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Friday, October 25, 2013

Partagas Chico at a party

All my abandoned followers, my apologies for spending more time on my other blog and NOT smoking cigars enough to even write about them.

I was at a Halloween party last weekend and a guy was asked why he was accepting congratulations on his new baby but not passing out cigars.  He forgot he was talking to a bunch of coon-asses, so he let it get to him, and he went to the store in a rush.  When he got back, he said he picked up 8 cigars.  I thought that this was a good thing, go into the store, drop a hundred on some nice stuff and come back and pass em around.  Then I saw him pull out the two 4-packs of Grape-flavored Swisher Sweets.  My mouth must have been open for minutes, and when the grape smell began to waft, I went to the car to get my only hope, a tube of 5 Partagas Chicos.  It was a Montecristo package, created for these 'longer than a typical 'club' cigar' Montes that came out about 3-4 years ago.....I think there were 7 little machine-made Monties in it at one time.  I had the Chicos with me in case I got the jones to smoke, which I somehow doubted would ever happen, even as I packed them.  I let the kids smoke their grape pixie stix and passed out 4 Chicos to people that looked discerning.  As usual, good from the first puff to the hot last puff.  I think I have about 120 left....Might need to begin the hoarding process, lol.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cohiba BHK52 in the mountains with my sister

What can be more disappointing than a $35 cigar on vacation?  Not much....thanks Habanos S.A.  I continue to believe ANY money you spend on luxury havanas is WASTED.  Inside ANY box of Montecristo or ERDM or Partagas, the lowest of their lines, on ANY given day can beat the pants off any top of the line product from Habanos.  Its sad, but its true.
I score this turd 76 points.  NOTHING but general tobacco flavor all the way to the bitter end.  Smoothness is the only thing that breaks this one above a 70.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Por Larranaga Petit Corona from Bill86

Once again, another havana from the kindness of strangers.....Got this one last time I saw Bill in Nashville, I think.  Was out smoking some meat, figured I'd have a double-smoke.

Not really a FAN of these...I like them when they are what people say they are, but more often than not, they are NOT what people say they are, namely sweet, spicy and full of caramel notes.  Now give me a Montecarlo, and I will agree with you.  But the PC, ehh, just another case of Cuba finding out through the online community that people are going apey over the a smoke, and they start cranking them out by the shipload, but instead of being choice, they are basically the same as a Montecristo No.4 is now, the same shape as the legend, the same band as the legend, but just also-ran tobacco.  Anyone who tells you that the PLPC today is the same cigar it was 12 years ago is full of 5hit.  ESPECIALLY anyone from Habanos S.A., or their agent.

I picture a guy rummaging through the guts of the goose that laid the golden eggs, trying to find the gold and discovering that the goose has to still be ALIVE to pop out the eggs on a regular basis.
This is what happens time and again down south.  They see through sales or online forums that one cigar or another is really popular, and within two years, the legend is dead.

Where was I ?  AH yes, the smoking of the PLPC.  It was good.  I didn't taste any sweetness or caramel, I tasted run of the mill havana flavor.  It was quite smooth and tamed, with a solid overall flavor of tobacco and herbs....mild and almost appealing, but solid nonetheless.  It burned so well I had to give it some credit just for being perfect in construction.  And it wasn't filled with string, hair and dust, it was a good smoke.  I just get tickled when I think of the modern habanos smoker who is smoking one of his 50 every 4 months, waiting for the magic flavors to come to the fore.  It never does, but he thinks that maybe he just got a bad cabinet, and orders another one, never realizing that he got flim-flammed by the best.  I know smokers that I respect, that still think they can trust the PLPC, they just have to give em enough time.  News flash for my good friends, the days of the 10 year old havana that still has years of development left are OVER.  Have been since the early 21st century.  You aren't going to end up with a good cabinet of PLPCs in 3 years, 4 years or 6 years or 10 years....You are only going to get the modern equivalent; one or two outstanding cigars in 25, 10 good smokes and 10-12 horrible sticks that make you think, "what the hell was THAT?" or "one day, these bad cigars are going to come around."  You are following a centuries old model of habanos, perpetuated by people like Min Ron Nee and others, that there is a prime time to smoke these cigars, you just need to wait and be there when it happens with a full box of cigars, relax and enjoy them at their prime.  That is over.  Now you have between year 2 and year 5, and then your cigars are going to quickly become expensive curly heads.  They pulled a fast one on you and didn't tell anyone.  The Chinese figured it out ten years ago.  People scoffed at them back then.  Problem is, they were right.  Welcome to the future suckers.

74 points

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The kindness of strangers....Illusione 888 circa 2009

I have had this smoke on hand for a Loooonnnggg time.

Neens fessed up with it many years ago when I told him that I did not really enjoy Non-Cuban cigars.  Well, he took me to school, many times over.  Just to name a few of the great cigars I have had for the first time thanks to this great brother, The Man o'War Puro Autentico, Illusione Holy Lance in maduro and candela, and a coupla Dirty Rats, too.  (THE ORANGE TEXT WLL LINK YOU TO THOSE REVIEWS!)
I have had most of the best Drew Estate Liga Privada cigars of note, thanks to the same great brother.

Well today I was out smoking chicken and a Boston Butt and it was time to smoke a cigar.  This one was a big Churchill, and it was really great.  Dark and sweet and interesting from the first puff to the last, this cigar kept hammering me with flavor, nothing really identifiable, but again, dark and sweet and rich and strong to name a few attributes I noted.  From start to finish, the cigar was also perfectly constructed and delivered the goods.  I never felt like the cigar was hitting a bad spot, and the flavor never faded or treated me to less than awesome smoke.  

