We took one last little trip of the summer this past week, down to the Baltimore Maryland area so my wife could sell some books at the North Atlantic Nostalgia Convention, which is a “Con” like many others, complete with quite a collection of odd people, on both sides of the tables (my wife being an obvious exception to this, there were some “normal” people there). There were some celebrities there, Lee Majors and Lindsey Wagner from the 70s TV “bionic” franchise, as well as some slightly less famous people. I saw some unique things, a guy walking around with an autographed toaster, for instance, and a few different Dr. Who’s. These things aren’t generally my cup of tea, but I suppose some people would argue that going to cigar events isn’t particularly normal either. I do like getting away with my wife for a few days though. I managed to visit a couple cigar shops while I was in the area though, and smoked some great cigars.
The Humidour in Cockeysville, MD was within walking distance for me, and I had a great parking place at the hotel I didn’t want to give up. A mile and three quarters on a beautiful day isn’t too bad. The store is in an older house sitting on a hill, and has a retail area with all the usual stuff, humidors, pipes and pipe tobacco, as well as a large walk in humidor which is generously stocked. There are also a couple rooms which comprise the public lounge, and several rooms both upstairs and downstairs that make up the private club space. There are several fireplaces, and I can’t say if they ever get used or not as I didn’t ask, and it has a very homey feel. there are a couple outdoor patio areas too. I picked up a couple of the new Henry Clay Tattoo cigars as well as the new Tatuaje TAA 2015 cigars and settled into a leather chair and proceeded to watch golf. I have fond memories of the Henry Clay cigars that Pete Johnson had in mind when he blended this cigar. They were tied in bundles within the box, and it was apparent that they were bundled wet, because they came in all kinds of crazy shapes. These weren’t box pressed like the Henry Clay Tattoo, some were trapezoidal, triangular, not necessarily straight, they were a rugged man’s cigar, very rustic and laden with testosterone. I heard reports that they burned underwater. The Tattoo does a good job of capturing the spirit of the HC of old, although it’s far prettier, more symmetrical, and better behaved. Of course, it’s triple the cost of the old HC Brevas I remember too. It had that great sweet broadleaf flavor, loads of dark roast coffee flavor and, unlike it’s predecessors, burned really well.
I lit up the Tatuaje TAA 2015 next, and I love the Tatuaje cigars, but I don’t have a great deal of experience with them. I bought a couple because I never see any TAA stores in my area, and I figured what the heck, I probably wouldn’t have a chance to smoke these again. I enjoyed the heck out of the cigar, it is another Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper, with a closed foot so oine really gets a blast of the wrapper flavor on the light. I find myself skipping the toasting part of the lighting ritual with the closed foot cigars so I don’t miss that wrapper blast. Anyway, much like the previous cigar, the TAA is loaded with dark cocoa and espresso flavor and the 5 5/8″ x 54 box press size is quite comfortable and satisfying. I really should smoke more Tatuaje cigars, but there’s so many limited editions and special stuff that I won’t chase after them, and they are usually priced outside my comfort zone. The “Tats” I’ve smoked have always been to my liking, and I’m glad I picked up two so I can revisit this in a few months. My visit to The Humidour was a good one, and I’m glad it was so close, it’s quite a nice place.
My Saturday stop was at a Davidus shop in Ellicott City, MD. This was chosen as a half way point to meet up with a long time reader and friend, Mark and his friend David. There’s few things more enjoyable than meeting face to face with someone you’ve interacted with digitally over the last five years or so, and doing it in a nice lounge over some fine cigars is the best way to spend an afternoon. I got there early and perused the large humidor, which separates the front of the shop from the lounge area with Sam, the gentleman working there. I picked up a couple of new releases, the Enclave from AJ Fernandez which I have smoked and enjoyed, and the Señorial from Las Cumbres tobacco, which I have a sample in my humidor, but I saw it there and wanted to smoke it, so I got a few more. I also picked up a couple of the Lord Baltimore and Sea Knight, which are brands owned by the Castro brothers who own the 11 store Davidus chain. I promptly lit up the Señoreal Maduro and promptly enjoyed the heck out of it with a cup of black coffee. I found it to be a great, refined and sophisticated maduro cigar with loads of flavor, and who would expect anything else from Jose Blanco.
I followed the Señoreal with a Lord Baltimore The Ark, a 6 ¾” x 38 short lancero which probably would have been better going first. It’s a Connecticut Shade wrapped cigar made by Altadis, I was told. Lord Baltimore is a very old brand that the Castro Brothers recently resurrected. It took a few minutes for my palate to adjust to the milder cigar, but I really enjoyed the smooth rich flavor and perfect burn that this cigar had. The presentation was quite nice too, with a paper sleeve from the band to the foot, and a second band under the first, so when you slid the outer paper off, it was still banded (so I don’ forget what I am smoking!). I picked up one of these in the corona size too, I’m sure it will be a tasty an experience as the lancero was. It was another great afternoon, meeting old friends for the first time, and relaxing in a comfortable lounge with a nice selection and an attentive staff. Thanks to Mark and David for spending the afternoon with me! We covered a hundred topics from cigars to family to careers. It wrapped up a pretty nice couple of days.
That’s it for today, off to get some things done after being away and having to go to work tomorrow. Until the next time,