Tag Archives: Partagas

New CAO, La Gloria Cubana and Partagas from General Cigar Co.

Every year at the IPCPR show I make sure to make an appointment to tour the General Cigar Co. booth. I have a lot of great friends there and am a fan of many of their cigars. They had a lot of new cigars, and I’ll talk about three of them today, the others will have to wait until I smoke some more samples or, in a couple cases, find the cigars in my local shops.  I’ve included some relevant photos below, I should have rolled video, but I was having audio issues and didn’t want to waste valuable time. The first cigar I was eager to try after I got home was the third cigar in the CAO Amazon Trilogy, the poorly named Anaconda. I tried the Amazon Basin  few months back and was frankly CAO_AmazonAnacondaunderwhelmed, then the Fume em Corda came along and I really liked it. Now the Anaconda, a 6″x52 toro with a twisted cord of tobacco in place of a band is the third and last member of the family.  The cigar has a beautiful dark Brazilian Bahiano Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and Colombian, Dominican, Brazilian Braganca, and Fume em Corda fillers made in Honduras. I found it to have loads of flavors that I like, the dark, heavy flavors, and for having only spent a week in my humidor it burdened perfectly. I liked it so much I had to smoke a second one in as many days, which I very rare do.  I suspect I need to try to find another Amazon Basin to give it a second chance, although that may not be easy, I understand they went fast, and I regret not sampling it in its first run.  I always enjoy spending time with Ricky Rodriguez.

 

LaGloriaCubana_Colección ReservaOne of the surprising news from the La Gloria Cubana area of the booth was the introduction of the Coleccion Reserva which is a collaborative effort with Ernesto Carrillo and is actually manufactured in his Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. factory in the Dominican Republic. It has an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and filler, which came as a surprise to me. The cigar had a drying effect on my palate that led me to believe there was some Dominican leaf in the blend. Shows what I know. The presentation is beautiful, classic La Gloria hardening back to the days Ernesto owned the brand and made them in Miami. I’ll be giving these some more humidor time and trying them again, I didn’t dislike the cigar, I just think i dug in to the samples a little prematurely. Always a fan of the Lady…always enjoy seeing my buddy Yuri at the show. I first “met” Yuri Guillen when they launched the Serie N and had a webcast that I was lucky enough to take part in back around 2010. I met him in person in 2011 when I visited the factory. He’s a great guy and has done a great job with the La Gloria Cubana brand.

 

Partagas1845_ExtraOscuro_RothschildPartagas reworked their already very good 1845 line putting them in slick black boxes and redoing the blends. They also seem to be putting all three blends in both the brick and mortar and catalog channels, a change from when we saw the Extra Oscuro and Extra Fuerte split between the two (and I can’t remember which went to which…). I selected a Partagas 1845 Extra Oscuro Rothschild for my afternoon cigar yesterday. Oddly, the Rothschild size is more of a Corona Gorda, 5.63″ x 46, which is a really col size. This smoked wonderfully, with heavy dark chocolate and espresso flavors from the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Honestly, I’d have to try the old and new side by side to see if I could tell the difference, but the “new” was pretty darned great and will age spectacularly I think.  I’m looking forward to trying out the Extra Fuerte and Clasicos as I always enjoyed the 1845 line in the past.  The presentation is excellent and will be hard to miss on the store shelf. The General Cigars booth was all about the new releases, and largely the Macanudo Inspirado (more on that later), but the classic “back catalog” is still available. The Partagas “yellow box” and Black, tons of La Gloria marques and CAOs vast array of cigars obviously aren’t going anywhere. I was very excited by several of these new releases. More on Macanudo Toraño, Hoyo, Punch and Cohiba later.

