I learned something last night…having a couple cafecitos with one’s cigar too late in the day will give me weird-ass dreams all night. I got the Moka pot out last night at my wife’s suggestion (odd since she’s mostly off caffeine) and whipped up some Cuban Coffee (Bustello). I didn’t get the sugar quite right, too much espresso, but it wasn’t bad, but boy was my sleep interrupted with disturbing dreams. I drink black coffee all day long through the week with no ill effects. I’ll have to save my Cuban coffee experiments for earlier in the day. I haven’t smoked too many cigars since Thursday, when I last posted, but I did smoke some interesting ones. I decided a revisit with the Joya Black was in order. The first few I smoked had construction issues and did perform well enough for me to form an opinion. I selected an interesting size, the Nocturno, a 6¼” x 46 Lonsdale kinda size. I seem to gravitate towards toros, but I like the 46-48 ring cigars as long as they aren’t too short (unless I only have a short time for a cigar), so this seemed like a good size. Finally I lit a smokable Joya Black. Since I’m not a huge fan of the Joya Red, I was expecting more from the Black. I guess my preference lies with the Antaño side of the Joya de Nicaragua portfolio, but I do enjoy the Cabinetta line a lot, and never really smoked something from Joya I didn’t like. It was an “OK” maduro cigar, my excitement over this was fairly in line with my excitement over the Red. Of course, I’ll keep trying as I want to like this cigar, it’s the first time Joya has used a San Andrés wrapper on a cigar, so I really should like it.
Saturday afternoon I lit up another maduro, this one from Island Lifestyle Cigars, the folks who make all the Tommy Bahama cigar accessories. I spent some time with the guys at the IPCPR show, they are super cool guys and are making great cigars along with the excellent Tommy Bahama gear. I’ll say right now that it’s impossible to pry the factory where the cigars are made out of Rick or Ryan, I tried. They have their reasons, either it’s factory that makes cigars for everyone, or one that’s not known for anything of note, but it doesn’t matter because the quality of tobacco and construction is there. I was asked if this was a gimmick cigar, and it is not. I’ve smoked all three and they are all very, very good cigars. The maduro robusto burned forever, had a nice, sweet rich flavor that I liked. You can see what I thought about these last year here. Since it’s not officially Autumn, I didn’t want to let summer go, so the Island Lifestyle cigar made sense to me yesterday! Of course I cut and lit it with Tommy Bahama tools!
Last night I went for a toro sized cigar with a maduro wrapper, surprise, surprise, right? In 1995 when I started smoking cigars seriously, my go-to, believe it or not, was the Te-Amo Maduro Toro. I smoked a bunch of them, you could even get seconds that had Te-Amo Segundo bands on them. They were marketed as seconds, and were very inexpensive. Anyway, that might explain my affinity for the San Andrés wrapper. At the IPCPR show, the folks at Ventura Cigar Co. provided some samples of their Case Study line. Here’s the blurb from their website:
From 1945 to 1966, Arts & Architecture magazine commissioned the rising stars of mid-century architecture to design and build a series of inexpensive, efficient model homes for the post-World War II generation. In total, 26 homes were built, mostly in the Greater Los Angeles area, by renowned architects including Richard Neutra, Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig and Eero Saarinen. These now iconic homes were designed with a minimalist, modern aesthetic and have been prominently featured over the years in Hollywood films, advertising campaigns and photo essays. The Case Study cigar project from Ventura Cigar Co. pays homage to this triumph of modernist design. Numbered from 1 through 26, each exclusive Case Study blend features a range of vitolas that have been hand-blended by the best Master Blenders in the business. We can’t tell you their names, but we trust you’ll recognize their signatures written all over their craft.
My take on this line is that it’s along the lines of Caldwell’s Lost and Found series, where they bought up cigars from factory’s aging rooms that didn’t have a brand, were short runs, or something along those lines. Of course, I was attracted first to the dark toro, the CS/03, which turns out had a San Andrés wrapper and was 6″ x 50, a rather thin toro by today’s standard, but what toros were several years ago. This cigar could have produces a little more smoke, but it was tasty, with the sweet, savory, spice I look for in a cigar that looks like this. Expectations were met, it burned well and had the feel and taste of a well aged cigar. I can’t venture a (Ventura…I made a funny) guess as to where this was made, but smoking the other samples will be fun. I only have a the 26 variations (in multiple vitolas, this is a bigger project than Foundry’s Compounds, Elements and Musings!).
That’s enough for today, I’m off to find something to do before nap time :-). Until the next time,