With so many new cigars to smoke, I decided to go with some old favorites and not so new cigars this week. We had probably the biggest snow of the year this week, and it was only about 10″, but it’s still enough to mess up the roads. Hopefully this is the last we’ll see of the white stuff (I know a lot of the country has seen their fair share this year). I’m celebrating the return of Daylight Savings Time here today as well. It’s gotten a lot easier now that most of the clocks change on their own, we used to have to run around and change all the clocks manually, and for the CDO (OCD in alphabetical order as it should be) afflicted, getting them all set to the same time is a nightmare. I have a Sony alarm clock that sets itself, but it’s ALWAYS five minutes fast! What’s up with that? Anyway, enough rambling nonsense, let’s get to some cigar nonsense!
Thursday was the day it snowed, and we closed up work at one-thirty, I was home by two-thirty and out taking Macha for a walk with a La Gloria Gubana Serie R Esteli No.54 by three. I never really cared for the Serie R line, they didn’t have enough oomph for me. I know they pioneered the large ring trend back in the late ’90s when they came out (at the time, the Casa Blanca Jeroboam and Puros Indios Chief were the notable giant cigars that were actually real premium cigars). Last year General Cigar Co. released the SErie R Esteli and Black, with the Esteli being brick and mortar exclusive, and the Black only available online. I find the Esteli to be not only right up my personal alley flavor-wise, but far superior in flavor to it’s predecessors as well as the Black. Comparing it only to the Black, as they hit the market at the same time and seem similar, I find the Esteli to be richer and deeper in flavor, and those flavors are the dark cocoa and espresso with some spice flavors that I really like. Burn was great, draw was great and it’s got a hearty enough Jalapa sungrown wrapper to hold up to a few snowflakes here and there. I’m a La Gloria fan anyway, but this is among my favorites, I’ll happily smoke these in any size, although my preference is for this size, 6″ x 54, which is the smallest.
Friday I went old school. I had two Padron 4000 cigars floating around the humidors since last year sometime. One slightly darker than the other, so one could assume one was the maduro and one the natural. Of course, it’s hard to make these assumptions with Padrons, but I leaned toward the darker of the two. The Padron “thousand series” is the quintessential Nicaraguan cigar. All the Anniversary series are great, but the “bottom of the line” standard Padrons are great on their own. Reasonably priced, almost always available, and consistent in flavor and construction year after year, you really can’t go wrong. The 4000 hasn’t been in the line-up as long as the 2000 or 3000, so this is the first in that vitola I’ve smoked, but it met all my expectations. There’s a dusty cocoa flavor that is the core of Padron, and this cigar absolutely satisfied all my criteria for an excellent cigar. Maybe these aren’t as pretty as the Anniversary series and have a few rough edges, but for the money these are something that should be a staple in every humidor.
Yesterday I was poking around looking for a cigar to smoke after the disappointing Flyers loss to the Bruins. the occasion wasn’t deserving of a BSB No.1 Bernie Parent Lord Stanley by Rocky Patel, but next to it was a Rocky Patel Fifteenth Anniversary Toro, so I said “what the heck” and grabbed it for a post dinner walk. Tonight I get to start taking walks in the daylight again! I wasn’t sure where this cigar was going to go, having not smoked one before and knowing nothing about it. What I do know is that it came out a few years ago to commemorate the company’s 15th anniversary (well duh…that was tough to figure out there Captain Obvious) and a little research turns up that it has a Habano wrapper, comes in sizes Corona Gorda, Robusto, Toro, Torpedo, Sixty, Toro Tubo, of which the Toro is a 6½” x 52 with a comfortable box press. Ask me where I got this one, I couldn’t tell you. I seem to have amassed a pretty good handful of Rocky Patel cigars over the years, and I can only remember buying a few, the rest must have snuck in. I don’t get samples from RP, except the occasional “here, try this” unbanded sample from my local rep, Mark. Anyway, this was a taasty cigar, nice sweet notes and a solid core of rich tobacco flavor. I liked it and would smoke it again, for sure.
Last week Pottery Barn, of all places, listed a cigar case and cutter on their clearance page (that part isn’t particularly surprising, that they had them there in the first place was the surprise. Unbeknownst to me, my wife order them and they arrived this week. I personally would have passed on this offer, although I will certainly use the double tube cigar case. I have several single tubes that I use from time to time, but then I end up with empty tubes that I needed to take home. The tubes might accommodate a 6″ x 46 cigar, but are probably better suited for a smaller ring gauge. The caps fit nice, although the overall fit and finish is a little sloppy, but it kind of fits with the antique brass finish. The cutter is your typical single blade in a metal housing instead of the usual plastic. It seems sharp enough and is certainly a nicer alternative to a throw-away promo type cutter. It would certainly do the job and goes nicely with the case. She didn’t get them monogrammed, but that was available, although checking today it looks like only the cutter is still in stock. I would have liked having an R and and L on the lid of the tubes, just to satisfy my aforementioned CDO. 🙂 I really like the Brass tube that Kevin Shahan in Florida made, if he could make them double like this, I think he’d be on to something.
Today I went to have a quick meeting with Victor Vitale of Legacy Brands and Tortuga Cigars. We met at local favorite cigar hotspot, Cigar Mojo. Victor only had a short window of opportunity, so we met at 11am, when Mojo opened. We each purchased a handful of cigars, oddly including some Tortugas and RomaCraft cigars. We sat down at a table and lit up the new Tortuga 215 Reserva Connecticut Elegante, a 6″ x 54 cigar presented in a tissue paper wrapped cedar sleeve. This cigar debuted last month, and hasn’t been talked about much. It’s a mild cigar, wrapped in Ecuador Connecticut (Victor would have liked to use US Connecticut, but there were questions of the sustainability of the blend, and he wanted to be able to make this cigar consistently for years to come). The cigar is on the milder side, a perfect pre-lunch smoke, and I was impressed with the burn, as it left my favorite nice flat ember. It’s a flavorful, well balanced Connecticut cigar, as one would expect from a Tortuga. The very limited Tortuga Regalo with the same wrapper is a great smoke, and this one is the Regalo without the ligero, quite a great cigar. In the process of talking cigars and tobacco, Victor shared with me a new cigar he’s been working on for the last year, and the first production is already sold out and will be in stores next week. I’m not going to reveal too much more, but it’s something very different for Victor. Watch on Wednesday for more information.
That’s it for now, I would have smoked Victor’s new cigar today, but a migraine knocked me out again and took my afternoon away. I’m looking forward to getting it smoked for Wednesday’s post, and I’m also hoping to see the new cabinet humidor show up this week. Now I’m off to take my first evening daylight walk of the year!
Until the next time,