 

That’s all for today, time to get it together, I’m replacing my garage door today, and it’s a job that kinda has to be finished in one sitting, ya know.  If you’re in the area and want to stop buy and lend a hand, I’ll provide cigars! 🙂 Until the next time,

CigarCraig

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Davidoff of Geneva, Partagas and Arturo Fuente Cigars

Thursday I had the privilege of attending a media event at the Davidoff of Geneva Brookfield Place shop in New York City for a meet and greet with Davidoff’s Global CEO,  Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard. We were instantly greeted by the attentive staff as well as Laura Peet, whose company handles the media relations for Davidoff. The shop is gorgeous, of course, only being about a year old, and Davidoff of Geneva NYClocated in a mall in the financial district with views of One World Trade Center from the comfortable lounge. I spoke with Hans-Kristian for a bit, but was unable to pry any secrets out of him. I asked about future Davidoff Lounge locations in the US and he was tight-lipped. When he spoke to the assembled crowd he said that they had just opened their 78th lounge, with seven of those in the US. The cigar of the evening was the incredible Chef’s Edition, which is a 6″ x 54 toro with a Habano 2000 wrapper, Ecuador Connecticut binder and a filler blend of San Vicente Mejorado Seco, San Vicente Mejorado Viso, Piloto Viso, and San Vicente Viso.  This cigar is a  collaboration between Davidoff of Geneva’s master blenders and six of the world’s most renowned chefs,  Peter Knogl, Cheval Blanc of Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois (Basel, Switzerland),  Renato Wüst of Bad Ragaz Grand Resort (Switzerland),  Ali Güngörmüs, of Le Canard HH Pageou (Münich, Germany),  Léa Linster of Restaurant Léa Linster (Frisange,Luxembourg),  Michel Trama of Relais & Chateau (Puymirol, France) and  Maria Marte of Club Allard (Madrid, Spain),with  nine Michelin stars among them. Amazingly, only four of the six chefs are cigar smokers. Here’s what Davidoff has to say about the cigar:

The Davidoff Chefs Edition is Davidoff’s version of a culinary masterpiece. Just like the perfect meal, it begins gently with complex layers of subtle flavors and builds up to a sublime and unforgettable crescendo. The wrapper is oily and smooth and everything about it, from its flawless composition to its elegant color, whets the appetite for the cigar’s initial aromas, both nutty and sweet. The flavors become richer and more uplifting in the second third, with hints of citrus, bloomy fruit, sweet corn and a refined aftertaste that is both oily and creamy. In the last third, the cigar’s beauty and vitality erupt into an intense, peppery yet meltingly sweet and gratifying Grand Finale, just as a gastronomic experience is crowned by a superb dessert.

Davidoff_Chefs EditionI smoked the cigar at the event and it was spectacular, and they had a spread of chocolates and hors d’oeuvres there that did compliment the cigar nicely. Some of the chocolate treats were amazing on their own. I missed the corn component in the cigar, granted a cigar event isn’t exactly best place to pick up subtleties, but I was talking with Greg Mattola of Cigar Aficionado who explained to me that to him it was more of a corn flavor one would get in a bourbon, something I have no frame of reference for. They were also sampling some Camus Cognacs, which I passed on, but they also had some very good coffee on hand. I am looking forward to smoking the Chef’s Edition again when I can really sit down and concentrate on it. Hans-Kristian did say that the next limited edition Chef’s Edition would feature input from American and Asian chefs. Davidoff has some very interesting thematic cigar lines. Rudy and his staff at the lounge were very attentive and this is a must visit if you find yourself in lower Manhattan. Prices were high, but it is New York, and it is Davidoff. It was a quick trip to the city for my wife and I, but we met a bunch of great folks including Ted Hoyt from Smoke Magazine and John Nubian of YRB Magazine,  and had a very nice time. My wife even enjoyed a Davidoff 2000 while there.

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I could probably stop here and nobody would complain, but I did have a couple of cigars yesterday worth noting.  Yesterday I watched the second period of the Flyers game on the back porch with the new Partagas Heritage Rothschild, a 4½ x 50 cigar with the rosado colored OSA wrapper from Honduras, a Connecticut Broadleaf binder and a filler blend of Honduran Jamastran, Dominican Piloto Cubano and Mexican San Andres. This is is a cigar that is going to age well, not that it isn’t ready to go now. It has a spicy, tannin flavor that really wakes up the palate. The burn and draw are excellent, and the rounded head, a signature of cigars made by General Cigar, allows for pinpoint control of the cut, allowing a punch-like cut with a guillotine or scissors. I liked it, it was different from every other Partagas cigar I’ve had. The band could be better, a simple, red band with Partagas Heritage on it, from a distance it might look like the Partagas Serie D No.4 Habano, which is probably the point. Recommended, along with the Partagas Ramon y Ramon.

