Vacation Cigars


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Got back from Cuba on Sunday - couple of days in Havana (bliss) and best part of a week in Varadero (meh...). Will post some pics soon but wanted to get my thoughts down on some of the cigars I got through while there. One of the most enjoyable parts of the holiday was just being able to smoke anywhere, and having the time and weather available to truly enjoy a smoke. I'm cataloguing below by brand, not necessarily the order I smoked them in (the days blended together a little with the application of large quantities of rum). Cigars came from a number of sources, though none were purchased on the beach! All in all, 17 cigars in 8 days.

The real highlight of the trip was a visit to the H.Upmann factory - the smell in there will stay with me the rest of my days, as will the obvious pride and sense of enjoyment that these skilled artisans take in their work.


Siglo I - first time for me to try one of these, bought for my wife and handed to me after a quarter inch had been smoked. REALLY nice little cigar, very mellow, typically cohiba flabours with a finish of pine-nuts, just delicious.

Siglo III - something wrong with this one, dry, loose / empty patches, terrible burn and rough smoke.Bought at the hotel cigar store (supposedly legit), I mentioned that I thought it was fake and they went nuts. I still think it was a fake...

Robusto - had two of these bad boys from a Casa Tabac in Havana (08 box code). Both were good, though not the 'great' cigar I had been expecting. Construction and burn were good, flavour engaging etc., just didn't give me the 'A HA' moment I was expecting to get from such a hyped cigar.

Vegas Robaina;

Familiar - really much to wet to smoke - humidity must have been running close to 90% or something. I was bursting out of the band and wouldn't draw, just about tore it to bits and had an anuerism trying to get a mouthful of smoke out of it! Finally abandoned disappointed.

Famosos - couldn't be more different. Bought a single at the shop next to the La Coruna factory and lit it outside - rich, dark and really 'full', very chocolately - last third was a little too powerful but it was an Oct 09 and super fresh, construction was so good it could have been non-Cuban. Went back and bought a full box from the same code, and will be watching out for more in future.


Another box purchase - April 2009 Robusto Extra which I'm definitely going to be putting down for a while. Bought two singles to enjoy while there - really a spectacular cigar. Best construction I think I have ever encountered in a Cuban cigar, and with such a complexity of flavour and texture to the smoke. Possibly my new favourite cigar, if only I had the budget to match. These things seem to have legs for miles so I'll be aging them for some as yet undecided future occasion and periodically buying singles as budget allows...

Also had a couple of Reyes with morning coffees throughout the week. God I love these things - just the PERFECT morning cigar. Can never commit to buying a box (always see something else I'd rather buy with the money) but I'm always glad to have one.

Punch - just a single Churchill, also from La Coruna. Smoked it after we'd left Havana, and really wish I'd taken the opportunity to smoke it sooner as I would have grabbed a few more. Very smooth, excellent delicate mouth-feel for a larger cigar, massive smoke volume and great progression from an almost buttery beginning to gentle peppery spices to a strong finish. Great smooth transition.

HDM Double Corona - I've never really been a 'double corona' kind of guy - a Torpedos is usually a 'big cigar' by my reckoning and I never envisage having the 2 hours available to smoke a DC. I may have to revisit that, though - these were a real 'cigar journey' type of experience, seeing the developement from an exceptionally mild first third, cool and easy, to the final assault of the pepper and spice in the final third was amazing. All the way through there was a kind of consistency that tied the progression together.

San Christobal La Punta - another La Coruna purchase, and another one I wish I'd bought more of! I hadn't been exposed to the brand at all previously and bought a couple on a whim (there was a box open on the counter and they looked interesting) - for those of you who haven't yet had the pleasure I highly recommend them. A lighter smoke, mild - medium in flavour but the stand out was a very strong impression of almonds in the flavour. Other than that, just good quality cuban tobacco, meduim smoke volume and everything smooth and gentle. Don't know if the other vitolas in the family are like this, but I'll be grabbing a box for Sunday afternoons from the Czar in my next order.

Diplomaticos - my final box purchase. Smoked a solitary Diplo 2 and really enjoyed it. I know there have been a lot of people here saddened by the loss of the Diplo 4 (and I have ordered a box from the Czar with my most recent purchases). For people to prefer the 4 to the 2 it must be something really special. The Diplo 2 offers so much in terms of spice and pepper, great smoke volume, excellent construction and burn, and it asks for so little (I paid $145 convertible pesos, about $170 US). IT is definitely going to replace / supplement the Monte 2 in my regular rotation (had a couple of dogs recently and have sworn off them until output becomes more consistently strong), and thankfully is not discontinued.

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