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Davidoff 702 Series Special R Cigar

Davidoff_702Series_Special RObviously Davidoff of Geneva has been synonymous with high-end, very mild cigars, but in recent years they have been blending more to the palate of those who prefer a little bolder cigar. Because I’ve fallen into the category of those who like stronger cigars, as well as being careful with the finances, I don’t have a great deal of experience with  the brand, but lately I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to try some of the recent blends. Following the Davidoff Nicaragua, and the Yamasa, they have released a new cigar recently with an Ecuador Habano wrapper, called the Davidoff 702 Series. They have stuck with classic Davidoff sizes on this line, the special T, the Double R, Anniversario No. 3, Special R and 2000 Corona. I managed to get my hands on a 2000 and a Special R robusto and chose the robusto for this evening’s cigar.  The 702 wrapper is a hybrid of three Cuban Habano varietals, and is grown exclusively for Davidoff in Ecuador in the Andean foothills.  As far as the appearance goes, it’s a beautiful cigar, milk chocolate-brown with a light oily sheen. Davidoff’s website suggests a smoking time of 45 minutes, and I think that if one were to suck one of these down in that amount of time one would be squandering an opportunity to enjoy a really great tasting cigar. I’m not one to pick up a lot of complexity in a cigar, but this one had a lot of great flavors, and there was an enjoyable (to me, at least) sweet flavor, like if you ate a handful of those little candy hearts a couple of hours before, it’s subtle, but popped up once in a while. Leave it to me to taste something so low-brow in a $20+ cigar! It had some coffee and earthy flavors too that were really quite nice, along with a little pepper bite here and there.

 

Davidoff_702_Special RI thoroughly enjoyed smoking this cigar down until my fingers were getting hot, I’m sure Zino would not have approved, having been a proponent of leaving the cigar at the band. Too much goodness to waste putting it down that soon, in my humble opinion. On a cigar of this size, the band is the halfway point, perhaps that’s where the 45 minute figure comes from. I bet I enjoyed this cigar for nearly twice that amount of time. It goes without saying that the burn and draw were perfect, they better be at this level.  The Davidoff 702 Series Special R is a great special occasion smoke, even if the special occasion is a Wednesday evening! The only downside to this is the price, but the upside is definitely there. I have the 2000 in the humidor waiting for the next special occasion.

 

That’s all for now, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig (feeling fancy)

 

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CigarCraig’s Holiday Contest Number Four: General Cigar Co. and the Tommy Bahama Winner

Davidoff GolfI hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Christmas yesterday. As JJO suggested in his comment on the last post, it turns out I did have better things to do yesterday than post the winner, including having a big breakfast at our daughter’s house with the granddaughters and our kids, then taking a drive to visit more family in New Jersey. While at my bro-in-law’s in Jersey I got to smoke a glorious Sobremesa Short Churchill, which was wonderful. Christmas Eve I managed to smoke a Davidoff Golf Scorecard Edition, a gorgeous 6″ x 55 toro. These are presented in a five pack, ostensibly four cigars for your golf foursome, and one with a gold secondary band for the winner. These carry a pretty hefty price-tag , $114 for 5 at CI, who starts off the description with “Some things Bolivarare matches made in heaven – like bacon and eggs, mac and cheese, and of course, golf and cigars. “, which I find to be a rather pedestrian way to start a paragraph about a pretty expensive cigar! Anyway, it was a spectacular smoke, even though I don’t golf. It had loads of creamy, spicy flavors that were quite entertaining. It turned out to be pretty hard to find something suitable to follow such a stellar smoke, so I went with a Bolivar Royal Corona that had been floating around the humidor for 5 years or so. It was up to the task and was a great smoke, on the milder side, on par with the Davidoff. It was a pretty great couple of cigars on a reasonably nice winter’s day.

 

Contest!

GCCLet’s keep it going! I have some goodies from General Cigar for today’s giveaway!  There’s a Punch Bobblehead, a tin CAO Flathead Steel Horse sign, a pair of very nice La Gloria Cubana Cigar Scissors, and a Macanudo Inspirado Colibri Grip cutter, which is rubberized with orange blades, very sharp-looking. It’s hard to say what else might fall into the shipping box while I’m packing it up too, it’s been known to happen. Anyway, usual rules apply, leave a comment to enter,  I’ll announce a winner on Wednesday!

 

Winner!

