works for Miami Cigar and Co. as a brand ambassador, among other things. So this was a perfect smoke for the half-hour or so it took Macha and I to make our mile-plus walk. Burn was perfect, it was quite satisfying for a short smoke and it fit the situation well. It’s a great cold weather cigar because it’s loaded with flavor, although it’s tough handling small cigar with gloves.
The folks at Bobalu Cigars in Austin, TX have this clever test on their site. Here’s a link, or you can take it right here if whatever you’re reading on supports the embedded page. I thought it was very challenging and well done. Tell you what, I’ll send a 5-pack to the first person to match my score, take a screenshot of your score and post it in the comments or if you can’t do that be prepared to e-mail it as proof. Deadline for entry is Next Sunday, Feb. 14. Good luck!
That’s enough from me for now, until the next time,