It’s been a cold and busy week. We managed to schedule the furnace and water heater installation on the coldest day of the year. It all went well, we now have efficient heat and hot water, and all is right with the world. It was brutally cold here this week, too cold most nights to walk the dog, but fortunately the screen porch (with plastic up covering the screen) runs twenty or thirty degrees warmer than outside with a space heater running. It’s a tolerable place to enjoy a cigar while listening to cigar podcasts. I haven’t been smoking anything particularly large though, while sitting in 30° is preferable to single digits, it still gets old pretty quick! Anyway, here’s what burned this week in the cigar porch.
Thursday happened to be my youngest son’s 21st birthday. He had to work so we didn’t really get to celebrate, so for no particular reason I chose a Black Chapel Robusto from Evil Genius Cigars. I don’t think my son would claim to be either, so it really was just a random selection. Evil Genius Cigars is the creation of a guy named Alex Hirsh from the Allentown, PA area. I met Alex last September at the Goosefest, and got to spend some time with him a few months ago at another local shop. He’s another one of those tall cigar guys. If I got Alex, Sean Williams, Clint Aaron, Willie Herrera, Omar de Frias and Tony Gomez together they would make a formidable basketball team, or, at the very least, can be called upon to reach things on high shelves. Anyway, they make me feel short, and I’m 6′ 0″. Back to the cigar. This is another cigar where the white/black branding between the two lines (there’s a White Chapel as well) is backward. We’ve been programmed to think of the White as mild and black as strong, and these have it reversed. This Black Chapel is a nice, mild cigar with a lot of very nice flavors. It’s made at La Aurora, and shares a flavor profile to some extent. If you can find these, and I don’t think they are widely distributed as of yet, give both the Black and White Chaples a spin.
Friday, as I said, was brutally cold, as in it barely got out of single digits. I know a lot of places get colder, but that’s pretty frigid for these parts. Cold is relative. Floridians break out the parkas and mittens when it gets to the 50s, Chicagoans are wearing shorts in the teens. Not casting aspersions either way (although, honestly, shorts?). On my morning commute among all the idiots on the road, chief among them was the guy on the motorcycle, obviously overcompensating for something. When I got home and basked in the glory of the new heaters for a few minutes, I grabbed a short smoke and hit the porch. I’ve had a single, lonely Rodrigo La Fortaleza Absoluto, a beautiful dark, pigtailed 5 1/8″ x 43 corona. This cigar has a Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, Dominican binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic and Peru. I have a soft spot for cigars with Peruvian leaf in the blend, and this cigar is no exception. This was a very tasty and well behaved cigar. Bold flavors all the way through, some pepper, some woody flavors, overall a tasty treat. George Rodriguez is a pretty cool dude, if you ever get a chance to meet him, do it. He makes some pretty darned good cigars with the help of Tabacalera Ventura in the DR.
Yesterday it snowed most of the day, and generally around here when it snows it’s not so frigidly cold. It was still cold, but Macha and I got a bit of a walk in with a Daniel Marshall Red Label Robusto. Daniel Marshall is well known as a humidor maker, and his humidors are second to none in quality. It only makes sense that he would produce a line of cigars to put in those humidors, so he has a White Label, a Black Label and a Red Label. The Red Label is made by the Quesadas in the Dominican Republic. An aside, I feel like I’ve been smoking an over abundance of Dominican cigars lately. That’s weird since I gravitate toward Nicaraguans… I digress. This cigar has a sweet Habano wrapper, and is actually all Nicaraguan tobacco, which answer’s that question, I guess! It’s not a strong cigar though, it’s actually on the mild side, but the sweet and a little bit spicy flavor made up for it.This cigar was from the Rocky Mountain Cigar Fest last August, so it has been safely ensconced in my humidor since then. Does anyone rate cigar websites? I’d love to see a review of this “vintage” website :-).
One quick rant. There’s a phenomenon in the online cigar community where people send one another cigar gifts and refer to it as “Bombing”. I’ve done it, I am sure most of us have. One of the great joys is sharing cigars with people, with no expectation of reciprocation. What bugs me is the affectation of associating this with actual bombing. People complaining about their mailboxes and porches falling victim to various incendiary calamities. I find it juvenile and offensive on some levels. I guess that’s just my old fogeyism coming through. If I send you cigars, please accept them with grace and dignity as a gift, not as an assault. I guess the whole “bomb” thing seems negative to me and I’m a glass half full kinda guy…
My wife and I are off to the Philadelphia Hard Rock Hotel tonight for an Oscar Awards party. I think we’ve seen one nominated movie this year, and that was in the comfort of our living room. It’s something interesting to do, not that we are big movie buffs or anything. I’ll stuff a few cigars in my pocket with no real expectation of having an opportunity to smoke one. This is a perfect reason to have some tubos on hand.
Until the next time,