Sunday evening my family went to our local park to see the final installment of the Concerts in the Park series which featured Liverpool Beat, a Philadelphia area Beatles tribute band. I took along a Camacho Connecticut 11/18 to smoke during the show. Both the band and the cigar were excellent. The 11/18 is a perfecto shape of sorts, looks like a toro with a bulging middle (not unlike myself), at 6″ x 48/54/48 ring gauge. The Connecticut wrapper, which was flawless, tempers the strength of the blend a bit, but it’s still a formidable cigar strength-wise. I like the Camacho line quite a bit, but the lines that lean more toward medium are my favorites, the Havana line, Connecticut and, yes, the Corojo Candela are cigars that suit my palate the best. The band played a rousing set of early Beatles hits in costume and in character and were very entertaining. You can see my wife’s review of the band on her site Beatles-Freak.com.
On Thursday I noticed a tweet from Eddie Ortega (@eddieor) of EO Brands that he was traveling to the Philly area and visiting a local shop. My son and I took the 20 minute drive to Old Havana Cigars in West Chester to say hello. Eddie greeted us like an old friend. I picked up a handful of Murcialago robustos and lit one up (it was the traditional “buy 3, get one” deal, I got 3 robustos and got a free 601 Robusto). I lit up the Murcialago and hung out with Eddie for a while. Old Havana Cigars is a nice shop with a spacious lounge in the back. The walk-in humidor is also quite large and seemed well stocked. I have only stopped into this shop once before and found their prices on the high side, but I’m a cheap bastard and am easily sticker-shocked. The Murcialagos were in the $6 range and the 601s were around $7, which isn’t bad, all things considered. The cigar was very nice. It had a dark Mexican maduro wrapper that was very pretty. The burn was good and it had a nice, full flavor. I gave my son one and he enjoyed it as well. Here’s some cigar math for you: I purchased 3 cigars and got one free. I smoked one and gave one to my son, I walked out with two cigars. My son purchased 3 cigars, got one free, AND Eddie hooked him up with another cigar. He walked out with 5 cigars. Something went horribly wrong for me! Generally the rules of cigar math are that when you go to a herf or an event, no matter how many cigars you smoke or gift, you always seem to come home with more than you took (which, in fairness, I did). I just have to assume that every once in a while there has to be some karmic correction or something. What comes around, goes around. In all seriousness, I take great pleasure in gifting a cigar, and to know that my son enjoyed the cigar and doesn’t mind hanging out with his old dad for an evening is worth much more to me than the cost of a fine cigar. I took a little tangent there… It was a very nice evening hanging out with Eddie, who is a great guy and quite a character, as well as the folks at the shop. We spent quite a while chatting with one of the locals, a lawyer we’ll call “Alex”. Chatting with “Alex” reinforced my opinion that cigars can bring folks together that perhaps normally wouldn’t have the chance to interact with one another. We came across so many little things we had in common in a brief chat that it was pretty incredible. All in all it was a nice way to spend a rainy Thursday evening.
This Just In!
In the “new inmates in the humidor” department, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy a box of Chateau Real Small Club Coronas on JR Cigars Dutch Auction this week. As I’m sure you know, I really enjoy this line and I fear that it is going away. I’ll get some confirmation on that, but I picked up the box of 32 for under $50 delivered, which I thought was a dynamite deal for a cigar I like. Heck, I’ve paid more than that for cigars I don’t like! I also threw in a couple of cheap Klip-it key ring punch cutters to make me feel better about the $8.95 shipping charge. Believe it or not, in 15 years of smoking cigars I’ve never owned a punch. I figured for a whopping $1.25 I’d get a couple and see how they work. s I’m writing this I’m enjoying a CAO Black Bengal that I punched. I have not particularly enjoyed this cigar in the past, but this one is very nice. I doubt very much that the punch has anything to do with that, perhaps a couple more months in the humidor has helped, or maybe something else. This is a nice, medium smoke that I’ve been enjoying on my deck as I type. The burn has been dead even and except for a little flakiness in the ash, it’s exceeded my expectations. The punch will find a home on my key ring for sure.
That’s about all I have this time, until the next time,