I titled this the way I did because it seems like there are three basic categories when it comes to cigar brands, the old school, the boom brands that stuck, and the newer boutiques. Obviously the brands with Cuban names fall into the first category, Partagas, Montecristo, as well as Macanudo, which has been around since way before the mid-90s cigar boom. Then there are brands like Perdomo, Rocky Patel, La Flor Dominicana, that started in the 90s, either had a family tradition in the tobacco industry or not, but managed to succeed in making consistently great cigars over the years. Then there are the hundreds of boutiques that have come along in the last few years, some have morphed into huge enterprises like AJ Fernandez and Pepin Garcia and Drew Estate, others keep it small and cater to a niche market. Just something that I thought about after I looked back at what I smoked this week and realized that, once again, there was a pattern.
To start off, Thursday I was rummaging around looking for something to smoke when I came across a box pressed robusto called Evolution by Rocky Patel. It’s so hard to keep Rocky’s releases straight, but Will Cooper let me know it was a Famous Smoke Shop exclusive. This was a 5″ x 50 with a Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, and was not a bad cigar that can be bought for around $3 by the box. I wasn’t “wowed”, but it was perfectly acceptable. I personally think my lowest rating on a cigar would be either “disappointing”, or “a waste of my time”, and this was neither. While it wasn’t particularly notable, there was nothing bad I can say about it. Flavor was good, burn and draw were excellent, it was a good cigar. The name of this cigar didn’t have anything to do with the complexity as far as I was concerned, but it’s a good smoke that I found satisfying. Perhaps I’ve become a cigar snob…
Friday nights call for a great cigar, so I picked out my last Perdomo 20th Anniversary Sun Grown Robusto. I really developed a fondness for this cigar in the Maduro wrapper, especially in the Corona Grande size, but this 5″ x 56 robusto is a really nice smoke. I noticed that it had been Nick Perdomo’s 50th birthday (the dude is younger than me!), so it seemed fitting to smoke one of his cigars. I remember my 50th birthday like it was a year and a half ago…but I digress. The 20th Anniversary uses the highest primings from Esteli, Condega and Jalapa in Nicaragua, and that sun grown wrapper is aged in a bourbon barrel for an additional 14 months (one would imagine it aged in traditional bales for several years before it’s day in the barrel). This is one smoove and flavorful cigar, and very well made. It really may be a toss up now which wrapper I prefer, I’d have to say there’s a time and a place for both, and this Sun Grown version of the 20th Anniversary is rich and elegant and quite enjoyable.
Saturday I went with a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Chisel Maduro which I’ve had taunting me on the top tray of one of the humidors (one of my two Adorini humidors, which have turned out to be really excellent, rock solid humidors. I can only hope the new cabinet is as trouble free when it arrives!). The chisel is a fun size to smoke. It’s a torpedo with a flattened head, somewhat akin to a pipe stem. I chose to snip a bit off with the scissors, as I’ve been unimpressed with any of the other creative ways people have found to cut this, including Litto Gomez’s recommended method of squeeze and pop the cap off. I like a more open draw, so I took about an eighth of an inch off. This cigar had one of the straightest, most perfect burns I’ve seem on a cigar in some time. The draw was good, the flavor was rich, meaty, spicy but not overpowering. I remember smoking the smaller version of this nearly 20 years ago, a Chiselito, and it was great, it’s nice to see that they are still great after all these years. LFD is really doing it right, I’ve enjoyed several cigars from the line after becoming re-acquainted with it last year. I smoked this cigar until I couldn’t hold it any longer.
That’s it for today. It’s supposed to be in the 50’s here today, and if it weren’t for the little bit of snow remaining on the ground, I’d drag the chipper out and get some yard waste cleaned up. No snow tires on the chipper though, plenty of other things that need doing.
Until the next time,