First a little rant, then we;ll get on to some cigars and contest winners. This week it was reported that the city of Philadelphia proposed a tax on cigars and “other tobacco products” to help fund the schools. They apparently already levied a tax on cigarettes recently for the same reason and now they are going after the rest. What they don’t understand is that this tax will either close, or drive out many cigar shops (Holts has a large presence in Philadelphia), taking business and payroll taxes out of the city, and even if there are cigar stores left, people will make a short trip to the surrounding suburbs to shop. The city will not only fail to collect the taxes they want for the schools, but they will lose the other taxes. Once again, short sighted government actions hurt many and benefit nobody. This was reported on The Cigar Authority where you can read the full text of the proposal.
Sunday, after breaking my back once again doing yard work at the new house, I took a nice, long walk with a Gurkha Xtreme XO, the 6″ x 60 size. Obviously this is a new cigar in Gurkha’s core line, as there is no blend information on their website. I saw Bianca, Gurkha’s Marketing Manager, three times over the last few months, and she gave me this cigar on one of those occasions. I actually can’t recall which. It had been in my humidor for a few months so I figured it was time to dig it out. As with all the cigars I smoked this week, I used the Screwpop punch which gave me an acceptable draw. I expected a powerhouse cigar, based on the name. The cold draw and aroma off the wrapper was like freshly tanned leather. It wasn’t anywhere near as strong as I expected, it was solidly medium and had a consistent leathery flavor all the way through. It was a really nice cigar, but I had hoped it was a bit stronger.
Monday I grabbed a Rocky Patel Platinum which I got back at Cigar Mojo‘s Anniversary/Halloween event. This box pressed robusto was a very nice cigar. This had a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with a San Andrés binder and fillers from Esteli and Condega. I knew there was some reason I liked this cigar! The combination of Broadleaf and San Andrés gave it a nice, sweet and earthy flavor. I was quite happy with this cigar, and it burned very nice. I have to keep an eye out for more of these, it was the free cigar with a purchase of four RP cigars, so I have no concept of what the Platimum costs. I will say that it was well worth what I paid for it!
Tuesday evening I had my mind set on smoking something strong, dark and familiar, but at the last minute I came across a cigar that David Blanco gave me when I saw him at The Smokin’ Goose festival in September. The Primos Estate Selection Habano Criollo Rosado in the toro size, 6″ x 52, has a ruddy Habano Rosado wrapper grown in Nicaragua, with fillers from Nicaragua, Honduras and Peru. I tend to enjoy cigar with Peruvian tobacco in the blend, and I enjoyed this cigar. It’s getting to be the time of year where I gravitate toward bolder cigars, and this one had some more delicate, subtle flavors that were nearly lost on me, but they were there and I enjoyed the sweetness and medium bodied tobacco flavor. I think this would be a great morning or early afternoon smoke.
Tonight I finally broke into the Asylum Straight Jacket box that I won in the silent auction benefiting Operation: Cigars for Warriors at the Smokin’ Goose fest. I took a run out to Goose’s Tobacco a couple weeks ago and settled up, between the new house and the car/deer mergence a few weeks back, it was hard to get out there. These are a limited edition cigar made in Honduras at the Fabrica Unidas’ El Aladino factory with Nicaraguan tobacco. These are supposed to be the strongest Asylum cigar yet, and I’d tend to agree. This is exactly what I’ve been craving. It’s smoke is dense and full of heavy, creamy flavor. I have enjoyed everything I’ve smoked from Tom Lazuka’s crazy Asylum line, but this one is the pick of the litter for sure! Even the burn was perfect with that nice, flat burn that I love.
We had a pretty good turnout for the two Screwpop 2.0 Cigar Punches (and whatever cigars fall into the box…you’ll have to trust me). This will be the last contest for a month, at which time I’ll launch into the forth annual 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways. I’ve already gotten some spectacular prizes in the pipeline, soon I’ll have to put the temporary prize coolerdor into service again as the goodies roll in. Get ready, it’s going to be pretty darned cool. Anyway, we had 37 entries and Random.org chose number 12 and 35, so the winners are Jeff Ketcham and Tim! Please e-mail me your addresses so I can get these cool new tools out to you. Thanks to everyone and stay tuned for the big show in a few weeks!
That’s it for now! Until the next time,