saltbox

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Everything posted by saltbox

  1. Picked up a couple of boxes of these as a nice fill in for those shorter smoking windows that randomly open up sometimes. I've really enjoyed these and have been eyeing some Perlas or PCs to see how they compare to these. If they smoke like longer lasting Panatela Extras I'd be very happy. Rested for about 6.5 months at 62RH now, just over 2 years of box age. First third: Shortbread, coffee, cream, cinnamon. The shortbread comes and goes in waves, and when it recedes leather, baking spices, coffee, and chocolate come forward instead. Middle third: Creamy milk chocolate, shortbread, baking spices. Last third: More of the same. Overall: I've really enjoyed the RGPEs I've had. The flavor profile of these has been very Montecristo with a rustic edge of spices. 87/100
  2. First time trying the vitola. I had both the No. 50 and No. 54 before and wasn't impressed with either, but I think it was Kaptain Karl who encouraged me to give these a try. Box has been resting for about 5 months now at 62RH, just over a year of box age. Haven't smoked too many cigars recently as I was busy off getting married (peep the new bling), so something nice and light sounded good. First third: opens with a nice creamy shortbread with citrus, but also a surprisingly strong white pepper particularly on the retrohale. Not anything out of the norm for many non-Cuban cigars, but it was a big surprise coming from this. Shortbread and milky coffee with orange zest on the finish. Buttery texture and honey sweetness, with nutmeg vanilla and other baking spices. Middle third: shortbread, creamy coffee, orange zest, butterscotch. Still surprisingly peppery retrohale. Last third: creamy coffee comes forward more over the shortbread, but otherwise more of the same, with the accompanying orange zest and white pepper. Overall: tasty flavor profile, made me think of a blend of Upmann and El Rey del Mundo flavor notes, but the intensely peppery retrohale made it hard to tease out and enjoy more flavors on the retrohale. Some age should smooth that out and allow for more flavor and complexity to come through. I would probably rate this currently lower than the No. 50 and No. 54 I've had, but with some age this guy feels like it has a way higher ceiling. 85/100
  3. Had to take a few days off smoking. My dentist offered me a free teeth whitening but I didn't realize until afterwards that I had to refrain from things that are likely to stain teeth for a couple days, including smoking. I reviewed the first stick I pulled from this box recently and wasn't particularly impressed, but have since had a couple more and have been very pleased. First third: opens with a nice rich creamy shortbread, and over the course of the first third that cream flavor really comes through and separates itself into a sweet heavy cream note distinct from the shortbread. Middle third: more cream and shortbread, the heavy cream note hits its peak halfway through the cigar and after that begins to fade in strength again. Retrohale is a nice shortbread and touch of leather. Last third: creamy shortbread, with the cream notes fading out as the burn line approaches the nub. Overall: cigar was basically mirrored around the halfway point, with a crescendo in creaminess approaching the midpoint and slow fade out once past it. Tasty and smooth. 89/100
  4. Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Depute - OMU JUN 20 (JBWRW)
  5. PSP stock, rested just a bit under 6 months at this point. Don't have too many boxes of vitolas this small but I've been very impressed by the ones I've tried (ERdM Demi Tasse, HdM du Maire) and I needed a quicker smoke this evening. First third: opens with classic HdM cream, nuttiness, and cloves. As the cigar gets going, the nuttiness and some baking spices pick up. Middle third: cream and almond nuttiness, with a touch of coffee cream and more baking spices. Last third: cream, oatmeal, cedar, baking spices. Overall: nice strong cream throughout, but I was surprised at how much the secondary flavors ebbed and flowed over the course of this small smoke. 89/100
  6. Interesting. Any theories as to why? Combustion differences caused by placement?
  7. Neither do I, but I find the HUHC flavor a bit boring (though supposedly that'll improve with age), so having a bigger version of it was not exciting. I would say the Magnum 50 is complex, and I'm a big fan of it too. Early on, I had asked in a thread about Upmann about the differences between the Connie and the Magnum lines, and someone mentioned that the Magnums have nothing in common with each other. That was an understatement.