 

Island LifestyleI almost forgot to announce the winner fo the Tommy Bahama ashtray and travel humidor, and Island Lifestyle Cigars!  I wore my blue check Tommy Bahama shirt yesterday with my blue check Vans, it was quite the look.  Many thanks to Ryan at Island Lifestyle Importers for providing this wonderful present! I can’t say how much I like the Tommy Bahama branded stuff, my wife told me I was crazy to give it away! But, giving is so much fun, so it’s off to Random.org to find the winner!  I’m not sure how this happened, but the winner is Andy Klueber.  Every once in a while someone calls their shot, but Andy chose the opposite, pessimistically entering saying he wasn’t going to win, several times! His number came up this time, and I’ll be sending him some great stuff!

 

That’s all for now! I got some chicken harnesses for Christmas so I can try taking chickens for a walk instead of Macha, that should get the neighbors talking….until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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Davidoff, Tatuaje, and Surrogates Cigars and an Event

Davidoff_NicaraguaBox Pressed_robustoTo start of today I have to rewind to last Sunday, when I wrapped up a nice day in the city with a Davidoff Nicaragua Box Pressed Robusto, one of the new cigars in the line this year. If I was impressed with the toro, I was really impressed with the robusto! This one measures 5″ x 48, which feels even smaller with the box press. It features tobaccos from four growing regions in Nicaragua: Condega, Jalapa, Ometepe and Esteli, with the ligero coming from Esteli. As with the Toro, it burned perfectly as one would expect (or, dare I say, demand!), with a great draw, tons of rich, tasty smoke and a firm ash.  This is a special cigar, right up my alley in terms of flavor and strength, but  priced outside my personal comfort range, but for special cigars, my price threshold has been expanding recently. I would certainty recommend this cigar as a special occasion smoke. As I said of the toro, it’s yummy.

 

Tatuaje K222Fast forward to Saturday, when I went back to one of my favorite shops, the Wooden Indian, where they were having a Halloween party of sorts, along with a combined My Father, Tatuaje, L’Atellier, Surogates event with KC Johnson on hand. I introduced myself to KC, apologizing for not having met him before, I saw him at the IPCPR show and I suppose he was with someone at the time or something, I just felt weird for not having met him before. He’s a super nice guy, friendly and knowledgeable and a good fit for the cigar business. While I was there I smoked the Tatuaje Reserva Miami K222, new this year, and an homage to Pete Johnson’s dog Kona, who lost his battle with cancer last year after losing a leg to the disease. I have a soft spot in my heart for three-legged dogs, and offered words of encouragement to Pete when Kona was losing his leg. In our dog’s case, when lost her leg to a bad break, not cancer, but it’s amazing how animals adapt, within days they are getting around fine. Anyway, I felt compelled to smoke the K222, and it’s a fantastic smoke. Take the afore-mentioned Davidoff, kick the strength up a notch, and the sophistication and subtlety down a notch, and you have the Tatuaje. If that sounds like a dig, it’s not, it a different experience but no less satisfying. The K222 is 5 7/8″ x 52 with an Ecuador Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and fillers and is made in the El Rey de los Habanos factory in Doral, Florida. Obviously the “K” stands for Kona, Pete’s Rottweiler, who passed away at 2:22 on April 22, hence the 222 in the name. It’s yet another great cigar from the Tatuaje line.

 

Surrogates_Animal Cracker_AC550While I was at the Wooden Indian, I kind gave Dave, the owner, a little grief about the inappropriateness of his Native American costume, with cultural appropriation being currently out of fashion. PC BS, nobody was insulted back in my childhood when we dressed as hobos, old ladies or banditos, I was even a mafioso once Halloween with a toy machine gun, offensive on several levels in today’s world. I guess if Dave had been standing outside his store with a bundle of cigars in his hand I would have gotten it, but I was slow on the uptake and only “got it” this morning. Anyway, I bought a Tatuaje Monster Series The Krueger, and I’m wondering if I should smoke it tomorrow evening, Halloween, or put it away for a while?  What do you all think?  I also picked up a couple of the Surrogates Animal Cracker AC550, as I’ve enjoyed several cigars in that line and hadn’t tried this one yet. I set one on fire last night and it’s a powerful, full flavored cigar. I loved the closed foot, it feels like it’s plugged on the Cold Draw (one of my favorite podcasts currently, BTW, an unsolicited plug), but upon setting fire to the foot it opens up and is perfect. This one has an Ecuador Habano Oscuro wrapper, burns well, produces lots of smoke and is a great cigar if one likes strong cigars (or needs a little help and doesn’t like taking laxatives, TMI?).  So far I’ve tried and liked the Broadleaf wrapped Skull Breaker and Bone Crusher, so I guess the Tramp Stamp and Crystal Baller are next on my to try list. These are made at the My Father factory in Esteli, and blended by Pete Johnson and the L’Atelier team. These aren’t subtle, the are aggressive, as the names might suggest, but are worth trying f you have a strong constitution!

