Monday was the Independence Day Holiday, and my wife and my 29th wedding anniversary. I know, Independence Day, getting married….it’s a bit ironic, but we figured at least we’d always have the day off, and there would always be something somewhere to do. over the last 15 or so years I have made a point to smoke a Havana cigar as a form of celebration and of civil disobedience. I like to think the founding fathers would be pleased if they stopped rolling in their graves long enough to notice. Sometimes this works out great, other times it’s a disaster, and this time was somewhere in the middle. I’ve smoked some fantastic Montecristo No.2s over the last 20 years, and I’ve smoked some sucky ones. This one fell in the middle somewhere, as it was just a good cigar. I had been given this cigar last year, and I don’t know what the vintage was, so maybe I should have left it in the humidor for another four or five years. Most of the problem was with the draw, the flavor was good, although milder than I recall. It had the classic “twang” and a hint of citrus I expect from a Montecristo I could have dug a little further and found a Havana or two with sufficient age, but I was lazy, and the classic Monte 2 called out to me. After a great dinner out with my bride, I enjoyed the heck out of a Padron Anniversary Exclusivo Maduro that is the quintessential dessert cigar!
Later in the week I was moving humidors around and spied a La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Maduro Chisel. I assumed it was the maduro because I think by this point I know the difference, and the natural Air Bender is quite a bit lighter. This is a 6½” x 54 cigar with their patented (or is it trademarked, I’m not certain) Chisel shape, like a torpedo, but with a flattened head, not unlike a pipe mouthpiece. I’ve had success squeezing these to open them, but this time I tried a V-cut across the head. It looked pretty cool, but wasn’t giving me the draw I wanted, so I ended up lopping an eighth of an inch off to open it up a little. While the Air Bender isn’t quite as full-bodied as the Double Ligero line, it’s still a reasonable strong cigar, with rich flavor and a bit of a kick. La Flor Dominicana makes some awesome cigars, and this is one of them. They are almost always satisfying. the Air Bender uses a binder and fillers grown on their own farms in the Dominican Republic, and a very pretty, dark Habano wrapper. These are a treat every time I light one up.
Friday I wrapped up another week with a cigar I had some trepidation about. Las year I caught up with Robert Caldwell at a local shop and bought a handful of his cigars to try. I’ve enjoyed his Blind Man’s Bluff line, but I had so much trouble with the Long Live the King cigars that I was worried I’d have similar problems with The King is Dead. the Long Live the Kings I smoked had such construction problems that they just pissed me off, both because I hate it when a pricey cigar doesn’t work right, and I hate wasting my valuable smoking time fighting with a cigar. It’s just not relaxing for me to have a cigar that doesn’t work right. So I decided to try this the Caldwell King is Dead Diamond Girl, a 6 ½” x 42 pigtail cigar. The blend information provided on the website is exceptional, it’s listed as: Capa (that’s the wrapper): Negrito Dominicano – 2008, Banda (that would be the binder, sometimes called “capote”): Corojo Dominicano – 2006, Tripa (filler…think tripe, yuck): Corojo Ligero Dominicano 30% – 2006, Tripa: Negrito Viso Dominicano 20% – 2008 and Tripa: HVA 20/20 50% – 2010. I think Steve Saka is the only cigar maker who is more specific in his blend information. This cigar smoked great, with some wood and cocoa flavors and solidly medium bodied to me. I’m glad I finally smoked this one.
That’s it for now. As you can see, I still seem to be grabbing shaped cigars here and there, not sure what that’s all about, but I like torpedos and perfectos. Sunday I stopped by Holt’s in Center City Philadelphia and enjoyed a Fuente Hemingway Classic Sungrown, another pefecto. It was a fantastic cigar, and while I was there I had the pleasure of meeting and smoking with former Phillies player and broadcaster Gary Matthews, who I saw play countless times in my youth. He was a super nice guy, and apparently a regular visitor to the store. I would have figured him for just a regular patron if he hadn’t been wearing his huge World Series ring, with was hard to miss. I guess I should have gotten a picture with him, but he was such a “regular guy” it didn’t occur to me. Anyway, until the next time,