Archive for the ‘Cuban cigars’ Category

H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 1

10 Jun

Smoked 20 April 2012. Age unknown; turned up in the post from C. Gars Ltd that morning.

I tried this cigar as numerous people rave about them over on the UK Cigar Forums and I’d not gotten round to trying one yet. My previous experiences with H. Upmann have been less than satisfactory. Over the years I’ve tried the No. 2, the Magnum 46, the Magnum 48 LE and the PC, with only the 46 even feeling worthwhile another go. I was hoping this smoke would be better as the brand seems so popular but I am unable to understand why. No luck this time unfortunately.

While not an unpleasant smoke, it could have done with at least a year or two extra on it as the harsh peppery youth was too much for a cigar with a reputation for such a mild taste. I’d certainly give it another try if I knew the age, but for me this experience was not a signal to buy a box.

The coffee and cream flavours I read/hear about were present but were not as prominent as I’d hoped. A bit of a disappointment in all honesty. I don’t know why I persevere with H. Upmann…


H. Upmann Magnum 48 Limited Edition 2009

07 Mar

Smoked 1 March 2012. In humidor since 5 March 2010; box code unknown but obviously 2009 vintage.

Every single one of these I’ve smoked so far has been disappointing and irritatingly, this was no exception. Whilst there were some flavours noticeable, it wasn’t a particularly pleasant experience.

Considering I’ve had this in my humidor for nigh on two years now, I was expecting them to have settled slightly. When something heavyweight like a Bolivar Royal Corona becomes tolerable (some may say beautiful!) to smoke pretty quickly, I kind of wonder why these are so impenetrable to my tastebuds.

Perhaps they need some serious aging as the flavours are so light? Dunno…

Anyway, there were what I would describe as pretty typical H. Upmann cream and coffee flavours present, but soon after lighting it became incredibly peppery. I got about halfway through and decided to give up. As I thought it might be rude to chuck it into my host’s back garden right in front of his face, I left it in the ashtray to dispose of later. As it was, when I left I picked it up and took it with me and decided to relight it in the car on the way home. Despite common advice never to relight a cigar that has been out for over an hour, I did. It was still just as unpleasant…

Now you may be able to gather that I don’t get as much chance to smoke cigars as I used to, solely from the frequency of my posting on here. So it really annoys me when my opportunities are wasted with crap like this. It will be at least a year before I try one of these again!


Overdue update!

26 Jan

Unfortunately, I’ve not had much chance to smoke cigars recently due to simply not having the opportunity. I’ve also been massively lazy about updating this blog…

Here’s what I’ve smoked since I last posted.

25 October 2011: Ramon Allones Specially Selected (TEB ENE 08; in humidor since 16 March 2009) and a Bolivar Royal Corona (TEB MAY 08; in humidor since 29 May 2009)

18 December 2011: Bolivar Royal Corona (TEB MAY 08; in humidor since 29 May 2009)

29 Dec 2011: Romeo y Julieta Cazadores (JUL 06; in humidor since 27 February 2010)

I enjoyed them all!


Por Larranaga Petit Corona | Cuaba Divino

18 Sep

Por Larranaga Petit Corona smoked 17 September 2011. Box code EMA OCT 07; in humidor since 28 November 2009. I’d previously taken this out and punched it, given it a test draw and decided it was too tight to smoke so put it back in the humidor. Not really sure when I’d done that but by now it had softened enough so the draw was spot on. PLPC are a reasonably cheap cigar so they are never going to win any contests for looks, but the construction was pretty good on this one. This was a strange mix of flavours; normally these go one of two ways. Milky bar, or bitter almond. This actually appeared to be right in the middle, which either means the bitter almond ones (which I’m not so keen on) are just in the sick period and I’ve been wasting them (!), or there are two distinct kinds of PLPC. I’ve read it suggested that nobody thought there was any caramel aspect until Min Ron Nee did. I don’t know, but I’ve certainly experienced two flavour profiles.

Cuaba Divino smoked 18 September 2011. Box code unknown as it was bought as a single; in humidor since 28 November 2009. I’ve not had much luck with these in the past, always finding them to be a bit rough and not to my taste. The figurado construction has been mentioned as occasionally causing draw problems but there was no issue here. The wrapper on one side needed a little touch-up; I had let it burn for quite some time in the hope it would correct itself but no such luck. Didn’t really enjoy this so ended up tossing it early as it didn’t improve. I don’t think it was too young seeing how long I’d had it for. I should try some other Cuabas though as these are the only ones I’ve tried.


Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2

06 Sep

Smoked 26th August 2011. Box code GAS JUN 08; in humidor since 6 October 2009.