 

That’s enough for now, I have a busy week, I’ve got a Prime Living Article deadline coming up, a weekend getaway that I need to write and schedule a post for, and various other preparations to make. since I was lazy last week and put off my usual Wednesday post for Friday, I’m going to make every effort to get back on track this week and not be a slug. So, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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Davidoff and Bobalu Cigars and a Wooden Indian Drew Estate Event

Davidoff_Yamasa_ToroAnother week is in the books, and I felt the urge to revisit the Davidoff Yamasa toro on Thursday. I smoked this at a launch party that Davidoff had at their lounge in Las Vegas, which, of course, was not nearly large enough to contain the crown there in air-conditioned comfort, so a large part of the event was outside. I kinda like the Las Vegas heat for a while, it’s not totally uncomfortable, but add in some misting fans, loud DJ music, and a crowd, it’s not any kind of environment to get a good handle on a cigar. I had a busy week at my day job, so I figured it was time to give the Yamasa Toro another go.  To recap the Yamasa story in a nutshell: 20 years ago Henke Kelner decided to try to grow tobacco in a swampy area in the Yamasa Valley in the Dominican Republic. After many years Davidof_Yamasa_Samplerof trying, apparently they got it right and produced the Davidoff Yamasa into their Black Label series this year. It’s a good smoke. It’s as elegant and well made as one expects from Davidoff, and it’s got a lot of flavors of earth and wood, with some spice.  This is another Davidoff cigar I received a sampler of in ridiculous (meant in a good way), over the top packaging.  The pentagonal box, containing a five sided star-shaped box which unfolds to reveal the four sizes in the line and a box of cigar matches is amazing, yet highly impractical! I’m told the Pyramid is the best of the bunch, not sure why I didn’t select that one…another time.

 

Bobalu_Tres Capa_toroFriday I decided to dig into some of the cigars I recently purchased from Bobalu Cigar Co. in Austin, Texas. I featured some of their cigars a few months ago and felt like they had some offerings that intrigued me enough to make a purchase. Remember, there’s a special deal just for my readers where you can get a free triple flame lighter with a purchase (I forgot to take advantage of this when I ordered!). Their Tres Capa caught my eye, I have to admit, the combination of the Candela, Connecticut and Habano wrapper leaves in a barber pole configuration makes for a very attractive cigar. I don’t seek out barber pole style cigars, but I liked the look. This was a really nice, milder cigar, with some great, smooth flavors. They didn’t ask me to say this, but they have a special on their site for a 10 pack for $39.95 with a torch lighter, which is a nice deal for some very good, made in the US of A cigars.  I got a box pressed maduro and an Oscuro lined up to try to so stay tuned. I have a few reasons I’d like to visit Houston someday, and now Austin is on my list, not that they are close to one another, are they?

 

NicaRustica)_2016DE-WI EventYesterday I stopped in to the Wooden Indian Cigar shop in Havertown, PA where they were having their annual Drew Estate Charity Event and pigroast. It was a packed house and featured Pedro Gomez from Drew Estate, Broc Jackson, the young man who makes the jewelry that all the Drew guys wear, as well as many others in the cigar industry, and Hollis Thomas, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles and is on the local sports radio station (apparently, I don’t follow football at all, but I sat down next to this guy, not knowing who he was and he seemed like a fun guy. His go-to smoke is a short story, which I found interesting as it showed he was in it for the flavor and not the look, as it’s hard to find that little cigar in his formidable hands…). I bought some cigars, and lit up a Nica Rustica El Brujito and schmoozed for an hour or so. Every year they have this big event with auctions of great Drew Estate cigars and artwork by Jessi Flores at Subculture Studios, and this year they raised over $6000 for Drew Estate Charities, as well as raising $800 in cash and cigars for Cigar For Warriors. In the picture here you can see some of the auction items in the background. Dave and his staff at the Wooden Indian always have great events, it’s probably my favorite shop in the area.

 

That’s all for today, I smoked another IPCPR show sample last night, but I didn’t really dig it, so I’m not going to mention it…probably not the cigars fault, it just wasn’t for me, an I was disappointed because I though it would be! I hate it when that happens. Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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Davidoff, Gonzo Santeria, Flor de Gonzalez and Epic Cigars

