Monday, December 12, 2011

Cigar Sniper

Okay, the Social Cigar thread got contentious, with lots of accusation, invective, and slights against the stereotypical behaviors of a certain race/religion. Let's discuss this on the likely facts, please.

First of all Famous Smoke is a business, and their goal is to make money. As a business, their job is to separate a man from his cash while providing that man with incentive to keep parting with that cash. That's their prerogative. So let's not start throwing the greed label around. Your local B&M is trying just as hard to get into your wallet.

The Cigar Sniper format may let one guy buy a box of cigars for $10 (plus the $20 in bids he used to snag it), but hooks in the other 4-5 guys that dropped $20 in bids to roll that into paying the fuller, more profitable price for the box of cigars. The guys that only put $2-5 in bids on the box will likely just leave that $$ on the table for Famous to collect (pure profit, cha-ching). All in all, a profitable venture.

Just not off me. The success of the Cigar Sniper format will depend on wealthy idiots and guys that can't do the math, and I am neither.

Friday, December 9, 2011

C&C Cigars

The C&C Cigars had finally hit the shelves here, so I bought a pair each of the Corojo and Maduro lines. My first impressions, after smoking one of each, are that these are nice, milder cigars, worth about the $5 shelf price.

The Corojo, as noted by many reviewers so far, is reminiscent of the Cusano Corojo 97' (or 96'). There's a sweet, woody flavor with a hint of the roast red pepper flavor I've come to associate with Corojo tobaccos. But only a hint.

There are Corojo wrapped blends from other makers with bolder flavors and sharper, more pronounced Corojo notes. But for a milder, Corojo-with-training-wheels cigar, the C&C Corojo isn't bad.

The C&C Maduro is fairly mild as well, with a light earthy and sweet flavor. Both bear decent construction, being a little on the light side, but with a decent draw despite the undense feeling.

The Dominican fillers are continuing the tradition from the Cusano venture, just recently acquired by Davidoff. The Chiusano brothers, one being sidelined by a non-compete clause, just can't stay away from the cigar biz. We should be glad.

I'll smoke a few more, and keep a few on hand for the occasional guest with milder cigar leanings.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cigar Scene: Lincoln, Nebraska

For a small city, Lincoln has three respectably cigar shops in town, and all withing 10 minutes of the Poor Bastard's Cigar Lounge (my garage).

Ted's Tobacco:
Biggest humidor in town, they carry all the standard Altadis and General Cigar fare, CAO, Drew Estates, Fuente, Ashton, a smattering of Camacho, Oliva, Perdomo, plus some boutique frontmarks like Illusione, and Tatuaje, Plus they have a respectable spread for pipe smokers as well. Despite the large humidor, it seems less than lovingly cared for (depending on who's working) the occasional empty box or empty spaces dot the shelves, despite plenty of stock available.
There's no lounge to speak of, but April through October, the regulars still gather out in front of the shop on Monday and Wednesday evenings for a sidewalk herf. BYOC&B (bring your own chair and beverage). Winter, you're on your own.

Jake's Cigars & Spirits:
A small, 8x8' walk-in humidor, stocked with standards from CAO, Rocky Patel, Fuente, Ashton, Oliva, Perdomo, Torano, and upstarts 262 Cigars and Esteban Carreras. The big attraction is the fact that this is Lincoln's only official Cigar Lounge, with indoor cigar smoke permitted 7/365. The bar is well stocked with craft beers and an impressive collection of single malt, blended scotch, Irish whiskies and bourbons and there's plenty of seating. My only beefs are that the booths force groups of 6 or less, and the music gets too loud @ 9PM. It's nestled in the buttcrack of the UNL campus, and so it's more of a college bar in tone.

Cliff's Smoke Shop:
Prime downtown real estate, Cliff's has a 18x6' walk-in humidor, jam packed with standards Ashton, Fuente, Drew Estates, Oliva, Perdomo, DPG, Patel, and boutique brands Los Blancos, Tatuaje, C&C, and several smaller label releases. The owners aren't shy about branching out, listening to regular customers, trying new cigars and giving them shelf space. The owners actually work in the shop, and frequently give a regular a discount on his sticks. There's a little space for lounging and lingering while smoking a cigar, and the atmosphere is relaxing. I just wish their hours were longer (9-5 M-F, 9-1 S, closed Sunday) and parking downtown were a little easier.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Toraño Single Region - Jalapa

I'm tickled that some new Toraño cigars have reached my little backwater. Unlike fab places like Chicago or Long Island, Lincoln, Nebraska, doesn't get the newer frontmarks very quickly. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find the new Single Region cigar in my B&M's humidor.

Jalapa, Jalapa, oh Eden of Nicaragua! Out of thy rich soils spring such smoky satisfaction!

I love Nicaraguan cigars, and as anyone who has bought any Cain cigars in the past year would know, Jalapa is one of those regions in Nicaragua where delicious tobacco is grown.

The Single Region Serie Jalapa sported a colorado-colored wrapper, and had the aroma of leather and cedar. While burning, the draw was okay, but I did need to relight the cigar a couple times. The ash was fairly dark from this cigar.

The initial blast of flavor was wood and leather, very strong in the retrohale, like someone had bashed me in the nose with a cedar 2x4. Not very peppery, per se, but very present, bright. There were hints of coffee, but the cigar didn't taste as "dark" as other Nicaraguan cigars tend to do.

Being a robusto, the flavors didn't change a whole lot, but were very present the length of the cigar. The flavor profile reminded me of the Tatuaje Havana VI, the bright, woodsy tone of the flavors. I liked it, and will be buying more.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Panacea Red Perfecto

My mother surprised me with a cigar bomb for Christmas. She's normally a tobacco agnostic, but she researched and picked out cigars she thought I'd like. The Panacea Red perfecto was one of those cigars, and I'd never seen them before.

The Panacea Red sports a Brazilian maduro wrapper, Dominican Habano binder, and mix of dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. The Brazilian wrapper on this cigar was not really spicy on the lips like Cao's Brazilia or MX2, but more muted, like on Nub's Maduro 460.

The wrapper's unlit aroma was of leather and potting soil, a dry, earthy smell. Very similar to Don Francisco's Custom Blend line. The draw through the cigar was outstanding, and the burn a little wobbly, but never had to reach for the torch after I initially lit up. The dove-gray ash held for a good inch and a half.

Closer to medium than mild-bodied, the cigar had pleasant flavors throughout; Leather, a dash of coffee, earth. The cigar wasn't noticeably spicy in an way. The flavors didn't vary much, but was a nice companion for an evening cup of coffee and a good book.