Last summer I wandered into a Tommy Bahama store in a local mall because they had a sale, and I was looking for a very specific shirt, which they ended up finding for me and I shelled out what to me is quite a decent sum of money for clothing, something I generally don’t do. I was impressed with the service, the follow up e-mail from the store manager the next day, and especially, the fact that a mainstream store had a nice selection of cigar accessories prominently displayed. I was excited when I received an e-mail from Ryan Frailing, the Vice President of Island Lifestyle Importers, the exclusive designer and manufacturers of Tommy Bahama cigar accessories, asking if I would like to try out some of the cigars that they were making, along with their accessories. They are going to be distributing the Tommy Bahama line of accessories to traditional tobacconists as well as the Tommy Bahama stores, and created the Island Lifestyle Aged Reserve cigars to go along with them. The accessories were a large, durable ashtray with chrome, movable rests. The ashtray looks like a fine ceramic, but is actually a melamine so if you drop in on your porch it won’t break. It’s emblazoned with the Tommy Bahama logo and is a very nice piece. The other item was a rugged travel humidor, which will hold five 60 ring cigars, or 10 robustos, so it’s a little wider than a traditional Otterbox type case. The fit and finish are very nice, and it comes with a small bead-based humidifying element. It also has the Tommy Bahama logo on the top. They have a nice selection of cases, humidors, lighters and ashtrays.
The cigars in the Island Lifestyle Aged Reserve range are Nicaraguan, and while I wasn’t able to find out where they are made, the ones I smoked were nicely constructed, and of the highest quality. They come in three wrappers, a Connecticut, Sun Grown, and Maduro, and in six sizes, Robusto, Corona Grande, Toro, Churchill, Torpedo and Gordo. I had the pleasure of smoking all three wrapper types in the Toro size, which is a 6″ x 54. Obviously, I started with the Maduro, which was nicely balanced with a touch of the sweetness along with a little coffee bitterness one would expect. I enjoyed it greatly. The next night I went with the Sungrown, which was similar with more earthiness than the maduro, but still a nice, well balanced smoke. I finished up the trio the next night with the Connecticut (pictured above), which, oddly enough, was my favorite of the bunch. It had a pleasant grassiness typical of that wrapper, and, much like the other two, was a solid medium bodied cigar. There was a little bit of dryness to them, which led me to mistakenly think there was some Dominican in the blend, but the information I got with the cigars says “aged tobaccos from Nicaragua and Connecticut”, so who am I to argue? I’d smoke these again without hesitation, and, more importantly I think, wouldn’t think twice about sharing these with others. I’m very interested in finding out where these are produced. Thank you to Ryan for allowing me the opportunity to sample your products.
I was going to post this on Wednesday as I usually do, but I got lazy, so here is a rare Friday post. I hope this doesn’t cause anyone any undue stress! Until the next time,