Another slow week in the cigar enjoyment world for me as I only indulged in 4 different cigars this week, but it was 4 quality cigars. One cigar that I did smoke, but didn't list was a Cortez Connecticut Corona from the Cortez Cigar Company based out of Shrewsbury, NJ. Its been a busy month for weddings, and Saturday we went to our friends' wedding where Cortez was rolling fresh cigars so I picked up one of their Conny Coronas and it was actually pretty enjoyable. I took home several other samples (including some Nicaraguan Maduro wrapper) and I'll be trying them a bit over the coming weeks and months. If they sound appealing to you, let me know as I'm sure I can find some more to share. And with that, let's take a brief look into some other cigars I enjoyed this week:
Ortega Serie D No.8 Maduro - It has been incredibly hot and humid in NJ over the past couple of weeks, but I was eager to step outside and try to enjoy a cigar so I picked one of my old favorites to accompany me. Unfortunately, I don't know if the humidity really hurt the cigar or I just got a bum stick, but the draw was unnervingly tight. I still got the early spice that turned into a creamy earthiness with a touch of sweetness, but I found myself really having to draw hard with minimal smoke production. As someone who really prefers an open draw, I found myself, unfortunately, putting this one down a bit early as the heat and humidity made it not worth it to me to continue.
J Grotto Series Reserva Gran Toro - Made by Ocean State Cigars, I've seen the J Grotto brand around, but for some reason, I've never been inspired to try it until this past week. I received this cigar at the NJ Cigar Festival and its been sitting for almost 3 months with never a thought to smoke it so I had some extra time and pulled it out, took a guillotine to the cap and lit her up with my Xikar lighter. As sometimes happens, I have nothing bad to say about this cigar - appearance was great, construction was excellent, burn was straight with excellent smoke production and flavor was fine for what it was with some woody/earthy notes - but there was nothing that really wow'd me about this cigar either. A solid medium smoke that I'll probably revisit on a cool Saturday morning in the Fall to see how it pairs with some coffee, but nothing I'm going out of my way to track down.
Ortega Serie D Lancero - I enjoy the Serie D so much and I was left so unsatisfied by my experience earlier in the week that I pulled out the Lancero to push me over the edge. ShoutOut to Robby for getting me this stick to try. He knew I am a huge lancero fiend and haven't been able to score these so he sent me a package with a couple. I thought the Serie Ds were good to begin with, but the Lancero is fantastic - I absolutely love the cigar in this vitola. First, I've smoked many Lanceros in my time, and construction and burn is often a problem, but not with the Serie D - absolutely flawless. Not once in the entire cigar did I have to correct the burn or relight - a rarity for Lanceros. Flavor-wise this was similar to the No.8 Maduro, but seemed more refined. In both, I noticed mild pepper at first that really dissipated as an earthiness took over with the No.8 providing a bit more complexity, but this Lancero really hitting the mark. I'm definitely eager to pick up a few more of these so I am sure I always have some in the humidor.
Tarazona 305 Torpedo - So, I'm in my local B&M the other day, and someone asked me if I had sampled the Tarazona 305 yet claiming that it was extremely unique - in a good "way" - with some distinct floral notes that bum-rush the palate. I set out to track one down, and wouldn't you know that another shoutout to Robby as this Tarazona 305 Torpedo was sitting on my doorstep waiting for me - WHAT TIMING! I paired it with a Flying Dog UnderDog Atlantic Lager. So, it didn't take long for me to try to pull this one out and spark it up to see what the hype was about. I don't know that this cigar is the 2nd coming - or even a box buy - but it is very interesting and unique and something I will definitely be eager to try again. Construction was great and I found myself smoking this to the nub. There was an intriguing creaminess that I can't pinpoint that really shared the profile with some strong, unique floral flavors though I was constantly getting bits and pieces of other flavors sporadically through the smoke. I don't know what vitolas these come in, but I'll be curious to try to track down something smaller that would fit my preferences a bit more as this cigar has some serious potential.
That's all for this week - have you tried any of these yet? I always love hearing your thoughts so please let me know!