  8. Picked up a 10 box at a good price when I first started exploring Cubans but never got around to trying one, so this box has been resting for over 8 months now untouched. This particular one feels lighter than the others on the top row so it may be a bit underfilled, and I'll have to try a few more before really deciding how I feel about the vitola. First third: opens with a nice creamy shortbread and milky coffee. Caramelized sugar cookie appears halfway through as well. Middle third: not much change, surprisingly, just continues on chugging with the same flavors. Last third: most of the flavors start to fade out and leave behind only shortbread cookie through to the end. Overall: I can see why this one tends to go unloved in the Upmann lineup. There really wasn't much to say about it. It reminded me of the HUHC, with the same basic Upmann flavors and the same lack of complexity or evolution, but stretched over an hour+ long smoke. 85/100
  9. Good to know. That's been my general approach so far. Anything I don't like now will sit and age and get revisited occasionally to see.
  10. I spent the last ~year stocking up (excessively) on most marcas but Cuaba was one I did not. I hate waiting and figured that the risk-reward ratio for most of the marcas was pretty good for buying boxes of cigars I hadn't tried yet, but with Cuaba in particular the risk seemed high, so I only went in on the one box of Divinos. I've tried one from the box previously after 4 months of rest and have it in my notes as a 87/100. It's now been resting for about 6.5 months. First third: opens with cream and cedar, but as the burn line gets past the perfecto foot some nice peanut butter nuttiness appears along with peppery spice. There's definitely a dry, tannic nature on the finish that seems unique to Cuaba that I haven't gotten from other vitolas, and it feels closer in line with some of the smoother non-Cuban cigars I've had. Middle third: the peanut butter takes on a deeper roasted flavor, but that tannic finish is still going strong as well. Last third: more of the same, but given the small vitola not expecting much evolution here. Overall: not bad but really not the flavor profile I look for in Cuban cigars. It really does remind me of some of the smoother, lighter Nicaraguan puros that are so prevalent; the Warped Gran Reserva 1988 in particular comes to mind. Not bad but not exciting. 87/100
  11. Similar to the Bolivar Royal Corona I smoked, this is the second out of the box. I smoked the first with about 4 months of age and found the flavors to be quite muted with quite a bit of peppery spice, and have it in my notes as an 84/100. It's been 3 months since, so I wanted to try another one now that it's about 7 months of rest as I've personally found much of my collection to be at a good place with at least 6 months of rest. First third: opens with a creamy coffee and syrupy honey sweetness. It's more of a creamy texture with a dark coffee flavor. There's a nice dark roasted nuttiness, maybe half peanut and half chestnut. The sweetness takes on a cola syrup note. There's a consistent presence of white pepper on the retrohale, more than expected from a Cuban but definitely not overwhelming, but I'm used to retrohaling non-Cubans which are on a whole other level. Middle third: a bit of a fruity sour note to the sweetness, reminds me of the sugarcane juice that's so prevalent in southeast Asia. The coffee has become a bit more creamy in flavor. Last third: pretty much the same, creamy coffee, sugarcane, nuttiness, and white pepper. Overall: much better than the last time I smoked one. Flavors were full and potent with a constant presence of white pepper that didn't bother me, but I expect will smooth out over time. 91/100
  12. Smoked one out of this box after 3 months of rest back in March and the flavors felt really muted and weak compared to all of the other Bolivar vitolas I've tried (PC, CJ, Belicoso). It's been almost 5 months since, so I decided to try another stick from the box and see how it went with nearly 8 months of rest, 1 year 4 months box age. First third: opens with cedar and earthy twang. Not a great sign, as I associate that cedar note with muted flavors. That typical Bolivar anise-like herbal earthiness appears. A bit of Guinness, a bit of that aromatic wood that you get off freshly sharpened pencils. Middle third: the cedar has faded a bit and has allowed that creamy Guinness and aromatic wood to come through more, but the flavor is still definitely weaker than all the other vitolas. Airy isn't quite the right word, but it does remind me of the RyJ Wide Churchill in that the flavor is just weak compared to other vitolas from the marca. Last third: Not much change, though a bit of chocolate starts to appear on the finish. Overall: not bad, the cigar has definitely improved with an additional 5 months of rest but the flavors definitely come across less concentrated than I've had from other Bolivar vitolas with similar amounts or even less rest. 85/100
  13. I use 44qt weathertight containers, and I use 8-10 67g 62RH Bovedas in each, but that's because all of my stuff is newly purchased. All of it was wet, and it required many months, and multiple rounds of drying out the Bovedas outside and putting them back in, to bring the humidity finally down to where I wanted it. A year from now, when the humidity has really settled, I imagine I won't need nearly as many, and new boxes will likely acclimate faster as there's more mass to help absorb and settle the humidity level.
