For no other reason than I had the cigars and time, I smoked some large cigars this week. Punch has come out with two new sizes in the Rare Corojo line, the Rare Lapiz, a figurado, and the great big El Diablo, a 6½” x 66 box pressed monster. You’d expect a cigar called Rare Corojo to have a Corojo wrapper, right? It has a Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, a Connecticut Broadleaf binder and fillers from Nicaragua, Honduras and The Dominican Republic, with no real mention of Corojo tobacco in any of the literature! It’s been a few years since I smoked a Rare Corojo, but I always liked them, there’s a distinct flavor that this line has that I can’t put a finger on, but I really like it. I suppose it’s both sweet and savory at the same time, and maybe a little creamy. The size was a bit much, although the box press made it seem a little smaller than it’s 66 ring gauge, it was still a devil to hold on to, not real comfortable in the hand. I look forward to trying the 6¾” x 56 figurado (which they only describe as “tapered”). One interesting note, I didn’t feel that the immense size of this cigar watered down the flavor of the blend at all, it tasted like I remember the robusto tasting when I first smoked this maybe ten or more years ago, an impressive feat.
Friday I took a day off to get some things done, and took a nice long on a local trail with a Ora Vivo Armand Asante World Edition 6×56. I wrote about this cigar in the November/December Issue of Prime Living Magazine. I said: “The brand made its debut in July 2013, with the original blend having sold out, as well as the European blend. The latest release is the World Edition, of which the 6×56 is the subject of this review. The cigar is a Nicaraguan Puro, manufactured in Honduras. The blend is comprised of tobacco from three growing regions in Nicaragua. The wrapper is from the Jalapa valley, the binder is from Condega and the fillers are a blend of Esteli and Condega tobacco. I find this cigar to be smooth, medium bodied, well balanced and refined. The flavors are sweet and earthy tobacco, and the construction is perfect and consistent as one would expect from a premium boutique cigar. The Ora Vivo Armand Assante World Edition is Armand’s tribute to the cigar industry, a cigar he truly loves, and it’s a great smoke.” Of course, this cigar is a sibling of the Tortuga line, both are from Victor Vitale’s Legacy Brands, and share great flavor and balance. I’m hoping to get together with Victor this week for a smoke, watch Wednesday’s post.
Yesterday I made some real headway on a cabinet project in a utility room. The previous owners wouldn’t recognize the room, when we moved in it had walls which were still showing unfinished 1959 drywall and had simple shelves, pegboard and a workbench of sorts and an unfinished concrete floor. In addition to the shiny new furnace and water heater, it also has a nice epoxy floor, patched and painted walls, and a wall of cabinets and counter we purchased from a medical office clean out for a reasonable price. With my son-in-law’s help we got the cabinets in, I just need to do some finish work and it’s done. To celebrate, I took a walk with a 6″ x 65 Quesada Oktoberfest Uber (should it be Über? German for “super”). I picked up a handful of these on closeout locally for $5 a cigar, and at that price it’s a nice smoke, I don’t know that I would be as enamored with it at $10. The burn and draw was perfect on this cigar and half of the cigar was good for a two mile walk. I probably spent the better part of two hours with this cigar, and I did enjoy it quite a bit. I was going to crack open a bottle of Goya Ginger Beer with it, but I knew that particular ginger beer would over power the cigar, it’s really spicy.
I used a new cutter on the last couple cigars I smoked from the folks at Screwpop, makers of the Screwpop Punch and other key chain multi-function tools. This is a cigar scissors of sorts, which requires a bit of practice. I closed the blades around the cap of the cigar and applied some pressure while turning the cigar to remove the cap. In the case of the Quesada, this method removed the cap nicely, however the binder was still folded over and I had to pick it out with my fingers. Anyway, I’ll continue testing this new tool and get into it more later. I haven’t tested the bottle opener part yet, but there’s really not a lot that can go wrong with that part.
In my continuing support of Cigar Rights, I used the CigarRights.org site to send some letters to my elected officials this week, and this is the reply I received from my Senator, Mr. Casey. I knew he had been a co-sponsor of the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2015, but I wanted to make sure he knew I was still paying attention! His letter starts off being worrisome, but takes a turn for the better, I’m pleased to see that this legislator “gets it”. Of course, the premium cigar lobby in Pennsylvania is strong, being that we have quite a great many large retailers here.
Dear Mr. Vanderslice:Thank you for taking the time to contact me about the regulation of tobacco products. I appreciate hearing from you about this issue.Protecting Americans from the harmful effects of tobacco is a priority of mine, which is why I am proud to have been a cosponsor of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009. The bill was signed into law on June 22, 2009, and gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight of the tobacco industry’s advertisement and promotion of their products, and the authority to regulate tobacco products. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act became law independent of the World Health Organization’s global tobacco treaty, which was signed by President Bush in 2004 but has not been submitted to the Senate for ratification.Tobacco products are proven to have harmful effects on their users. Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco contain the addictive drug nicotine, which hooks users on the drug and endangers their health. There are also dozens of cancer-causing ingredients in tobacco products. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in the United States. Secondhand smoke can also cause premature death and disease in those exposed to tobacco users.This law is an important step forward because it protects children from being targeted by tobacco companies. It also ensures that tobacco products are appropriately labeled. Please be assured that I will continue to monitor efforts to regulate tobacco products, and will keep your views in mind should the issue arise again in the Senate.Although I am a proud supporter of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, I am also a cosponsor of S. 441, the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2015. This bill would clarify the Tobacco Control Act by exempting traditional large and premium cigars from the FDA’s regulatory authority. While I understand the serious threat that tobacco products pose to the health of our Nation’s youth, premium cigars are not marketed to children nor are premium cigars easily obtained by children, due to their higher cost relative to products such as cigarettes.While I support this bill, I am open to reasonable proposals that might further balance the ability of adults to purchase a legal product with our need to fight underage consumption of tobacco products. One concern I had with the version of the bill that was introduced in the 112th Congress involved the definition of “traditional large and premium cigars.” In response to feedback from myself and others, the current version of this bill tightens that definition considerably. I am satisfied that this tightened definition will effectively confine the exemption from FDA regulatory authority to true premium cigars and will not include inexpensive cigars that are easier for children to purchase. Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind as the Senate considers S. 441.Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.For more information on this or other issues, I encourage you to visit my website, http://casey.senate.gov. I hope you will find this online office a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.Sincerely,Bob CaseyUnited States Senator
I urge everyone to visit CigarRights.org and send letters to your legislators. Some of them really do listen, and it doesn’t take much time. It’s important to peoples livelihoods to have premium cigars protected from FDA regulation, not just our personal enjoyment of cigars.
That’s it for now, until the next time.