Sunday, October 25, 2009

Don Pepin Garcia Cuban Class



Pouring down rain outside, plus it's only about 46 degrees, you'd think it was late November already. Two weeks of this stuff since I've been back from Central America - I'm strongly considering going to Brazil for Christmas/New Year's, at least it's guaranteed to be warm there.

Friday there was an Oliva cigar event over at Rain City Cigars in Georgetown. Since I'm within walking distance and of course you already know that Oliva cigars are my favorite smoke, I couldn't resist checking it out. I arrived just after 3 PM and the shop was already full of Aficionados looking to score a good deal. The Oliva Rep had quite a nice selection displayed on the long counter. I noticed a price list taped to the window - 20% off boxes. OH BOY! I picked out a box of Oliva Serie G Churchill's - the price was right, plus my humidor is nearly empty. I bought the box and the Rep gave me 6 additional cigars, plus a nifty Oliva baseball hat, a guillotine cutter and some NUB matches. NEAT O!

So as I'm sitting here typing away in the garage, I'm smoking an Oliva Serie O cigar and drinking a nice hot cup coffee - good combo on this crappy weather night. Great cigar I might add, but in all actuality I wanted to tell you about the cigar that I smoked on Friday night down at the Tobacco Patch. I've seen this brand many times and I've heard that they're supposed to be pretty good, so I thought I'd try one for myself.



The Don Pepin Garcia Cuban Class cigar is not all that special, I'll tell you that right now. It started off a little harsh, but surprised me and really mellowed out about a third of the way into it. Good draw, not the best burn, but I then again I never had to re-light it. Now that I think of it, there was a very, very light drizzle on Friday night, that might have caused the uneven burn. Had this cigar not started off as harsh as it did, I would have loved it, but since I'm judging the total package I'm not real thrilled about it. I'm starting to think that I should just shut up and stick to Cameroon wrapped cigars? Nah, that wouldn't be any fun now, would it...

Off the top of my head I can't think of another cigar to compare this to, maybe a Rocky Patel Corojo? I can't remember... Old age sinking in?

My Rating: 7.9

PS - This Oliva Serie O that I'm smoking is EXCELLENT!



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cuban Stock Royal Selection



We're back to our typical Fall weather pattern - rain, with a chance of more rain. Currently it's drizzling, but that will change to showers, then to light rain, but downpours are likely. We've got a million different ways to say it's raining here. Sheesh!

Anyway, on a brighter note, while it wasn't raining, I picked up a few cigars out in Redmond. Yes, I know I should have bought them in Kirkland, but I was at the Mall with my lovely wife and it was just too darn convenient to buy them there. By the way, this cigar store has a pretty good following for their Sunday afternoon cigar get together out in front of their store. I might have to stop by some time if it's not raining too hard.

So what did I find? A Cuban Stock Royal Selection. Why this one? Well, it kind of sticks out from the rest. Now I know why cigar companies put multiple cigar bands on their products - they want their cigar to be noticed! And that's just what happened. The dark brown color, the multiple bands, the box press, no cellophane wrapper, all contributed to my decision. Very rarely do I buy a cigar that doesn't have a label on it, however, I've been thinking about experimenting... (blind taste test)

Last night after dinner, a BIG dinner, my spouse and I grabbed a drink and headed out to the deck to try out the cigar. Surprisingly it wasn't all that cold out and it wasn't raining!

This cigar has an unusual box press, not square, but rectangular, kind of feels like you're holding one of those big yellow carpenter pencils in your hand, it's got that kind of shape to it, just a little shorter. The wrapper is a rich dark chocolate brown, nice feel to it as well, not too firm, and of course it has the two labels that stick out like neon signs. I gave it a single hole punch and lit it up. Not bad - medium to maybe full bodied flavor, but nothing like the Cain Ligero that I smoked a few weeks back. I knew right off that I would be able to handle this cigar OK. Even my better half said it was good! Unfortunately I don't think that I'm going to add it to my list of favorite cigars. Don't get me wrong, it's a good cigar and the burn and draw are absolutely perfect, but it's just not as smooth as the cigars on my Favorites list - very, very close though.

My Rating: 7





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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

14 Days, 12 Cigars



Just back from 14 days on a cruise ship, sailing from Los Angeles to Miami, via the Panama Canal. What an experience!

Itinerary:

Could not have asked for a better vacation - absolutely amazing!

So you're probably wondering if I smoked any Cuban cigars along the way?
Not this time... I found that the "legitimate" Cuban cigars are cheaper back home, plus I'm too cheap.

Most cruise ships have some sort of cigar lounge or a designated spot to smoke cigars/pipes after a certain time at night, but this boat was probably the nicest - open all the time, nice comfortable arm chairs, few tables, nice selection of fine cigars, plus you could order whatever you liked from the bar. There were always people here and we got to know most of the regulars - heck, every night for 2 weeks you'll definitely get to know someone! Great group though, always a good conversation going on. Kind of reminded me of the gang back home at the Tobacco Patch!

So what did I smoke while on the boat?
A variety of Oliva, Cohiba, and Romeo y Julieta cigars - all on my favorite list. The Oliva's I brought from home, but the Cohiba Churchills and the Romeo y Julieta Reserves I bought on board. Good price too!

So why 12 cigars in 14 days?
Well, one day was a travel day back home, so cancel that day for cigars, but the other day off was on the way back to Miami from Columbia - beautiful warm sunny day, but super windy, thus the swells were quite high and the ship was rocking pretty good. My lovely wife got seasick.... I thought it best to stick around in case she needed anything. Nice guy, eh?

Side Note: One night on the boat, one of the entertainers was a hypnotist. He put on a really good show, nothing too crazy like you see sometimes, but when the show was over he said that he would be giving a seminar the next afternoon on self hypnosis and how you can loose weight (big item on a cruise ship), stop smoking, sleep better, etc. etc... We decided to go - heck, we're on a boat, we've got plenty of free time. Anyway, we show up the next day and the hypnotist gives a little talk on hypnosis and it's benefits, then he tells us that we're going to watch a little video to help you loose weight. He also said that the short flick would have subliminal messages in it as well. OK, I'm ready. Now first off, both my wife and I aren't overweight at all, but being on a cruise ship all you want to do eat, so we thought this might be something of interest. Anyway, we watched the self hypnosis video with the subliminal messages and follow all the directions that the video gave us. When it was over I thought that it was no big deal - relaxing, but I doubt anything will become of it.
That night, dinner time, we decide to go to the buffet instead of the main dinning room. I'm looking at all this food on the buffet tables, good food, but nothing looks appealing to me. WTF? Am I sick? Depressed? What's up here? I settle on a few pieces of cheese and some dried appricots, maybe a few walnuts on the side. Excuse me, but what planet am I from again? Too funny, that stupid hypnotist thing worked. For the next few days I was rarely hungry like I usualy am, plus I slept great. This is one of the few cruises that I've been on where I didn't gain any weight. Amazing!





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