Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend Cigars

It's been a whirlwind Memorial Day/Michelle's birthday Weekend and I've got some short cigar reviews mixed in with some photos of me and my crew enjoying the holiday!

I started the weekend off with this chunky 5 Vegas "Fifty Five", a thick, partially box pressed chub of a stick. Scott gave it to me and they've apparently been his "go to" stick for some time. The stick was a damn fine stick for the money ($3 pretty much all the time from Cigars International). Though not overly complex, it had tasted of pepper and tobacco and had a perfect burn and lots of plumage. For me, I'd smoke this again and would rate it a "2" on my four point scale. In fact, I smoked a Maxx by Alec Bradley later in the weekend (a cigar that costs at least double of what this 5 Vegas runs) and it was not nearly as good of a stick.

Here's Anne-Marie helping Michelle in the Garden early in the weekend!

Here's our littlest cave explorers in Alabaster Caverns. We had to fill them up with chicken and picnic fixin's before the big underground adventure!

Here's Ry with our surprise guest star, Grandpa!

Here's Grandpa at the top of the hill waving us on!

Here's Michelle and Thane enjoying the main cavern tour.

...And here's Thane and Ry doing some short exploration of one of the smaller caves nearby (this one is called the "Water Cave" I believe).

And here is how I celebrated the adventure's conclusion: a Coronado by La Flor, double corona (7 x 50). The Coronado is one of my favorite cigars and this was no disappointment. It had a perfect wrapper, draw, and plummage and gifted me with about two hours of solid peppery smoke. I tasted some cinnamon, spice (paprika?), and lots of tobacco and pepper and shot boom clouds of smoke in the air. I tried to nub it but all the caving activity and hot sun combined with the potent stick to make me light headed-I wussed out and let it go with about an inch and a half left.
This stick is a 4-is truly one of my favorites and was a great capstone to a great weekend of adventure!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Perdomo Habano (Maduro) Robusto 5 x 52

Perdomo Habano (Maduro) Robusto 5 x 52

This stogie is dark and oily...and a big boy (52 ring gauge). It has a double wrapper (the foot wrapper had already slipped off so is not seen here), giving it a classy look that is incongruous with its cheap price (I got it for $2 on Cigar Bid in a sampler). It is composed of all Nicaraguan tobaccos from the three main growing regions of that country. It has been aging in my humidor for six months or so.

The band is ornate and a bit gaudy but I like it-it lists the three growing regions by name on the main band and has the Perdomo flowery symbol thing in the middle.

The stogie had that strong barnyard odor on the prelight. Though it was a stout smoke, it felt light in the hand, which made me think it might have been underfilled and have too loose a draw. However, this was not the case and it smoked like a champ.

It took the flame well and had a pleasant burn throughout. It didn't change much but the qualities it did have were pretty decent-a medium maduro flavor, with some coffee and pepper bits. The smoke was plentiful and dense. Rico would have really liked the plummage but I was glad I was smoking it outside because indoors or in a car it could have become a bit much.

Quick review: I rate this stogie a 2. It's a decent stogie and I would smoke it again anytime. Though it never achieves greatness, it is very solid. It seemed to have medium flavor and mild to medium body-the dense flavors were never offensive.

It would also make a great gift cigar to a buddy who was short a smoke (solid smoke + cheap price means everyone is happy!).

Here I am enjoying my Perdomo Habano in my new Clutch trucker hat!

Other News
I watched Gamers: Dorkness Rising, a movie recommended to me by Brad. It was pretty funny and got me excited about throwing some dice again. Too bad May and (now June!) are booked with work and Family stuff! Perhaps July will work out for me!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

May Smokes

No pictures this time...just a short list of smokes I've enjoyed this month so far.

Montecristo (white label): I was given this as a gift by a coworker and smoked it last Sunday morning...good stuff. I'd call it mild to medium. The burn was perfect and it paired well with my Costa Rican coffee. I'd rate it a "2" (pretty good)-it doesn't get any higher just because it's not quite as flavorful as I've been enjoying lately.

Alec Bradley Tempus Creo (Lancero): I picked this up at Wichita at the Cigar Chateau. It is an elegant, double banded stick (one band at the foot). Man, this is a really great smoke. I have enjoyed some Alec Bradleys before but this is truly a premium. I'd rate it a 3 or maybe 4...need to try another to decide. It's a full and flavorful experience that I'm sure is duplicated in the shorter, chubbier sticks of the line.

I'm in Wichita now, doing some web training. Tonight is the big Clutch concert and I'm sure Ry and I will find time for a small smoke before we hit the Big Event.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tatuaje Especiales (7.5 x 38)

Tatuaje Especiales (7.5 x 38)

It was a beautiful night last wind, perfect I grabbed a stogie I bought in KC at the Tatuaje event a few months ago when I was on my lancero kick.

I used my trusty Cuban Crafter cutter and my Blazer lighter/welding torch. I backed it up with some midrange scotch that wasn't too great.

Here's the lancero before I cut and lit it up!

And here are my tools.
This stogie was pretty damn fine. It had a great "tart" Pepinesque teste but not as much pepper as his often have. At several times I tasted (I am not shitting you) cinnamon rolls or something very similar. That's a first for me but I swear that's what it tasted like.
It's a potent cigar-it's strength started to hit me about 1/4 of the way in.
The plumage was solid and the taste really great. It needed a few touch ups but I left it alone for too long, I think, when I was called in for emergency tech support for the wife's internet class. I rate it a solid 3 on a 4 point scale-it's a great smoke and I really liked it but it's not one of the best.
Lancero Kick
Well...I went on a major lancero kick a month ago or so and I bought a box of El Triunfador (really good lanceros!). I also tried to sample as many lanceros as possible. I read all the articles about how good they were and how the flavor is better and I gave it a real try...
...and it is true. The flavors are much more distinguishable and interesting...however the downside is social stigma (when your amigos laugh at you while you smoke it hurts, friends, it just hurts!)...increased cost (in most cases) and the missing "boom". The thinness of the lanceros loses that depth and richness that the thicker ring gauges have (even though the thicker ones seem to muddle the flavors more).
I think I'll keep picking up the lanceros now and then but I don't think I can live on them alone.