Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Journey of Cigar Discovery Continues

So, in my quest to find the perfect cigar, I've taken a few more steps. One thing I did was go here and do a quick read-up on cigars. Cigar 101, if you will. There's a lot of terminology I was unfamiliar with, and this helps a lot.

After finding out I like maduros, I elected to take advice and get this humidor starter set. This package had everything I needed to get up and running, but I really wanted it just for the lighter.

After priming my humidor per Ravenwood's instructions, I filled it with the stash and then decided which to smoke next. To keep this post relatively short, I'll just give a thumbnail on the ones I didn't care much for, and that would be the Edge Corojo and the Cameroon. Didn't' care for the Edge at all, the Cameroon I would smoke if offered to me, but it didn't excite me very much.

The one I did like? It was another maduro (duh), the Vintage 1990. This one initially shocked me, as starting out, it wasn't very flavorful. Once I got into it, it developed into a really nice smoke. Really nice. The second half of it was like drinking a nice Russian Imperial Stout. Real thick 'n chewy.

Which brings me to why I'm doing this. I love beer. I'm not talking Bud Light (although I drink that, too), I'm talking brews by Stone, AleSmith, Avery, etc. Good stuff with lots of character.

I can't drink it any more, the demon gout jumps my ass every time. Every. Single. Time. So, I've decided to channel my interests elsewhere. Besides, it's new, has lotsa cool toys, and a lexicon similar to, but not exactly like, the craft beer scene. I think I'll like it here.

Now, on to my last two in the stash, the Sun Grown and the Vintage 1992, then, who knows? Maybe another sampler (CAO and Ghurka look interesting), or maybe I'll just fill up the humidor with maduros and Connecticuts.



Anonymous said...

I'm no connoisseur but I know what I like.

I'm partial to Maduro wrappers myself.

I can't afford the really pricey cigars but I'm pretty picky. I'd rather not smoke anything if I can't find something that I like that I can afford.

With that said, I've become quite partial to CAO. In my experience, they are very consistent and well-made. I've yet to run across one that was too tight a draw. They burn evenly and draw easily.

I started out with the CAO Maduro (I generally go for the shorter smokes...the Robusto or Rothschild) and they are a good smoke. Pretty smooth with a little aftertaste, but not unpleasant.

However, the store I usually get them from was out one day so I tried an MX2.

Me likes.

Very smooth. No aftertaste but very flavorful. Give them a try.

BTW: Thompson has some deals, but I can get a box of CAO MX2's locally for less than I can order them from Thompson's (even with tax). Their deals are pretty good on the "bargain" brands, but their prices on the name brand stuff is less competitive.

The bottom line is: don't assume you're getting a deal from Thompson's, check your local cigar shop's prices before ordering.

Rustmeister said...

Thanks, I'll make a point of trying them.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog very interesting. Looking forward to seeing more about your cigar adventure!

Rustmeister said...

Thank you very much!

jed said...

I used to smoke cigars, and do so now only rarely, so I admit I've forgotten quite a bit of what I used to know. And I was never into maduro wrappers, so your tastes might differ significantly from mine.

That said, find a good tobacconist, and treat yourself to something from Avo Uvezian, Arturo Fuente, Montecristo (Dominican Republic, not Cuban, obviously), Ashton, Cohiba (again, Dominican, not Cuban), Joya de Nicaragua, and if you want something very full bodied, a Hoyo de Monterrey.

Haven't smoked one in years, but I used to enjoy the occasional Te Amo, from Mexico. More of an earthy flavor than a Dominican.

One thing I remember, is that some brands can be a bit inconsistent. Back in the '80s, my usual cigar was the Joya de Nicaragua Consul. Then the .gov nationalized the cigar companies, and they tanked. They did rebound, but the character wasn't what I recalled from way back.

You'll notice in my list a preference for Dominican cigars. I did smoke a Royal Jamaican or Macanudo sometimes, but they weren't my preference.

There are a lot of cigars out there. Of course, part of the enjoyment is in trying them out. I got to cheat a bit, as I worked at a tobacco shop. 1 free cigar per shift, back when you could smoke in a place of business.

LB said...

I used to use Thompson Cigars years ago, but discovered how expensive they are. If your local shops (if you have any) aren't very attractive, try cigarsinternational.com/ and jrcigars.com. Much better prices.

Being a new smoker, avoid the real heavy body ones until your palette "matures" a bit. Partagas Blacks are an excellent smoke, but will leave you quite light headed if you aren't prepared for it.

Also, price doesn't always match quality. I've had some very inexpensive cigars that were excellent, and some pricey ones that were dog-rockets. I kept a journal for the first year or so, just to remember what I like and didn't. Pull the band off and stick it to the page so you remember.

Good luck!

Rustmeister said...

Sounds like a plan, LB. I appreciate that.

Nylarthotep said...

I'm partial to maduro as well. I also tend to like really dark tobacco. My favorites tend to be Partaga Blacks since they don't break the bank.

Also you could look at Sancho Panzas Double Maduro. I usually buy from Famous Smoke Shop since the prices are good and the selection is outstanding.