  14. Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 1 - UEB JUN 18 (OYMRW2)
  15. First Epi 1. Received this HQ box 5 months ago and forgot about it until now, but it fit the bill, so it's got a good amount of rest and age. Hopefully a tasty lighter smoke to pass a good chunk of time in the afternoon. First third: started at 4:20pm. Draw's a bit too tight. It's workable, but it's more effort than I want to be taking. I don't know where my perfecdraw is, though, so I'll just have to tough it out. Smooth light cream with a touch of vanilla. A light creamy almond nuttiness, and a really velvety texture. Middle third: 4:45pm, the flavor really hasn't changed, still a velvety light vanilla cream and almond nuttiness. I've been hoping for the draw to loosen up a bit, but it's held firm and that's probably weakening the strength of the flavor. Last third: 5:15pm, and sadly the draw hasn't improved at all. It's not bad enough for me to chuck it, but it's not quite good enough to really enjoy the flavors. The flavor profile I get hasn't changed much but I gotta write that off as due to the overly tight draw. Finished at 5:52pm. Overall: Just okay, but the tight draw and my misplaced draw tool probably held back the potential of this one. I'll have to try another from the box soon. 86/100
  16. Don't take my word for it! I can wait 6 months now because I have built up a good collection of Cubans over the course of the last almost year now, and still have a lot of non-Cubans that I enjoy and can smoke while I wait. When I only had a few boxes of Cubans, I was definitely smoking through them with much less rest, and that's what also helped me develop my own personal preferences as to how much rest I like before dipping into a box.
  17. It was definitely a lot quicker than I expected, I had planned for an almost 2 hour smoke. It felt a bit light but not noticeably under filled. The draw was on the looser side of ideal but not wind tunnel like for sure. I’m currently smoking a non Cuban lancero and am coming up on over 1.5 hours now, so I’m not a particularly fast smoker normally.
  18. It was an early start for work today, so again, wrapped up earlier in the afternoon and had time for a bigger smoke. Hadn't dipped into this box yet, and it's been resting for 7 months, so it felt like a good idea. Haven't tried the vitola before, but have definitely noticed the somewhat polarized opinions on this one. Some love the blend, others find it airy and flavorless. First third: started at 3:32pm, opens with a light cream and honey sweetness. There's a soft nuttiness which has something that I can maybe imagine is a bit of honeydew to it, but I feel like I'm just trying to find the stonefruit flavor often cited in reviews. About 3/4 inches in, a white peach flavor suddenly kicks in on the retrohale and I understand. It's a classy blend of cream and very lightly salty nuttiness on the palate, with these nice white peach and coffee notes on the retrohale. Middle third: 3:56pm, this is smoking faster than I expected for the size, and the cigar itself didn't feel particularly underfilled. Coffee and leather pick up on the retrohale. Shortbread and creamy nuttiness on the palate. The white peach fruitiness has faded into the background but it's not completely gone. Last third: 4:17pm, shortbread, coffee, and cream through to the end, with the occasional faint fruitiness on the finish. Nubbed at 4:44pm. Overall: 1 hr 12 min smoking time, way faster than I expected. I see where the complaints about the airiness come from, although I didn't find it as airy/light as the Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill. I'm definitely a fan. The flavor profile was classy and complex, and while I was able to pick out some individual flavors there was definitely more to this one than I was capable of describing. 91/100

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