Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cigar Bars - Victory Bar & Cigar

56 Shrewsbury St.
Worcester, MA 01604
(508) 756-4747

Club member Robert recently observed, "They ask that you purchase your cigars there. Have no fear, it has a top-shelf selections with reasonable prices. Even my favorite Don Pepin is well represented alongside Oliva, Davidoff, Ashton, CAO, Monte Cristo, Gurkha and H Upmann. Excellent beer and wine selection and the best smoke filters I've come across. Definitely stop by."

From their website:

When in Worcester, we invite you to discover our lounge and smoking rooms. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a premium hand rolled cigar with your favorite spirit. We guarantee a very comfortable environment and you will always receive a great value at the Victory Bar & Cigar in my home town of Worcester, Massachusetts. If I can be of service, please feel free to call or write anytime.
Sincerely, Mark W. Piscillo

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Casa Fuente Cigars Revisited

Excerpted from "Desert Leaf " by Aaron Sigmond

The Casa Fuente cigar from A. Fuente -- exclusive in more ways than one. (click image to enlarge)

For most Fuente cigar enthusiasts, a visit to Las Vegas would be incomplete without venturing over to the world's only Casa Fuente, a trip itself incomplete without smoking at least one (one box, that is) of their favorite Casa Fuente "house" cigar.

What's more, the cigar is sold exclusively at the cigar bar and boutique; they don’t accept Web or phone orders. As managing partner Michael Frey told me when Casa Fuente first opened: "You either need to come here and buy them yourself, or have a friend in Vegas if you want the Casa Fuente cigars. Period. If not, then you're out of luck."

With a Cameroon wrapper and Dominican binder and filler, the cigar continues in the tradition of the Don Carlos and Ashton Heritage lines, albeit with some unique taste notes. It may take a little doing to get your hands on these sticks, but since they are available in a full seven sizes, once you do, there's most assuredly a size for you.

Belicoso fino: $23
Robusto: $21
Corona Gorda: $18
Double Robusto: $22
Churchill: $25
Double Corona: $28
Pyramid: $26

Credit to Cigar Report Daily

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gift Review – Padilla Series ’68 Torpedo

Another in our ongoing series of occasional reviews of cigars given to us as gifts. Featured this time is the Padilla Series ’68 Torpedo, given to me by club member Pat back in March.

Vitola: Torpedo
Origin: Honduras
Length: 6 1/8”
Ring Gauge: 52
Filler: Nicaraguan Criollo & Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo
Wrapper: Corojo
Strength: Medium to Full
Price: around $6.00

Produced for Padilla by Flores Tobacco in Honduras, it features a medium-colored Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper and a skillfully executed torpedo shape. The current Cigar Aficionado rating for it is 87.

Following CA's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression) I sat down to rate this cigar while enjoying a glass of Bacardi 8 Rum.

Despite a few rough veins in the wrapper, it appeared very well-constructed. Unfortunately, the draw was way too tight. This affected the amount of smoke I was getting out of it, of course. I also found the ash a little on the darker side of grey, but it was stable enough.

It’s too bad I had so much trouble with the draw because the flavors were quite nice. An initial spice yielded to leather & wood, before the ending became peppery. All in all, however, it just wasn’t that great of a cigar smoking experience due to the draw being so tough.

My rating for the Padilla Series ’68 Torpedo is 81. Still a 'very good' cigar.
Here's the points breakdown:
I. Appearance & Construction: 13 pts (87% of the points possible)
II. Flavor: 21 pts (84% of the points possible)
III. Smoking Characteristics: 19 pts (76% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 28 pts (80% of the points possible)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Herf #17 - Gentle Giant

October 5th, 2008 - Shoreline, WA

In attendance were Fernand, Pat, Joe , Tom, Peter, and Bruce. As usual, we gathered to enjoy a good cigar and give our opinion on it by holding a 'group tasting' following dinner.

The six of us were treated to a very special dinner prepared by Fernand’s wife, Debra. It featured her famous bourbon glaze salmon, a tantalizing fruit-topped spinach salad, and a very creative sun-dried tomato and pepper couscous. There was not so much as a crumb left. Once everyone had their fill, it was time for the tasting session. Beverages included beer, wine, bourbon, port, and rum.

Our selection for this Herf was the Alec Bradley Tempus ‘Centuria’. A dark looking, sweet smelling churchill measuring 7 inches long with a ring guage of 49. This Alec Bradley was Cigar of the Week back on September 15th which received a 94 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 tasting. This proved to be a very well-liked cigar among our group of tasters.

After averaging our scores, The Cohiba Club's official rating for the Alec Bradley Tempus ‘Centuria’ churchill is 91. An outstanding cigar.

Here's the points breakdown:
I. Appearance & Construction: 13 pts (87% of the points possible)
II. Flavor: 23 pts (92% of the points possible)
III. Smoking Characteristics: 22 pts (88% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 33 pts (94% of the points possible)

Made by Alan Rubin in Honduras, this cigar’s wrapper had a dark, well-aged look that gave off a sweet smell; rich from fermentation. The texture was smooth and velvety and the roll quality was firm and uniform across the group of our six samples.

These cigars drew perfectly. Everyone commented how it was just the way they liked it. Ample amounts of smooth smoke were produced. The ashes, however, could have been more stable and maybe even a little lighter in color. The burn was very even, though a few did require a couple re-lights as things progressed.

We all got some spice initially, but that soon calmed down nicely. The flavors were rich & meaty and the intensity would come and go. At one point I actually got the notion of meats over smoldering wood chips in a smoker with even a subtle garlic in there. Everyone kept commenting how smooth it was for such a full-bodied cigar.

All in all, a very enjoyable cigar which we highly recommend.
See you at the next herf, November 2nd.