I had a comment on last Wednesday’s installment taking me to task on my use of the name “San Andreas”. Doug said:
“Cigar leaf wrappers do not come from San Andreas –that is a small town in California that (to my knowledge) does not grow tobacco. However, San Andres in Mexico is the prime tobacco growing region of that country. “
Of course, Doug is right. This is my favorite wrapper variety and I really should have my facts straight. I checked with an unimpeachable source just to be sure, and my friend Steve Saka, former El Jefe of Drew Estate, promptly confirmed what I already assumed:
“San Andrés Tuxtla is the correct name and spelling of the location.”
“”Andreas” is a very common english adaptation of the same, albeit not 100% grammatically & geographically correct, it is imo an acceptable use for an English speaker to an English audience. Basically it is a conversion of the word to eliminate the accent mark which are not used in English and replace it with a “ea” vowel combo to result in producing the desired phonetic pronunciation.”
“But for 100% correctness and authenticity I suggest you start using San Andrés.”
“And while we are at it – the tobacco us actually San Andrés Negro but is the US is often referred to as “Negra” so as to avoid the racial connotation of the word Negro…”
“Silly, but true.”
I’m not going to go back through 4 years of posts and make changes, but from now on I’ll use the correct name, San Andrés, when referring to a tobacco wrapper. Now, if some manufacturer uses “San Andreas” in the name of a cigar, I can’t be held responsible! I appreciate Steve taking a moment away from fishing to answer my inane question! <snicker> Thanks to Doug for setting me straight!
In the beginning of July I started an experiment. I had received a sample of a product called Jetbag Cigar. This is a heavy ziplock bag containing a perforated foam insert and a humidity packet. The point is to have a way to protect three cigars for a few days. The same company makes a similar product for transporting wine bottles. Before leaving for Las Vegas last July I put a few cigars in one of these bags and activated the Water Pillow. One of the cigars was a CAO OSA Sol Lot T, which is a 4½” x 50 box pressed torpedo. This is probably my favorite size in the line. It’s loaded with flavor and a fun shape. I probably stuffed more than the recommended three cigars in the bag and tossed it in my luggage. When I got to Vegas I carried this around everywhere with me, smoking from it, moving various cigars in and out, except the little CAO OSA Sol. It was the constant. It stayed there until this week, obviously far longer than this product was designed for. I would be stretching the truth if I said this was all planned out, because it was largely out of sheer laziness, and the fact that I decided to smoke the Lot T just happened that the size would fit into that day’s schedule perfectly. Well, the Lot T smoked perfectly. It had the nice, bright flavor that I love in that blend, and it burned well. No signs of damage from two months worth of travelling to less than environmentally friendly locations, in and out of luggage and pockets and another month or so on a shelf in the living room. I can honestly say it works.
At the IPCPR show in July I sat down with my fellow Pennsylvanian, Sam Leccia of Leccia Tobacco. Sam was in one end of the Toraño booth and was very busy debuting his two new lines, the Leccia Black and Leccia White. I’ve smoked a few of each, and had one of each over the last two evenings. Last night featured the Leccia White ,which is made in Nicaragua and has some Pennsylvania tobacco in the filler blend. This is a very nice smoke, although the robusto I had was badly cracked at the head. I generally lack the patience to repair a crack so I smoked it anyway. I carefully punched the cigar so as to reduce the possibility of the cigar totally coming apart on me. I admit, function can be as important to me as flavor. Fortunately, the crack didn’t totally detract from the excellence of this cigar. It’s quite good. It’s got a unique flavor which makes it my favorite of the two. The Leccia Black robusto I smoked was perfect. I used a V-cut on this one, which is made in the Dominican Republic and features the Dark Fire fire cured tobacco from Kentucky/Tennessee. This gives it a definite smokey, campfire flavor that’s also quite different. Both cigars fall into the higher end of medium to me, and both are good smokes worth trying. These were my last two, which I had purchase a few months back at an event Sam and Jack Toraño appeared at about an hour away. They were also on the Over A Cigar radio show/podcast that night. Here’s the video from IPCPR:
It was really nice to sit down and chat with Sam, as well as his wife, Sasha, who was working the booth along with him. As someone who drags his own wife along to things such as this (and forces her to be the camera operator), I can really appreciate her being there with him. Super nice folks! I truly appreciate getting a chance to catch up with them.
That’s it for today, until the next time,