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Posts posted by chris12381

  1. Yep.  Beetles.  I know they say they freeze the cigars coming out of Cuba and that's supposed to prevent them from hatching.  I trusted them.  I stored my cigars in large armoire humidor in a room that, even while my home is cooled with central air conditioning, got up to 75-78 due to southerly facing wall and large windows.  I did this for 5 years without a problem.  

    Until one evening, I opened a box of 2013 Romeo y Julieta Cedros de Luxe No. 2.  I saw little things crawling all over the cigars.  FREAKED OUT.  I ended tossing the entire box in the garbage and freezing every box I had, selling my humidor after I wiped it down with 97% alcohol and replacing it with one that had temperature control.  Now my cigars relax at 58-62 degrees, regardless of what is happening in my environment. 

    I would say if you're storing cigars above 75 degrees or higher, you are going to have a beetle problem...someday.  But that's just my opinion based on a personal experience.

    • Like 1
  2. So, I've been down this road before and you're right, beads aren't going to cut it and I see we're in Ottawa so we don't have to worry about summer temperatures.  Lucky you!

    I've used both the Hydra commercial unit and the Cigar Oasis Magna units.  Both had their benefits and drawbacks.  

    Hydra.  It's cheap.  It works.  The Hydra's auxiliary fans can be set up to always be on or come on only when the humidifier comes on.  This is an important feature that the Magna lacks.  In fact, the Magna's auxiliary fans only come on when the humidifier is OFF.  More on that later.  The Hydra's only drawback is that it as a consequence of it being cheap, it may fail.  I did not have mine fail, but there are plenty of stories of them failing.  I made the choice to upgrade to a Cigar Oasis Magna as I was attracted to the Wi-Fi capabilities it offered.  If you go with the Magna, I would suggest removing the florist foam and buying some floral beads instead.  It'll hold way more water.  Just add some PG to the distilled water as an anti-fungal agent and if mold does start to take hold, toss the beads and replace.  They're insanely cheap anyways.

    Cigar Oasis Magna.  It's more expensive.  It's well constructed.  It has Wi-Fi reporting of temp and RH.  Now, let's talk about that.  First of all, the setup of this is a real PITA.  I'm well versed in IT and I would feel sorry for say, my dad trying to set this thing up.  I also found that it did not stay connected to my wireless network under DHCP so I had to assign it a static IP.  After I did that, my problems were solved.  If you don't understand what that means, good luck to you.  Now on to the auxiliary fans.  The Oasis' fans only come on when the Oasis humidifier is off.  This was a problem for me as I found that the humidifier would create a nice correct RH at the bottom of the humidor, then the fans would kick on, the RH would quickly drop in the bottom, the humidor would kick on, the auxiliary fans would kick off and this insane cycling of the humidifier and fans would occur.  

    I eventually had to add some 12v computer fans to the humidifier on a digital timer that allowed me to set any OFF and ON cycle time I wanted to deal with that insanity.

    Good luck!


    • Like 1
  3. I'm not the first to say this but I've found it to be true.  "I smoke 1% non-Cuban cigars to remind myself why I prefer Cuban cigars."

    I find I enjoy the balance and evolution of Cuban tobacco.  Personally speaking, Non-Cubans taste really harsh and one-dimensional.  And then there are the monstrous ring gauges.  Save the occasional Tatuaje, Illusione, Tabaquero, etc. non-Cubans are reserved for guests who ask for a cigar but I know are going to take 10 puffs and then put it down.  

    And it's cheaper for me to buy Cuban cigars.  The tobacco tax is all over the place depending on what US state my purchase is subject to.  I spent $27 on an Opus X Double Corona this Sunday at a lounge.  The whole time I'm smoking it I kept thinking about the $ vs value.  Now don't get me wrong, it was a good cigar but instead of enjoying it completely, I'm thinking about what ELSE I could be smoking for $27.  

    Of course, and this is just my opinion, non-Cuban cigars (as a whole) are of better construction than Cuban cigars as a whole.  This point was debated to death this Saturday at the lounge as I smoked my Opus X and the guy next to me was trying to draw on a Bolivar Petit Corona.  He looked looked like he was trying to suck a golf ball through a garden hose.  Many in the lounge differed in my opinion but ask I offered this choice to clarify my point:  If your life were to depend on your selection of ONE cigar that was not going to be plugged or have draw problems, are you gonna reach for a Padron 2000 or a Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2.  

    Thankfully, I don't have to make that kind as I smoke this Juan Lopez.  

    • Like 3
  4. You might also check out Cubavisión.  The streaming quality can be hit or miss but it runs the gamut from educational, telenovelas, sports, cartoons, etc.  Keep in mind this is Cuban TV so you're going to get a viewpoint totally different that the one you're seeing on TV Martí.  There are a few streaming sources but the below seems to be the best available.


  5. Your biggest challenge is going to be the Cuban accent.  There's really no way around that one.  It's just really really difficult to understand and take a long time to pick apart the individual words as initially, the seem to be all attached together!   I'd head over to YouTube and see if you can find interviews of Cubans on the street for news stories or other interesting topics and see if you get yourself ready for that accent before you hear it on the street in Havana. ;)   


    • Like 1
  6. First off, good for you taking the time to learn and you're right, it will most definitely make your trip more enjoyable.  My background:

    Grew up in Rhode Island, 4 year years high school Spanish, 2 years Spanish at Purdue and studied 1 semester at the Universitat de Barcelona in Spain and 2 semesters at the Universidad de la Habana in Cuba.  Here's the deal.  I learned more Spanish in first 2 weeks when it was "sink or swim" in Barcelona than I did in 6 years of classroom Spanish.  It's really a simple as that.  Simple things like going shopping for scale turn into linguistic nightmares and you're forced to use what you know to explain what you're looking for and it's embarrassing, kinda terrifying, funny and glorious.  In every interaction I had, people were thrilled to interact with someone who was doing their hardest to try and learn their language.  

