Royalty meets tradition – small smokes

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Cuban Cigars Post

I know, I know. I said I wouldn’t buy Cuban cigars anymore. I might have a few too much lying in the humidor. What can I say? Guilty as charged, your honor. But about a month or two ago, I found out that there is a gap in my current smoking portfolio: Small cigars. And so it comes that I post about new additions to my humidor. But first, let me get the following out of the way. Here I sit and as often as I can, I write about how lame big ring sized cigars are. That we all should stopp fooling around and go back to ring sizes 50 and smaller. And to be precise, when I say fooling around I particularly mean Habanos S.A. and the big vendors who can’t seem to get enough of those jaw breakers.Sorry to say but those big ringsides are the opposite of elegant and classy. But to come back to my initial point, here I sit and preach water and I don’t even have enough water stored in my humidor. That certainly had to be changed!

Of course another important aspect is, that I simply do not find the time to smoke longer sticks that often as I used to. And what makes it even more difficult is the fact that I don’t like to pair smoking cigars with other activities as I feel the cigar does not get enough attention. So time to smoke is a really, really scares luxury item for me. So getting some smaller cigars just simply made sense.

So cutting to the chase I got a beautiful box of Raffael Gonzales Cigaritos from September 2000. Traditional looking wooden box with a button to close and a very enchanting smell. Those are really for when it has to be quick and having been able to get my hands on 16 year old box I don’t even have to age them myself. The second box are the elegant yet “bit-size” El Rey del Mundo Demi Tasse from 2013. Not exactly vintage and they even do not follow “I don’t smoke a cigar younger than five years old”. But good enough to smoke and a nice change to the crusty box of H.Upmann Preciosas I every once and then frequent.

Last but not least the royal addition to the humidor: The San Cristobal El Principes. I wasn’t going to buy them as I have plenty of them lying around. But the smelling one wiff from this certain box brought me right back to the year 2000 when San Cristobals still were sold exclusively in Cuba. The smell immediately reminded me of the El Principes I looked at and smoked back then. So I simply had to get this box. Proof enough to me that the Cubans still know how to do it and still have the ability to produce cigars within their own typicality. Something that some said was lost over the years.

TotT – La Gloria Cubana Medaille d’Or No. 2

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Cuban Cigars Post

The tasting of the titans“>titans met again for a tasting a few weeks back and this time we smoked true Cuban vintage cigar: a La Gloria Cubana Medaille d’Or No. 2 from 1985 (or even older). And look at the first picture below! Look at that varnished 8-9-8 box full of those gems. I mean, what’s not to like? Right?!? A gorgeous vitolla in a equally gorgeous box. And yes, we smoked a stick each. πŸ™‚

The Gloria Cubanas Medaille d’Or series are often overlooked, I feel. Well, maybe even the whole brand? But make no mistakes, the varnished boxes for the Medaille D’Or cigars are a very clear and big sign: This is top dog material. Both on the inside and the outside. Apart from that, all the four cigars out of the series have very, very elegant shapes and are even nicer smokes. And so was this stick! I guess I can give it away right now, we all felt that this was one of the BEST cigars that we have smoked during a titan’s tasting. And we did smoke some really nice and rare ones. At least I like to think so.

Admittedly I got something of a “dud” – the almost proverbial dog rocket – out of the bunch. I am a bit of a magnet for those so no surprise there. Mine wouldn’t open up as much as the others and for some strange reasons the smoke dried out my palate quiet a bit. Never the less it was complex with fruity and leathery notes and it developed quite nicely over the one hour and 40 minutes I smoked it. Reading the tasting sheets from my fellows (see below) they were even more pleased with it. But again I was left in awe that a cigar that was at least 30 years old was still so expressive and present. Nothing like “doing archeology” and “guessing what it once was”. Can this be attributed to cigars or is it the varnished boxes and the waxed paper that keep those babies so tightly together that they age better? What do you think?

I am left again to thank the titans for the spectacular cigars, the nice company and their time and of course many thanks to the Portmann’s for their generosity and hospitality. We should meet more often! And not just because that would lead to more posts on this blog here. πŸ™‚

For more impressions, details and description of the cigars please see the individual tasting sheets:
La Gloria Cubana Medaille d'Or No. 2 La Gloria Cubana Medaille d'Or No. 2 La Gloria Cubana Medaille d'Or No. 2 La Gloria Cubana Medaille d'Or No. 2

TotT – Saint Luis Rey Double Coronas

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Cuban Cigar Review

This tasting of the titans“>tasting of the titans (TotT) smoking a Saint Louis Rey Double Coronas happened already back in August. And yes, I admit that I was a lazy bastard and it took me ages to put this up. I guess in internet-years, where everything goes so fast, it was more like geological ages! πŸ™‚ But here it is. A tasting of one of my favorite Double Coronas: The SLR Double Coronas. And this specific specimens were boxed was boxed in 2002!

It was brought to us in a trusty cigar caddy, as the 50 cabinet box the cigars usually reside in simply was to big to travel. πŸ™‚ Already the looks of those cigars without bands. Just heavenly! And doing a little bit of research before the actual tasting event, thanks to Min Ron Nee, I knew that those cigars must have been amongst the first to be boxed as Double Coronas. Well almost the first but close I would say. Prior to that there were boxed as Prominentes, but that is an entirely different post, maybe. πŸ˜‰ So after a nice chat and smoke in Mr. Portmanns lounge and a short dinner consisting out of the tasty burgers and fries coming from the diner next door, we went down to business!

The cigar had an irresistible and yet very strong smell. Surprisingly expressive for a stick that was about to be lying and aging in a cabinet box for almost 14 years. And from here on I can lift the tension and make it short – or shall I say “shortish”. The cigar was really nice and I enjoyed it a lot. To my surprise the – for me – typical notes of sour dough and ginger bread candy only revealed themselves in the second and third part of the cigar. So they were definitely there but not as early and maybe not as pronounced as I remembered them. To be fair I have not smoked a Saint Luis Rey DC for a while and certainly not such an old one. If I recall correctly most of the ones I smoked in the last years were from 2005 and 2006. If you have SLR DC’s in your humidor, you can be glad. They certainly have the potential to age more and develop into a very elegant smoke in the future.

It is all to seldom that we meet and I always enjoy myself very much. Escaping every day routine and smoke a great cigar in even better company. I am left again to thank the titans for the spectacular cigars, the nice company and their time and of course many thanks to the Portmann’s for their generosity and hospitality.

For more impressions, details and description of the cigars please see the individual tasting sheets:
Saint Luis Rey Double Coronas Saint Luis Rey Double Coronas Saint Luis Rey Double Coronas

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