The first third was a dark and sweet mystery, like molasses and pepper.  The middle third was milder, but strong enough, and more along the lines of coffee with a hint of tea.  The end got a little hot, but the flavor didn't turn, so I smoked it a little more than half way to the band from this last photo.  

The fact that it was a gift from a great friend made it that much tastier.  I have ONE MORE smoke from this bag of cigars, a fat and oily Liga Privada No.9.  I will get to that when the air turns cooler and thought turn to LSU football.

I sure want to thank Neens, one of Connecticut's best BOTLs
I score it a solid 86 points.

Friday, July 26, 2013

4 years on....smoking the 09 H. Upmann Coronas major Tubos

If you want to bring a smile to my face, mention the H. Upmann Coronas Major Tubos.  This is one of the most unknown masterpieces of all the Habanos Catalogue.  Just a work of art and flavor.  Great looking even for a tubed cigar, these cigars always seem to draw perfectly and as they age gracefully in the tube, offer a different but equally pleasing smoking experience as the years go by....

And poor ole Hello Kitty Lighter, she is taking a bunch of em for the team isn't she.  She just seems to always be in a bad spot when it comes picture taking time.  As you can see, the wrapper is refined and elegant...slip the band off and you might be convinced it were a Cohiba.  And the taste would not disappoint you, either.  What a generous serving of sweet tobacco, cocoa and herbally leather.  Puff after puff, it continued to satisfy, as I smoked a rack of ribs outside, reveling in the latest summer cool front to pass through Memphis.  The weather hasn't done that since the first year I arrivedin town ten years ago.  TWO summers straight of moderate, downright porch-swingin' summer weather.  I know someone is paying the price somewhere, but at least it ain't ME.

As the cigar progressed, the rewards did not diminish or turn harsh.  i enjoyed extreme sweet leather flavor throughout, nuanced with pepper and some delicious cocoa-ey flavor that was not quite chocolate, but almost a chocolate stout flavor....not tar, but that kind of near-chocolate flavor.

I smoked this one only to about halfway, was bummed about 
wasting half of it before I ruined it by over-smoking it.  I think
there might not be a better sub-$4.00 cigar on earth.  BUY, BUY,

89 delicious points

Monday, July 15, 2013

1999 Sancho Panza Bachilleres

I occasionally get a chance to smoke one of these, EXCEPTIONAL about 5 years ago, been tapering off rapidly since then.  

It is reasonable to accept their fate, packed in dress boxes and all.  This particular cigar started off mellow and mocha-java, but then as I began to set up the BBQ pit for some indirect cooking of spare ribs, I must have begun to huff it a bit and it got old fast.  Never recovered.  It was a decent stick for what I bought them for, messing around in the yard.  But as a fine, aged smoke, ehh, it let me down.

Then I laid it down for 5 seconds and came back to find it humping Hello Kitty.  Sancho always was a randy sort.  68 points.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

2007 Montecristo No.2

After some ingrate took my last cigar, I thought this blog would be over.  The guy had a bit of a reading comprehension problem, or maybe he had a FEAR issue, but in any event, he became a real dick.  So me being the kind of guy I am, I let the titty-baby win, let him feel like he was justified in crying like a newbie baby and ignoring the risks involved in what he wash trying to do.  So I sent him all of my cigars and banished him from the kingdom forever.  Too long a story to go into here, and the individual is not worth spending any more ink on.

But a kind soul I know was hanging out with me, and asked me why I had no cue-ban cigars to smoke.  I told him about the weasel out in California, and he offered me a Montecristo No.2 to salve my spirit.  We were already knee deep in other cigars, so I put it into my box for another time and thanked him for his generosity.  And after a tough week in the salt mines, I decided to light her up on the porch.  

I poured a Holy Sheet Ale that I got at Peabody's Wine and Liquors in Boone, NC a few years back and headed out to cut her and light her.  I put the tiniest cut on it and it drew a little too easy, but upon lighting it, the smoke control was pretty good.

It looks like my nails could use a cleaning, but I just cut and edged my grass, so I am not going to get worked up about anyone seeing it.  The flavors were pretty weak, but I could tell it wanted to open up a bit more, and figured when the thing burned down a bit, it would come into it's own.  There was a decent breeze to keep the skeeters at bay, and it had been a VERY cool day for early July.  The cigar was a well-rolled work of art, a nice deep medium brown with no red in the leaf.  The smoke was initially just some light leather and toast.

As I got down to the middle, a rich and creamy and slightly oily cocoa flavor came into the smoke, with a hint of what I used to get from a Cohiba Behike 52, a 'last sip of milk in a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles" kind of taste.  I like that taste.  The coolness is there, the chocolaty flavor is there, the powdery creaminess is there.  

The only thing that made it less than perfect was the slightly acidic note I got every few puffs, but it was just as well, if you like a cigar's taste too much, you are bound to overheat it and ruin the experience.  I was not going to do THAT, because this cigar improved steadily from first puff to near the end.

With the half a beer gone, (It had come in sort of a bomber ) I had no choice but to pick up the pace a bit on the smoke, but that's when disaster struck, I over-puffed it in trying to get that last bit of cocoa-ey goodness out of it.  Where you see it is where I left it only moments later.  It was a great smoke, thanks Bill.  If I had to score the smoke with the weak start and tarry end, it could easily go as low as 80 points.  But since many cigars start slow, and I caused the melt down at the end, I score it 87 points.  A pretty fine Montecristo No.2  nothing close to the potential of the vaunted legend, but after the week I had, a perfect ending.