New “Old” Cigars From H. Upmann

For years cigars out of Cuba were sold and marketed in many ways.  One of the favorites being cigars in airtight glass jars.  A lot of discussion surrounds the merits of aging cigars in an air-tight environment and one of the reasons why people prefer jars is that after a number of years in storage you end up with a much smoother tasting tobacco.

H. Upmann, up until some time in the 80’s, sold cigars in jars and this year ( Not sure when ) we’ll be seeing jars of 25 ” Noellas ” back on the market.  This Cosacos comes in a length of 5.3 inches and a ring gauge of 42. From what I read they will be reasonably priced and should age very well… Sound delicious????

Slow Down !!

This year La Gloria Cubana is deleting their long Panetela.. Partagas is deleting their Long Panetela…..Punch will delete their Churchills and their Grand Corona.  Rafael Gonzales will delete their Grand Corona.  Rey del Mundo will delete their long Panetela, Saint Luis Rey, their Churchill and Vegueros their Long Panetela…….

WHY????

Smaller cigars are becoming more and more popular because of our hectic schedules.  That has me a bit concerned because one of my favorite cigars is the Romeo y Julieta Churchill and I’m wondering if I’m becoming a dinosaur.. Are longer, bigger cigars slowly moving out of the way so the Robusto, Petite Robusto and shorter cigars can take over?

If this is true, what size is next to be on the chopping block? I want to think that this is a temporary movement and that the Double Coronas and longer cigars that give you up to 2 hours of enjoyment will always be there when we decide that we have that amount of time.

Maybe we should just RELAX !! Learn to slow down…. Stop and smell the flowers…. I believe that we need to take the time to marvel in how a Churchill develops as we smoke it and give these wonderful works of art the respect they deserve.

Yeah, maybe this is just a rant but, I’d really hate to see a tradition of sitting down quietly after a large meal at night with a long, thick gauge Cuban go by the wayside!!

Totally Hand Made, Long Filler

OR…… Totalmente a mano, tripa larga !!!! Why should this mean anything special??  Well, consider what happens when you purchase a machine made cigar.  Quite often you’ll run into plugged cigars with an impossible draw.. Ever had the misfortune of buying counterfeit cigars, made with small pieces of bunched up tobacco, off the streets of Havana?? This is always a heartbreaking situation because you get home, light one of these cigars only to find that you’ve been duped.  The flavors are terrible and the draw is a disaster.

When hand rolled cigars contain long leaf filler, channels of air travel the whole length of the cigar and smoking is easy and even.. The ash, see above, is solid, stubborn, and keeps the flame cool which guarantees mellower flavors on the palette.. Try keeping very still when smoking and see how long you can keep an ash on your cigar. Then… Let the ash fall into the ashtray and take another puff.. It tastes like a whole new cigar… And… One that wasn’t quite as enjoyable as it was a moment ago……

Partagas Series D No. 5 LE 2008

I just finished this wonderful cigar from Partagas and I have to tell you how enjoyable it was.  I’ve checked out a few reviews that this has had and I’m quite surprised as to how mixed the results were.  Some people said it had no character, no interesting flavors or almost anything good at all to say about it at all………. WRONG !!!!!!!!

Now maybe they smoked it when it was quite young but this being 2010, we see that it has had a few years to age and I just have one word to describe the flavors that I got out of it…. BEANY….. Seriously beany….. Loads of chocolate and no shortage of vanilla.  I wasn;t sure about coffee though… Maybe it was in there, maybe I just couldn’t taste the subtleties concerning coffee but the other two bean flavors made up for any lack of coffee..

I have to admit, this petit robusto was a very different tasting cigar from Partagas.. Very unique and interesting… I want to pick up a few more and see how a few more months in the humidor affects it’s performance….. If you haven’t tried one, I’d highly recommend giving it a chance.  Let me know what you think with a comment.. Thanks!

2010 Regional Edition Cuban Cigars For Canada

Something I get excited about each year in Canada are the Regional Edition Series cigars that we get from Havana House.  This year promises to be very exciting with the release of 2 new Regional Edition Cuban cigars for Canada..

The first I want to mention is a piramides from Bolivar called the B-2.  This will be a 52 ring gauge at a length of 6 inches. Boliver never fails to deliver a great earthy, powerful and complex Cuban cigar that will probably taste great as soon as we get them and age very gracefully.

The second cigar I am very interested in getting my hands on is from Ramon Allones called the Gordito De Allones.  Another full flavored cigar from one of my favorite brands with a ring gauge of 50 and a length of 5.55 inches.  Something tells me that this one will be a slight bit milder than the Bolivar but very complex in it’s delivery.  I, for one, will be curious to see how it compares to the Specially Selected because of the 2 cigars being quite similar in size.

Each year the regional editions and limited editions usually represent the very best tobacco leaves that comes out of Cuba and great care is usually taken when rolling these fine cigars…. As to when we’ll be seeing these new additions is anybody’s guess but I’m hoping I won’t have to wait long!

