It snowed! It’s not even December yet and we have a blanket of snow on the ground. Last year the only major snow we had was at the end of October 2011, so maybe we get it out of the way again and have a nice, mild, uneventful winter? I can hope. I like cigars too much to limit myself to coronas and petite coronas all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I think a smaller ring cigar is fine, love a lancero and coronas, but variety is the spice of life! Go away snow!
Right before it snowed I had an opportunity to attend an event at G & G Cigars in West Chester PA. This is a nice little shop in the downtown area in what was once the Warner theater and is now the Warner Hotel. The hotel is a new addition and just looking into the lobby from the street (what was once the movie theater lobby, I think I saw the Muppet Movie there! back when you could smoke during the movie and you d didn’t think twice about rats running over your feet…you know, the good old days!) it looks like a very nice place. G & G Cigar Co. has been here for 13 years and is capably run by Doug and Jan, who I run into at the trade shows more than I see in the shop. Admittedly, I don’t get to this shop as much as I’d like, but that’s because I really don’t frequent any one shop over another in my area. I end up going to cigar events wherever they may happen to be and am not one to just go hang out at any one shop. If I were and lived a little closer, this shop would be the place. They work things a little differently here, the lounge and their events are for their members and not open to the public. I was lucky enough to weasel and invite out of Doug because my buddy Rick Rodriquez was bringing his CAO Concert tour to my home town. Rick is the man when it comes to the new blends coming out of CAO and I was fortunate to get to know him a bit when I visited General Cigar Co. in the Dominican Republic last year. He has studied the blending arts with Benji Menendez among others and knows his stuff and is a heck of a cool dude too. A big thank you to Doug and Jan for extending me their hospitality and Ricky and his crew as well. As you can see in one of the pictures, they even had a cake for Ricky’s birthday that’s this week, Happy Birthday Bro!
I enjoyed a CAO Concert Roadie while enjoying the company of several of the members. I have to say that many shops, membership or not, can be a little intimidating at first. I have been a guest of Doug’s in his lounge on two occasions and was welcomed and treated as a friend both times. This says something for the clientele at this shop and after talking to several members, they all seem to drive past one shop or another to come to this one. I wasn’t a fan of the members only lounge and events model but it’s working quite well here and if I were closer and would spend more time hanging around I would gladly pay the membership. Good group of folks for sure. As far as the CAO Concert goes, it’s a nice smoke. Medium bodied with a nice sweetness here and there that probably comes from the broad-leaf binder. I enjoyed the heck out of the cigar as well as the time I spent talking to all the folks at the event. It was a fun time. If you get a chance to meet Rick on one of his tour stops do it, he’s a great guy and really knows his art.
Since it’s cold and there’s still stinkin snow on the ground I grabbed a short smoke for my walk, a CAO OSA Sol Lot T. This 4 ½” x 50 box pressed torpedo is quite a neat little smoke. It was loaded with flavor and burned perfectly. It’s a different experience from the Concert, it’s got refreshing, bright flavors that will be even better on a 80 degree summer afternoon by the pool than a cold evening with the moon and Venus lighting up the snow. It was perfect for my walk. I picked up a few of these at Cigars International when I was at the new super store and they were in the $5 range, quite reasonable.
That’s it for this installment, enjoy the rest of your week and take some time to relax with a fine cigar, whether it’s at home in your favorite smoking spot, or in a nice lounge like G & G Cigars has.
Until the next time,