Posts Tagged ‘vintage’

What is vintage?

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Cuban Cigars Post

When can a cigar be considered as a vintage cigar? Difficult question, isn’t it? Is it after 5 or 10 years? Or is it even more. Or is a cigar vintage once the year has passed, when the cigars were boxed? I guess there are various sources for the definition of what vintage is. And getting the following out of the way straight away, there is no clear definition. For instance I’m sometimes really surprised when I look at list that vendor put up or mail around. Cigars with less than three years of age are declared as vintage. A cigar that has less than three years of age still shows signs of its youth. Be it by having an unstable/uneven burn or it being harsh.

Googling and reading wikipedia, vintage means old-fashioned, old or classic. It could be used to say something about a genre, a style or movement. The Cambridge dictionary actually goes even further and says it is a sign of high quality, long lasting value and that it has typical aspects that are represented in the object with the title vintage (no direct quotation). While this is all good and I can especially relate to the “representing” part, this still does not say what age a cigar does have to have to be vintage.

The cigar bible from Min Ron Nee often speaks of “chunks” of five years, e.g. “let rest for at least five years”, “better after 10 years”. I like the increment of five years as I feel below or in between nothing much spectacular happens to a cigar. Actually I still make a point, if possible, to not smoke a cigar that is younger than five years. But I still don’t think that a cigar deserves the title vintage after only five years.

From the wine makers and the wine universe vintage not only declares that the wine is old if not it is used for particular good years when everything fit up perfectly and the product was of very high quality. I like that way of looking at it too. But vintage cigars from a particular good year are not so realistic right? Often tobacco from various years is rolled into one stick and so the vintage term cannot really be matched up well with Habanos, not even with the Gran Reservas where the year sometimes is openly declared. The years used there normally only go for the wrapper leafs and not the binder or the bunch. But I admit, I’m not a 100% sure and might be wrong here.

So as said in the opening, there is no precise definition and I guess everyone has to come to terms with vintage by her- or himself. In my book, to be truly vintage, a cigar has to have 20 years as its minimal age and it still has to be appeal and smell so nicely, that I am looking forward to smoke this baby. Everything else is just aged. πŸ™‚

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

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?


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. πŸ™‚ 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?


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…


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. πŸ™‚

See tasting sheet for more details: Hoyo San Juan