• Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by saltbox

  1. PSP Partagas Lusitania cab, EBO JUN 20, and my second ever 24:24 purchase.
  2. Nice clear skies this last week, good nights for FTRW reviews. It's only been two months since all of California was on fire and smothered in wildfire smoke.
  3. I always feel a tinge of guilt posting a review of a NC cigar here and refrain from doing so unless explicitly allowed, hopefully I'm not ruffling any feathers. My first few boxes of CCs will hit a few months of rest soon, and it's been hard to restrain from dipping into them until now. This cigar has been a solid default cigar for me for a long time. I normally also use a straight or v cut, but decided to try pinching off the end of the triple cap. It was far easier and neater than expected and satisfying in a weird way. I'll definitely be doing this more often. First third: Opens with some peppery spice and cedar with a touch of sweetness, but the pepper fades pretty quickly leaving a balanced mix of leather, cedar, nuttiness, and sweetness. Middle third: The nuttiness picks back up and a nice sweet mocha note appears on the finish, with occasional hints of vanilla. Last third: Spice returns but with a touch of cinnamon and baking spices on top of the pepper. Overall: Not much in the way of transitions, but a tasty flavor profile all the way through. This cigar has always been the benchmark for what a good Nicaraguan puro can be for me, ages extremely well, and is a steal at the price in the US.
  4. I picked up a box of these blind based on the small size (14 count per box) and the reviews. This cigar is supposedly similar to the Drew Estate Liga Privada T52, which was created by two guys who went on to form their own companies and released similar cigars. The Liga Privada T52 is allegedly quite similar to the Foundation Tabernacle Havana Seed CT #142 and the Dunbarton Sobremesa, so I picked up singles of the others to compare. First third: Opens with peppery spice and a touch of sweetness, eventually opens up to a starchy note, almost like a salted potato chip, with a touch of cocoa. Middle third: The spice and potato chip notes continue, like Flamin' Hot Ruffles. The Foundation had a bit more sweetness here, but the Sobremesa has almost none. Last third: Spice fades and the potato chip starchiness continues on through the end. Overall: Not bad, and don't regret buying the box just because of the artwork. I've had the Corona and the Lancero in the Foundation Tabernacle Havana Seed, and the Corona Viva in the Liga Privada T52. I would say they're all pretty comparable, with the Liga Privada the least interesting of the bunch. The Foundation Corona had a touch more sweetness throughout, so in the comparison I'd say the Foundation was my favorite. I've also got the Liga Privada No. 9 Corona Viva, Foundation Tabernacle Corona, and Dunbarton Mi Querida Fino Largo, which have the same story behind them.
  5. I realized I had accidentally aged this cigar a little over 4 years by forgetting about it after a Vegas trip. It and a handful of others had been left in a bag with a Boveda, shoved into a tupperware container, and hidden in the corner of the closet until I stumbled upon them a few months ago with the Boveda still nearly full of water. I read once somewhere that Cameroon wrappers don't age well, but haven't seen that claim repeated elsewhere. I know this cigar should be in good shape, as I've smoked others from the same forgotten bag that have aged extremely well, especially a Tatuaje Black Corona Gorda, but I've sat on this one waiting for a reason to test the Cameroon wrapper hypothesis. First third: Opens with spice and cedar, with leather on the retrohale. Compared to fresh Hemingways, the spice is sharper and almost wasabi-like and the sweetness is far more subdued. Middle third: The sweetness fades and the woodiness changes from cedar to oak. Last third: The woodiness has now faded to a harsh cardboard like flavor, with nothing redeeming about it. Normally some nuttiness would start appearing here, but instead everything is gone and I might as well be smoking a bunch of rolled up paper. Overall: I've always thought of Hemingways as candy in cigar form, but this 4 year aged sample had lost all the characteristics that make it so. I'm still curious about the range in between, so I'm considering picking up a box with the express purpose of pacing them over 2-3 years to see how they change.
  6. Amazingly helpful! I’ve picked up a box each of the Connie A, Magnum 46, and the HC as my initial forays into H. Upmann, and am on the lookout for Sir Winstons given their near universal praise. The 24:24 descriptions for the other Magnums have been hard to resist but I’ve convinced myself to at least give my boxes a couple months rest and trying a few before splurging on more.
  7. I'm still in the beginning stages of exploring CCs, but I'm curious if anyone more knowledgeable than I has insight on this: is there any common thread through the different "lines" of H. Upmann other than the names? With the regular production cigars, there are: Connoisseur No. 1, A, B, and now No. 2 Magnum 46, 50, 54 Everything else: Sir Winston, Half Corona, Upmann No. 2 (should this be it's own "line"?) From all the reviews and tasting notes I've read, there doesn't seem to be anything more consistent within these groupings than across them. Is there something more to these names than basic marketing? Is there something intended with these lines, even if it's failed in execution?
