Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Herf #6 - A Surprise Appearance

October 21st, 2007 - Sammamish, WA

In attendance were Fernand, John, Robert, Eric, Joe, Aaron, John, Ed, and Mark.

Our last outdoor herf for the year was at Eric's house, just a seven iron away from the fairways of the Sahalee Country Club. He prepared a fantastic sausage & vegetable stew for us.

The cigar selected for this herf was the Tatuaje Havana VI 'Artistas', which was Cigar of the Week back on October 8th earning a 90 from the expert tasters at Cigar Aficionado.

Following the great dinner and good conversation, we went out into Eric's impressive back yard to light it up. This was a very well-liked cigar by the club members. One of the sticks drew just a bit tight, but the others drew perfectly. A nice pleasant full smoke was emitted from these cigars providing a great peppery blast at first which then mellowed beautifully after about the first half inch of burn. I heard scoring numbers thrown out ranging from 89 to 93. There was never any bitter or harshness and plenty of these cigars got quite short before they were finished.

But if that wasn't enough to make the evening memorable, our distinguished guest Ed Dougherty brought out some very special aged cigars which blew everyone away. Without getting into their origin, it was clear that these churchill-sized cigars were very special indeed, older than most of us there, and giving off a very unique earthy-sweet aroma. Their finish was long, with a bit of a bite afterward as the cigar warmed up. A real treat, thanks Ed!

The surprise of this unexpected, second cigar of the night resulted in no group scoring being done on the Tatuaje. So while we have no group rating to publish for it, I can say that when I later scored the cigar, on my own, I came up with a rating of 91 for the Tatuaje Havana VI 'Artistas', an excellent cigar to be sure.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Herf #5 - Let It Rain

September 30th, 2007 - Edmonds, WA
In attendance were Fernand, John, Robert, Eric, Pat, Joe, Aaron, Brad, Tom, and John. Our best turnout thus far!
Everyone raved about the great meal prepared by Aaron and Jamie. The light rain was no deterent as everyone gathered afterward under Aaron's front porch around a very capable outdoor heater.
As usual, we were there to enjoy a good cigar and give our opinion on it by holding a 'group tasting' following dinner. Our selection for this Herf was the Don Pepin Garcia "Delicias" of the 'blue-label' line. It's a beautiful, ample Churchill measuring 7 inches long with a ring guage of 50. It was Cigar of the Week back on August 27th which received a 90 from Cigar Aficionado's expert tasting panel.
Following CA's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression) we began the tastng. This proved to be a very well-liked cigar among our group, which consists of many Pepin fans.
After averaging our scores, the Cohiba Club's official rating for the Don Pepin Garcia 'Delicias' is 88. An excellent cigar.
Here's the points breakdown:
I. Appearance & Construction: 13 pts (87% of the points possible)
II. Flavor: 22 pts (88% of the points possible)
III. Smoking Characteristics: 22 pts (88% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 31 pts (89% of the points possible)
The Flavor and Smoking Characteristics of this Nicaraguan puro were pretty consistent amongst the ten of us. Considering it's large vitola, this cigar was not nearly as formidable as one might suspect. Many of these got very short before the night was through.
Cigar Tax Update
The President has vetoed the SCHIP tax increase as promised.
Tax on cigars would increase from 20.719 percent of the manufacturer’s price to more than 53 percent, but the killer is a 6,154 percent increase in the tax cap on cigars, from 4.875 cents per cigar to $3.00 per cigar.
The Democrat-controlled Congress will try to override the veto, of course. The bill passed by enough votes in the Senate to obtain more than a two-thirds majority, but failed to reach that level by about two dozen votes in the House of Representatives.
President Bush has proposed an expansion of the program by $5 billion over the next five years, but the Congressional request (as shown in the current bill) is more than ten times that amount.