I want to start this episode of Week in Smoke with a thank you. The generosity of my fellow BOTL and SOTL never ceases to amaze me. A week ago was the first DC Cigar Tweetup mainly put together by my good friends @_LOD, @DaByrdman33 and The B&B Cigar Club. While I was involved in some of the planning, in true Great Torpedo fashion I really didn’t do much of anything. The two day event kicked off on Friday night in Arlington VA for a RoMa Craft Tobac event with Skip Martin. Skip brought in many sampler packs of his new lines and some SWAG that was auctioned off. What I didn’t know was that the proceeds from the sampler packs and money from the auctioned off SWAG was all to raise money for First Candle. First Candle is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to safe pregnancies and the survival of babies through the first years of life. Their current priority is to eliminate Stillbirth, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) with programs of research, education and advocacy. Friday nights event raised $550 for First Candle in the name of The Little Robusto Project. Like I said, the generosity of this community never ceases to amaze me. There aren’t enough words for me to express my gratitude to @_LOD, @DaByrdman33, The B&B Cigar Club and RomaCraft Tobac. Thank you for always keeping The Little Robusto in your thoughts, thank you for raising money for First Candle and most of all, thank you for your friendship.
Quesada Serie Limitada 35th Anniversary – When I met up with Terence Reilly for the Casa Magna event at The Humidour Cigar Shoppe outside of Baltimore MD, he told me how he and his wife just welcomed the birth of their first child. With The Little Robusto Project I’m always captivated to learn about what cigar folks light up to celebrate such a momentous arrival. He told me it was the 35th Anniversary. I had never heard of it let alone smoked one so I picked up a handful of them to try and to later review. We use the term ‘flavor bomb’ a lot. Flavor bomb doesn’t do the 35th justice. Tons of earthy, creamy, coca and woodsy notes. Smooth and clean from beginning to end. An instant new favorite now if only the drive to Baltimore wasn’t so far.
Davidoff Special R – The force is strong in this one. Honestly, I’ve really been trying to kick the habit of these Special R. I swear! For what seems like the 12th episode in a row, the Davidoff Special R makes another appearance. People laugh at me when I start talking about the invisible forcefield the Special R seems to create around my palate where the next smoke can’t penetrate it. Its so totally true. Someone said I need to track down and try a cabinet version of the Special R. I asked my friends at Draper’s and they wished me luck in my endeavors LOL.
CAO La Traviata – Still a staple in my humidor and rotation. Along with the Brickhouse its one of the cigars that I automatically turn to when I’m just not sure what I want to smoke. The La Traviata is like a faithful companion, it’ll always be true and never let you down.
CAO La Traviata Maduro – I’m always asked which is better? The ‘Natural’ or Maduro version of the La Traviata. To me thats like asking which kid do you love more? Two different flavor profiles but the same consistency that never fails. I tend to follow each one up with the other. It’s all about your mood. Both are in that solid medium strength range. The Maduro is a little more meaty and the Natural is a little more crisper. Like I said, you can’t go wrong with either. If you are debating between the two, the easiest answer is just to buy them both.
Zino Platinum Z Class – Thanks to Davidoff/Camacho Joe for gifting me this. I usually dig into my box of 546 P of the Z Class so it was cool to revisit the 550 R size. Nothing wrong with the 550 R size but the 546 P I think has a deeper more concentrated flavor. I guess you can’t go wrong with either but my personal choice is the 546 P.
Camacho Corojo – This wasn’t gifted to me by Davidoff/Camacho Joe. The Camacho Corojo is still a solid cigar. With so many new cigars hitting the shelves at a constant pace the Camacho Corojo is easy to overlook and bypass on the shelf. If you take the time to pick one up you will see why so many say this is a ‘classic’. I know a guy who smokes a lot of the Camacho Triple Maduro. I asked him if he had ever tried the Corojo and he said he hadn’t because it doesn’t look flashy like the Triple Maduro does. I told him not to judge a book by it’s cover and give it a try. When I saw him a few days later, he wasn’t smoking his usual Triple Maduro. He was smoking a Corojo and told me its his new go to cigar.
Room101 Pre-Release Sample – Technically Room101 falls under the Davidoff/Camacho umbrella but I always refer to them as being separate. So when I bang my drum about Camacho becoming an afterthought on the shelves someone always points out Room101 and I say they don’t count. I really don’t think they do. Anyway, I’m not going to beat a dead horse. I’m sure Matt Booth gave me the run down on this Pre-Release but I probably had too many lemon drop shots that I don’t remember. When I got around to smoking it a few days later…wow! No bullshit…wow! And yes, I know…lemon drop shots are for girls. I’m not ratting anyone else out but there were other dudes who did the shots as well!
Guillermo Leon Signature – I keep calling this the Guillermo Leon Signature but is that the actual name? I just assumed since the label has his signature on it that thats what it was called. Typical blogger…when we don’t know, we just make shit up. LOL! Anyway, after six years of blogging the inevitable question I’m asked a lot is have I ever got a cigar wrong? I always use the Guillermo Leon Signature as an example. And no this isn’t because I went on the blogger trip a year ago…I have been saying this since before then. When the cigar was released at the 2010 IPCPR everyone was raving about it on the show floor. I didn’t get it. When it started hitting shelves I started sampling them and I still didn’t get it. Then I sampled the Corona Gorda size…I got it. A great combination of complexity, balance and impeccable construction.
Arturo Fuente King T – 2011 was supposed to be my “Year of the Tubos” where everything I smoked/reviewed was to come in a tubo. While I’ve since rethought that theme I’m still attracted to cigars that sit on the shelf in a tubo. I know the tubo doesn’t really add anything to a cigar. Any attempt to say otherwise is a bit of a stretch in my uneducated opinion. With Fuente producing one of the Draper 125th Anniversary cigars this year I’ve been doing my homework and sampling cigars from their lines. Creamy and woodsy is the best I can describe the King T. Probably not a cigar thats made for my generation of cigar smoker in mind. Solid but not very exciting.
Casa Magna Domus Magnus – My 2011 Cigar of The Year also affectionately known as the cigar that if it had a vagina I’d marry it. LOL. The shit that comes out of my mouth sometimes. LOL. With two new sizes planned to be released this year, could the Domus Magnus repeat? Aging very nicely without losing anything. Flavors are developing a crispness thats adding another complexity to the mix. Still one of the most challenging and complex cigars I smoke.
Ashton ESG 23 Year Salute – Thanks for the handful of comments on my latest review of the ESG. Like I said there are many that balk at the $20+ price tag but I think its a contender for a great celebratory cigar. I won’t rehash anymore of my review.
Undercrown by Drew Estate – The cigar that got snubbed from my 2011 Top 10 List and I can’t even explain why. Pathetic blogger! When I look back at my Humidor Notes after the Davidoff Special R, the Undercrown is the next cigar that I’ve smoke the most of the past couple months. What can I say about the Undercrown that I haven’t said before? Slow and smokey. Deep, palate penetrating flavors that never get old. A gem of a cigar that I snubbed.