Its Cuban Mareva Day !!!!

Well the day has finally come at last and I couldn’t be happier.  This little unassuming cigar with a length of 5 1/8 ” at a ring gauge of 42 is the perfect size for an afternoon in the yard, at the golf course or in the car on the way home from work.. I’m a lover of big ring gauge cigars but this cigar, more often than not, delivers some very very smooth flavors in a size that will give you over an hour of smoking if you take your time.. Here are a few choices…

We may as well start off with one of the big winners in this catagory, the Cohiba Siglo II.. a big creamy winner that delivers a milder Cohiba taste!

My second choice, the Montecristo No. 4, almost made it into the first place slot but, oh well, it’s really a toss-up when it comes to taste and popularity. Truth be known, I think it is probably a lot more popular in terms of sales.

Anyone who is a big fan of taste will usually have no problem with the Romeo y Julieta Petit Coronas.  I love the Churchill and Exhibicion No. 4 from this stately brand but when time doesn’t permit, the petit coronas is a great choice for full flavor.

I can’t make this list without including one of my all time favorites in this size. The Hoyo de Monterrey Coronations. Very smooth, whether they are a bit young and fresh or even smoother after a few years in the humidor.

There are more of these that I love but I think you get the picture.  Any of the above mentioned cigars on a smoke break will give you all you need.

Get All The Love !!

Today’s post is about facing the facts.

There are only 2 facts to face.

Fact No. 1….. Cigars can sometimes set you back a few bucks  !

Fact No. 2….. Cigars taste good to the last drop  !

Well there you have it.  In my opinion I believe that there are only 2 relevant facts that we face on a daily basis and spending time thinking about anything else is just plain foolish !

I get accused of looking as if I have no class whatsoever whenever I stick a toothpick into the last inch or so of any cigar I smoke so I don’t burn my fingers.  I use toothpicks for every cigar I smoke and used toothpicks litter our house from stem to stern.  I can’t help it, I love how cigars taste into the final third and a quality cigar will taste good until there is only about 1/2 inch or less left burning.  I use toothpicks for any cigar from a Robusto to a Purito and without fail, I find myself in cigar Heaven.

My little wooden companions also come in handy whenever I find that I have a plug in a cigar.  I’ll usually find trouble with a cigar where the band is located and toothpicks never fail to ease the tension I feel when I’m not getting a good draw.  I’ve tried to use different objects to hold on to a short short cigar stub but the wood has a rough surface which holds on to the cigar without it spinning in your hand.

Some of you may agree with me, some may thing I’m foolish… I guess I just don’t care because I can’t discard a cigar that still has a few inches left…2 inches of prime Cuban tobacco could mean the difference of almost 15 to 20 minutes of pure satisfaction….Plus….. Like I’ve said before, if you take your time smoking a cigar and let the flame cool down, you’ll get a sweet flavorful puff of non-harsh, beautiful flavor..

Favorite Cigar Quotes

We’ve all read different cigar quotes through the years and pretty much have heard them all but every now and then, a new one will surface…… Hope you like the few I have found today…..

If you want a midget to look like a baby, don’t put a cigar in his mouth. ………..Chuck Jones

You should hurry up and acquire the cigar habit. It’s one of the major happinesses. And so much more lasting than love, so much less costly in emotional wear and tear……… Aldous Huxley

I have to laugh when I think of the first cigar, because it was probably just a bunch of rolled up tobacco leaves……. Jack Handy

If your wife doesn’t like the aroma of your cigar, change your wife….. Zino Davidoff

I’ve got a great cigar collection – it’s actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn’t going to smoke every last one of ’em. ….. Ron White

There are so many more…….. These are only the few that I, myself, hadn’t heard before… I’ll keep these coming at different intervals

Cuban Cigars Vs….All Of The Others

For the last 5 or 6 years I’ve smoked nothing but Cuban cigars with passion, adoration and utter addiction.  Before that I tried Ashtons, Arturo Fuentes, Carlos Toranos, Luis Martinez and cigars from other fine companies that have world wide success.  I read articles in Cigar Aficionado that speak about wonderful cigars from the Caribbean to the Canary Islands. These cigars make it into the top 25 cigars of the year and who am I to say that these aren’t beautiful examples of fermented tobacco rolled into utter masterpieces?

I am only one person with somewhat of an opinion and here I sit in front of my computer wondering why no other country has come up with a product that gives me the same pleasure as what I smoke that comes out of Cuba.  This is a question that, I’m sure, has baffled many many others way before me.  Is it the soil?? Is it the unchanged production steps?  Is it the packaging??  Is it the old and ancient rolling rooms, drying sheds and factories that make these products in Cuba??

I would guess that maybe it is all of the above but there is one point that haunts me and probably a lot of others in the cigar industry.  I’m guessing its the soil!! It has to be!! After all, its the same seeds taken out of Cuba after the revolution and planted in soil on islands that aren’t all that far away from Cuba.  I’ve seen the red soil that Cuba is made up of, smelled the ocean air and baked in the Cuban sun.

Maybe its just me but I haven’t smoked anything that gives me the same charge as a beautifully aged Cohiba, Partagas or Hoyo do Monterrey.  I know I’m not alone.  If ANYONE can give me a suggestion of a cigar that has the same beauty as a fine Cuban cigar, please let me know. Thanks!

Partagas Culebras…. Weird And Great

Last night I got together with a few friends and drank, laughed and smoked a few cigars.  This was a very relaxed evening and we told stories for a few hours before going home.  On my way to the car one of my non-smoking buddies called me over to his car and handed me a zip-lock bag with 9 or 10 Cuban cigars that used to belong to his father.  It seems that his father quit smoking and gave these beauties to his son, who in turn gave them to me. I have great friends..

