Here we go, another weeks worth of CigarCraig’s micro-reviews. I awoke today to find that ALL of the comments were gone from the site. Every comment ever! Of course, I am in a panic. Friday evening the site was inaccessible for a period of time, and I imagine whatever caused that problem must have had something to do with it. At this point I’m waiting for my hosting provider to correct the problem, and, since it’s the weekend, and the level 2 support folks don’t work weekends, I’m in limbo as far as my comments go. From what I can tell you can not leave a comment at this time. I’ll be working tirelessly with Network Solutions threatening them often to fix this problem, as well as a couple other issues I’ve found.
First up was a 601 Green, which came along with the La Bomba and a Murcialago courtesy of Eddie Ortega at EO Brands. This has long been one of my favorites, but I think it may have been an unwise choice for a Monday evening smoke after fighting off a migraine earlier in the day. It’s a powerful maduro cigar that is lush with heavy cocoa and coffee. Accompanied by an IBC root beer, it held my attention, but I couldn’t smoke this too far past the band. I do love these cigars under normal circumstances, but the migraines and the meds to get rid of them take more out of me than I had available to fully enjoy this one.
Wednesday’s walk to the convenience store started late, so I grabbed another El Credito La Parrita and took a little dog for a walk! As I start typing, I know this is another tangent, so I beg your indulgence. I have long felt that smoking time was more a function of length than girth. I maintain that a 5” cigar of 42 ring gauge will take just about as long as a 5” cigar of 60 ring. I’ve been trying to figure out a good way to test this theory, but there are so many variables and I just haven’t had the time to work out a good, scientific test to prove the theory. Something to work on, I suppose. Back to the cigar, I found this example to be a little bitter and off. The “war of flavors”, which this cigar is sub-titled by the factory, did not go well for me in this instance, I guess I lost. Anyway, people love these cigars, and I think it there’s a big cool factor in the format of these ugly ducklings, and I either hit one at a bad time or something.
Next up was a Gurkha Para la Gente Robusto that I had purchased at De La Concha in NYC a few months back. This is another of the cigars that were produced exclusively for the New York market in an effort to provide retailers some relief from the onerous cigar tax in that state. As of this writing, I understand that the state is working on a modification of that tax which would provide a cap so that a $10 cigar wouldn’t be jacked up to $17.50, but would be a more reasonable $11. For the tobacconists that are left in the state, I hope this goes through, as many have closed their doors in the last year due to this tax. Anyway, I have not smoked many Gurkha cigars. I have a perception that they either produce cigars that are ridiculously high priced and over packaged and marketed, or budget priced cigars that CI sells for $40 bucks a bundle and tries to make you feel like you’re getting a $50 cigar for two bucks. (at this point writing this feels like it’s more editorial on state taxes and brand marketing…sorry…off my soapbox now!). Anyway, the cigar was very nice. The short robusto size was just right for the time I had available and it worked very well. I like a nice Brazilian Matafina, which I believe this is wrapped with, and it was well balanced and smooth. The cheap bastard in me still recoils at a $8 robusto, but it was a special treat and a souvenir from a nice day in the city.
I decided I deserved a treat for getting through another week and grabbed a Liga Privada No.9 Flying Pig that I received at an even in Reno back in November of 2009. It’s a cool perfecto format dating back to the late part of the 1800s. Drew Estate has since released their T52 blend in this same size, and the Cubans (who, ironically, are suing Drew Estate for using the word “Kuba”), recently ripped off the size for a special release for one of their “Festival” humidors! My biggest complaint about this little piggie was that it was just too short! It’s 4” x 60, remember what I was saying about length and smoking time? This one just was gone too quickly. It did hold the ash for the entire time I was smoking it, which was probably under an hour, which is almost a tease, considering the hearty and delicious flavors that this fat little bastard provided. I would have loved to have smoked this for another hour, but the ash fell off with under an inch to go and I was beginning to burn my fingers. Plus, my wife said I looked ridiculous smoking the cigar with a 3” ash…. I’m glad I have another one of these that I was given at Cigar Safari, because I am confident that there are not a lot of these still around.
Finally, I spent Saturday with my family at Monmouth Park in New Jersey watching horses run around in circles with little men on their backs, which is always entertaining. I did manage to have a cigar, no small feat at a public venue in the Garden State. The cigar I chose was a HC Connecticut robusto which I had purchased several months ago at an event at one of the local shops. I was disappointed in the event, there was a rep there who represented Xikar, and other brands as well. The were offering a “buy 3, get one” special, and I still don’t think $25 for 4 robustos, especially ones I don’t end up enjoying represents a good value. The Habano wrapper was the best of the bunch, for me, at least. This Connecticut had an acidic bite to it that was off-putting. It got better as the cigar progressed, but was always there somewhere. I understand that they have dropped the price on these, which I think was a wise move, but I still won’t be buying any myself anytime soon, they just didn’t have what I’m looking for in a cigar. To the credit of the manufacturer, they are exceptionally well made, and I’m sure there are plenty of folks who enjoy these. It’s just not a cigar that suits me.
That’s it for now, I’m still annoyed with whatever is going on with my comments. It’s bad timing, that’s for sure. At this time, the Oja contest will be extended for another week after the comments are fixed, and I will asses the situation when my technical issues are resolved.
Until the next time,