Was a great week for me in terms of smoking! The past few weeks, I've only gotten in about 5 smokes a week, but this week the weather, my schedule, and Father's Day all produced a fantastic week of smoking and I got to enjoy 8 great smokes! Lots to discuss, so let's dive right in:
- Quesada Jalapa Robusto - My week began on Tuesday when I got home from work on a gorgeous NJ day and saw the latest Cigar Aficionado in the mailbox. After a few minutes of back-and-forth with my lovely wife on lines from The Big Lebowski, I pulled out a Quesada Jalapa Robusto given to me by Terence Reilly from the humidor, grabbed a Rogue Dead Guy Ale from the fridge and came outside to enjoy the early evening! The first time I smoked this cigar, I didn't love it, but I enjoyed this experience. Smooth and creamy with surprising complexity, the Rogue Dead Guy Ale accentuated the flavors I was getting and really turned this into an enjoyable smoking experience.
- Redux: BOTL Small Batch 2010 by PDR - I was obscenely excited to receive a package from Tim "Podman" Podwika on Wednesday and I had to immediately open it up and test one out. I wrote about this year's BOTL sticks here, and I have been eagerly awaiting their arrival. The only discernible difference between the Redux and the OR, from a visual perspective, is the new release has a triple cap. What a wonderful smoke! People will try to compare this to the original - which I won't do because I haven't smoked that one in awhile - but this, standalone, was an utter enjoyment. Copious amounts of smoke and great construction led to some wonderful flavor with a bit of spice on the back-end. Really glad I got a box of these as, especially for the price, these are fantastic. Kudos to all involved in making this happen.
- Liga Privada Unico Serie Papas Fritas - When these first came out, I smoked them like crack. It was a cruel winter in New Jersey and these provided amazing flavor and warmth in a short time-frame so they could be enjoyed in dire conditions. As the weather has improved, my intake of these babies has dwindled. I'd say I went through 6 tins or so between mid-December and February, and still have 2 cigars from the 7th tin left in my humidor. Now, I am not sure if these haven't aged well, or if my interest in them has dwindled in the nicer weather, but I just didn't enjoy this as much this time as I have in the past. Not to say it was bad - it just wasn't AS good.
- Iconic Leaf Recluse Toro - When I met Cigar Craig at Cigar Emporium in Lyndhurst, NJ in early April, I brought him some cigars to repay him for a bomb he had sent me long ago. Not one to be outdone, Craig handed me this Recluse. I've read varying stories about this cigar (including this one from Cigar Coop) so I had some expectations going in, but nothing too lofty. I'd have to say that this cigar did very little for me. Burn and construction were without problem - ash was sturdy, but the flavor just didn't intrigue me. If anything, I'd say I got a bit bored by this cigar as I smoked it. A decent medium smoke that is worth trying, but probably not one I see myself going back to regularly.
- L'Atelier LAT 46 Selection Speciale - Saturday was a gorgeous day in NJ, but my wife had a baby shower to go to so I was responsible for watching the baby. Mid-afternoon I put him down for a nap and stepped outside to smoke the LAT 46 SS I had heard so much about. With the previous LATs I've smoked I felt they were decent cigars if not a bit over-hyped. This cigar quickly became my favorite of the bunch. While the burn wasn't great at first, it did even itself out before falling apart at the end despite my attempts to keep it on track. Despite this, the flavor was right in my wheelhouse and really intrigued me - basically a fuller version of the original LAT production with some nice spice to compliment the flavors. I'll probably try to track down another of these to ensure the burn issues were just a fluke, but these will likely become humidor staples.
- Casa Fuente Corona Gorda - Father's Day arrived on Sunday and I suspected that I was going to only have time for one cigar so I went to my Fuente humidor and found a Casa Fuente sitting at the bottom that looked ideal for smoking. I really find myself gravitating towards CGs lately so this looked like it had lots of potential. While the Casa Fuente is a bit expensive for a regular smoke, I don't mind splurging for a few to put away for safe keeping in the humidors. This particular cigar has been sitting around for probably close to 2 years awaiting its death by fire. I feel like the rest has mellowed this out a bit as it was incredibly creamy with hints of spice throughout. Really ideal smoking experience for a warm, overcast Father's Day that left me wanting more.
- Emilio Cigar Draig K Corona - And that more would come later that night. After heading to the beach for a bit with my wife and newborn son and following that up with a lobster dinner, we headed back home and I picked up another cigar and got out some The Glenrothes Select Reserve and enjoyed the end of the night. If anyone cared or even asked me, I'd probably tell them that the Emilio Draig K Corona was my favorite cigar of 2012. First, the pre-light draw is the most complexly flavorful pre-light draw I think I've ever taken. An absolute stunner. The retrohale gives a bit of spice/pepper/strength, but also provided some really interesting and complex flavors. This isn't a beginner's cigar and it requires ideal conditions to avoid a wonky burn, but when it hits, it is fantastic.
- Reinado Habanito - I thought the Draig K would be my last cigar of the night, but after putting the baby to bed, my wife came outside just as I was wrapping up the Draig K and expressed interest in smoking a cigar and having some scotch so I picked out a Reinado Habanito that Antonio Lam gave me at NJ Cigar Fest and poured another glass of The Glenrothes and proceeded to continue to enjoy my first Father's Day! I'll preface this by saying I'm friendly with Antonio, but these are fantastic little smokes. Despite being my third cigar of the day, the flavors were so strong in this little guy that I was still able to savor them and included a surprising spice throughout that I was not expecting. Most surprising, perhaps, was that I think my wife legitimately enjoyed it as we almost smoked the band! Really great 30 minute smoke that I'll look to keep in my humidor for those quick smoke fixes!
All-in-all, a really great week of smoking culminating in my first fantastic Father's Day! Next week promises to be a short week as I'll be in Texas at a wedding all weekend and might not have time to partake as much, but I will see you then! Until then, Long Ashes!