Thursday, January 8, 2009

Herf #20 - A One-Two Punch

January 4th, 2009 - Snoqualmie, WA

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

The five of us dined at Jak’s steakhouse in Issaquah, where the steaks were downright unbeatable! Punch number one. The great food was paired with wine, Scotch and a couple beers, before heading over to the “Lit” lounge inside the newly opened Snoqualmie Casino. Our first time there, this '2nd punch' of the night proved to be a knockout; a superb place to conduct the cigar tasting session and continue the evening’s relaxation and camaraderie.
(excuse the dark photos)

Our selection for this Herf was the Casa Magna Gran Toro. A nice, fat parejo measuring 6 inches long by a whopping 56 ring guage. This Casa Magna is the big brother to the robusto that was Cigar of the Week back on December 1st which received a 92 from Cigar Aficionado's expert tasting panel.

Made by Nestor Plascencia in Esteli, Nicaragua, this cigar’s beautiful colorado wrapper had a consistent appearance and a smooth texture; very well-crafted indeed. The overall roll quality was as good as any we’ve seen.

The cigars all drew easily, well one of them drew a bit too easily, but there were no construction issues to speak of. Everyone quickly commented on what a pleasurable flavor profile it started out with. Adequate amounts of smoke were produced and the ashes were mostly stable and rather light in color. The cigars burned true and even, though a couple did require touch-ups toward the end.

The flavors were consistent the whole way through, but not particularly inspiring by the end of the night. A clearly identifiable 'leather' flavor was predominate for most of us. There was perhaps a bit of wood in there as well, with a smooth and tasty finish that was easy going.

Following CA's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression) we began the tasting. This proved to be a pretty well-liked cigar among our group of tasters.

After averaging our scores, The Cohiba Club's official rating for the Casa Magna Gran Toro is 88. An excellent cigar.

Here's the points breakdown:
I. Appearance & Construction: 15 pts (100% of the points possible)
II. Flavor: 21 pts (84% of the points possible)
III. Smoking Characteristics: 21 pts (84% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 31 pts (89% of the points possible)

All in all, a very enjoyable cigar which we highly recommend.
See you at the next herf, January 31st.

--Update: 10jan09--
No, we didn't know about Cigar Aficionado's choice for Cigar of the Year (2008) when we selected this herf cigar, nor when we smoked it; not even when we posted this herf report.

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