Anual pencil smoking

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Cuban Cigar Review

Due to logistic and administration the Swiss champion ship in pencil smoking had to be held in early January instead of the typical date which is late December. The participants were in good shape and competition was up to the game or was it?

La-Escepcion-Longos

Like every year so far the “pencil” that was smoked was a La Escepcion de Jose Gener – Longos. And so far the only complaint I had, was that every time I would smoke one I would have one less. 🙂 This time there was another aspect. The faint musty cellar notes that came with the cigars when I bought them, remained in the beginning of the smoke and for the first time they interfered a little bit with the cigar as until today the musty smell disappeared the moment the cigars were light. This underlying, faint aroma that came more from the box paper inlay than from the cigars was the reason as well why I decided to take them out of the box and smoke the cigars instead of simply adding them to the collection (see the picture of the box below). Maybe another aspect was that I stored this particular cigar in a jar during one year?

La-Escepcion-Longos

Apart from that “dusty mushroom” taste, which luckily disappeared completely after the first 2 centimeters, the cigar delivered flavor in truck loads and I have praised aged cigars here enough as I really enjoy them. But I can’t say it enough. There is something in that old tobacco that I wish would be in fresh cigars! A great marca and “the pencil” (aka Slim Panetellas) is a great and elegant vitola. I would buy recent production if there were any…

La-Escepcion-Longos

But at the end of that post I would like to add a few words about the Swiss championship. It was again a start to finish win and the most thrilling moments were in the beginning when it was not very clear if the competition was going to be pulled through due to issues with the raw material (e.g. mustiness). But in the end all turned out well and I am happy to say that once again it was a fair and square win of the title by me, the only contented. 🙂

See tasting sheet for more details: Hoyo San Juan

Hoyo San Juan

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Cuban Cigar Review

I haven’t done a tasting like this in ages and lately I am smoking a lot of new(er) cigars. So here goes the tasting of one of the 2014 releases, the Hoyo de Monterrey Suan Juan. I don’t like the thick ting gauge and I even though I like Hoyo this is usually not my goto marca. But I heard some good things about this bomber so I thought I could give it a try.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is a regular new release and the thing I like very much about it is that it comes in a bundle inside of a classic cabinet box. Another thing worth mentioning is the band as it is a special design not seen before on a Hoyo cigars. It is rather big but goes well with this huge cigar. So the overall “package” looks really good and can live up to the big name of San Juan. But can this cigar stand its own when smoked?

P1030110 (1)

Well, as the for the smoking experience I could tell right from the start that I do not like the “in my mouth” feeling. Too big. (Did I mention that before?). But the first puffs made for some creamy nice smoke. And there I was expecting a volado roll tasting of hot air… It had a very good burn and was very mild and pleasant, almost a little too pleasant. The smoke stayed mild throughout the whole time and the development was not really mind blowing. Only in the end the woody notes got stronger and it felt more of a Hoyo than in the first two thirds.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For its young age it was very tame and I admit with all my second thoughts before I started smoking the San Juan it was practically impossible to change my mind. But not only the good burn surprised me in a good way. Also the creamy and rich smoke was very nice. And sometimes, taking a puff I was reminded of smoking a very nice freshly rolled cigar. So the cigar did have its moments! Personally for me I will not buy boxes of it. But I would recommend it as good company for a smoke during the day or when the cigar does not have to be in the full center of your attention.

See tasting sheet for more details: Hoyo San Juan

TotT – Monte Especial No. 1

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Cuban Cigar Review

It has been a while since the last Tasting of the Titans and this time there were no surprises, no one was missing, no nonsense, no bling, just strait down to tasting business with the Montecristo Especiales No. 1 from 1997. So I was very much looking forward to this smoking date! And boy, what a cigar!

P1030131

You simply have to love this format. And the boîte nature it comes in really makes it already clear. This cigar is not one of the regular production Montes. This truly is special. Another aspect of course was the cigars age. Boxed in 1997 means the cigars have over 17 years of age on them. And even though I am personally not the biggest fan of Montecristo cigars this aged stick really made my mouth water. But was the Monte able to deliver?

P1030142

The answer to that is really short: YES!!! My exemplar showed a very nice development, was complex and earthy but yet showed herbal notes and as Heiko said “that old library taste” of a nice vintage. I felt it was a typical Montecristo as I was able to get those faint notes of “smoke from a fire with wet wood” that are typical for a Monte to me (difficult to explain the taste though). But the cigar was really elegant and fine. Simply well balanced. Another aspect was the perfect burn in all of our cigars. Simply stunning quality. A Habanos that left nothing to desire. And according to the fellow titan’s score everyone seemed to be very pleased! This really got me wondering if newer versions of the Montecristo Especiales No. 1 can keep up with this vintage version? I am sooo tempted to buy a box right now!

P1030140 (1)

On a side note: We had a sip of the Sanchez Romante Unos en Mil as I was interested in the opinion of my fellow titans. And if I got that right, even though everyone was surprised that this is a Brandy (and I kind of was hoping for that) the spirit went well with the Monte!

Again I would like to thank my tasting panel and Urs Portmann for all the cigars that were smoked that night, their time, hospitality and for the great evening spend with them! I am already looking forward to the next time we meet!!! Now if I only do not forget to setup that doodle! 🙂

For more impressions, details and description of the cigars please see the individual tasting sheets:
MonteEspecialesNo1 MonteEspecialesNo1 MonteEspecialesNo1 MonteEspecialesNo1

copyr