 

Fuente_HemingwayClassic_MaduroLast night I grabbed a lonely Arturo Fuente Hemingway Classic Maduro from the humidor. I was going to smoke a regular old Hemingway Classic Cameroon, but this Maduro had a couple of cracks that were concerning, so it had to go. I got a few of these on a visit to Holt’s in Philly last fall some time, and it traveled home with me on the train in a baggie and might have gotten dinged up a little. To the Fuente’s credit, these cracks, the most concerning of which ran from the band to the cap, caused absolutely no problems. I feared and explosion, and the only explosion I got was that great Hemingway flavor with the sweet broadleaf wrapper on top of it. It’s amazing that a cigar can taste the same year after year, which is why I feel compelled to pick up a few Hemingway maduros when I see them at Holt’s, which seems to be every time, and for the $6 or 7 that they cost it’s a no-brainer.  What put the Fuente bug in me yesterday was reading about the theft of a 40′ container of Fuente cigars, which really takes some planning, I would think, how does a whole container get stolen? Fuente’s are going to be in short supply for a while, I think, but the company has faced adversity before, and will overcome.

 

That’s enough out of me for today. Looking forward to another nice spring day, so we’ll see what gets smoked today!  Don’t forget you can follow @cigarcraig on Instagram and Twitter to see what I’m smoking, not that anyone should really care…Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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A Special Guest Article and a New Partagas and Joya de Nicaragua

I’m going to lead off with this great article Dan Colley wrote with some of his insight into the new regulations from his time working for the FDA. This covers the importation procedures, I’m hoping he offers more thoughts on the implementation of the regulations at a later date.

 

Many of you are likely familiar with my name. I am Dan Colley and have been a reader of and commenter to the CigarCraig blog for quite some time. What you may not know is that I am a retired Investigator and Compliance Officer for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). I left the Agency in the mid-1990s for work in the private sector. I have been retired now for about fifteen years I’ve been a cigar smoker since about 1967.

 

As someone who worked daily with the many requirements of the FDA, I have become intimately familiar with the import requirements that the law has put into place for many regulated products, from foods and drugs to medical devices, cosmetics and even tobacco products. The recent regulations that FDA has been charged with enforcing contain requirements that are new to the tobacco industry and I would like to provide you with some information about how those requirements will impact you, the cigars that you love to smoke and the tobacco industry in general.

 

It is important to know that the FDA and the U.S. Customs Service (Customs) work very closely together to enforce the various laws that regulate imports. Customs was first mainly interested in the collection of import tariffs, but as time has passed, they have joined their efforts with other Federal agencies who have authority over imported products. For example, the FDA has authority over foods, human drugs, animal drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, and tobacco that extend beyond taxes and tariffs. The procedures for allowing these products into the U.S. legally are essentially the same with very few differences.

 

I would like to briefly explain the physical process that imported products go through before entry into the U.S. The first thing that must occur when a foreign manufacturer wishes to import cigars into this country is that they make a declaration to the FDA and to Customs that a shipment is heading for the U.S. That declaration will usually tell those agencies what the shipment consists of, how it is arriving, where it will be offered for entry into the US and who the involved parties are. Typically, foreign manufacturers will use companies that consolidate shipments for ease and economy of transportation. When these freight consolidators are involved, they will make the required notifications to the U.S. agencies.

 

When the shipment arrives in the U.S., it is moved directly to what is called a bonded warehouse where it is held for government inspection. The consignee does not have access to the shipment at this point. Once the agencies are notified, policy dictates which path the shipment will follow.

 

There are several paths that are possible for these shipments to take. For example, some are merely “rubber-stamped” and allowed to proceed to the consignee without any action. This occurs when the agency has a long and successful relationship with the product and the manufacturer and has every reason to believe that the products comply with all requirements. That assumption is always based on historical data and not merely presumption.

 

Another path that imported products may follow is that of a simple examination. In cases like this, an inspector will go to the bonded warehouse and physically examine the shipment to see if it is what it is supposed to be and in the case of perishable items, the shipment is in good shape and not visually contaminated or adulterated. If no problems are identified, the inspector will file his paperwork with the FDA and the products is then released and may proceed to the consignee.