When I got home I found that these cigars were in nice shape, very smokable and well taken care of.  I think that the best news was that there was 3 Partagas Culebras nicely twisted together and I wasted no time in dismantling the trio of cigars and lit one up.  This was a very very pleasant experience due to the fact that this cigar probably had a few years resting in the humidor and, although not overly powerful, was as smooth as can be.

The draw was absolutely perfect and had just the right amount of resistance.  Burn was perfect until the last third but gave me no serious trouble.   I’m going to wait for the perfect moments to ignite the final two.

Early Release Of 2010 Limited Editions

Last year the Limited Edition cigar of the year, in my humble opinion, had to be the Magnum 48 from H. Upmann.  This little cigar sold very very well, built an following of devoted smokers ( myself included ) and introduced a new generation of smokers to the Upmannn brand.

This May will see the release of 3 new LE’s from cuba..

Trinidad short Robustos T…..

Anyone familiar with the sublime flavors of the Trinidad brand should enjoy this 50 gauge, 4 inch short Robusto.

Montecristo Grand Edmundo…..

This 50 ring gauge and 5.9 inch long contribution from Montecristo is the largest of this year’s LE’s and is a size usually reserved for the Cohiba brand.

Partagas Series D Especial…..

This 5.6 inch long 50 ring gauge LE from Partagas is the one I am most excited about.  I am a big fan of the Series D and any new contribution from Partagas gets me very excited..

I guess the question is, which one will be smoking the best this year and which will need aging.

The Last Three

Nothing is quite as sad as looking at the last 2 or 3 cigars you have in an extra special box that has been performing at a better than average rate.  The more cigars I go through, the more I want to smoke aged cigars and these final three Ramon Allones Specially Selected are burning a hole in the bottom of my humidor.

A few years ago I picked up a box of Romeo y Julieta No. 3 Tubos at the duty free in Havana’s Jose Marti Airport.  For some reason beyond my understanding, these little Coronitas were a wonderful smoke at one month old. I gave quite a few away to different cigar smoking friends and everyone agreed that this was a great find.  I guess sometimes it just works out that way, the planets line up and all of the tobacco leaves do exactly what they are meant to do in a very poetic fashion.

Don Alejendro Robaina 1919-2010

This weekend the cigar world and the people of Cuba lost a countryman who produced the finest tobacco leaves used today.  Don Alejandro Robaina died from cancer at the age of 91 but left beautiful memories in the minds of all who had ever met him.

Vegas Robaina is the only brand of Cuban cigars that bear the name of the grower.  The tobacco grown on his 40 acre home in the Vuelta Abajo region near the western city of Pinar del Rio wins annual awards and is used for the wrappers of many cigars coming out of Cuba.

My personal favorite of the Vegas Robaina brand is the Clasicos, a beautiful Cervantes, which is a cigar I’m going to go pick up today and smoke in his honor.

El Ray Del Mundo : Choix Supreme

Now and then you read cigar reviews and based on what other people think and say you make up your mind about a cigar you’ve never smoked.  I remember a few years back a few of my friends told me that these were a mild and bland cigar and, so for better or worse, I avoided it. Big mistake.

The school of thought is that this is a mild cigar that doesn’t really develop as you smoke it and maybe a good cigar for beginners who are looking for something on the mellow side.

I won’t argue that this is an easy cigar to get through but where you’ll find my opinion differing is that I believe that this is a complex Hermoso No. 4, not a Robusto, and will deliver more flavors than you may think!!  What you have is subtle flavors going from cinnamon to honey and, from what I’ve found, very good construction.

I firmly believe that in order to understand and know all of the cigars that come out of Cuba you have to smoke them… After you’ve done that you can give others advice!!!

New LCDH In Havana

Anyone traveling to Havana for a well deserved vacation usually comes back with precious Cuban cigars to stock their humidors or give to friends and family as gifts.  Those who do their homework before their trip are the ones who return with the “real thing” as opposed to those terrible counterfeits with second rate Cohiba bands, Romeo y Julieta bands and cheap fakes from Montecristo…. If I have any bit of advice for people traveling to Havana for the first time, stay away from EVERYONE who promises to get cigars for you at a fraction of the price…..

Imagine going to France and buying wine from someone on the street who tells you that his brother works in a vineyard and can get you a case of 1945 Mouton Rothschild for 63 bucks…. Second case, because you look like a really nice guy, for 50 bucks……  You pack up these 2 cases of priceless vino, get them home only to find out that all it is good for is washing off stubborn dried up bugs splattered on the bumper and grille of your car…….

You were sooooooo close….. You were in the city that cigar aficionados travel to once, maybe twice, in their lifetimes and you came home with your country’s limit of garden clippings rolled up to look like cigars packed up in second rate Cohiba boxes…….. You were soooooooo close!!!!!!!

With all of the outlets and opportunities in Havana where you can get Cuban cigars, there are less “authentic” shops than you think!!!! Be very careful and find out where the “La Casa Del Habano” ( government shops) are located…. THIS is where you will get the cigars that everyone talks about…… Tears of joy will roll down the faces of your friends as they smoke their favorite Cuban cigars you’ve given them… Gratitude??? You’ll get birthday cards, Christmas cards and cards for every holiday from these folks, when you do it right….

A new outlet in Havana has just opened this year and it is located in the “Habana Libre Hotel” at L street between 23rd and 25th in Havana, Cuba.  This is not really located in Old Havana but if thats where you are staying, consider catching a coco taxi ( pictured below) and go on a bit of an adventure….

The hotel has a Venetian tile mural, done by Amelia Pelaez across the front of the building…… You can’t miss it!!!!!!!