Vegueros reloaded

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Cuban Cigar Review

Everyone is writing about the new releases, the Hoyo San Juan or the Picadores from Por Larranaga. But I am still behind with my homework. Almost two years after the new Vegueros cigars where launched and almost two years after my tasting of the went online (that cigar was handed out during last years festival!), I smoked all three of the new Vegueros. And while more of a collection of thoughts than a formal tasting here it goes.

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The cigars I have smoked are
Vegueros Entretiempos (Petit Edmundo)
Vegueros Mananitas (Petit Pyramides)
Vegueros Tapados (Corona Extra / Petit Coronas)

It is obvious that the Cubans reworked the brand. Not just from the outside with new bands and packaging. If not the cigars are “beefier” than their older siblings. While I like that the cigars are short I still am not sure if I like the sizes. Apart from the Petit Edmundo the other two are new sizes. The older Vegueros were total classics that seemed better fit to a brand that should put the hard working people into the spot light, the Cuban Vegueros. As for the taste there is a lot of wood and the cigars are not exactly mild. They all showed a noticeable development but somehow they all lack elegancy, they seem to be filled with more rustic tobacco (which is not necessairily a bad thing, just diffrent).

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As mentioned the design of the bands and the packaging have seen an upgrade. To me they make the Vegueros look like a lifestyle product. Similar of what other non-cuban brands have done but certainly in a more affordable price range. In general I welcome that as it is important to win new smokers and not every brand has to be traditional and not everything has to be the same. And they certainly do stick out! That is great! I just find it a little bit ought that a cigar related to the workers in the fields gets this lifestyle touch.

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As said somewhere else, I love the packaging and the cigars itself seem nice to smoke once in a while when you do not have much time but still want that Cuban taste. But I doubt that aging the cigars will do much good except for taming them down a little resulting mostly in a better burn. My personal favorite was the Tapado (Petit Corona format). The figurado shaped Mananitas tasted similar and is very comparable to the Tapado. Both seem like nice easy going smokes to accompany a coffee break. The Petit Edmundo was too much of hot smoke and air (a typical Volado roll).

TotT – Los Statos de Luxe Selectos

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Cuban Cigar Review

Indeed we smoked a second cigar the other night when we performed another Tasting of the Titans. As the Diplomaticos No.7 came in a “special” box this one too raised some questions.

The second cigar of the night was a Los Statos de Luxe Selectos. A Corona sized cigar from a brand that these days is known for some “cheapo” machine mades that still can be found with some age on it you might ask. And this makes the Tasting of the Titans? Well, the eyebrow raiser was the “totalmente a mano” stamp paired with the boxing date CB NISA which dates the cigars to 1996. Way over the date that they are commonly known to be produced as handmade cigars. Now we really had to get to the bottom of this and see if this was worth anything!

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But first lets answer the most important question: Is this stick really worth something? And I can tell you that I still have not made up my mind yet even as I am writing this. 🙂 One fellow titan had a more to the point opinion right the same night: it sucked. The other Titan certainly did not find good words for it either writing about his experience with it online. I feel that my stick was not really THAT bad and boring, but already unwrapping the cigar from its cellophane and cedar sheet revealed that it practically had no smell. Only in “cold draw” it revealed some tobacco notes. And these (luckily) were the predominant ones thru out the smoke. Even if we all had to look really hard for them. 🙂

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The flavors thru out were very much influenced by the way the cigar was smoked. When taking light puffs there was not much of anything but faint tobacco taste. Only drawing stronger resulted in more expressive taste as there was leather or even some roasted beans. The cigar also had a floral note to it through out the whole smoking time. This really made it noteworthy for me but not really satisfying. Another thing we concluded upon as well, that this was certainly no long filler cigar. Could not be as there where little “flakes” of tobacco everywhere. But guess what, “totalmente a mano” was used for machine bunched and hand wrapped cigars during the time this box is from. So I guess it really fits into the marcas profile and technique as it is a machine made.

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As I have written, certainly a noteworthy experience but honestly, you can pass on this cigar if you get across one in a shop and live a happy life anyway. There are way better machine made smokes out there! And I do admit that I really like to smoke machine mades from time to time. It is more or less easy to get a hold of some mid-nineties boxes and some of them really have that old school tobacco taste mixed with black tea that I really love. As for the remainders in the 10 count box that we smoked out of this evening, I will certainly re-visit this box in a few years but I guess it would be close to a miracle if there would be any major improvement…

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

TotT – Diplomaticos No. 7

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Cuban Cigar Review

Lately there is a lot going on and I hardly find the time to blog let alone to smoke a nice cigar. Even more so I was looking forward to this tasting of the titans! This time unfortunately one of us had to cancel on short notice so we were only three. But first things first. 🙂 It really has been a while since we met and as I mentioned I did not see a lot of smoking opportunities so I was very excited and looked forward to this evening where we were once again meeting in Kreuzlingen, enjoying Urs Portmanns generosity and hospitality.

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On the menu for the day was the Diplomaticos No. 7, a Laguito No. 2 format. But not just any Diplo 7! This one was boxed in 1988 but not just in a regular plain dress box, no sir. This one came out of a Semi Boîte nature box. And yes, again to confirm, boxed in 1988 – JM NOUU (Jose Marti I guess, Oct 1988). Now you might read here and there that such a box did not exist or that they have been stopped using such a packaging in the late seventies. But here it is, late eighties, and we each smoked one. 🙂

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But enough about packaging, what about the cigar you might ask? Well, it was a typical Diplomaticos having sour notes that I attribute to this brand which for me in no way is the little sister of Montecristo as I actually prefer the Diplos over the Montes because they have that own and unique profile. Personally with this cigar I am always reminded of saffron, especially by simply smelling the cigars in the box. And I was happy to recognize some of that while smoking the cigar. It was not a power house and not overly expressive. And you can see in the individual tasting notes, that we smoked cigars before that we liked more. But it never got boring, showed complexity and was noble smoke companion that packed lots of different flavors and little surprises. While it was very enjoyable I was left with a little doubt as it might be that this cigar was a tad bit over its peak? After all 26 years of age might show. Better to not wait too long to smoke another one…

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And already now I can say that this was not the only cigar we smoked this evening. But more on that later.

For more impressions, details and description of the cigars please see the individual tasting sheets:
DiplomaticosNo7 DiplomaticosNo7 DiplomaticosNo7

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