  8. That's what I've done but it's definitely more subjective. Some people refuse to smoke past the band as a general rule; I have a box of toothpicks for when a cigar is so good I can't put it down.
  9. I don't know enough about the details of the operations behind the scenes, but I imagine that cost calculation also depends on how you do the math. As an extremely simplified example, imagine you're starting from scratch and you want to sell cigars made of nothing but volado leaves. You gotta pay for the land, growth, fermentation, maintenance, and rolling, etc, and maybe at the end of the day when you divide the total cost of all of that by the total number of cigars you've rolled, you net out at $2/cigar. But now you've got a bunch of ligero and seco leaves that were grown, and the fixed costs of land and growth have already been covered by those other cigars. For some smaller incremental cost to pay for the extra effort of fermenting more leaves and rolling them, you could churn out another x cigars with that incremental cost averaging out to, say, $0.20/cigar. I could be wrong, but my guess is the calculation of $0.98 per mareva and $1.37 per double robusto has some fussing with the numbers to attribute proportions of the fixed costs to them, and if a manufacturer decided to stop selling those marevas completely the cost to sell a double robusto would also increase as they took on more of a share of the fixed costs. I do have more of an understanding of NC cigars than CC, though, and it's possible my logic doesn't apply to CCs depending on how they come up with their blends.
  10. I've been doing this, out of my own curiosity, based on approximate volume since it's an easier metric to figure out at scale than weight. With many vitolas differing from each other in flavor profile in varying ways, it ends up not being a primary factor in determining which ones I'll buy, but it's interesting to compare $/in^3 and run through the mental exercise of if certain vitolas are worth the premium. For example, Cohiba Lanceros, Siglo VI, and Secretos net out at about the same $/in^3, and at about 50% more than the Robusto. $/in^3 is also dependent on how close to your fingers you're willing to smoke, which can skew the value towards thinner ring gauges and longer lengths. Tossing a Siglo VI with an inch remaining is 87% more volume of tobacco thrown away than tossing a Lancero with an inch remaining. Smoking a HUHC down from 1in left to 0.5in left gives you 20% more cigar, but doing the same with a Sir Winston is only 8% more cigar. At the end of the day it's definitely overthinking things, but it's fun to overthink things sometimes.
  11. Not sure if NCs count, but I was curious myself as to how the wet/dry comparison would fare with my NCs, which are stored at 65RH vs. 62RH for my CCs. San Francisco also had a small heat wave during the last few days* and air conditioning is basically non-existent in SF. The tupperdor these were stored in was very affected by this, reaching over 80F during the days, so the actual moisture content of these may be all over the place and the water soak may have more observable benefit. The Cracker Crumbs flavor profile is about as far as it gets from the Partagas Shorts I already tried this with: earthy and spicy. It's also short enough that I can commit to smoking the whole cigar even if it's terrible. L'Atelier Surrogates Cracker Crumbs Dry Review First third: Opens with familiar earthy spice and unsweeted cocoa powder, but the cocoa powder fades and is replaced by a dry woodiness quickly. This may be the effect of poor temperature regulation during the last few hot days. Second third: Nuttiness and spice pick up. An odd savory note, like grilled mushrooms, appears. Occasional bitter and tarry notes. Last third: Main flavor becomes bread that turns into almonds on the finish. Overall: Definitely seems like the recent heat has affected the moisture content negatively, missing some of the sweetness it usually has. L'Atelier Surrogates Cracker Crumbs Wet Review Had to be careful with this one running under the tap, as the cigar comes with an oddly pre-cut cap and I didn't want to get water directly into the interior. Actually did a second pass under the faucet because I didn't get a good video the first time. Definitely takes more effort to light properly, something I didn't find with the Partagas Short. Label ended up picking up quite a bit of the oils from the wrapper. First third: Opens with a nuttiness that wasn't there before, and there is way less peppery spice. The retrohale was overwhelmingly spicy with the dry one, but it's nice and smooth this time, showing nuts and leather. The draw continues to get tighter, presumably as moisture makes its way inward. Middle third: Draw continues to tighten. Flavors are muted aside from some bread and creaminess, leather on the retrohale. Last third: Still creamy but weak on overall flavor, with a touch of almonds on the finish. Overall: The water dunk really toned down the spice, but it also caused all the other flavors to become extremely muted as well. As one dimensional as this cigar is normally, it was even more so this time. The cocoa notes were gone, and all that was left was a plain creamy bready smoke with a tighter draw. Would not recommend. * Did this comparison on Monday, only typed it up just now.