 

Since cigars do not meet the classic definition of “perishable goods”, they are primarily involved with what inspectors call a “paper chase”. Cigars require pre-market approval unless they were manufactured before the date that governing regulations were put into place, so it is not usually necessary to examine them for adulteration unless there is obvious physical damage to the shipment (eg: water damage, crushing, etc.). All the agency must do is verify that the cigars are either approved for sale in the U.S. or are ones that are “grandfathered” as being manufactured before the regulations became law. This is principally a paper exercise. FDA will review filings made by the manufacturer and will also examined specimens of the labels on the product to assure that they meet the requirements of the regulations. If they do, FDA releases the products. If they don’t, they enter the detention cycle.

 

The detention cycle can be involved and I will not delve into it very far. I will say that there are only a few possibilities for products caught up in this cycle. First, they can be denied entry outright and returned to the entity who shipped it. Another possibility is that the product may be reconditioned, if possible. This applies mainly to products with labeling non-conformances in which they may be brought into compliance by simply applying different labeling. There are other possibilities, but they are not generally applicable in the situation of cigars.

 

This rigorous inspection cycle will lead to a variety of other consequences as well. I’ve been told of people who order Cuban cigars from European retailers. They report that the shipments of contraband cigars arrive at their mailbox without any difficulty. This is likely because the shipper has a good relationship with U.S. Customs and its products proceed without examination. Now, with essentially every lot of imported cigars being examined as a result of the new regulations, this practice will likely come to a halt. Once an inspector sees “made in Cuba” on a box of cigars, all bets will be off. (Editor’s note: Many shipments of contraband cigars are not declared as cigars)

 

The bottom line is that if a cigar does not meet the letter of the law, it will not be allowed into the country. The process for making a cigar “legal” for domestic consumption is quite tedious and has not yet been completely defined by the FDA, but we can be assured, sadly, that it will be difficult and expensive for cigar manufacturers to import new blends of cigars into the country.

 

I hope that this has been enlightening for you. Since I have been away from FDA for quite some time, there are likely some differences in what they do with respect to regulated products, but I have learned from some former cronies who are still with the agency that the procedures remain essentially unchanged over the past 20 years.

 

Thank you Dan for that insiders look at the process! I think this is timely considering recent reports of cigar shipments being opened by customs, whole bundles of cigars cut in half and shipped on to the recipient as if nothing happened. Does it seem right for a government agency to destroy legal property and send it on with out so much as an apology? How is a retailer supposed to sell cigars that have been damaged like that, and they can’t return them for credit. This is where the new regulations are going to effect retailer’s bottom lines first.

 

Partagas_Ramon_y_Ramon_Single_Cigar EditI have a couple of IPCPR samples I wanted to talk about, first being the Partagas Ramon y Ramon Robusto. This line pays homage to Ramon Cifuentes, the founder of the Partagas brand, and uses tobacco that was grown in the Dominican Republic from vintage seeds from General Cigar’s library of seeds. The agronomists at General developed a process to regenerate these vintage seeds, and, if I recall, it takes several growing cycles to get a usable crop of tobacco with the right characteristics. The filler is composed of this special, old world tobacco, Nicaraguan Jalapa and Dominican Piloto Cubano, with a Dominican binder and a high priming Cameroon wrapper. This was one of the most interesting and enjoyable cigars I’ve smoked in a very long time. There was a spicy cinnamon flavor throughout the smoke which just kept making me think “wow, this is a delicious cigar!”. The burn and draw were perfect and the cigar had that signature round cap that General Cigar likes to use. This robusto’s size is a bit of a departure from the standard 5½” x 49 Partagas robusto, as they took the ring gauge up to 50. This a great smoke and the list price is in the $7.49-$8.99 range, very reasonable for a terrific cigar. Can you tell I was impressed? Photo is from General’s press kit, it was much better than mine!

