Earlier this week I mapped out all of our Cigarfest 2011 coverage. Today there was supposed to be a video post of Mike and I discussing our Friday activities. Unfortunately, I was feeling rather lousy last night. After a couple of Nyquil Cocktails, I was down for the count. That brings us to the here and now, Friday morning as I scramble to come up with a post before getting my work day started.
The simplest post was a Week in Smoke. With so much Cigarfest 2011 coverage going on this week, I thought I would highlight everything I smoked during our long Cigarfest Weekend (Thursday through Sunday). Some cigars were smoked on more than one occasion (Top Shelf Signature Select Black Label, Drew Estate Liga Privada T52, CAO La Traviata Maduro) but I think my tally was somewhere around 23 cigars.
Thursday started off a little rough. Instead of getting up at my usual time, I decided to stay in bed and get a little extra sleep. When I climbed out of bed at 6:00 am, it was too late for a morning cigar before my wife left for work. Instead, I started packing and took over baby duties until my mother in law arrived. About an hour later I was finished packing and Mike was just pulling up.
I rushed down to the car in a torrential downpour, threw my stuff in the back of the SUV, and climbed into the passenger seat. I pulled out an EP Carrillo New Wave and got to work on my first cigar of the day. The rich flavors made my cold and wet car ride pleasant. The burn rate was spot on, fitting the hour and fifteen minute drive perfectly.
Ever since hearing George Rodriguez on the Stogie 411 Show, I’ve been interested in smoking the Rodrigo line. Because of Rodigo being boutique, they do not have a very large distribution area, which results in them being difficult to track down. Mike was kind enough to bring along a few for my to try at Cigarfest.
I thought the cigar had good flavor and medium body. The only downside to the stick was how aggressive it was on the palate. After smoking a single robusto, I felt rather worn out. I enjoyed it but would probably fit it in as the last cigar of my day.
After getting settled at the hotel, Mike and I headed over to see a friend of ours, Jason. Arter arriving, Jason began digging through his humidor to find a cigar that we could all enjoy together. He decided on a Fuente Anejo and a few moments later, all three cigars were set aflame.
Much like the Herf’n Heads – Featuring the Fuente Anejo Reserva No. 48 video, I found the cigar to have a fun quality to it. The smoke was nice and dense while the flavors were mellow and easy on the palate. I’ve said it on numerous occasions, but when it comes down to Anejo vs Opus X, I’ll take the Anejo on most occasions.
After leaving Jason’s, Mike and I headed over to Stroudsburg for a Studio Tobac World Tour Event. As we walked down the street towards Atlantic Cigar, Dave Wagner was standing outside. We got to talking for a few minutes and he handed Mike and I an Oliva Serie V No. 4. The more I smoke these cigars, the more I love the smaller format.
These cigars don’t seem to deliver as much flavor as the Oliva Serie V Lancero, but the wrapper flavor is nice and snappy. The finish is easy on the palate while the body is in the full range.
Studio Tobac Donkey Punch
I was snapping a few photos at the Studio Tobac event when Bryan Scholle walked up to me with a cigar. He said “I hear you like stronger cigars, give this one a try. I call it the Donkey Punch.” Bryan went on to explain that he uses Esteli Ligero for the filler, and the wrapper leaf from the Cain F as both a binder and wrapper. The result is a cigar that packs a punch.
The flavor profile was one dimensional but I didn’t mind. From start to finish this cigar was throwing bombs. After smoking it to the nub, I was left feeling a little woozy, but I loved every minute of it.
Illusione Epernay Le Petit
After the Studio Tobac Event at Atlantic Cigars, Mike and I grabbed some dinner and headed back to the hotel. After a few glasses of Zaya, I was in the mood for one last cigar before calling it a night. I poked through my humidor for something small and came out with an Illusione Epernay Le Petit. Despite it’s medium body and easy going flavor profile, it easily cut through the char on my palate and rounded out the evening nicely.
