As you are reading this I should be wandering the streets of Manhattan looking for a place to have a cigar or three while my wife works at The Fest for Beatles Fans and rubs elbows with the elite in that world. Of course, it’s the 50th anniversary of The Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, which is a very big deal. I’m as big a Beatles fan as anyone, but there’s some things I won’t drop big bucks on, and one of those things is a fan fest (holds true for cigar fests too, smaller is better and if I’m spending $200 I want to select my own cigars, but that’s just me). So, I’ll wander around and take in some cigar sites in the Big Apple.
I’ve had a couple samples from Kings Cigars hanging around, and I finally couldn’t resist the allure of the Kings Cigars Conde Robusto. I have smoked a few of these San Andres wrapper beauties and really enjoy them. There’s a little something extra in the flavor of these that sets it apart from other San Andres wrapped cigars, an interesting sweet flavor. I thought of a description as I was smoking it, and I really should have written it down because I don’t remember now. Whatever it was, it was a great cigar! This was a 5” x 50 Robusto and is made in Nicaragua. I have fond memories of smoking this blend in the Churchill size one balmy summer day in the pool. If you run across Kings Cigars, give them a try, I like the Conde, have only had one of the King of Kings 6” x 64 Box Presses Habano and it was pretty good ( I hear there’s a Broadleaf version that sounds very intersting!), and have the Ecuador Connecticut Baron yet to smoke. The guys behind the brand, Anwar and Pete, are fun guys to hang around with too. Their motto is “Choose Wisely” and I think their cigars are a wise choice!
A couple weeks ago I ran across this through Altadis’ Montecristo Social Club site ( I think) and thought it was interesting. I’ve taken and passed both lessons in the Certificado de los Maestros curriculum and look forward to the next lesson. Not to brag, or anything, but most of the subject matter was review, I’ve certainly been fortunate enough to have some wonderful experiences in cigar country. One item in the second lesson struck me as odd, but I thought that a “hand” of tobacco was 25 leaves, not 40-50 as they teach. Please don’t let that trip you up! Go with their information or you won’t pass the test! Go to http://www.cigarmaestro.com/ and check it out. You may have to sign up for the Montecristo Social Club, but I haven’t found that to be obtrusive at all, and they are supposed to send you a cutter for signing up (Which I have yet to receive, although I have plenty of cutters!).
Friday evening I chose an old favorite, the Drew Estate Undercrown Corona Viva. This is a cigar that constantly delivers flavor like crazy. It’s down the middle price-wise, but it’s akin to the Liga Privada line, but a little less refined and more rustic. I have enjoyed most of the sizes in this line, but this 5 5/8″ x 46 corona gorda is the tops for me. It’s got a San Andrés wrapper that’s really tasty and I never have any burn issues. Sometime when I have an afternoon free and the weather is a whole lot nicer than it is now I have an experiment to perform. Last May when I visited the Drew Estate factory, we were all given a package which contained a Corona Viva, along with fumas of each of the individual filler tobaccos. The idea will be to smoke each component individually to see where the flavors come from and how the sum of the parts equals the whole. I’ve done this to some extent in the past, but never with an established blend. When I get all four of the fumas going for a bit, I’ll smoke the finished product. It’s possible all I will accomplish is filling an ashtray with cigars and ashes and burn up my palate, but it’ll be a fun experiment anyway.
Saturday afternoon I took a walk around our still powerless neighborhood and listened to the drone of all the generators and chain saws running. This is the fourth day without power, and I feel a twinge of guilt that we have full power, the only thing out of the norm is the noise from the generator. In the past when we’ve had no power there’s been no water as well, which makes things tricky. Anyway, we are lucky, and they are doing their best to get the power back up and running, with out of state crews all over the place fixing downed wires. On my walk I smoked a sample that I just received this week from Famous Smoke Shop, The Judge By J Fuego Blind Justice, a 5″ x 50 Robusto with a rustic Brazilian Mata Fina maduro wrapper. This is a nice, sweet cigar with some rough edges, which I like. This is a great winter cigar for me, loads of flavor and a perfect burn. Jesus Fuego made this exclusively for Famous, and it’s very reasonably priced. I’ll be interested to see how these are after more than a few days in the humidor after travelling, it looked so good I couldn’t wait.
That’s about it for now, until the next time,