Smoked 8 September 2010. Box code EMA NOV 07; in humi since 7 November 2009.
These have settled nicely now. It still can’t be smoked too fast but taken nice and slowly I get rich fruit flavours with a touch of cocoa. I haven’t noticed the presence of the cocoa before, and it’s definitely cocoa rather than chocolate. An absolute delight!
It’s a real pity these have been discontinued. I’m not quite sure why Habanos SA decided to do that; there are very few Cuban cigars of the perla vitola still in regular production and I am a big fan of the size.
The smaller gauge cigars, though sometimes lacking in complexity, give a much stronger flavour in my experience. I don’t know whether this is due to the higher proportion of the tobacco that the wrapper makes up, or because fatter cigars have a higher proportion of the relatively flavourless Volado leaves added to improve the burning characteristics (I think it’s those leaves anyway). I don’t think it’s my imagination either, as it does seem to be a commonly reported characteristic.
I can only speculate that despite it being illegal for US citizens to buy Cuban cigars, their tastes are influencing the cigar industry as a whole. There does seem to be a trend in the US for increasingly large ring gauges e.g. the popularity of the NUB. Perhaps it’s a value-for-money issue? What do you think? I try to consider the cigar as an experience, rather than an object, for me, it is my favorite thing to do while gambling (follow the link for more information). I’m not saying that there isn’t a place for the thicker cigar, just that it shouldn’t be at the expense of the more traditional thinner ones.