One of the things I’m most known for on Stogie Review is dressing up for the holidays. Jerry The Turkey, Jerry The Elf, Jerry McCruz…everyone has their favorite. I’m often asked why I don’t do other days like Valentines Day. Lets face it, its usually cold here in Maryland in February and no one wants to see my nipples get all rock hard. What about Easter? A few years ago I had an idea to dress up as Jesus for Easter…it was quickly vetoed by the wife and after thinking about it, I agreed just like I did when I originally wanted to paint myself green instead of using the Jerry McCruz outfit. Trust me, body paint can be a pain to remove. LOL. Whether this is Easter, Passover or for you atheists, just Spring Break we hope you all celebrate safely and enjoy the time with your family and the company of a few cigars…
Davidoff Special R – Anyone surprised? Is there anything new I can say about it? I can talk a bit about cigar taxes. The same Special R in Washington DC (where there is no tobacco tax) retails for $15. The same Special R in Maryland is $18. A $3 difference. Sunday evening while the women are cleaning up, why not light up a Special R and enjoy how blessed your life is? Toshio I’m talking to you buddy!
AVO Heritage – After Walt’s video on the NUB Connecticut I was checking out the prices at my local retailer and saw the NUB Maduro selling for $10. I then look across the way and find this AVO Heritage for $8. A much better cigar at a lower price. This is what we call a win-win. What would you have done? A great, flavorful cigar at an affordable price point.
Davidoff Puro d Oro – As you can see by the first three smokes this week I had a bit of a love affair with Henke Kelner. It was actually quite interesting to smoke these three cigars. I actually smoke the AVO Heritage first, then the Special R and finished up with the Puro d Oro. What is fascinating is you can definitely detect Henke’s signature earthy/musky profile in the Special R and Heritage. Then you smoke the Puro d Oro and its not like anything else Henke makes and you know he had to leave his comfort zone to develop the Puro d Oro. Heavier smoke than the others with a bright savory flavor profile.
Xen by Nish Patel – I remember when I first smoked a sample of the Xen (which at the time was actually called Zen) and I was really impressed with it and thought it could go head-to-head with the EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut. Boy was I wrong. I didn’t hate the cigar but when I smoked it I thought to myself, “hey this is okay”. As I continued to smoke it I sat there cheering for the Xen to do something more. Sadly, there was nothing more. Going with a Connecticut wrapper (even one from Ecuador) you really have to do something to set yourself a part and the Xen just didn’t have that something more.
Ashton ESG 20 Year Salute – By now most of you have heard about the passing of Manny Ferrero of Ashton Cigars. I only had the opportunity to meet Manny once and that was in early March when he was passing thru introducing Ashton’s new rep for the area. Watching him and George Brightman talk showed just how genuine, passionate and life loving Manny was. When he left he simply said “next time, lets talk more about your blog.” This one was for Manny.
Alec Bradley American Classic – While Connecticut wrapper from Ecuador seems to be all the rage lately I have to give credit to Alec Bradley for going the Honduran route with their Connecticut (remember what I said about setting yourself a part?). I’ve been on the fence with the American Classic. Its a bit fuller than your run of the mill Connecticut a bit reminiscent of the Camacho Connecticut. More toasty and creamy than the EPC New Wave Connecticut. So I’m still on the fence when it comes to that Connecticut Shade cigar to start my day. Every day can’t start with a Special R. LOL.
Alec Bradley Black Market – Now a cigar by Alec Bradley that I’m not on the fence about. The Black Market is a darling of a cigar. After the Tempus the Black Market is probably the best cigar Alan Rubin and company make. I know I know, that leading cigar lifestyle publication disagrees with me. What is great about the Black Market is that the blend fires on all cylinders no matter what size you choose. My experience typically is the bigger in ring gauge you go the more airy and less flavorful a cigar can be. That experience does not apply with the Black Market. I heart you Black Market!
Four Kicks – It really doesn’t get better than a Four Kicks, am I right? Just when I didn’t think the blend could get any better, I started picking some up from the most recent shipment that replenished the depleted shelves across the country. I tell you what, they are even better than the first shipment! I kid you not. Gone were the problems I had with some of the sizes and I can happily report that they all are smoking beautiful. So if you loved the first batch, you will wet your pants when it comes to the latest shipment.
Illusione ~cg:4~ – Its been awhile since I smoked anything from Dion. I think it has to do with me buying a box of the ~MJ12~ and not really digging the size so they just sit in my humidor. So when I see Illusione on the shelf I start thinking about those sitting in my humidors. If I go back in time, I’d stop myself from buying the ~MJ12~ and go the ~cg:4~ route. Medium-to-full with a great assortment of sweet, spicy and earthy goodness.
Illusione ~cg:4~ Maduro – If you couldn’t tell I’m a bit of a “theme” smoker. When I choose my cigars for a sitting I try to set them up to do a bit of comparing or contrasting whether its comparing manufacturer’s use of Connecticut wrappers or whether its as simple as comparing the ‘natural’ version of a cigar to its maduro version. If you thought smoking a ~cg:4~ was good then stop reading now and go try the maduro version. Same spectacular construction but the San Andreas maduro wrapper adds a unique depth to the flavor mix that just puts a smile on your face as you sink into your seat and forget the world around you. Why are you still reading? Go buy now! LOL.
Liga Priva No. 9 by Drew Estate – Talk about a cigar that is aging so very nicely. T52 and Undercrown are two smokes that are great to smoke now but I’m not sure they have what it takes to age nicely. I’m not knocking those cigars, I love them both and smoke them often. There is something about the blend, the bones of the No. 9 that has the DNA to get even better with age. I don’t think age will add anything to T52 or Undercrown, they are what they are, awesome cigars. The way these No. 9’s are aging have greatness written all over them.
Bromance by Draw Something – First if you thought there could never be a more addicting game than Words With Friends, then you haven’t discovered Draw Something yet. I’ve been playing with Walt now for a couple weeks and I have to say that I was expecting more from him. For God’s sake, he’s a professionally trained drafter. If the above is the best Walt can do then shit, I don’t want him designing my kitchen cabinets. LOL. Happy Easter, Passover and/or Spring Break to all of you…and whatever you do, do not drink Yuengling Light out of CAN. LOL