It’s been a while since my last normal post. The two weeks of contests was great, I hope everyone enjoyed winning and having the chance to win a lot of great cigars. Thanks again to all the sponsors! One of the great things about these contests is when someone reasonably local wins. I had two such opportunities this year, the first on Day 1. This saved me postage and allowed me to meet a reader and visit a new store. Adam won the Gurkha goodies, and I met him at To’Makao Fine Cigars in Bethlehem, PA. This is a nice shop filled with great boutique brands, as well as the owners own line, rolled right there in the shop. Franklin, the owner, worked for Fuente in the Dominican Republic for many years rolling Fuente Fuente Opus X PerfecXion #2. I don’t know how he ended up in the metropolis of Bethlehem, but he has a very nice shop and lounge. I bought a few of his cigars, along with some Arandoza Red toros (a recurring theme…), and lit up his Habano wrapped cigar, which was unbanded and I think it was a toro, but it was a week ago, so I can’t remember! The cigar burned perfectly, and had a nice, mellow sweet flavor. I spent an hour or so enjoying the cigar and getting to know Adam a bit while enjoying the lounge, which was all but empty. I guess the Sunday before Christmas isn’t a big cigar lounge day. The lounge is comfortable, the cigars very good, and the hospitality was awesome. Franklin is a terrific guy, and you should visit him if you are ever in the area. Last night I smoked his maduro, which I believe is in his “Big Papi by Franklin” line, and, again, it was quite nice. Smooth, rich maduro flavors, quite the unexpected surprise from cigars rolled right here in Pennsylvania. Of course, PA has a rich tobacco history, but the last cigars I smoked that were made here were quite the opposite of good! Van Slyke and Horton cigars were pretty terrible, and I admit that I haven’t had a John Hay in some time (I treasure my cigar time…but I’ll take one for the team with a John Hay maduro that’s been in the humidor one of these days!). Great shop, great company. Pictures below.
Today I found myself, once again, in the position to hand deliver another prize. Joe K won the Day 14 prize of Nestor Miranda goodies from Miami Cigar and Co. I met Joe last year at Goosefest and decided to meet him at Goose’s Tobacco Outlet and Cafe in Limerick, PA. This was probably my fourth visit to Goose’s, and John Geise, the owner, greeted me warmly and pointed me toward the humidor, where I once again picked up some Arandoza Red Label Toros. Quick aside, if I were posting a top ten list this year, the Arandoza would be darned near the top. Great cigars from this company, The Blue and White labels are outstanding, the Red is a flavor bomb (and starts quite strong too!). Anyway, as usual, Goose’s was well stocked with a lot of great cigars. I also got a couple of Foundry’s Compounds Elements and Musings that I hadn’t tried before, and a Gurkha Cellar Reserve Limitada Solara, which I enjoyed in the lounge. Joe was waiting in the lounge, and I greeted my friend Bruce on my way to sit with him. I get to Goose’s infrequently, but it seems I always know a couple guys there. I had a great time smoking the cigar, chatting with Joe and John.
Of course, I smoked a bunch of cigars over the past couple weeks, but I tried my best to make it cigars that were featured in that day’s contest ff I had them. One of the ones that was new to me that I smoked for the fist time was the CAO Columbia, which I really enjoyed. It was early in the day, and I found this to me a really nice, creamy smoke. As I said before, I love giving away cigars, but it’s even better when they are cigars I personally love, and the vast majority were. I haven’t smoked the Kentucky Fire Cured in the Kyoto size yet, but I have had the KFC in other sizes and while it’s not my cup of tea, I see why people love them. That’s enough about the contests for now, I hope everyone received your packages, please let me know if you didn’t. Thanks again for playing along!
That’s it for now, until the next time,