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Archive for January, 2011

Montecristo #2

29 Jan

My current obsession with Connecticut-wrapped cigars has driven me to extremes. From massive Presidentes, to tiny Petite Coronas, big rings to small rings, box-pressed to, well, not box-pressed, I’ve smoked them all. But rarely have I wandered into territory such as this.

In my reviews, as in life, I generally attempt (sometimes flailing) to follow the advice of poet Robert Frost, when he suggested that it’s a good idea to get off the beaten path. I try to feature cigars that are either new or rare, perhaps less well known, or which are in some way rather mysterious or unique. Occasionally I venture to review a classic cigar, one that is neither new, nor rare, nor little known, but which may be a curiosity to you, the reader, because of its exceptionality. But few cigars are as well-known—or as controversial—as this one.

Notoriety has its price, and in this case, it’s a steep one. So categorize this review however you wish, into either the “Is it worth the price” category, or perhaps into the “Is it as good as everyone says” category. Or finally, you may wish to sort this review into the “Is it as overrated as I’ve heard” category. Regardless, I present to you the Montecristo #2.

Photo of Montecristo #2 Torpedo Cigar

Montecristo #2 (6x50)

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Oliva Connecticut Reserve Toro

25 Jan

I apologize in advance for what you’re about to read.

I’ve got this friend who likes to compare just about everything to a turd sandwich. Yes, you read that right. It usually goes down like this:

Me: “The mashed potatoes at that restaurant are delicious!”
Him: “Yeah, well you could put that much gravy on a turd sandwich, and it would probably be edible.”

Another variation goes like this:

Me: “The cigars are okay, but for a buck-fifty each, it’s hard to complain.”
Him: “Yeah, well I can get a turd sandwich for a buck-fifty, but that doesn’t mean I want to eat it.”

Ignoring the obvious question of, “Who sells turd sandwiches for a buck-fifty,” I have to admit, most of the time he’s got a point. So borrowing from his little nugget of colloquial gold, allow me to state the following:

“You could wrap a turd sandwich in a Connecticut Shade wrapper, and it would probably be smokable.”
Fortunately, that’s not what we have here.

Photo of Oliva Connecticut Reserve Toro

Oliva Connecticut Reserve Toro (6x50)

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Macanudo Cru Royale Toro

15 Jan

The reviews I prepare for you, the gentle reader, are not done blind. Certain reviewing authorities do provide blind ratings in an attempt at parity, although I would argue, many of those authorities can most certainly spot the classic or highly-noted cigars, bands on or off. My cigar buddies often wonder aloud whether I can name a cigar based solely on taste, or identify the growing region or nation of origin without the benefit of advance knowledge, but I assure them, I could name any cigar in the Sasquatch-a-Dor without its band in three tries or less, without having to smoke it, just based on appearance. So any such challenge would have to be conducted truly blindly, as in blindfolded. As I’m not inclined to permit them to commence pulling cigars at random and lighting them up for me to sample under a blindfold, they’ll have to go on speculating about my tasting prowess.

But one thing I can say for certain is, I would never have guessed this cigar.

Photo of Macanudo Cru Royale Toro Cigar

Macanudo Cru Royale Toro (6x54)

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Avo #2

11 Jan

“I don’t know anything about art, but I know what I like.”

Most of us have heard that famous quotation, and I must admit, many cigar lovers echo that sentiment whole-heartedly. They’ve got a few cigar brands they know and love, and they stick to them religiously. There are a number of reasons for this. A new cigar smoker may be afraid to try something new for fear of running afoul of a cigar that’s too dark, too big, or too strong for his fledgling set of skills. I remember what it was like as a young Sasquatch, standing in the walk-in humidor at the mall, physically intimidated by the big scary monsters on the shelves. But as we grow out of those fears, many of us still tend to stick to our core cigars, now because of frugality—we know what we like, and we don’t want to waste time or money on some unknown stick that turns out to be a piece of garbage. And finally, there’s something to be said for simple brand loyalty. Ask a Coke lover, “Is Pepsi okay?” and you’ll quickly get a sense of what I mean.

Photo of Avo #2 Cigar

Avo #2 (6x50)

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Posted in Full Reviews, Natural, Toros

 

Nub 464T Series Part 1: Habano

08 Jan

Today I embark on a four-part series featuring Nub Cigars from the Oliva Cigar Company. Nubs have strikingly large ring gauges and interestingly short lengths, a concept intended to maximize the ‘sweet spot” of a cigar. They are available in four different wrappers and a variety of stubby vitolas, each with a length of 4 inches or less, and a ring gauge of no less than 58. In pipe smoking, something of these dimensions would be called a “nose warmer.”

For this series of reviews, I’ve selected the 464T, a Torpedo (4×64), in each of the Habano, Cameroon, Connecticut, and Maduro wrappers. I’ll be delivering these reviews separately, in no particular order.

Photo of Nub Habano 464T

Nub Habano 464T (4x64)

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