 

JoyadeNicaragua_Joya Black_ToroAfter a visit to a newer local store, which I found to be rather lack-luster, with a poorly executed floor-plan and dirty and shabby lounge (although the company and the La Galera El Lector, a 6″x 54 toro which was really nice, but I failed to pay much attention to it), I had to break out the new Joya Black from Joya de Nicaragua. They are branding this along with the Joya Red and have re-branded the doble capa Cabinetta to fit the same design scheme. I’ve been looking forward to trying this San Andrés wrapped cigar since I heard about it. I probably could have chosen a better time when the ambient humidity wasn’t over 80%, as the cigar smokes a bit on the wet side. It had a great flavor though, I’ll be getting my hands on some more to smoke at the right moisture level. It was everything I want in a maduro, less the steamy smoke quality. Unfortunately, you can’t tell if a cigar needs to be dry boxed until it’s too late. Going back to the local shop I visited, it’s a shame that the owners of this chain did what I consider to be a half-assed job with this store. It’s in an area where an upscale, classy shop would do well, and it’s got more of a 7-Eleven feel to it. I hate to be so critical, but I was really disappointed in the place, but not surprised, based on some of the other stores in the chain. I’m sure my harsh criticism will be unpopular with certain people. On a positive note, the pricing was fine, the selection was not bad, although rather “safe”, and the cigar I bought and smoked there smoked well, despite the “store as a humidor” model (I wonder about the practicality of having a door to the outside directly into the humidified space, often they have to overcompensate for this and the cigars are wet).

 

That’s more than enough for now, I thought about breaking this up into two posts, but I am far to lazy for that on a Sunday morning. Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

 

 

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IPCPR Thoughts and Highlights – Part One

We got back from the IPCPR show yesterday, and it was a whirlwind 3 days at the show. I didn’t do the video interviews like I’ve done in the past, I figure other people are doing them and I don’t do what everyone else does. The only one I did I posted Sunday, and I’ll try to fix the audio when I get a chance. I will have a video montage of the “secret question” which I did for fun. Two years ago I put together the montage (here), and when I get the video put together I’ll post it. It’s a bit of fun and something different. I encourage you to visit my colleagues sites who did run around interviewing everyone, I just didn’t have it in me this time around. Obviously when I got Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust‘s Steve Saka alone at the end of the first day, and was the first blogger type to have talked to him, I had to scoop the competition. I’m not proud of my competitiveness in that regard, but I am proud to have gotten the first interview with Steve out. I asked some questions I’m sure nobody else did.  I’ve known Steve for nearly 20 years, which might have given me a little advantage. I’ve gt samples, and you’ll hear more about them as I smoke them. They are taking a rest in the humidor, and I even shipped a box back that’s due tomorrow.  Anyway, here’s the quick day by day recap.

 

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Friday we drove two hours to Newark, NJ for a 5am flight which took us through Chicago then finally to New Orleans.  Once checked into our hotel, the Hilton Riverside, which is next to the convention center, more or less, we walked to get our badges. This convention center had to have been nearly a mile long, it’s one enormous building, and the IPCPR was on the far end. We went to our hotel and took about a three-hour nap before heading back to the convention center for the gala grand opening reception, which followed the Government Affairs Briefing. This has been poorly attended in the past, and it was quite important to those who make a living in the cigar industry, so it was a stroke of genius offering cocktails to the attendees. The gala offered food and a cash bar, which was exorbitantly expensive. We caught up with quite a few old friends here, spending some time with the Two Guys Smoke Shop crew, as well as many others.  I had run into Scott Weeks of Recluse Cigars, who handed me a Recluse Amadeus in Connecticut and the new Habano, and I smoked the Connecticut at the event, which is a great Connecticut shade cigar, lots of flavor. I can’t wait to try the Habano version, as I’ve been a Recluse fan since their release.  I also smoked something else, but I can’t recall what it was. The evening was sponsored by Fratello Cigars. It was a fun evening, but even after the nap we were running at a sleep deficit, and wanted to be awake for the opening of the show.

