Posts Tagged ‘Rafael Gonzales’

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.

Rafael Gonzales Petit Piramides

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Cuban Cigars Post

Coming back from a nice summer vacation I brought a little something with me, the Rafael Gonzales Petit Piramides ER Alemanina 2013.

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Now I know that I have written that I am not a fan of figurados and that I have stopped buying Edicion Regionales because the sheer amount of Regionales has overwhelmed me and kind of killed my interest and such my acquisitiveness. So why did I buy this box? There are three easy reasons for this. Number one reason is the comparably low price (it is difficult to go wrong here), number two is the fact that it is a 10count box (not much harm done if I discover that the cigars are not to my liking) but reason number three is the most important and that is the fact that it simply is a nice vacation souvenir from Germany. And we all do buy cigars for vacation souvenir’s, don’t we? πŸ™‚

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Staying a little more on the existence of the ten count boxes I believe that a few years back Habanos S.A. announced that they would enforce more cigars to come in ten count boxes. This is a relatively new phenomenon as decades ago not many cigars came in such small units. And while I dearly miss many of the 50 count cabinets and still think of them as the king of packaging I applaud to the 10 count boxes as sometimes you simply do not want to dine in a top Gault-Millau restaurant and just want to have a little snack. πŸ™‚

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This release in particular has another interesting aspect to it. It is the first Edicion Regionales for Rafael Gonzales. A marca that is often overlooked and better known for its machine made and well priced “petits”. I feel that Rafael Gonzales represent honest tobacco taste and the cigars, especially the small formats, are often surprisingly interesting smokes that are very satisfying to my palate. So I am looking forward to try a Petit Piramides in a few years. πŸ™‚

Favorite & pearls

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Cuban Cigars Post

Smoking at my favorite vendor, Portmann in Kreuzlingen, I was able to savor two new releases. The Quintero Favoritos and the Rafael Gonzales Perlas. I wasn’t able to do a full tasting but I think I can answer the questions whether one will be my favorite and the other my treasured pearl?

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I got a box of Rafael Gonzales Perlas when they were released in Spain last year but I never came around to smoke one. So it was a very nice opportunity to get introduced to this cigar which from the beginning got all my sympathy simply because it is a small cigar. The first impression was very pleasant. Fresh almonds, nice burn, a bit of leather. Yet I would even go so far as to describe it a little bit as elegant. Even though I have a feeling that the vegas where the distinctive Rafael Gonzales leaves came from that must have played a big role in this marcas character many decades ago are not the same anymore these days. But that is just a feeling I can not really explain.

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Now look at this cube of pure pleasure in the picture! What is there you possibly can not like?!? Love the presentation, adds another dimension to the marca and it has an excellent price performance ratio while delivering the real Cuba taste. I understand we talk about a hand made short filler here. But let me tell you that cigars that are not completely hand made long fillers are often over looked for the wrong reasons. I have smoked spectacular machine mades that fully delivered. There is a time for each and everything! But what is most important is that my Favoritos was almost fruity & floral, well balanced with a noticeable development thru out the smoke.

One detail that caught my attention was the cellophane used for packing the Quinteros. It has a different feel than the one wrapped around a bundle of Piedras I bought a few years back. If I don’t smoke the sticks before only time will tell if it converts to this misty golden fabric that I like so much seeing on vintage cigars.

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My summary: I welcome the release of both of those cigars VERY MUCH for the above mentioned reasons and because they are a necessary relief to all the big jaw breakers, expensive special releases and new cigars with multiple bands.

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