My wife and I took the train into Philly yesterday to go to the Reading Terminal Market. We have both lived in this area pretty much our whole lives, and had never been there. This is a huge, indoor farmers market with produce, meats, fish, ethnic food, just about everything one would want. One of the first stalls we came across was a candy counter. I’m a nut for black licorice, so I purchased a mixed bag of “salty” licorice. I had never had salty licorice and was curious. Some of it wasn’t bad, some of it had a distinct ammonia flavor, which I can’t say that I enjoyed, I mean….who would? It seems that this is a common treat in Nordic countries and Northern Germany, and is flavored with ammonium chloride, which explains the ammonia flavor I got. This all got me to thinking of the way everyone’s tastes are different and how that translates to cigars. This is no great revelation, we all know that we have different tastes, that’s one of the things that makes life interesting, but it reinforced the point to me when I thought ” who in thier right mind would enjoy this flavor?” It seems that somebody does, and the same is true with cigars. I’ve smoked some cigars that I consider to be vile, nasty tasting cigars that I can’t imagine anyone would want to smoke. Obviously, the guy who makes the cigar likes it, and, let’s face it, considering all of the work that goes into making a cigar, who’s going to waste all that time and energy making a crappy cigar? I know that as someone who apparently has a voice in the industry, it’s my responsibility when I talk about a cigar, to not denigrate a cigar just because it isn’t to my taste, and to allow for the myriad of variables in construction and storage that could cause a less than ideal cigar experience. That same candy counter did have some chocolate cigars! I passed since I can get a real cigar for the same price and have an hour or so of pleasure instead of the few minutes the candy variety would give me. This bag of unusual licorice will last me a lot longer than a similar bag of sweet licorice would, as I can’t stop eating it once I start. It’s one of my many failings…
Upon my return, I selected a Tortuga 1950 torpedo for an afternoon smoke. This lovely dark cigar was sent to me by Victor Vitale, cigar maker, importer & distributor, along with a 1948 Connecticut and an Edicion Limitada 2011 in the same vitola. There isn’t a lot of specifics on the website, but I assume that this is made in Nicaragua, based upon the “America Central” on the band. According to information that I received with the samples, the cigar has a Mexican broadleaf wrapper, Nicaraguan, Honduran and organic grown wild “jungle” filler leaf exclusive to this cigar. The wrapper on this is beautiful, deep, dark brown, like dark chocolate, and the seems were virtually invisible and the veins were very fine. The flavors appealed to me quite a bit. They were dark and decadent, lush and satisfying. There was an underlying flavor that intrigued me that I can’t put a finger on. It was different from many maduros that I like, but really kept my attention down to a finger burning nub. I’m really looking forward to the other two in this line now, as this was a terrific smoke. Besides the lack of details on the make-up of this cigar on the website, they also do not list a torpedo, so your mileage may vary when shopping for these. Certainly a cigar I’d like to smoke more of. The Short at 4½” x 44 looks like a great winter cigar walk size. I’ve been underwhelmed with Victor’s other cigars, but that’s just me, and, as I said above, taste is a subjective thing and no two palates ate the same.
I smoked some other cigars this week, notably a Macanudo 1968, a J. Fuego Sangre de Toro Original, and a Gurkha Seduction. All cigars I’d talked about before, and the only thing that bears repeating is how much I like the Gurkha Seduction. I’ve been seeing a ton of reviews on this brick and mortar exclusive cigar. I think Mike at MikesStogies.com is currently having a contest featuring these cigars, so check out his review. I’ll feature these in a contest at a later date assuming I can keep my grubby little mitts off of them long enough! I also noticed that the Seduction is Doc Stogiefresh‘s cigar of the week for his podcast episode 303. Also of note was a La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Tabaqueros with Sumatra and Broadleaf that I got from my visit to Famous Smoke Shop. Delicious cigar, if you have an opportunity to go to a La Gloria Cubana Retro event and meet Michael Giannini you will be in for a double treat as these cigars are special and Michael is a heck of a guy!
One last thing: Please let me know if you have any problems viewing the site. I’ve had some feedback that there are still some glitches and some operating systems or browsers, or some connections speeds still have problems. I want everyone to be able to see the site the way I do, so please let me know if there’s a problem or complaint.
That’s all I have for today, until the next time,