Monday, May 7, 2007

Herf #2 - Muckleshoot Delivered, But The Tubos Fell Short

May 6th, 2007 - Auburn, WA
In attendance were Fernand, Robert, Joe, Pat, and Rob.
The steaks were cheap & tasty, the drinks reasonably priced, and the cigar lounge was comfy and lined with sports screens displaying baseball games, poker tournaments, and Nascar races.
In addition to an opportunity to hang with friends, we were there to enjoy a good cigar and give our opinion on it by holding a 'group tasting' following dinner. We dined at the Muckleshoot Casino's Kookabura's restaurant before moving into their Cabana lounge to light-up and order some after-dinner cocktails.
The selection for this Herf was a Romeo Y Juliet Numero Dos Tubos, a belicoso measuring 6 1/8 by 52. It was Cigar of the Week back on March 19th and received an 89 from Cigar Aficionado's expert tasting panel.
To assign a rating of our own for it, we followed Cigar Aficionado's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression).
When the night was through, however, the five of us just weren't as impressed with it as the pros were.
After averaging our scores, the Cohiba Club's official rating for the Romeo Y Juliet 'Numero Dos Tubos' is 71.
Here's the points breakdown:
I. Appearance & Construction: 12 pts (80% of the points possible)
II. Flavor: 15 pts (only 61% of the points possible)
III. Smoking Characteristics: 20 pts (82% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 24 pts (68% of the points possible)
The Appearance, Construction, and Smoking Characteristics of this Dominican cigar fared pretty well, however, a sour bitterness on the palette was too much for most of us which was reflected in our low scoring in the Flavor and Overall Impression categories.
Fortunately, the camaraderie of good friends was enough to overcome this minor setback. It was a very enjoyable evening and everyone is looking forward to the next meeting at John's house for Cuban-style BBQ, mojitos, and another premium cigar to try.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Next Time You're in Vegas (Part 2)

You must stop in here!

As was mentioned last week, the 'Casa' cigars are for sale exclusively at Casa Fuente in Las Vegas (no Internet or phone orders). The first theme store for a cigar brand, Casa Fuente stocks only Arturo Fuente-made cigars, including several shapes that were not previously sold. It opened in the spring of 2005, located inside Caesars Forum Shops' three-story, $139-million expansion.
The store's overall design evokes the sensation of lounging about in old Havana. As Michael Frey explains, "We wanted the store to hearken back to the Fuente Family's Cuban roots, while also representing the pride of their adopted country, the Dominican Republic."
To perpetuate the tropical state of mind, the sounds of Cuban jazz continuously wafts through the store. The red-and-black-pillared bar is almost an exact replica of Havana's famed Bar Floridita. While the floor tiles also have an old Cuban feel, they were handmade in the Dominican Republic.
The store's humidor, neatly tucked away in the back, is separated into two distinct parts. First is the paradise (a gated area akin to those found in Cognac distilleries where the rarest of the rare Cognacs are protected). Here one can peak in on the coveted Fuente Fuente Opus X, the Forbidden X, other rarities like these, and the exclusive house cigar, Casa Fuente, from which a portion of all of the sales are donated to Fuente's altruistic effort, The Cigar Family Charitable Foundation.
The remainder of the humidor is an open area where anyone can readily access the merchandise.
The Fuente family opted not to be financial partners in the venture. The store is a straightforward licensing deal, structured as a partnership between the Frey Brothers and Robert Levin, of Holt's Cigar Co., who pay an annual royalty fee again to the Fuente family's Foundation.
The Fuentes gain nothing more out of this venture than donations towards their philanthropic pursuits, a tribute to their family's heritage, and a presence to increase brand awareness - which they are confident will directly translate into sales for all Fuente retailers.
Casa Fuente (Las Vegas)
Credit to:
Click here to see pics from our visit there last fall.