Smoked this on a rather surreal last-minute late night trip to Wantage. Pretty enjoyable smoke but nothing outstanding, perhaps due to the KFC I ate beforehand…


Cuba Calling at Gwdihw, Cardiff

31 Aug

Gwdihw, one of the nicest live music venues I’ve been to, hosted what I believe to be Cardiff’s first Cuban cigar tasting event on the 23 August 2011. For those who don’t know, gwdihw (pronounced goody-hoo) is the somewhat onomatopoeic Welsh word for owl. I’m led to believe this is specifically South Wales dialect.

Random people 1

Arranged in conjunction with Cardiff’s Bear Shop tobacconist (in Wyndham Arcade in the city centre) and Reserve Brands (a division of the booze giant Diageo), this ticket-only event gave you the option to purchase a cigar at a slightly discounted price. Given this was something that I was pleased to have happening in Cardiff, I thought I’d go all out and try Read the rest of this entry »


Weekend cigar round-up

24 Aug

Bit of a catch-up post here as I’ve had quite a mad weekend. Not much detail I’m afraid…

Partagas Serie P No. 2 (box code TEB ABR 08; in humidor since 2 April 2009) on 20 August 2011. I’ve not had one of these for some time and it was pretty enjoyable. Lovely to the touch, perfect draw and the burn was spot on. Flavours weren’t as spectacular as I’ve had from some examples of the P2 but I wasn’t really concentrating on it.

Rafael Gonz├ílez Petit Corona (box code SEM NOV 08; in humidor since 28 June 2010) on 21 August 2011. I’ve found these variable up until now and this was bland and harsh. The expected flavour profile was present but seemed heavily masked. I’m probably just going to try and leave these alone for another year… Let’s see if it actually happens!

Bolivar Belicoso Fino (bought as a single so age unknown; my records seem to claim I’ve had this in my humi since 23 September 2009 though I’m sure I’ve bought another since then) later on the 21 August 2011. This was disappointing, considering how much I normally love all things Bolivar. I was at a barbecue and had had a couple of burgers and a couple of cans of Stella Artois, which probably weren’t the greatest accompaniment! It started out OK but just got too heavy. I suspect I was smoking it a little too fast just so I could go indoors as it was starting to get cold. A pity.


HdM Petit Robusto | Bolivar Corona Junior

14 Aug

Smoked 12 August 2011.

It was the work barbecue today so I thought I’d take the opportunity to smoke a couple of cigars. I started out with a Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto (box code GEA OCT 08; in humi since 23 September 2009). The flavours are really starting to come through with these now but it still surprises me how strong they are still. I’d have expected them to calm down a bit by now but they are still quite a hefty smoke.

Next up was a Bolivar Corona Junior (box code TEB JUL 07; in humi since 14 March 2011). I love my Bolivars and these are no exception! I’m a big fan of the Royal Corona but they can get rather brutal with the nicotine in the final third, so it’s good to be able to get the rich taste in a smaller package. The work events tend to end up in the pub so I find it beneficial not to have my head swimming from an overpowering cigar!

One thing that always surprises me is the reaction a Cuban cigar receives in public. People either seem to think you are wildly pretentious, or are will strike up a conversation due to the fact that you don’t see them around so much now.


UKCF annual herf at The Prince of Wales, Moseley

11 Aug

If you like cigars and aren’t a member of UKCigarForums, pop on over and join.

Saturday 6 August 2011 was an attempt to get as many forum members possible meeting in one place. That place was The Prince of Wales pub in Moseley, Birmingham. A superb venue obviously designed to cater for smokers (greatly helped by Keith the landlord being a cigar aficionado himself), with such a mixed crowd that nobody need feel out of place. Apologies for the quality of the photos…

UK Cigar Forum Annual Herf 2011 image 1

Considering the majority of the London contingent were either on holiday or content to stay inside the M25, we did quite well on numbers!

Read the rest of this entry »


Vegas Robaina Famoso

01 Aug

Smoked 31 July 2011. Box code LPM ABR 08; in humidor since 20 January 2010.

Vegas Robaina Famosos

This was far more like the Famosos that I’ve smoked and loved previously, but it was still quite tannic. Considering this was now over three years old and they are quite a mild cigar anyway, I’m surprised at how much aging these still seem to need. Maybe mine are a one-off?

The hint of chocolate was present but very much in the background compared to some I’ve had. It was a bit of a ‘nothing’ cigar; perfectly smokable but not astoundingly good like my favourite Bolivars or Juan Lopez. Another cigar that I think I need to leave alone for some time!