For the end of the week I decided to base my cigar selections on a theme, and I had some lovely samples from General Cigar Company that have been taunting me from the humidors. I started off on Thursday evening with the new brand that debuted at the IPCPR show, the Foundry. The example I smoked was the 5″x60 Talbot. This is the brainchild of Michael Giannini, the Marketing Director/New Product Developer/Evil Genius at General Cigar. I’m not entirely sure what his current job title is, but he’s a heck of a guy with a brilliant imagination. His fascination with the “Steampunk” art movement inspired him to create this cigar which doesn’t use any tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua or Honduras. The cigar was an amazing smoke for me. It was mild, but loaded with interesting flavors that captured my attention for the entire length of the smoke. I realized that 60 ring gauge cigars hardly phase me anymore, which is odd from someone who would sooner pick up a 42 ring cigar (or a lancero). I’ve enjoyed quite a few cigars with a 60 ring gauge lately, and I think I liked this particular blend better in the larger format than the 6½x54 Lovelace that I had smoked before. There were so many unique and interesting flavors, and I’m not one for nuance, that I found it to be a refreshing change, very clean and bright. This is a winner in my book!
Friday evening I went with the New Macanudo Vintage 2006. This cigar has a flawless Connecticut shade wrapper from the 2006 crop, which was reported to be grown under ideal conditions. I really loved the Vintage 1997, which had a delicious maduro wrapper and was quite fairly priced at around $7 a stick all things considered. The 2007 is completely different, of course. The boxes and the shiny metal bands are similar, but the cigar is lighter, with the bit of grassiness you’d expect from the Connecticut wrapper. This cigar brought back memories of some Macanudo panatela seconds I had bought back in the ’90s, maybe it was the firm draw, or feeling the need to draw harder to get a satisfying mouthful of smoke, I don’t know, by that’s just what went through my head. I enjoyed the cigar, it was certainly well made and pleasant enough, but my palate enjoys the maduro in this blend the most. I love the Vintage ’97, and really enjoy the regular old Macanudo Maduro line quite a bit. This Vintage 2006 will likely be a terrific smoke after year or two in the humidor.
Saturday I decided to finish the Trifecta with a CAO Concert Roadie. This is the latest release in the CAO line, following up the OSA Sol from last year. Where the OSA Sol was bright, the Concert is a little heavier in body. The Habano Rosado wrapper is rich and beautiful, and the band is guitar pick shaped, flanked by guitars with the necks wrapping around the cigar. The boxes are in the style of a Marshall amp, and they even have humidors in the same style, only with working speakers and a jack for an MP3 player (and a volume knob that goes to 11). The line is a tribute to Nashville, where the CAO brand was headquartered originally. The cigar was extremely well made, surviving an unfortunate fumble by me resulting in a 3 foot drop to the pavement. The cigar suffered no ill effects, save for a wrapper split which never really caused a problem. I think the broadleaf binder added that little something special to the smoke. It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Rick Rodriguez will be going “on tour” to promote this new release, so check out the schedule and try to get to an event. Rick is a cool guy, definitely fun to hang out with. I hope to catch up with him when he visits here in November.
Yesterday (Saturday 10/6/2012) I made an appearance on Kiss My Ash Radio, Abe from Smoke Inn in Florida’s weekly radio show. It was my second appearance on the show, and I was honored to be asked back. The “Bloggers Corner” segment features a cigar review by the featured blogger. Regular readers will understand that this isn’t exactly in my wheelhouse, I’m not one to write flowery, loon-winded third-by-third cigar reviews. Yesterday I actually had prepared a better review, actually it was included in last Wednesday’s post. Unfortunately, I started to go on a tangent about how appearance is important to me when I’m smoking , but it kind of got derailed and really sounded like I just took a complete left turn. The point I was trying to make (doing a play on words on the “blind review” phrase) was that I like to look at a cigar while I’m smoking it, and smoking in the dark, as I’ve found myself doing lately, takes away from the experience. I just wanted to get that off my chest for anyone that may have heard it and thought I was a yammering idiot.
That’s it for today, I still have a couple of the new La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show samples to smoke, but they are pretty big cigar and I have to find the right time to devote to them. I also need to figure out which ones are which, since they didn’t have samples with the unique tobacco paper bands on them. So, until the next time,