Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day, warmer than Saturday, but still breezy. I decided that the time had come to finally smoke a cigar that was given to me last year at the IPCPR show by Victor Vitale. The cigar in question was the JD Hightower 6″ x 70 box pressed cigar. I’ve been waiting for the right time given the size of this monstrous cigar. Its roughly the size of a king size Milky Way candy bar. I also have had bad experiences with Victor Sinclair cigars (made by Jose Dominguez, the JD in the name of the cigar) to the extent that I’ve sworn I’d never smoke another one, but since Victor Vitale made this for Jose, I figured it deserved a shot. The first challenge is finding a cutter that would handle this. Normally a large ring cigar is do-able in most cutters, but I knew the Xikar XV wasn’t going to do the trick. I picked the Drew Estate Bulletproof perfect cutter and it worked fairly well, although I had to trim a little bit of binder off with a pair of scissors. The draw was perfect, and it burned relatively well over the course of the two hours it took me to smoke. I very much enjoyed the blend, it was a tasty smoke. It had nice, savory flavors that were enjoyable throughout the cigar. I can’t say that it was a very comfortable cigar to smoke or hold. While the box press minimizes the 70 ring gauge a little, it’s still huge and unwieldy. While I’ve grown accustomed to the 60 ring cigars, 70 is just too big. I’m not sorry I smoked it, I had a beautiful 2+ hours enjoying it on a lazy and beautiful Sunday afternoon. This was yet another nice smoke from Victor Vitale.
Monday was Memorial Day, and I decided to take the dog for a walk at nearby Valley Forge National Historic Park. I selected my last American Eagles Robusto to smoke for a couple reasons. First, the American Eagles is a nice cigar, well made and tasty. They support the military by donating part of their profits to Semper Fi, and it’s got a patriotic theme. The final reason was because I always feel conspicuous smoking in a public place, and I figured if the cigar was camouflaged it would stand out less. I always figure someone might say something about me smoking a cigar, and I can respond with something like “a cigar? I don’t see a cigar, what are you talking about?”, but perhaps this is yet another one of those things that’s only funny in my head. Anyway, we started at the Memorial Arch, and probably walked a good 5 or 6 miles around the outside of the park on the multi-use trail. It was a stunning day, the cigar was great, smooth, mild and full of flavor, and nobody looked askance at the fact that I was smoking a cigar. Puccio and I were plenty tired out after that walk and went home for lunch (we had gotten an early start).
After lunch I decided it was time to try out one of the cigars I blended on my recent Cigar Safari trip. As I said before, I went into the blending session there determined to recreate the blend I had made two years prior, but all the tobacco, like the proverbial shiny object, distracted me and I decided to get creative. I went into specifics in my post about the blending session a few weeks ago. All in all I really enjoyed the cigar. There was a lot of flavors dancing around between the San Andreas Negro wrapper, the Cameroon binder and the Mata Fina, all pretty sweet tobaccos in my book. I will certainly be interested in seeing how these age, and I’ll compare them at some point to my blending attempt from two years ago. These were rolled by the Liga Privada pairs, so the construction was without flaw, it burned perfect, had a nice, flat coal and an even burn and draw. I hated to put it down.
This will be an ongoing project over the next several months. The folks at HumidorDiscount.com sent me their Adorini Cedro Deluxe Humidor to evaluate and report upon. Initially I’m very impressed. This shipped from Germany, and only took a few days. It was packaged very well, it was boxed, bubble wrapped, then had a retail box that was lined with 1/8” styrofoam. The humidor was in it’s own cloth bag inside the box, and contained some dividers, Write-on tabs which attach to the dividers to label your stock, a bottle of humidor solution, and brass humidifier with a polymer media, and a small dial hygrometer. The humidor itself while reasonably plain (I think there is an elegance in it’s simplicity), is solidly built with walls that are a full inch thick, and the lid closes on a nice cushion of air telling me that it seals well and should be made right. Heck, my The Griffins humidor HAS to be locked or the lid doesn’t close all the way, and doesn’t close with a woosh. It also features “Unique ventilation ribs (“RibTech”) for improved air circulation within humidor”, and I like the hidden magnetic plate in the lid that allows the hygrometer and humidifier to be positioned wherever you want it on the lid without screws or glue or anything. So far I’ve added some of the enclosed solution along with some distilled water to the humidifier and will start seasoning it. When I think it’s ready I’ll fill it up and see how it does. I’ll be keeping track of it’s progress and posting that here on a weekly basis. My personal modus operandi when it comes to humidors is to let them do their thing and not get too worked up about daily monitoring (read: I’m lazy), so that will be a feature I look for, holding temp and humidity and not having to fiddle with it much. Thanks to Silvia at HumidorDiscount.com for allowing me the oportunity to evaluate one of your humidors.
That’s it for now, until the next time,