Stogie of the Week
J. Grotto Series Reserva Gran CoronaOrigin: Raices Cubanas Factory in Honduras
Wrapper: Honduran Criollo '98
Binder: Honduran Criollo '98
Filler: Honduran & Nicaragua Ligero
Vitola: Gran Corona
Size: 5 5/8 x 46
This week we are drinking
Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15 Year
This Week In Stogies
- Montecristo #2 - This one had 3 years of age on it, and was outstanding. Great balance of flavors, wood, earth, sublet spice.
- Liga Privada Dirty Rat - This was an excellent smoke, loved the flavors coming off this stick, smooth, balanced. However, not worth the $11 price tag.
- My Father Federal Cigars 91st (Broadleaf) - Some good toasty flavors up front, but then it did nothing for me the rest of the way. Did not enjoy this one unfortunately, could just be my pallet.
- La Aurora Cien Anos Preferido - This smoke was awesome. The change up in flavors as this thing smoked was so great, loved it.
- Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 (Broadleaf) - Love this smoke, awesome Tatuaje classic flavors, this one is going to age extremely well.
- CAIN F Daytona - What a great smoke! Came in that sampler box, and produced excellent flavors, somewhat sweet, hints of wood.
- Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 (Sumatra) - Great stick, however, this one had TOO LOOSE of a draw. I think the flavors suffered some as a result, can't wait to try more.
- Jamie Garcia Connecticut - Was not a fan, lots of pepper, and other flavors that just really never came together for me.
- Liga Privada #9 - Again, this one started out AMAZING, then got weird, and "fizzled out".
- Opus X Shark (2009) - This stick started out AMAZING, then was just meh.
- Padron 1964 Anniversary - Great cocao-like deep flavors. Stronger than I remember, smoked this one right before I went to Magic Kingdom, and was a little sick from it. Then went on the tea cups, not recommended.
- CAO Sapranos (Soldier) - Great smoke, nice flavors, by far my favorite from CAO. Thanks Jeff!
- My Father Federal Cigars 91st - I had high hopes for this, but had huge construction issues. The flavors were good, but uncharacteristic construction problem for this brand did not allow me to give it a fair review.
- Ashton VSG Eclipse - I absolutely love this smoke. The box I have is a bit young, needs time. I smoked one from the new box, and gave one to a friend. We both seemed to agree its a bit unbalanced and needs time to age. Can't wait til' these are covered in plume!
- Davidoff Colorado Claro Special T (2012) - Nice flavors, a tad grassy, very smooth. Needs more time to live up to the ones from 2008, but very happy with my box (10 count) purchase.
- Partagas Serie P Torpedo - This one was good, but lacked some of the flavors you find in lots of other Partagas smokes. I would say try one or two and see what you think.
- Viaje Skull & Bones Mystery ? - This was a fantastic smoke, I wish I had more. Box worthy for sure!
- La Flor Dominicana Factory Press II - These were OUTSTANDING a couple of years ago. I had one covered in plume. This one was good, but lost flavor, big time. If you have these, smoke em'.
- Tatuaje Cojonu 2003http://www.stogiegeeks.com/stogies/2012/4/6/tatuaje-cojonu-2003.html - Still my favorite from the Cojonu size, though I think this one had some construction issues.
- Padron 1926 #1 - One word: YUM.
- Viaje Friends and Family - Beautiful cigar that offered a rich and earthy flavor profile that was extremely balanced. Flavors included espresso, dark chocolate, leather, and pepper. I would love to have tried more than one but considering many shops only received a single fifteen count box, I consider myself lucky to have received this one as a gift.
- Room 101 One Shot One Kill (OSOK) Filero.html - Interesting flavor profile of earth, leather, wood, and an occasional floral note. Full flavored but medium/full in strength. Construction was perfect. When I revisit, it will be after dinner with a bourbon.
- Viaje WLP Winter Classic - This stick was a pleasure to smoke and I think it went unnoticed by many since it was released at the same time as the Viaje Super Shot. Medium in body and strength, it offered a nice balance of mocha, pepper, and malt. It didn't change up for me much but found it enjoyable and satisfying after lunch. A definite "Fiver" or two.
- Montecristo Petit Edmundo - Box date on these is April 2011. After a few weeks of rest I decided to see how they were burning at lunch this week. Good burn and draw. Nice wood core but I found the flavors slightly harsh and unbalanced compared to the Grand Edmundo we smoked on the show a few months back. I think another year will do these good. Now to be patient!
- Olivares Aging Room M356 Rondo - Nice smoke! Dominican puro with a nice balance of cedar and spice and some sweetness on the finish. Great construction and burn. I would certainly recommend a "Fiver" to check it out.
- EP Carillo New Wave CT Short Run Exquisitos - What a great stick! These just landed and I have to say the addition of the Broadleaf as the binder adds just the right amount of spice to the already creamy, nutty profile. A 4 7/8 x 50 Robusto, it is the perfect size for an early Am or lunch time smoke. "Box Worthy"
- Viaje Super Shot 12 Gauge - Andre hit it out of the park with this release! Two weeks ago I smoked the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge and was blown away by that stick. So when Stogie Santa texted that the 12 Gauge had arrived, I immediately had him send me some. This little 3.5 x 52 shot gun shell is rich in flavor including; earth, espresso, dark chocolate, leather, and red pepper. The flavor profile is full as is the strength. "Box Worthy" if you can find any left.