    I think you're doing the right thing in your practice and the post beneficial is going to be hearing the Cuban speech prior to getting there.  I would suggest that you watch some TV programs with either Spanish or English subtitles on (depending on your comfort level).

    • Like 1
  7. I'm travelling to Dubrovnik, Croatia for a wedding. Crossing the pond on the 1st of July and then after the wedding on the 5th, traveling to Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Munich and Frankfurt with many more stops along the way. Will be in each city for 2-4 days and returning home on the 19th.

    Anyone have advice on good places to pick up some decent cigars or places to smoke?


  8. I usually pick up a dozen singles once I'm settled (Cohiba Robustos, Upmann 46s, etc). Always try and have 6 to 12 good ones at a time. I also always pick a mazo of peso cigars for when I'm out walking and don't have time to sit down and enjoy a good cigar. It also has the added benefit of keeping the "hey my frens" away as they see you smoking a peso cigar and assume you aren't gonna buy their crap when you've already figures out you can get 25 decent cigars for 1cuc.

    As far as bringing back cigars, I would save room in the suitcase for nothing but custom rolled goodness.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

  9. Background

    For me, the Sancho Panza marca isn't something to "seek out". While I've enjoyed my fair share of Belicoso Finos & Sanchos, it's not a very popular marca and with so many other go to cigars, those of us that have a few boxes find they stay hidden in the back of the humidor and only come out when we seek a change of pace. Tonight, a change of pace awaits: The Non Plus.


    The Review

    ABR JUL 11.

    Construction: A well made cigar with a nice silky brown wrapper. A decent sheen on it. Draw is perfect. I've paired this with a Cerveza Cristal. wink2.gif

    Prelight aroma & Flavor: Smelled of old paper. Kind of like a library book that hasn't been opened in a few years. Pre light draw is musty.

    First 3rd: Up front tobacco taste. Not at all refined. Almost the same straightforward tobacco taste of a peso cigar. There's a saltiness that coates the tounge and the palate. The saltiness is almost a mineral salty taste, not table salt. Not at all displeasing, just very different.

    Second 3rd: That musty/basement flavor and smell from a good pu-erh tea is predominant. Saltiness continues with the aftertase one gets in ones mouth after eating a handful of walnuts. Very unique and unlike any other Cuban cigar I can remember in recent memory.

    Final 3rd: Not much change from the second 3rd. Pu-erh tea flavors continue to build and the salty/mineral continues to coat the palate.


    88/100 A great value mareva. As I mentioned, this is not something I would seek out but if I had a chance to grab a box that looked great or had some age already on it for a good pirce, I wouldn't hesistate to add to a collection. This is a mareva that needs to be smoked slowly to be enjoyed. Quickly smoking or being distracted would likely result in people finding it bland or very odd.

    • Like 1
  10. If you're referring to the Bauza peso cigar, I'd have to day the quality of the wrapper and overall construction appears to be several levels above most peso cigars I've smoked. Most pesos feature very rough and veiny wrappers, lumpy/construction and will be short filler. If you do a Google image search you'll see some examples.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

    • Like 1
  11. Background

    I had never tried a Diplomaticos cigar as I just never heard anyone talking about them. I remember leaving Santiago de Cuba for Miami back in 2003 and I had about $400 dollars left in my pocket before we left for the airport. Just before I was going to board the bus, I ran into the cigar store in the Melia and picked up another box of Ramon Allones 898 to go along with a box I bought earlier in the week and saw a lonely box sitting in the corner. The clerk said they were from 2000 and they didn't sell many of them but she handed me the box to take a look. It was a box of Diplomaticos No. 1. I think the box was $110 and said, "What the hell" and picked them up as well. Those were some amazing cervantes. Wish I still had some.

    The Review


    AME AGO 12. The girlfriend joins me with her own cigar for my first review on FoH.

    Construction: A nice colorado-colored wrapper. Very good construction with a flawless draw.

    Prelight aroma & Flavor: Smelled like a horse barn. A few prelight draws tasted like fresh cut hay.

    Flavors: Immediately struck by a very pleasant savory sweetness/spiciness. Nutmeg/gingerbread. My girlfriend described it as a Christmas milkshake. We found that as we reached the end of the 2nd third, the pleasant spices faded away a bit and the cigar's strength picked up a bit. This profile continued to the end. My girlfriend threw in the towel about 10 minutes before I did with a dismissive, "It's getting boring." The cigar continued to pick up strength towards the last inch when I decided to call it a night.


    91/100 A good value Piramide that has never been a disappointment to me. Even a box as young as this is still producing a great smoking experience. No doubt a few years age will continue to improve these guys. While I don't think I'd ever classify them as a "great cigar", I'll never forget how I discovered the Diplomaticos brand. I took a chance on a lonely box of unwanted cigars and since then, the marca has always treated me well.

    • Like 4

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