January 30, 2015
In 1906, Célestina Córdoba y Morales was born. She was born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, and more specifically the Vuelta Abajo region. From a young age, she entered into the industry that her family was a part of, and that was the tobacco industry. She learned about every aspect of the industry, from farming to rolling, and throughout her life she continued to teach what she learned at a young age to the younger generations of her family. She passed away in 1989, but as the company will tell you today, she continues to live on with them. She never left Cuba, but over the years the family slowly began to leave the country to America and start a new life. In 2011, her grandson and his wife, Azarias Mustafa Córdoba and Emille Y. Mustafa, began their company, Cordoba & Morales, and it was with this company that they began to share with us what Azarias learned from his grandmother. Enough of the story though, let's look at their newest release, the Clave Cubano Etiqueta Blanca Lancero.
Labels: Cordoba & Morales
January 28, 2015
What can I say about Crux Cigars that I have not already said. This is a company that had a huge 2014 year, their inaugural year was greater than many, and in their first year you could see their passion for cigars and tobacco. They currently have five lines on the market, and each line has been unique and appealing to a certain market. They truly have created a brand with lines that show very little if any similarities, and there are not a lot of companies that can't seem to master this one quality. I have talked about all of their lines except one, and today I look at that final line, the Bull & Bear. I look forward to completing my assessment of the brand, and let's conclude that assessment with the Crux Bull & Bear robusto extra.
Labels: Crux Cigars
January 27, 2015
Habanos S.A. has mastered many vitolas in my opinion, and what they do that is great is limit the number of brands for specific vitolas. They don't flood the market with every brand having the same vitolas, but give some brand certain vitolas and others not. Not every brand has a Julieta No. 2, and not every brand has a Coronas Gordas. With that being said, there is one brand that has almost every vitola offering, and it should be no surprise that it is the Cohiba brand. All the other brands have their roles to play in the world of Habanos S.A., and the role of the H. Upmann brand is to master the 40 ring gauge market. You think of any vitola that is produced, and is produced with a ring gauge in the 40's, and I guarantee H. Upmann has it. From Petit Coronas to Hermoso No. 4s, Habanos S.A. has H. Upmann with an offering, and within that ring gauge is the famous Julieta No. 2. More often than not, smokers look at the Romeo y Julieta Churchill or Cohiba Esplendidos as their Julieta No. 2 offering, but the greatest lies with the H. Upmann Sir Winston.
One of the best things that Pete has done is when it came to celebrating his tenth anniversary in the cigar industry. It was a year where he could have thrown out tons of new lines and had them be successful, but instead he wanted to pay homage to what made Tatuaje what it is today, and give a new look to the Seleccion de Cazador line. This is the first line of his, a line that I have always enjoyed, but a line that I and many other kind of forgot about. It is easy to forget about the first line, especially with what Pete has put out since then, and also that it was ten years ago, but it is a great line. It has had some changes over the years with tobacco being used in the blend, but it has always kept the original traits and been known as the Brown Label. One thing that Pete did do that was new to the line, and something he will continue to do, is add two new vitolas. The vitolas are the Bon Chasseur and the Belle Encre, and to remember their addition to the line, Pete is going to always have them be finished with the Tenth Anniversary bands. It has been a year and a half since I first reviewed the Belle Encre, and I am interested to see how it smokes after sitting in one of my humidors for 18 months.
I think we all know that if you really want to pick up the flavors from the wrapper on a cigar, you need to smoke that cigar with a smaller ring gauge. Most people believe that a 50 ring gauge cigar is the "middle of the road" marker, and it is with this ring gauge that you get the nice balance between the filler tobacco and the wrapper tobacco. I personally believe that the ring gauge needs to be lower than 50 to get that middle marker, and it is more around the 48 ring gauge, but that is my opinion. With either of those opinions though, it is when the cigar has a ring gauge in the middle 40's and lower that you really begin to experience the wrapper on a cigar. I am one of those smokers that loves to see how a blend turns out in a smaller ring gauge, that opportunity to taste more wrapper is what I look for in a cigar, and when L'Atelier announced that they would be releasing the flagship L'Atelier line in a smaller offering I was excited. What I was not expecting, and something I was very pleased with was that they would be releasing the line in a smaller ring gauge, but also with a higher priming wrapper. This offering gave me the opportunity to see what the wrapper really tasted like when it was dominant flavor, but also see what the flavor was like with a higher priming leaf. The cigar they did this with was the L'Atelier LAT46 Selection Spéciale.
January 26, 2015
With any accomplishments in one's life, we always remember the people that helped us get there and overcome the challenges along the way. While there are people along the way that discourage us or challenge us, there are always people there who are encouraging us and helping us along the path of accomplishment. That is why Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. released La Historia on the company's fifth anniversary in 2014. Ernesto aimed to create a cigar that recognized his family's roots in Cuban tobacco, and also have a cigar that pays tribute to the men and women in his life- his father, mother, wife, daughter, and son. La Historia just received high praise from Cigar Aficionado, it got the #2 rating, and today I look at that line and the specific vitola that brought the company much success. The E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-111.
Labels: EP Carrillo
January 25, 2015
Week in Review (Volume 3, Issue 3)
Yesterday, January 24th, 2015, marked 50 years since the death of Sir Winston Churchill, and in his honor I smoked an H. Upmann Sir Winston. There are actually several cigars made in his honor, more so than the Cuban Romeo and H. Upmann, and that list included the Davidoff Churchill brand and the Tatuaje Reserva SW. He is one of the most well known cigar smokers of all time, and because he was such an avid smoker there was a vitola named in his honor. We all know the Churchill vitola, it is one of the most beautiful vitolas when rolled correctly, and this was Sir Winston's size. He smoked many brands throughout his life, all Cuban, but his two favorite were the Cuban Romeo y Julieta, a brand you can still get today, and also La Aroma de Cuba. His La Aroma de Cuba is not what the American market smokes today, his was the Cuban version, but don't hesitate to grab a La Aroma de Cuba or a Cuban Romeo in a Churchill vitola, and smoke it in his honor today.