Saturday, August 14, 2010

De La Guardia Cigars

I love making connections with people, and my involvement with Social Cigar has allowed me many contacts. So, the marketing director for the new brand, De La Guardia Cigars, joined Social Cigar and got my attention, since they're just an hour away in Omaha. Omaha? Cigars? That's right.

So, I referred her to the guys that run two of my three local B&Ms, and a couple weeks later, received a nice promo/sample pack in the mail! Three cigars, a cutter, a package of mints (perfect for de-smoking the breath) and a kick-ash beer cozy!

Well, onto the important stuff; cigars. DLG offers two varieties of cigar in Natural(shade-grown Dominican wrapper and filler, Nicaraguan/Honduran Binder) and Maduro(Cubano Piloto (Dominican)Filler, Dominican Binder, Honduran Wrapper). They also offer to flavor the aforementioned cigars.


The DLG Natural gave an aroma of sweet, green hay from cap to foot, and the wrapper was fairly smooth and mildly toothy. Once cut, the cigar drew nicely and readily lit. The cigar was fairly mild, with the predominant flavor being the sweet hay noticed before lighting. The draw was good, and the cigar held about an inch of silvery ash.


The DLG Maduro is just an earthier version of the Natural. The wrapper was a bit rougher, showing veins and lumps from veins or wrinkles in the binder underneath. The wrapper exuded the aroma of dirt and sweet hay. Another great draw was there, and the cigar held about an inch of ash while being smoked. The flavors were very similar to the Natural, with the predominant notes being hay and a little dirt, and not much spice at all.

Smoking either cigar, I felt that in a blind taste, I'd guess that these were blended by Rolando Reyes Sr., that they just have a flavor profile I associate with Puros Indios or Reyes. Flavoring these, as De La Guardia offers, is a great approach to these cigars.

Friday, August 6, 2010

First Impression: Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary

I unexpectedly stumbled into a Rocky Patel event at one of my local haunts this week, and bought a small handful of the new Fifteenth Anniversary robustos. Go me!

The Fifteeth has an aged Habano wrapper, which was nowhere near the black pepper spice of the Perdomo, Oliva, or Cain Habano wrappers. In fact, instead of the typical Habano tingle on my lips, I tasted a more earthy citrus, which screams Rocky Patel anyway.

The cigar lit readily, and burned straight, the draw was excellent on this box-pressed robusto. The flavors start with citrus and coffee, with only the mildest spice in the background. After the first inch the coffee notes became more pronounced. The spice as really mild through the whole cigar. I drank my morning coffee with this almost medium-bodied stick.

The smoke was creamy and plentiful.

The Fifteeth Anniversary is a signature Rocky Patel cigar, and though I may balk a bit at the cash register price of $11.