 

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Saturday morning we arose refreshed and went to the opening breakfast at the convention center. Smoking is allowed at the breakfast, but I was holding off until we got to the show. There is a business meeting that takes place, with recognition of the outgoing and incoming presidents and the introduction of the new IPCPR IMG_1761CEO, as well as some industry awards. All quite uninteresting to the consumer, but the officers and board of directors do this in their spare time on a volunteer basis, so there behind the scenes work deserves recognition. They always have a keynote speaker, and this year it was Larry Winget, a motivational speaker who was quite insightful and entertaining. I bought his book. He and I have a similar sense of humor, and many of his observations were quite funny. Breakfast was good, the coffee was great and it was a nice way to spend the morning. The show floor opened to the masses at 10:30 and we ran into quite a few old friends on what seemed like a half mile walk to the entrance of the show.  Upon entering, IMG_1780Drew Estate‘s elaborate and expansive booth is straight ahead, so it was mobbed. We had a couple of appointments in the afternoon, so we went to the far end of the show floor and wandered, saying hello to friends, meeting up with fellow bloggers and media types, and getting the lay of the land ( taking note of where the food court was, bathrooms, etc. The first appointment was with Victor Vitale of Tortuga and Legacy brands, where I was reintroduced to IMG_1779the new Tortuga Connecticut, which was my first cigar of the show.  This is a very smooth, creamy cigar with great flavor. I have smoked it before, and it’s a very enjoyable Connecticut, not to be missed. You may begin to notice a trend, I do’t smoke a great many milder cigars, but I’ve been to enough events and trade shows that I know how much it can suck if you blow out your palate early with strong cigars. I typically don’t go through a ton of cigars on the show floor as it’s awkward talking to one manufacturer about his cigar with another manufacturers cigar in your mouth (in the interview with Steve Saka I was smoking the new Leccia Luchadore, more on that later, but I couldn’t put it down and Steve didn’t have any samples of the Sobremesa). Victor was struggling with having his display cases broken and not having the right furniture, so it was a rough show for him, but he kept a smile on his face. This is another trend we saw: broken displays and what appeared to be poor service by whoever was in charge of moving things around with at least one booth never receiving a couch or chairs.  I attended a media briefing at Rafael Nodal’s Boutique Blends/Aging Room booth with was informative, with Rafael telling us about his current selections.  This factory continues to put out some great cigars, I just enjoyed the joint venture between Rafael and Altadis, the Romeo by Romeo y Julieta Aging Room Small Batch F25 in the Cantoar belicoso size and it was very nice. Not a show sample, by the way.  After visiting with Rafael and his boys we went to the General Cigar booth for our traditional 3:00 on the first day of the show tour.  General always rolls out the red carpet for us, and we saw some great looking new products including new branding on the Macanudo line, a Partagas Aniversario which looks really tasty, Bolivar and Ramon Allones reboots from the Foundry division as well as the Leccia Luchador El Gringo line extension (I mentioned before that I smoked it and really liked it, despite the example I smoked being a 70 ring). CAO has the Pilon, Margaritaville and added a round cigar to their Flathead line, the Steel Horse, paying homage to the motorcycles as opposed to the automobile reference in the previous five sizes. More about all of these as I smoke them after the samples have a chance to rest. Cohiba has a new very expensive Luxury Selection No. 2, which is beautiful, and Dunhill has the Heritage and Seleccion Suprema. Finishing off the tour was the Toraño line with the repackaged Brick bundle brand. I like a lot of cigars in the General Cigar portfolio, so I am looking forward to trying a bunch of the new cigars. Stay tuned for a giveaway here in the near future so you too can try some!

 

We free-ranged around the show floor some more until getting to sit down with Steve Saka after the show closed. I had to get the video interview out, which meant napping in between video processing, editing, and uploading over hotel WiFi so I could publish it for you first thing Sunday morning.  Needless to say, the first day was fun, exciting and tiring, and I’m going to Post about days three and four on Sunday.  Lots of great cigars and great people.

 

Until the next time,

CigarCraig`

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Independence Day Cigars, An American Puro, a CroMagnon, and Some Foundrys

It’s a holiday weekend, so, of course, our internet, TV and phones in the house mysteriously stop working and Verizon won’t be able to fix it until Monday.  No idea what happened, it just looks like the optical signal isn’t making it to the house.  So here I am, writing my Sunday post from Panera Bread (while noshing on a toasted Asiago Bagel with a schmear!).  I did manage to smoke some cigars this weekend!  I’ll miss watching Finding Bigfoot (best reality show on TV!) to night to end my weekend, but the weather has been spectacular, so I’m getting some things done outside!

