Well, I had an exciting New Years, mostly involving removing the old drywall and insulation from my living-room, putting in new insulation, all in preparation for new drywall which is going in now. I managed to get a little cold in the process which, thankfully, seems to be short-lived. I celebrated progress on the house and New Years Eve with an Opus X that has been in the humidor for a few years. This was a cedar wrapped Opus X, but it was only 5¾ x 48 or 50, so I really don’t know which one it was. This one was given to me by Mitchell Orchant, who is the UK distributor for Fuente, so maybe it was a special size for the UK market. It was a really good cigar, whatever it was, a great way to end a year with a lot of changes for me personally, professionally and for the cigar industry.
After a long day of tearing down a ceiling and putting up insulation, I dug deep in the humidor and lit up a Liga Privada No. 9 Tubo that Steve Saka gave me at the 2012 IPCPR show (I think). This year the tubos went into regular production, but at the time, the only way to get one was from Steve’s shirt pocket. This was probably the finest example of the No.9 toro I’ve smoked. It was smooth as silk and the aging in the tube didn’t hurt it one bit. In most cases, I’ll buy two Nica Rusticas over one Liga Privada No.9 every day, but it’s not every day you get to smoke a cigar handed to you by the guy it was blended for specifically. Truly a great way to start a year, you have to smoke a great cigar on New Years, right?
I had Monday off in observance of the holiday, so I finished up the insulation (had to run out to Home Depot as I used all my staples the day before. Helpful hint: an electric staple gun saves potential carpal tunnel, a tool I inherited from my dad, who’s wisdom I appreciate and greatly miss. I cleaned up and took a nice walk with a cigar I picked up at B and B Cigars in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia when I went there a few weeks ago to hang out with Saka. Vince recommended a few cigars made at Nica Sueno, which is jointly owned my Skip and Mike of RoMaCraft and Esteban Disla. The cigar I chose was the Guáimaro Robusto, at 5″ x 52 with a San Andrès wrapper, Brazilian Arapiraca binder and Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers (note to Will Cooper: I believe Nica Sueno is in Esteli, Nicaragua, not the Dominican Republic. See his excellent article on this line here). If you like the offerings from Nica Sueno, give this one a try. It has some great dark cocoa flavors, but seemed smoother to me than, say, a Cromagnon. Perfectly put together and quite a pleasure to smoke.
The cold came on pretty hard Tuesday, so I went with something familiar and plentiful in my humidor, and I can’t recommend the new Fonseca Nicaragua enough. It had enough flavor to cut through the cold, but wasn’t overwhelming. Feeling better tonight, I decided to venture into another cigar from Nica Sueno that I picked up at B and B. The Powstanie Habano Belicoso is a 5 ¼ x 54 belicoso with a Habano wrapper, Indonesian binder with Dominican criollo, Estelí ligero and filler from Condega and Jalapa. This was made for Mike Szczepankewicz, co-owner of Cigar Hustler, and there is a Broadleaf iteration for his brother Greg, which I need to seek out. This line is being distributed nationally in a limited manner, and I think B and B is one of the few retailers, at least around me, that has them. I found this to be quite a good smoke, medium bodied with a load of flavor. It had a little burn deviation that fixed itself, otherwise it burned perfectly and was very enjoyable. Vince at B and B (not to be confused with B & B Tobacco) has curated a pretty amazing selection and ships. Check out their website and shop with confidence.
That’s about all for now, trying to get back in the swing of writing posts and not giving stuff away! Until the next time,