A couple of weeks ago I was making small talk on Twitter and asked Pr0nPhisher what he thought of the Vegas Robania he was smoking. I made mention that I hadn’t had one and asked him to keep me updated on how it smoked. Within a few days a surprise package arrived at my house containing a Vegas Robania as well as a few other sticks I hadn’t smoked.
Because I was expecting a mild and mellow smoke, I fired up the Vegas Robania with my morning coffee. The pairing was pleasant. Despite my horrible luck with plugged Habanos, this cigar smoked very well. This stick was a bit mild for my liking but something I would certainly pair with coffee in the future.
With Mike staying away from Full Bodied cigars, he handed me Diesel Shorty that had been sitting in his humidor. Having been my first experience with this size, I was happy to take it off his hands and set it on fire. The short and fat format of this cigar didn’t seem to do much for its flavor profile, at least not from what I remember of the other sizes. When it was all finished, my opinion hadn’t changed, the Diesel line, in my mind, is like an unrefined Man O War Ruination.
I think that throughout the course of the weekend I smoked three Top Shelf Signature Select Black Label cigars. They make for a solid cigar with a nice Nicaraguan core flavor. There is some spice on the palate and the corona gorda size allows the wrapper flavor to come through while keeping the smoke length reasonable.
After the Man O War Event, Mike and I headed over to Jason’s house to hang out and unwind. After twisting our arms, Jason handed us a couple of Padron Anniversary 1964 Maduro sticks to smoke. Like every other experience with this cigar, I enjoyed it a great deal. I particularly enjoy its medium body and chocolate tones that seem to come and go throughout the smoke.
Tatuaje 7th Reserva
When finished with my Padron Anniversary 1964, I pulled out a Tatuaje 7th Reserva, courtesy of Pr0nPhisher, to finish out the night. While I did enjoy this cigar, my palate was blown out from all the smoking and I wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as I should have. Flavors were a bit washed out and dull, which I’m sure were caused by the rising number of cigars smoked.
Angelenos from Prometheus
After a good nights sleep and a strong cup of black coffee, Mike and I fired up a couple of Angelenos Cigars for breakfast. The Friday Wrapup video from the night before was a flop (We were too burned out to smoke and extremely tired), so we recorded take two the following morning. Still a little burned out from all the smoking, the Angelenos was mild-ish on the palate with a distinct spiciness.
A couple of hours after Cigarfest began, Mike and I decided to take a break. We found a clear space beside the Studio Tobac booth and made ourself at home near an open door (fresh air was very nice at this point). I was feeling a bit burned out and wanted to smoke something that wouldn’t kill my palate. The CAO La Traviata Maduro fit the bill with its medium body and maduro sweetness.
Sencillo from Prometheus
After Cigarfest was wrapped up, Mike and I headed back to the hotel to relax and record our wrapup video. For that video, we both lit up a Sencillo from Prometheus. About half way through this cigar I began to get my second wind and my palate was feeling pretty good. This stick was medium to full in terms of body with a spicy component that took center stage.
On the final evening of our long Cigarfest weekend, I found my ass parked in Jason’s lounge once again. This time I gifted an Ashton ESG since I admitted to never have smoked one the day before. I couldn’t help but compare every puff of the Ashton ESG to what I remembered of the Ashton VSG. What I came away with was, while I enjoyed the ESG, I think I might prefer the VSG just a little more. The flavors seem to pop a little more with the VSG, making for a more vibrant smoke. One of these days I’ll have to light both sticks at the same time and do a side by side comparison.
Arturo Fuente – Don Carlos
For some strange reason, Mike was obsessed with putting our dishes into the dishwasher before we left. While Mike loaded it up, I fired up a Fuente Don Carlos, courtesy of Jason. Paired with a cup of coffee, I enjoyed it. This stick seemed to take a little while before getting warmed up, but by the half way point it really shined.
My last cigar of the weekend was a Drew Estate Liga Privada T52, courtesy of Jason. I lit up this cigar as Mike and I cruised down the turnpike. Even with my palate as burned out as it was, I found this stick to have explosive flavors. Somehow, the T52 cut through all of the burnt on crust of the weekend and made for a great smoke.
Cigarfest 2011 coverage is sponsored by Prometheus