Henry Clay havana Cigars

I’m not sure why but of all of the pre-revolution cigars that got lost in the shuffle and were no longer produced in Havana, it is the Henry Clay brand that really has my curiosity piqued.  The brand was named after American Politician, Henry Clay seen below:

As to why Henry’s name was given to these cigars, I couldn’t tell you but Julian Alvarez, who started producing these cigars in the 1840’s.. They were originally advertised as being mild cigars with a full body… Who really knows what that means anyways.  The more I smoke the more I see how subjective these descriptions about flavor become.

Who really interests me is Alvarez himself.  This is a man who made millions in the tobacco industry and treated everyone he dealt with on an even basis, making no special exceptions for anyone.  After leaving Spain he got a job at a cigar company and was responsible ( according to myth ) for coming up with the name of the company when he was at that young age. He stuck with the firm and became the president and cigars generated $36,000,000 each year.  Alvarez made millions but gave millions away and was a very much loved individual in Cuba.. Alvarez employed 1,200 people and made many of these people who were deserving and hard working employees wealthy.

BOLIVAR

Today I got my “Vancouver Cigar Company” newsletter and Trevor spoke about the Bolivar brand.  Funny thing was just after I read Trevor’s info on Bolivar the phone rang and I had a parcel to pick up from my mother in law.  She is always sending us gifts because she is hooked on shopping and buying shirts, towels, chocolate and items that was always love and use but today’s parcel contained cigars!!!! Well, she certainly raised the bar this time…

I phoned her right away to thank her profusely and I was very excited about the 2 Bolivar Belicosos Finos, Montecristo Open Eagle and Partagas Series D No. 5 Edicion Limitada 2008….. Wow!!!!! What a great surprise.  She told me that she wants me to tell her which ones I like the best so she can get more for me at a later date…. Did I mention yet how much I love her????

The Bolivars are some of my favorite from that brand.  The Bolivar Belicosos Finos is a powerful 52 ring gauge at 5 1/2 inches long and wow, what a powerhouse.  Like Trevor said in his newsletter, this is not a brand for the faint of heart. These cigars deliver very very rich flavors and have a lot of strength that true experienced Cuban cigar smokers love like no other…

The Importance Of A Quality Humidor

I have friends who are now starting to enjoy cigars when they leave the country and visit Cuba, go on cruises or simply drop by one of the many duty-free stores around the world.  Next thing you know is that they are back in Canada and put their cigars on a shelf somewhere in their homes or even worse, in their refrigerators and believe that all is well.  No no, all is NOT well…

A few things have to be considered when picking up cigars when out of the country.  A cigar is a living breathing piece of art that is constantly fermenting.  After they are rolled they go through a “sick period” due to the ammonia that is formed during the first few months of fermentation but this tends to be eliminated as time goes by.. How much time??  First of all, the cigars should be ventilated from time to time to eliminate the ammonia.. About 90% of the smell will dissipate in 2 months.. As much as 99% will be gone after the first year and after 2 years you shouldn’t smell any more ammonia but that wonderful barnyard smell that Cuban cigars are known to have.

A quality, air tight humidor is essential to keep your cigars humid and aging naturally.  One bit of advise I can give you is to immediately buy a digital hygrometer and keep it inside your humidor.  The analog hygrometer that comes with almost all humidors are very pretty to look at but their purpose pretty much stops there.  Keeping your cigars in an environment close to 70% humidity will help them to stay moist, healthy and age properly.

Partagas Series P No.2

Lovers of Cuban torpedoes will usually opt for the Montecristo No. 2 when wanting a cigar of this shape and who can argue with the stats.  The Monte 2 has been one of the biggest success stories that ever came out of Cuba.  A few years back the Monte 2 was being produced in every Cuban factory to keep up with world demand but the quality took a dramatic drop until the powers that be put a stop to the full scale production and improved the quality.  At that time smokers started looking around at different options in the piramides and started trying different brands with the same shape.

These last few weeks I’ve been enjoying the H. Upmann No. 2 and can’t say enough good things about them but today I thought I’d revisit the Partagas Series P No.2 and, once again, I am reminded about the strength and quality of these cigars.  Anyone who is a fan of the Series D No. 4 would have no problem enjoying these at all.  The Partagas profile is here through and through but this one tends to start off a bit slower and takes its time to get to the full strength that it will approach at the end.  A class act all the way.

Now I have to get more… See, thats the problem with being a lover of Cuban cigars.  You tend to want a large number of ALL of them!!!!!

Cohiba Obsession

This little stack of Cohibas really DOES look like a solid foundation for a nice night out!!!  I’d ask any of them out on a date!!!!  Not sure why, but I’ve been on a bit of a Cohiba kick these days.. It started with me watching the Oscars with a Cohiba Robusto and then moving into the Siglo I frame of mind. I think my obsession with this brand probably has something to do with the complete Cuban picture they have to offer in terms of taste and delivery, coupled with wonderful construction and even burn.

I think its probably time I relive a few Siglo VI‘s next just to see what kind of experience they give me.  Each cigar has so much to offer but so much of my experience depends on what I just ate, what I’m drinking at the time and how my palate is behaving that day.  Every day is a bit different and every cigar can behave in wild and exciting ways.  The Siglo VI is nothing short of a big experience ( Big Cigar ) and so rather than staying with just one Cohiba, moving around and mixing it up might be the best thing to do in these next few weeks!!