- Viaje WLP Candela 2012 - The 2012 release has a bright green wrapper and is a slightly larger (5 x 52). Much like the 2011, the wrapper is razor thin and I did have some cracking occur. Regardless, this stick performed well and offered up some great flavor on Saint Patrick’s day. Medium in body and strength. The wrapper offered some nice grassy undertones but did not overpower the cigar. Worth a try when you want something different.
- Le Hoyo du Roi - Gifted to me by Bill Berris of The Cigar Snapshot, this twelve year old Corona from the land of forbidden fruit had superb balance and smoothness. It was the perfect way to end the weekend. Nub’d it! “Box Worthy” or maybe I should say “Cab Worthy”.
- Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Connecticut Shade New England Exclusive - Thus far these has been shipped to about fifteen shops in the New England area. Available in four sizes, I smoked both the Short Robusto and Belicoso. It had a nice balance of almonds and graham crackers with a faint sweetness and an occasional appearance of mild pepper. Burn and draw were perfect. It is a great medium bodied smoke which was the perfect size and strength to enjoy at lunch or after breakfast. Well balanced and smooth but flavorful and satisfying. “Box Worthy”.
- CroMagnon Anthropology - One of the cigars included was a CroMagnon Anthropology from RoMa Craft Tobac. This Grand Corona was well constructed and burned perfectly. Great draw, lots of smoke, and some good dark flavors while never becoming harsh. A solid medium/full in strength, I will be looking to grab a “Fiver” or two of these to enjoy again.
- Tatuaje Cojuno 2012 - Great performance and great flavor. Typical Pete Johnson flavors. I did enjoy this more than the Sumatra. "Box Worthy"
Stogie Tech: Cigar Smoking Tips for the TravelerI spent more time on the road in March than I did at home. This is a rare thing for me, but it worked out that I had three events to do this month. I learned a lot about smoking when traveling:
- Bring Cigars - Always bring your own cigars! Sometimes I bring too many, sometimes not enough. Wait, there is no such thing as too many! I used the hard case traveling cases with Boveda packs. Never put cigars in your checked luggage, always take them with you on the plane (gets too cold in the luggage). Cigars in tubes and cellophane travel extremely well.
- Bring Matches and Cheap Cutters - I always put matches in my bag along with a cheap cutter. Matches are a-okay with TSA. Cutters have mixed success. Rarely do they question it, however once this month they pulled it from my bag and looked at, then sent me on my way (with my cutter). I never bring an expensive one, just in case.
- NEVER Pack a Torch lighterr - I've been toying with bringing a Bic lighter with a soft flame. Anything that is a torch will be taken by TSA, even if you check it. Xicar makes one with a soft flame, but TSA will inspect it almost every time, which is annoying.
- Find a local place - I always try to find a local cigar shop, look around, meet people, and find smokes that you may never find anywhere else! Also, don't buy cigars from the hotel, Marriott wanted $50 for a Padron!
- Share your cigars - When I go to teach there is always at least one person who loves cigars. Its a great way to meet people and make friends, so invite people to smoke cigars. Some hotels are better than others. Marriott in downtown Charlotte NC has a lounge, most other places let you smoke outside, in Orlando we could smoke on the balcony, so you never know.
Stogie Tech: Keeping a Digital Cigar Journal
Why Keep a Cigar Journal?
I first started keeping a cigar journal because I wanted to track what smoked I had tried and enjoyed. I quickly learned, however, of some trends in the origin and types of tobacco I preferred in different situations. It also helped me gain experience in detecting different flavors and aromas that different blends had to offer. I would often find myself referring back to notes on a specific flavor or aroma I detected in the past to compare the origin or type of tobacco used.
Types of Digital Journals
What is Evernote?
Evernote is a note taking application. According to the Evernote website:
Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.
- Cross Platform - Windows, OS X, Blackberry, iOS, Android, and Web
- Sync - All platforms synchronize via Evernote's web servers.
- Flexibility - You can create text notes, audio notes, video notes, or free hand "ink" notes. Moreover, you can attach files to your notes (i.e. pictures).
- Finding Notes - You can group notes, tag notes, link notes, and have full search ability of your notes.
- Sharing - Last, but not least, you can make notes public and share them with the world or just a group of people of your choosing.
Free Verse Premium:
Evernote is free but does have some limitations. I did not have any issues using the free version but for $4.99 a month you can purchase the premium version if so you choose. The most compelling reason to spend the five dollars is the 60 MB limit a month on uploads. I came nowhere close to hitting this limit but I kept my attachments (pictures) small. The premium version bumps you up to 1 GB.
I tried to keep it simple. I document wrapper, binder, filler, vitola, size, and age along with some of my thoughts on the smoke. I chose four tags to start; favorite, collection, limited, and wish list. If the opportunity presents itself I include a picture. As an example, I shared a dozen or so from my journal here.
Tip: The one tip I have is to create a note as a template. There is no template functionality in Evernote yet, but you can use a blank template note and copy it to save some time typing each time you add a new smoke.
Diversion of the Week
A fascinating post by BOTL member Jim on his recent trip to Cuba with his Dad. Packed full of useful tips for anyone considering such a Pilgrimage. Interesting to anyone who enjoys cigars and the culture associated with them.