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Enjoying Scotch Whisky and a few other things

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cigar experience

Up In Smoke – Cigar notes for 1/6/2012

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In a better effort to record my thoughts on cigars I have smoked, I have decided to create an “Up in Smoke” post that I will try to push out regularly with a few thoughts on each one, whether I liked, it, basically.

First up is the Room 101 by Camacho. This is a medium cigar and the most interesting thing about it is the unique Semilla wrapper grown exclusively for this project. The filer is a Honduran/Dominican blend with Honduran wrapper. This was a robusto, I think, and goes for around $8.

Verdict – It was ok. Nothing special for my tastes, I will find a medium cigar that I occasionally like the flavors on but this one just didn’t do anything special for me. The wrapper is a unique experience though. It comes across very oily, you notice this immediately. I finished off about 3/4 of this one, I think it got a little stronger towards the end.

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Next up, a Cusano 59 Rare Cameroon. Before I say anything, I think that I just don’t have the taste buds for the cameroon leaf. I have determined this after smoking Rocky Patel’s latest release, the 2003 Cameroon. I tried three of them, I did not finish any of them.

This is a Dominican cigar with an African Cameroon wrapper. It is medium in strength. The robusto runs about $6.

Verdict – I didn’t finish. I just don’t get this cigar and I’m not sure that I’m going to like a Cameroon offering.

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Saved the best for last? You bet your ass! This is the new offering from CAO. CAO has changed hands recently (become part of General Cigar) and due to that there is some talk of some people not caring for this stick before they even saw it. It’s called the OSA Sol which stands for the region Olancho, San Agustin in Honduras which is where the wrapper leaf is grown. The “Sol” stands for sun, meaning it is sun grown (no shade cloth cover). This leaf was developed for this project. The filler is Nicaraguan and Honduran and has a Connecticut Broadleaf binder (which I find interesting). I’m not sure which Lot # this was, but it is an affordable cigar, around $6.

Verdict – I loved it! I really didn’t expect much out of this cigar but it really surprised me. I haven’t had a cigar in a long time that had this much flavor, I seriously burned it to the nub. It’s not often I come across a cigar this full of unique and satisfying flavor, flavor that really comes across your palate. If I needed a box of cigars right now, I’d buy one of these!

La Gloria Cubana Cigar event with Master roller Leo Peraza

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Master Roller for La Gloria Cubana

La Gloria Cubana is a brand readily available in most stores and at least in my mind is a brand of cigars that is a lot less about flash and more about consistency. I have smoked a hand full or two through the years and while I’ve always thought them to be a decent cigar I can’t say that I’ve had a tendency towards them, this may have changed with this recent events offerings. The event was held at Cigar Town in Reston, VA, an excellent cigar shop in Northern Virginia. http://kickashcigars.com/

I had a very nice talk with the General Cigar reps that accompanied Leo and since Leo doesn’t speak English my conversation was limited to the reps (have got to get my Spanish back!). I’m not so sure if it’s the lack of offerings in the line or if their marketing just doesn’t connect, but I pretty much think of all Gloria products as maduro and non-maduro. I have a few series R’s and have had the N’s and so I purchased the new Artesanos Retro Especiale which is a new blend and breed with a Connecticut seed wrapper grown in Honduras in order to achieve a new cigar experience. It also has a unique binder of a Nicaraguan and Mexican leaf that adds the uniqueness that boutique cigar lovers are looking for these days. I was able to smoke this cigar the other day around noon (didn’t get to finish of course) and it was a very nice tasting cigar.

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Feliz Navidad!

It is not a heavy cigar (Artesanos Retro Especiale), it’s more of a medium-ish in strength but does deliver some nuances that an enthusiast will appreciate. The more I get to learn about cigars and follow industry news you get the appreciation that a cigar is not as simple as a bunch of leaves rolled up. A blender, these days, is trying to deliver strength and taste. These two seem to be hard to corral into a cigar. Taste is something that is quite subjective also, so there is no guarantee that everyone will appreciate what a blender is doing. I liked this cigar and am glad I have another one. The other product I purchased was a La Gloria Cubana figurado that was rolled special for the holiday season. I took a picture but due to being outside and dark, the image is horrible. I think you can only find this for a limited time. Look at the red band, that is quite different and may lead you to it. In short, it was a very nice smoke, maybe a medium to full in strength and very tasty! If you catch this rolling event somewhere you should be able to happen upon one.

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This event is was very beneficial for myself. I have not just a new understanding of what the La Gloria Cubana brand is about but more importantly a new curiosity about its products and I will be trying more of their products. I did get a special Artesanos de Tabaqueros cigar from the General Cigar rep and will be trying it soon. It is quite unique, two different wrappers on it, very unique not only in type but color and should be an interesting challenge to my palate.

Although thought of as a good value cigar, I think this brand has the potential to move up in my world, in at least my mind, as a must-try brand.

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