I hope everyone who celebrates it had a nice Thanksgiving holiday and stuffed themselves silly with turkey and all the fixins. We went to my daughters house where she cooked a delicious meal and we had a nice day with the family. I didn’t even take cigars along because I’d rather play with my granddaughters and there would be plenty of time for a cigar later. When we got home I dug deep in the humidor and found a cigar I don’t smoke often, a Arturo Fuente Opus X Pefecxion X (6 ¼”x48). This wasn’t the oldest Opus I have in the humidor, but it was in there for several years. I actually have very few Fuente Cigars in my humidors, and I don’t really know why that is. They are perfectly fine cigars, I just don’t buy them for whatever reason. I suppose I’m too busy smoking new stuff. I’m guessing it’s been the better part of a decade since I smoked an Opus X, so I was expecting an exceptional smoke. I always feel a little conflicted when I know a cigar is excellent, but it doesn’t really fit my flavor preferences. Its easy to say something isn’t good if we don’t like it, right? I don’t like lima beans, they taste terrible to me and I can’t imagine why anyone should like that flavor, but people do. To me, lima beans are bad. With this Opus X I had an excellent smoking experience, burn and draw were spot on, and the flavor was good, just not what I really like in a cigar. The lima bean analogy doesn’t fit here, I don’t know why I mentioned it, really. A cigar can be awesome and of exceptional quality even if it isn’t my favorite flavor profile. There were no ‘off’ flavors in this cigar, just none that grabbed me by the collar and slapped me around. It did have some strength to it! I should smoke one of the ten plus year old Opi I have and see how it is.
Black Friday came and went without any shopping going on around here (except a trip to the grocery store). I figured a cigar with ‘black’ in the title would be appropriate. I didn’t have any Leccia Black, Partagas Black or even Tatuaje Black. I did, however, have a La Gloria Cubana Serie R Black! This 6″x60 cigar is one I picked up at my birthday party at Cigars International last August. The Black is a catalog/internet exclusive, so I guess a place like CI is going to be one of the few stores you can walk into and purchase these. This cigar, along with it’s Brick &Mortar exclusive sibling the Serie R Esteli, is the first La Gloria Cubana made in Nicaragua. The Black has a Jalapa Tapado Ligero wrapper, and Nicaraguan filler and binder making it a puro. I always expect a little more strength from these, but it’s a solid medium bodied cigar. The flavors, while certainly right up my alley, are subtle and muted. Great construction and burn with a snug draw.
I decided since Saturday was billed as “Small Business Saturday”, and since most Brick and Mortar Tobacconists are small businesses, I’d follow the La Gloria Cubana Serie R Black with a Serie R Esteli to compare the two. The wrapper seems to be the major difference here, the Esteli has a Jalapa Sol wrapper. I find the Esteli to be much richer in flavor than the black. Could it be that one should expect a richer experience going to a brick and mortar tobacconist as opposed to purchasing from a catalog or online? I doubt that’s the intent of the manufacturer. I’m happy smoking either one, and actually prefer both over the original Serie R maduro, which I’ve had recently and thought was a little too mild. I love the cocoa/espresso flavors in these Nicaraguans though. I think last nights Serie R Esteli in the 6″x54 size smoked for at least 2 hours. Maybe it’s the difference in ring gauge that makes the Esteli more flavorful than the black to me.
That’s all I have for now. If any of the above is a little out of whack it’s because I wrote it in an Imetrex induced haze while trying to get rid of a migraine. I should be OK later and go back and edit all the craziness out! Until the next time,