I guess I’m trying to get a head of all of the upcoming IPCPR coverage, of which I will not be participating in. I’ve had some samples come in of new (and new to me) cigars that I felt compelled to smoke this week. Also, I will be finding myself in the Chicago area for a few days the third weekend in August to visit a cigar shop or two, so anyone in the area with suggestions, or wants to meet for some smokes, let me know! It’s always fun to visit shops in other cities, and I’ve never been to Chicago and hear there’s a lot of great shops. I also hear the taxes are high! Local insight is appreciated.
Thursday’s walk featured a Romey y Julieta RyJ Toro, the companies first Nicaraguan cigar. I seem to recall a time when Romeo y Julieta was made in Honduras, then production moved to the Dominican Republic. When I was at Cigarnival a couple weeks ago, I was surprised to run into my old friend Oliver Hyams at the Altadis booth. Oliver was the marketing guy with Gurkha, and Toraño before that. he’s now with Altadis and gave me this toro to try. I really enjoyed smoking this cigar! It had a smooth, sweet flavor that was unmistakably Nicaraguan, and very good. The burn and draw were perfect, and it was a very nice smoking experience. This is a cigar I’d happily smoke again, and will be on the look out for more.
Friday I chose a new cigar from Robert Arango at Arandoza Cigars. The Arandoza Red is being released at the IPCPR show and joins the White and Blue (I see a pattern here!). These are also made in Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Esteli. They tell me that it’s the strongest so far, with a beautiful dark San Andrés maduro wrapper and Nicaraguan Binder and fillers with triple ligero. The cigar started off with some horsepower, thick, rich, dark flavors. By the time I got home from my mile walk, I was starting to buy into the strength hype! by the time I was at about the one and a half inch mark, I was in need of a Coke! This is a powerful smoke, but delicious! There’s no compromising flavor for strength in this cigar. Another winner from Arandoza as I’ve enjoyed their other offerings as well.
Yesterday we spent the day doing some landscaping and beating ourselves up. After a swim, a nap, and some dinner, a cigar was long overdue. While at Cigarnival I talked to Yadi Gonzalez, the lady behind the Flor de Gonzalez brand, and she slipped me a prototype lancero that she’s been working on. Judging by the band markings, this may one day be a limited edition in the 90 Miles line. I measured this lancero at seven inches by 38, and it had a crude pigtail cap. One can’t criticize the cap on a prototype, in my opinion, it’s just a test sample. The cigar smoked very well, it had a nice draw and billows of smoke. This cigar had some strength along with the dark cocoa/coffee flavors. Yadi didn’t share any details of the blend on this cigar, but I’d bet it’s predominantly Nicaraguan, and may have had the San André s maduro wrapper, I can’t be sure, but I really liked it. I hope this is released, as I really enjoyed the heck out of it for the better part of two hours sitting on the deck listening to The Cigar Authority podcast, enjoying the welcome addition of my buddy Barry Stein to the line up. If you haven’t tried cigars from Flor de Gonzales, give them a try, the 1980 is my personal favorite, but they are all good right down to the “Upright Bundle” line that you can get for about $2 for the Churchill or large torpedo.
That’s all I got, until the next time,
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