Davidoff Nicaragua SamplerI’ll start out with a cigar I smoked last Sunday evening after a really great day which included my daughter and her family coming over and making me a birthday cake. We got a lot accomplished throughout the day and  I decided to celebrate with a Davidoff Nicaragua Box Pressed, having never smoked the Davidoff Nicaragua before. I received a very nice care package from Davidoff after the show, it was  huge box, and the presentation was amazing. The Davidoff Nicaragua came in a leather-bound box, with a box of cigar matches, a brochure, and some sort of metal box that I haven’t quite figured out yet. It seems to have a bottle opener on the end, and a compass and a flashlight inside. I’d be grateful if someone would shed some light on the purpose for this item! It’s still really cool, and I was anxious to fire up one of the Box Pressed Toros. I don’t have a lot of experience with the Davidoff line, but I expect a high quality smoke based on reputation and price, and I wasn’t disappointed. The cigar burned about as perfect as you’d want, and tasted fantastic, solidly Davidoff_NicaraguaBox Pressed_Toromedium and some spice and a bit of cocoa. I’m sure “yummy” isn’t as classy a description as Davidoff might like, but that’s what I’m calling it.  Note the cool Screwpop Ashtray in the photo. I love the Screwpop Punch, I have the original and the 2.0, and while I prefer the design of the 2.0 and the larger diameter punch, the original is great for very small ring cigars. These guys have a vast selection of key chain tools, the only thing missing from the lineup is a large keychain to hold them all! Anyway, this ashtray is a pretty nicely designed little item. This isn’t the ashtray you are putting out when you have a bunch of people over, but it’s perfect for a single cigar, it’s designed with a post in the tray to knock off your ash (particularly handy if your cigar goes out and you want to get as much ash off before re-lighting), and two different sized rests, one for a large cigar and one for a cigarillo. It’s made of melamine, so it cleans up easily and won’t break of dropped, and it looks nice too. I haven’t been able to figure out how to open a bottle with it, or put it on my key ring, but other than that it’s a nice little item! The coolest part is that a mainstream company embraces cigars and makes useful tools for them, along with their other tools. Cool designs from cool company! The Davidoff Nicaragua Box Pressed was great too!

 
Gonzo_Santeria_ToroThursday I picked out an IPCPR sample, although not necessarily a new cigar really. Recently Steve Ysidron joined Kuuts Cigars as their president, and brought a couple of his lines with him, the Carnavale and the Gonzo Santeria. The Gonzo Santeria features a cool dia de los Muertos skull band and a pigtail cap of sorts.  The 6″ x 52 Toro has a San Andrés wrapper, a dual binder with San Andrés and Jalapa leaf and Nicaraguan fillers. I smoked the Santeria a couple years ago and really enjoyed it, as I really enjoyed this one. It’s got that kinda sweet, kinda dirty flavor that the Mexican tobacco brings. Right up my alley and a really nice cigar. Steve Ysidron is a really cool dude, and I wish him the best with Kuuts!

 

Flor de Gonzalez_90MilesUnidos_RobustoFriday I got off to a late start so I went with a robusto sized Flor de Gonzalez 90 Miles Unidos on the back porch. There’s not a lot of information out there about this cigar. I can tell you that it’s a dos capa, barber pole style cigar with what appears to me to be Habano and Connecticut shade wrappers. beautifully applied. If I had to guess on the filler, I’d go with Nicaraguan. It was a really tasty cigar, although, like many cigars wrapped in this style, did not have the straightest burn line.  I don’t really think the barber pole wrap brings anything  too much to the table flavor wise, no more than a double binder would, but it looks cool and I admit to smoking with my eyes. I appreciate the artistry of a well done dos capa (or tres, more on that next week), as it takes some talent and patience to pull off, especially with the consistency needed to line a bunch of them up in a box and have them all look exactly the same.  I’ve long been a fan of Yadi Gonzalez’s 90 miles line, and the new line extensions are off to a good start with the Unidos (there is also a Habano and Connecticut).

 

Epic_San Andres LE_ToroFinally, I wrapped up another busy Saturday with another IPCPR sample. This is another much-anticipated cigar for me, as I enjoy the other cigars in the line a lot. Epic Cigars had their Limited Edition Project E San Andrés at the IPCPR show, although they had temporary bands on the samples. The regular release will have a tobacco “band” applied to the cigar, a cut-out “E” which has to piss off the poor people who have to cut out and apply it to the cigar, but it’s a cool touch. The cigar comes on one size, the Gran Ola, a 6½” x 54, and has  little pigtail cap. Once again, you know my tastes, this should be a cigar I love, right?  Well, it was. This cigar burned my fingers, and had the prettiest burn and ash I’ve seen on a cigar in some time. It was a joy to smoke and tasted great.  It was loaded with espresso and earthy flavors with some sweetness. Once again Dean Parsons gets his shot on net with this one.

 

That’s it for today, I’m off to do some holiday weekend demolition which will include moving some of the humidors, followed by a couple of great cigars this afternoon! There’s apparently a reason they call it Labor Day weekend!

 

Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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