  12. Warped's Don Reynaldo are fantastic, and boxes are only 10 so it's not a huge investment. I smoked the first out of a box of Regalos recently (regular production vitola) and immediately went and purchased a box of the Coronas de Luxe (original vitola of limited release, recently released again) as well.
  13. As a relatively seasoned NC smoker but someone new to CCs, I figured I'd participate with the point of view of a newcomer. I had been waiting for my first boxes to hit 3 months of rest but this review topic seemed fun, so I reached for the box I have the most rest on: a dress box of Partagas Shorts, box code TSM MAR 19 (18 months box age), that have been resting for 57 days at 70F 62RH. Partagas Shorts TSM MAR 19 Dry Review Of course this thing is plugged. I thought I had dealt with plugged cigars before with NCs, but Cuba has really redefined that word. Stabbed it a couple times with a PerfecDraw to get some marginal improvement, but I'm committed at this point. SF also happens to be much warmer and dryer than normal, so the test seemed particularly relevant. SF is typically in the 70F 60RH range, which seems to make for problem-free smoking, but I've brought a hygrometer out which is reading 81.5F and humidity too low to register, with the local weather reporting 18RH. First third: I'm used to reading reviews and dismissing many tasting notes as a bit of a stretch, but this thing really does taste like paprika with a mild sourdough bread finish. I've encountered sour notes in NCs before, but they're usually off-putting to me. The sourness in this Short is much more subdued and actually quite nice. The retrohale is also amazingly smooth, usually not the case with most NCs, and really helps accentuate the paprika. Middle third: The paprika has intensified and there's some mild sweetness on the finish, but otherwise the flavor has been pretty consistent and pleasant. Last third: A bit of peppery spice has picked up on the finish, and the tobacco flavor has grown a bit darker and richer. Occasional hints of cocoa on the finish but not consistent. Molasses like sweetness on the finish heading into the very end. Overall: I used to rate cigars on the typical 0-100 scale, but getting into CCs is going to necessitate recalibrating a bit. For now I'll say this was an excellent simple smoke; not super complex and the flavor was pretty consistent throughout the smoke, but it was definitely tasty. A small wrapper split that happened during my pre light stabbing blew up a bit towards the very end, but it still burned down well, no touch ups needed. Partagas Shorts TSM MAR 19 Wet Review Smoked the wet counterpart in the evening, with hygrometer outside reading 77.4F 31RH. First third: More chili pepper spice on the palate and retrohale, with the paprika and creaminess a bit more subdued compared to the dry smoke. Surprisingly, zero problems lighting the cigar despite visible dampness, and the dampness is gone within a few minutes. There does seem to be a touch more sweetness on the finish. Middle third: Spice continues to be more prominent, and there does seem to be less twang and more hints of leather on the finish. Last third: Spice continues to grow, with the paprika and creaminess fading and more woody and nutty notes on the finish. There's also less sweetness on the finish this time around. Overall: Same basic flavor profile as the dry cigar, with the biggest difference being a lot more spice and a bit of harshness, and more nuttiness on the finish in the last third. Despite having watched the FOHrensics video I'm still shocked that the cigar wasn't simply ruined and at how quickly the wrapper returned to feeling normal after the dunk. Given that both cigars were smoked fresh from the humidor, it seems likely to me that the dunk probably made little to no difference, and that the effect would be a lot more dramatic had the cigar been left out to dry first or if the environment was much more arid. Bonus clip of the dunk. I held the cigar by the head and let water drip down to ensure the wrapper was wet all the way down to the foot afterwards. Thoughts on CCs vs. NCs as a newcomer: It seems a bit reductionist to state objectively one is better than the other (don't see it so often here but moreso on other forums). It seems like comparing whisky to wine: they're kind of in the same family, but different enough that it's hard to compare them directly. Some people like both, some only like one or the other, but you have to appreciate them differently. It's perfectly fine to prefer one over the other, but to state that preference as objective fact seems unfair. That said, I can't wait for the unreasonable number of boxes I've purchased up until now, without having tried a single CC (outside of a RyJ EL I was gifted and smoked over a decade ago), to finish resting, especially the 24:24 aged stock I've snagged.
  14. That was what I thought; the "cabinet" seems like a marginally fancier boite nature box. In general, a box being varnished seems to be considered a modifier on the basic box type (vSLB, vSBN, vBN, v898B) as opposed to enough to justify a different packaging name.
  15. Out of curiosity, does anyone know why, at least according to, the Sir Winston packaging is called a cabinet? I always found it odd that cabinet became the nickname for SLBs when it was already technically a very different form of packaging.
  16. I think there were quite a few of us on the original 24:24 thread interested in any advice as to which sticks to smoke first and which ones to rest, so now that there's a more permanent thread it'd be great if anyone has advice or thoughts on that. Thanks!

Community Software by Invision Power Services, Inc.