It’s 2016 already! It’s hard to believe we’re now in the second half of the second decade of the 21st century! Hopefully everything remains status quo in the cigar industry with the pending FDA nonsense and all. Today wraps up an almost two-week vacation for me, I have to summon the will to get up and go to work tomorrow! But I managed to squeeze a lot of fun in that two weeks. My wife and I celebrated New Year’s by driving to Cleveland, OH to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame there. We got there Wednesday afternoon after driving all day, wandered into the casino around the corner from our hotel, and it smelled funny. I expect casinos to have a smokey aroma, and this one smelled clean. Very strange, apparently Ohio has a pretty strict indoor smoking law, so we didn’t spend very long there. It was damned cold there too, so smoking a cigar outside wasn’t happening either. Luckily, on the way back from visiting the Hall of Fame, which was great, although it seems like the singers and guitar players get all the glory, very few drum sets on display, we visited Cousins Cigars. This shop had a smoking area, was ringed with cabinet humidors, and had a very nice classic selection. I picked up some of the new Bolivars and lit one up, and it was very good. Is still don’t care for the bands, but the cigar is right up my alley, rich, dark and full flavored. It was a great way to end 2015, and the gentlemen in the lounge were very friendly and welcoming, and Sam, the shopkeeper was excellent as well. I’d say this is a place to visit if you find yourself in Cleveland.
My first couple cigars of 2016 were pretty great. I started off with a Sobremesa El Americano Friday after driving home, mostly through snow. As I’ve come to expect, this is a complex and delicious cigar with subtle and nuanced flavors. Definitely a special occasion cigar. I still want to try the Robusto Largo size, but so far this is my favorite of the sizes I’ve tried. Yesterday I took a nice walk with a CAO Flathead Steel Horse Apehanger, ironically, the subject of the last giveaway of 2015, the winner of which will be announced in a bit. I really like the Flathead line in general, and I like what they did changing the wrapper from the Connecticut Broadleaf on the box pressed line, to a Connecticut Habano Oscuro on the round Steel Horse line. I can’t imagine whoever wins these will be unhappy as they are a really good smoke to my palate. I still can’t figure out why the Steel Horse line extension isn’t listed on their website though, yet the fact that the 660 Carb was Cigar Aficionados number 3 is noted (as it should be). I finished off the day with a Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial Toro. This cigar was released at last year’s IPCPR show, a tweaked version of the 2013 Cuatro Cinco that celebrated the companies 45 year anniversary. I guess Cuatro Siete was awkward. To me, this is reminiscent of the Antaño Dark Corojo with the rough edges knocked off. Its much more refined and smooth. This is another great smoke to wrap up the New Years holiday.
While everyone else in the blogosphere is posting their lists of favorite cigars of the year, It was a very weird year for me, and with everything that went on for me personally, I will continue my tradition of not making a list. It gets easier every year not to make a list! There were a lot of great cigars, and everyone’s palate is different. Kudos to everyone else for putting forth the effort to complete these lists. For me, once again the important thing is the interaction with the readers. I resolve to do a better job of responding to the comments here, I appreciate every one of them and will do better at following up. So my top five list is my loyal commentors:
Somehow Dan missed commenting on 28 posts this year, as I hit an even 100 posts in 2015. So there’s your goal for 2016, make the list! I really do appreciate everyone reading along with my nonsense, thank you!
On the contest results! This one actually got more entries than any of the 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways this year. Maybe I need to rethink the way I do the December contests! I have a few months to think about it. The random number generator gave me 38, which corresponds to Bob Langmaid! Please send me your address Bob! Hopefully you’ll share some of these with the other Langmaids I’ve seen entries from in contests over the years! 🙂 Once again, many thanks to Victoria at General Cigar Co. for sending this great box along to give away, and to Ricky Rodriguez and Ed McKenna at CAO for making great cigars. Please don’t expect another contest for a while, I’m all giveaway’d out!
That’s it for today! I’ve got a Prime Living article due this week that I have to finish up this week, and some Christmas cleanup yet to do around the house, and a lot of “last day of vacation” stuff to get to, including taking a nice cigar for a long walk! Until the next time,