 

CroMagnon_KnuckleDraggerThursday evening there were some storms rolling in, and I mentioned before that the new dog isn’t a fan, so I decided to grab something short, and picked out a RoMa Craft Cro Magnon Knuckle Dragger that I had bought down at Cigar Mojo a few weeks ago. This is a beautiful Broadleaf wrapped 4″ x 50 petite robusto.  I’ve only had a few of this line, despite knowing Skip Martin pretty well. I’m just not a very good weasel, I guess. This is a really brilliant cigar if you like strong, rich, dark flavors in a cigar. It burned perfectly, even though I had to turn around from my walk at the first rumble of thunder because the dog immediately turned toward home and started pulling.  I finished the cigar in the garage, and it was a really great smoke, clearly Skip, Mike and the gang are doing things right.

 

Friday was July 4th, a significant date, in the US, as it commemorates our young country’s independence, as well as the day my wife and I tied the knot!  Certainly celebratory cigars are in order.  I started the day with an Alec Bradley American Classic Gordo in the pool, but the cap split badly when I cut it. It didn’t really effect the burn or flavor, it was a nice smoke while relaxing after doing some yard work. I followed it with a pre-dinner Partagas Petit Coronas George Rico_American PuroEspeciale from a box I bought about 4 years ago. I’ve smoked a bunch of these and really enjoy them, sadly I only have a few left. Every Fourth of July I try to smoke a Havana cigar as a form of civil disobedience, I think the founding fathers might take a moment from spinning in their graves and approve. I like the cigars too, I just think that there are many better cigars and Cuban cigars, while different, aren’t necessarily best. After going out to a nice dinner with my wife, I sat on the deck with the American Puro Corona Gorda from George Rico.  I know, it’s a bit of a cliché, but I had it staring at me, so why not, and the Corona Gorda size was perfect for the occasion. The first  thing you notice about this is that smokey, Kentucky fire cured tobacco, which was fairly dominant to me.  Perhaps it was a  happy medium between the Leccia Black and the My Uzi Weighs A Ton Kentucky Fire Cured cigars. This sample came from Gran Habano along with the 5 Vegas I talked about last time, and shared a similar lack of straightness, no big deal, just a minor offence to my CDO (OCD in alphabetical order, AS IT SHOULD BE!).  I really enjoyed the heck out of this cigar, the Connecticut and Pennsylvania tobaccos complimented the smokey Kentucky leaf, and it was a surprise for me.  I would highly recommend trying this cigar as it’s unique in the marketplace, and is pretty darned tasty!

 

CE&M_UraniumSaturday ended up being a spectacular day, so we cleaned some more stuff up in the yard (this will be a recurring morning activity for the foreseeable future!), and hit the pool with a Foundry Compounds Elements and Musings Uranium: The X-Ray.   I bought this at a local shop begrudgingly. I have been trying to smoke all of the cigars in this line, but that just might be impossible, so I had to get it. On the other hand, it’s a 7″x70 which is just way too big. This is listed as containing Honduran, Nicaraguan and “Mysterioso” tobaccos, one can never be sure what’s in any of the Foundry cigars, Michael Gianinni raids General Cigar’s tobacco library and picks out unique tobaccos from unusual places.  This cigar was mild, had a nice flavor, which is why I stayed with it for over three hours. I went for a swim, read a book, went for another swim, got dressed and listened to a podcast on the deck, it was still going. Over all, it burned evenly and was a tasty smoke, although it took a while to get from mild to the low side of medium. I’m glad I tried it, but I don’t see this as a box purchase for me, although I dig the artwork, how can you not like a cross-legged skeleton flipping the bird! I have the CAO Flathead 770 in the humidor which is quite intimidating. I wrapped up the evening going out to see a friend play at a local country club, and meeting some other friends there, where we smoked a couple of the Foundry Compounds Elements and Musings Vanadium, which are aging very nicely. I may have to consider getting another of the V shaped boxes before they sell out.

 

That’s it for now, the Panera people are staring lo look at me like I’m overstaying my welcome! We are looking forward to getting things back to normal at home.  Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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