Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Writing Style?

There's a web site that analyzes your writing style, and this is the result I got after feeding the preceding cigar review into it:

I write like
Raymond Chandler

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Great, now I'll actually have to go out and READ some Raymond Chandler.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial

These are great days to be a cigar lover, as the variety of cigars right now are only matched by their quality, especially if you like Nicaraguan cigars. Oliva, Perdomo, Padron and, lately, Don Pepin Garcia have been rolling stellar cigars the past few years. The Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial is a blend from the son of Pepin. 'Son of Pepin' sounds like a horror film, right? But this cigar is dark and forebodes nothing but a great cigar experience..

Being an enthusiast of Nicaraguan cigars, and having had great luck with cigars associated with the Garcia family, my heart skipped a beat when these showed up at one of my local shops, and I bought a pair straight away.

The Reserva Especial sported a dark, oily, Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper, with any veins being as low-profile as the seams on the wrapper leaf. And not only smooth, but giving an earthy aroma to the nose and a peppery spice to the lips. The draw through the cigar was free, but without feeling too loose.

Prominent flavors at the start were earth, cedar, and a nice spice. So far, very reminiscent of an Oliva Serie O maduro (one of my go-to cigars), with a touch more wood in the flavor profile, but very close. Gotta love Nicaraguan fillers. After the first inch, the intensity of the earthiness dialed back a notch.

By the middle of the cigar, the spice seemed to drop back a ways, yielding the stage to the earthy wood flavors. The Kona blend coffee I was drinking in tandem seemed to work well with the cigar, and I noticed some coffee flavors in the mix toward the mid-point of the cigar as well.

A bitter cocoa flavor also flirted with the palate after the mid-point, and the last third carried on with a solid medium-bodied presentation. Soft spice highlighted the earth and wood flavors to the end.

If I were given this cigar blind, I'd have said it was an Oliva at the beginning, but by the middle I would have been doubting the call. At $8 a pop for the toro, these cigars are fairly priced for the quality of the experience. Another hit from Nicaragua!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cain Nub Maduro

In the history of the world, there have been several meetings of disparate elements that formed something amazing; Barley, hops, and yeast to make beer, tungsten and electricity to make light, and peanut butter and chocolate to make peanut butter cups. Well, Sam Leccia has done it again, this time combining the Nub Maduro with the Cain ligero blend to make the Cain Nub Maduro.

The wrapper on the Cain Nub Maduro was a rich brown color, with some minor veins. There's a nice spice left on the lips, maybe a little spicier than the habano version's wrapper. The first cigar I tried seemed a little over stuffed, giving a substantially firmer draw than others in the Nub line, even the new Cain Nub Habano. The second was freer, but still had a nicely resistive draw.

Upon lighting, the serious spice starts, along with bold flavors of earth, leather and coffee. This maduro version is still powerful, but a touch milder (or smoother, maybe) than the Habano; I was able to run the smoke through my sinuses with more comfort than the Habano version. The flavors stay pretty steady from the beginning to the end, only varying a little in intensity; Bold start, mellows a little into the mid-point, and then a little spicier into the nub.

The Cain Nub Maduro is another fine, fine cigar from Sam Leccia and Oliva.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ashton Majesty

I'm basking in the afterglow of an excellent cigar tasting, courtesy of our local cigar bar, Jake's Cigars & Spirits. Tonight's featured guest was Ashton Cigars' Bill Rectenwald, with a great lineup of Ashton cigars and some great pairing options of cheeses, nuts, and vodka. My cigar for the evening was the Ashton Majesty, upon the urging of a great friend, MMK, earlier in the day.

Now, I know what you might be thinking; "Jimbob, you don't really like shade-grown Connecticut wrapped, Dominican cigars." Aye, I usually take a pass on the blondes, but both MMK and Bill thought the Majesty was a must-try, so I gave it an introduction to my torch. I can say that I didn't regret it for a moment.

From what I was told, the Majesty is the fillers from an Ashton VSG, but with a shade-grown Connecticut wrapper, rather than the sun-grown variety. The substantial body and smooth and steady spice definitely backed up that claim. While most mild blends that sport shade-grown wrappers leave me with little but the sweet, grassy flavor of the wrapper, the Majesty was a much better balanced cigar. The first couple inches were mainly toasty tobacco and spice flavors, with just a little of the sweet-grassy tone from the wrapper.

At the mid-point of the cigar, I noshed a handful of nuts, and went back to the cigar to taste the difference. It was a remarkably different flavor, mostly an earthy, dry leather set of flavors, with the spice muted in the background. After another inch, I tried a cube of medium Cheddar cheese, and the flavors underwent another twist. After the cheese, the spice was almost gone, and I could single out the sweet grassy flavor of the wrapper.

Pulling into the nub, the great tobacco and spice flavors carried the cigar until the end. It was an outstanding smoke, as one would expect from a $12 cigar. Hats off to Ashton and Jake's for putting on a great tasting. The Ashton rep tells me that the Aged Maduro #56 is the same fillers, but with a maduro wrapper. I'm definitely going to scout for a couple of these next.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cain Nub Habano

Well, the Fourth of July weekend found me in possession of some powerful fireworks: Cain Nub, in both Habano and Maduro. Saturday night, while the citizens of my neighborhood were engrossed in some July 3rd premature ecrackulation, I was in the garage with the short powerhouse Cain Nub Habano.

The greyish brown wrapper had some demur veining, and lefts a little peppery tingle on the lips. Earth and leather dominated the pre-ignition aroma.

After clipping the cap, I noticed that the draw seemed fairly free, like most in the Nub series. A free draw might seem to be an invitation to suck this cigar down with all speed, but with a ligero-heavy blend, do this at your own peril.

So, I got this cigar lit and took a couple introductory puffs. Mmmm, earthy leather, nice spice. I took another puff, and went to jet it through my sinu..WHOAH! I felt like someone socked me in the nose. There's some spice in that smoke. In short, the Cain Nub starts off hitting you with both barrels.

After the first inch, it got easier to get the smoke through the sinuses, either because I got acclimatized to the amount of spice in the smoke, or that it mellowed out a bit. I think that it mellowed a little, but still kept up a bold flavor with a smooth spice riding shotgun.

I purposely paced myself slowly on this smoke, and enjoyed it immensely.