Been a busy week for me in terms of cigar smoking and life, and the week ahead doesn't get much easier. I'm writing this blog entry from 36,000 feet in the air as I journey to Springfield, Missouri for a bit of work, and potentially Just For Him Shop's 1 year celebration of Twisted Cigars. I imagine my smoke intake this week will be minimal as I'm really stuck in work-related activities most of the week, but I'm sure I'll get some gems in here and there. In the interim, let's see how the past week has treated me.
262 Revere Robusto - After a solid week of cigar smoking the week prior, I pulled out a 262 Revere Robusto to kick off this week. I had received these as a part of Cigar Chat Weasel Winnings some time ago and I've smoked several from the 262 line, but this was my first Revere. I found this to be a decent cigar, but not overly interesting for my palate as the flavor profile remained pretty consistent throughout and didn't really fit my palate as a slight bitterness was the overwhelming note. While I've enjoyed past experiences with 262, I don't think the Revere is one I'll be attacking again.
Xikar HC Series Habano2 - Wednesday morning I was sitting at work and I noted how absolutely gorgeous it was outside so I wrapped up my morning meetings and headed home to take my afternoon calls from my backyard. Knowing that I was going to be working and talking on the phone for the majority of the afternoon, I tried to find something that wouldn't require too much of my attention. I chose the Xikar HC Habano2 that has been sitting in my humidor since IPCPR (whether that would require much attention or not). As I lit this up, I was chatting with Logan and Jerad from CigarFederation and they implied that the Habano2 was a "love it or hate it" kind of smoke, but this was not my experience at all. I didn't love it, but I found it extremely enjoyable for a medium cigar with impeccable construction. Definitely not yard-gar status and something I wouldn't mind smoking again.
CLE Cuarenta 2012 (robusto) - After work wrapped up, with Brazil & Mexico still playing in the Confederation's Cup and the gorgeous day continuing, I pulled out the CLE Cuarenta 2012 that I recently received in a bomb. I've been eager to try this cigar, but it just didn't work for me. I found it to be very straight-forward and a bit boring from a flavor perspective and the flavor it did provide was not in-line with my preferences. Probably not a cigar that I'll be going out of my way to smoke again.
Illusione *R* Rothchildes - If you've been reading My Week (In Smoking) In Review for awhile, you'll know that I sampled the Rothchildes a couple of weeks ago. The hype surrounding this cigar has been phenomenal from what I have seen and I was eager to try it out. My initial thoughts were extremely negative. Thinking I had hyped this cigar up too much in my mind, I picked it out of the humidor on Thursday for a revisit. While I think I'm a bit more pleased with the second experience, and I will probably smoke more of these given the price, I still do not grasp the immense hype these cigars have received amongst the community. For a $5 smoke, yes, it is a pretty decent cigar, but still not amazing. Perhaps my palate is just different from the rest of the community.
Barrister Cigars Justice - After the Rothchildes, I found myself enthralled by the Spain vs Tahiti soccer game on TV and the side bets we had going on in the shop, so I picked up one of the shop's house blends - the Justice - in my preferred corona vitola. I've told my friend Tom from LongFiller's Lounge that he must include this cigar in his March House Blend Madness Tournament as it is an absolutely fantastic cigar, let alone house blend. Blended at Joya de Nicaragua, I really enjoy the bit of spice I get from this in a fuller-medium smoke. For the price, I find this cigar much preferrable to the Rothchildes which is roughly the same price. Obviously, the only way to get these is from the shop, but if you are in the area, stop in, ask for Dave, and say I sent you. Or, just contact me and I'll pick some up for you. Great smoke - especially for fans of JdN.
LFD Mystery Cigar - I could probably write a full review on this cigar, but I'll just fit it in here. A few months back, LFD announced a special edition Lonsdale that would be available only at Events. No blend information was provided, but it immediately intrigued me as I typically find LFD cigars enjoyable and I love the Lonsdale vitola. At the first opportunity I had, I picked up two of these. The first gave me considerable draw issues as I continually found myself trying to massage the cigar into a smoother draw and inevitably relighting. After an hour or so of way too much effort (that I only withstood due to the delightful flavors), I finally gave up and cut open the cigar to find a giant stem blocking the draw. A bit disappointed, I put the 2nd in the humidor and let it sit until this past week when I finally brought it out and lit it up. This sample had no such draw issues, and, interestingly like the first, I found it to be a divergence from the typical LFD profile - very mild and mellow. Probably more in line with a Suave. I found myself really enjoying this cigar and thinking it would go perfect with a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning and I set out to write this review. Then, my good friend a local LFD Rep, Kyle Shackleton, called me and told me there would be an LFD Event at Barrister Cigars on Friday so I set my schedule and headed over to pick up more of these. I buy a 5-pack, light one up, and I am immediately hit with intense power - more in line with the typical LFD experience, but completely unlike my previous experiences with this cigar. As I continue to smoke, the cigar mellows out a bit (after the 1-inch mark or so), but still is world's stronger than my previous experiences. I have to assume that the blend has changed and while Kyle could not confirm to me, this is the theory I am going with as the flavor profiles are just so drastically different in the cigar I smoked 2 months ago and the one I smoked this week. All-in-all, still a very enjoyable cigar and I am glad I picked up a 5er. Personally, and I might be alone in this, I enjoyed the original blends (assuming the blend did change) for what it was and its uniqueness to the LFD flavor a bit more, but I still think this is one of my favorite LFD blends.
Moya Ruiz La Jugada Prieto 6x60 - I wasn't really expecting to smoke a second cigar on Friday after the LFD Event, but I got home and the wife wanted to spend some time together, and so I pulled out the La Jugada Prieto's that David Moya from MoyaRuiz Cigars sent me recently. If you know me, or have ready any of my posts, you know I am not a fan of thick RGs. In fact, I often think that a 52 is pushing the bounds of enjoyment for me so attacking the 6x60 was something I feared; however, not really being in the "mood" to smoke, I figured I might as well light up the Prieto to see what I thought. I probably should have waited a bit longer. These cigars were only sitting in my humidor for a week or so, and I had difficulty getting it to keep a burn which I attribute more to the fact that they needed time to stabilize in my humidor than anything. Burn issues, coupled with my disinterest in a 6x60, and my overall apathy towards smoking in the first place put the La Jugada in a position where it couldn't possibly satisfy me. It would be unfair of me to give any thorough comments on this cigar until I smoke another in a better mindframe after they've had time to rest a bit, but I will be sure to follow-up and report back.
Aging Room Havao Connecticut Treble - On Saturday, we flew to Texas for a family wedding, but before we kicked off the weekend, I pulled the Havao Connecticut out of the humidor for a Saturday morning smoke. I've been a big fan of the Aging Room offerings since I first sampled the M356 and I had heard good things about the Havao - it did not disappoint. As someone who typically prefers a fuller-bodied, stronger cigar, I often struggle to find mild cigars in my humidor to pull out as an early morning smoke or when the mood strikes me. I can see the Havao being that cigar for me. Mild strength with a creaminess and nuttiness to it that really fit with an early, beautiful Saturday morning in New Jersey. I've yet to smoke an Aging Room cigar that I have not enjoyed and this cigar continued the trend - definitely worth tracking down.