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Archive for the ‘Cuban cigars’ Category

Bolivar Royal Corona

08 Jul

Smoked 3 July 2011. Box code TEB MAY 08; in humidor since 29 May 2009.

After the excitement of the Partagas D4 from the day before, it was going to be hard to match up. While it didn’t quite blow me away like that did, it was still a very good example of a Bolivar Royal Corona.

I actually think these are a little underfilled as I’m sure the wrapper burn issues I get are down to a lack of contact between the tobacco. Strange…

 
 

Partagas Serie D No. 4

07 Jul

Smoked 2 July 2011. Box code TEB AGO 08; in humidor since 12 July 2010.

This particular cigar has changed my view on the D4. Previous experiences have been underwhelming at best but as it seems to have numerous fans I go back occasionally.

I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary from this as while it was well constructed and smelt as a Cuban cigar should, nothing stood out at all. That was until I lit it.

I clipped the head with my Palio and lit it with my Turboflame torch lighter. It started out very creamy and complex. Too many flavours for me to discern in truth! What was surprising was that all these flavours were in perfect balance. A real treat to the taste-buds.

About a third in there was the addition of a touch of freshly mown grass which was a little odd, but that only lasted about two puffs and settled into the background as the stereotypical Partagas taste of wood and leather rushed in strongly.

This built in strength steadily until the final third became a real powerhouse of rich dense smoke. I was really starting to feel the nicotine by this point and despite almost burning my fingers, it was probably for the best that I had to leave it go.

Despite the fact I was driving when I was smoking this, (which usually causes burn issues due to having the windows open) it was a dead straight burn all the way. I’ve not seen that for some time. The final surprise with this, was I experienced the phenomenon whereby the flavour on the draw was different to when holding it in my mouth, then different again on exhaling. I can’t remember the expression for this but if I do I’ll update this post.

An absolutely superb complex cigar. Probably the best smoke I’ve had in quite some time, perhaps ever! Do yourself a favour and get some, then leave them alone for a few years!

 
 

Bolivar Gold Medal

04 Jul

Smoked 22 June 2011. Box code LSO FEB 08; in humidor since 12 November 2009.

Lovely to the touch, so oily and rough. Which may explain issues explained later…

Finally, I think I understand why some enjoy these so much. Previous experiences have been disappointing, mainly due to burn issues. Annoyingly, they also occurred this time but not quite to the same extent. The taste however, was surprising, when it burnt properly. The typical Bolivar richness but more earthy (a typical comment about these) and also a note that was very much like strong dark chocolate, like the 70% cocoa stuff you can get.

However, I am STILL having burn issues with these. It’s not like they haven’t had a decent amount of time to rest either, and in the same conditions that all my other cigars. I’m ACTUALLY going to store one at 65% to see if it the cigars themselves or just down to my storage conditions.

 
 

H. Upmann Magnum 50

30 Jun

Smoked 20 June 2011. Box code unknown as it was from a three-pack; in humidor (with tube open) since 17 August 2010.

I’ve not smoked many H. Upmann cigars to date and this was the first time I’ve smoked a Magnum 50. First impressions of this tubo were pretty good; quality of construction was high and the smell was most enjoyable. I punched it with my larger punch and set about it.

It lit easily enough but the first inch was quite harsh to smoke, almost unpleasantly so. I was hoping this what not a sign of things to come… Luckily, it settled into a much nicer creamy mocha flavour. Unfortunately, I didn’t see much change in the flavour throughout, which surprised me as I found the taste progression quite pronounced with the Magnum 46.

I can only speculate that when I bought these they were quite young, and they’ve not had enough rest yet, but obviously it’s impossible to know! These do strike me as very similar to the Magnum 46 from the minimal experiences I’ve had, but given the larger ring gauge there’s more of the filler tobacco that they use to make it burn more evenly. I can never remember whether it’s seco or volado… But anyway, I speculate that the larger proportion of this is responsible for the seeming blandness of flavour. I’ll give them some more time and see how they change though. I would definitely recommend the Magnum 46 over this though…

 
 

Bolivar Corona Junior | Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2

12 Jun

Smoked 5 June 2011.

Bolivar Corona Junior (box code TEB JUL 07; in humidor since 14 March 2011)

Lovely smoke. Slightly tighter than I would have liked though. Got a bit richer towards the end much like the Bolivar Royal Corona.

For the first time ever I tried a different technique for clipping this. You use a double guillotine cutter and rotate the cigar against the blades, scoring the cap so the end comes away. I suspect it’s one of those things that needs practice as it didn’t work particularly well for me as I didn’t manage to get the score-line to match up! It ended up with a bit of a spiral effect and the draw seemed a little too tight, so after a couple of puffs I just decided to clip it properly and that seemed to help slightly…

Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 (box code GAS JUN 08; in humidor since 6 October 2009)

This was almost the opposite of the Boli CJ. I punched this with the smaller of my two punches, so you’d expect the draw to be tight, but this was so loose it actually made it harsh. Which was a real pity as the flavour that got past the harshness was superb. I should have just put this into my jar where I store my 72% Boveda pouches, to see if I could get the tobacco to swell and tighten the draw up. Oh well, you live and learn…

 
 

Weekend cigars

23 May

I’m starting to not be so far behind with my updates now!

Jose L. Piedra Petit Cazadores: smoked 19 May 2011. Box code AUS MAR 10; in humidor since 30 August 2010. Settling nicely now. Make a great pub smoke as they are cheap so I don’t mind not concentrating on the flavours.

Por Larranaga Petit Coronas: smoked 23 May 2011. Box code EMA OCT 07; in humi since 28 November 2009. Nice and soft but still needed real babying to not get too bitter. I just don’t understand these. I’m going to leave some out of the cabinet to see if it’s an airflow thing.

Saint Luis Rey Regios: smoked 23 May 2011. Box code unknown (possibly 2007 going on how it smoked and where I’ve had them from); rest in humi probably since 31 August 2010 if I’m right. This was actually very nice. Not nice enough for me to want to buy a box, but sorry to see this single go. Citrus (mostly orange) with a touch of chocolate and very smooth. Slight burn problem two-thirds in but then this was very poorly lit with a Bic lighter as I had to jump-start the car before I could set off…

 
 

Bolivar Coronas Junior

17 May

Smoked 15 May 2011. Box code TEB JUL 07; in humidor since 14 March 2011.

This was as delightful as the last one. Sitting outside in a pub beer garden at the start of a hard day’s socialising, this was an excellent accompaniment to a pint of Brains Gold beer. I think the wind caused it to overheat slightly as it did get a bit bitter towards the end, but not unpleasantly so. These are a superb replacement for my usual Bolivar Royal Corona, but more ‘beer garden friendly’ ie. less ostentatious in size. Going to be difficult to leave these alone…

 
 

Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto

08 May

Smoked 1 May 2011. Box code GEA OCT 08. Been in humidor since 23 September 2009.

Going on my previous drunken experience with one of these, I thought it worthwhile investigating this batch again. I’m so glad I did! This was absolutely beautiful. Completely reminded me why I’d bought them in the first place.

I smoked this slowly so as not to overheat it, and because I was trying to make it last for as much of a 100-mile car journey as possible. It’s a real pity I didn’t have a can of Canada Dry in the car with me as I find this works well to bring out the subtleties of the Hoyo Petit Robusto. Must not run out of these.

 
 

Cardiff Herf

05 May

Out smoking with Simon of The Cigar Monologues and Steve of SteveGriff.com on 25 April 2011, we met up and smoked our first cigars of the day in the beer garden at Bar Cwtch. For those of you who aren’t ‘local’, cwtch is Welsh slang for cuddle and the bar is certainly cosy.

However, the weather was absolutely beautiful so we were able to settle ourselves outside in the sun. I started with a Diplomaticos No. 2, a cigar I may have smoked once in my very early days of smoking cigars. This had been given to me by a fellow cigar smoker and had been nestling in my humidor since 23 January 2010. Plenty of rest!

This was actually very enjoyable, but in truth, reminded me more of my love of the piramide vitola rather than spelling out anything special about the Diplomaticos marca. I’ll certainly be checking some more out though as they seem good value for money. There are rumours that the Diplo line are the ‘budget’ version of Montecristos, some even saying they use the same tobacco but I am not aware of any basis for these stories, especially as I’ve disliked every single Monte 2 I’ve smoked…

After moving onto Nos Da, I finally got round to trying one of the custom-rolled cigars from Hamlet when he was rolling at the Bear Shop. It was a pleasant smoke (a little tight maybe), but I feel I should have smoked them very soon after being rolled. As it is, I’ll leave the other two to age for a few years if I can as I suspect there is far more excitement to come from these.

 
 

Cohiba Siglo VI

03 May

Smoked 24 April 2011. Box code unknown as they were a three-pack my friend got me from Duty Free when they were on the way back from holiday. Bought in Kuala Lumpur airport sometime December 2009 and in the humidor shortly after that.

I must admit I was very surprised by this. Cohiba have a reputation as being the top-of-the-line cigar brand and while the construction was good, the burn ‘good enough’, the taste fell remarkably short of what I was expecting. It was almost as if these were designed to be smoked by people who don’t smoke cigars. As I have smoked hardly any Cohibas though, I suspect it might be worthwhile getting a few of the smaller sizes in to get a feel for the brand, and to know what particular flavours I’m looking for. Going on the performance of this one though, I can’t see myself getting many more of the Siglo line.