Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Herf 27 – Smoking Chickens

September 6th, 2009 - Seattle, WA

In attendance were Fernand, Robert, John L., Joe, Bruce, Patrick, John D. (our host), Peter, and Pat (remotely from PA - pictured right). As usual, we gathered to enjoy a good cigar and give our opinion on it by holding a 'group tasting' following dinner.

The eight of us in Seattle were treated to a smoked chicken extravaganza, served up by our skilled host John D. His mammoth outdoor smoker had us all salivating as several whole chickens emerged from it’s cavernous walls. Alongside was fresh homemade cornbread, baked potatoes & sweet potatoes, and a luscious green salad.

After thoroughly stuffing ourselves with as much smoked chicken as we could hold, it was time to do a little smoking of our own, so we retired out to John’s back patio to conduct the cigar tasting session and continue the evening’s relaxation and camaraderie.

Our selection for this herf was the 601 Maduro Toro, the blue-label. A well-built looking robusto with a triple-seam cap and measuring 6 1/4 inches long by a hefty 54 ring guage. It’s a Pepin-blend made in Nicaragua and goes for around $9. This 601was Cigar of the Week back on July 6th. The current Cigar Aficionado rating for it is 91 (Jun, 2009).

Following CA's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression) we began the tasting.

The gentle box press had everyone interested right off the bat. The dark, chocolaty color of the Nicaraguan maduro wrapper makes you almost want to take a bite.

The draw varied a bit among our cigars; a couple were a bit tight, and a couple seemed a little loose. Likewise, a few required multiple touch-ups to keep the burn in check as the evening went along. The quantity of smoke produced and the quality of the ash could have been a little better as well.

Everyone agreed it was not as spicy, initially, as other Pepin blends we’d had. It’s pleasant smoothness was appreciated as we moved past the first inch. Flavor impressions ranged from vanilla bean, to leather, to a touch of bitterness toward the end.

After throwing out the highest and lowest, then averaging the remaining scores, The Cohiba Club's official rating for the 601 Maduro Toro is 86. An excellent cigar.

Here's the points breakdown:
I. Appearance & Construction: 14 pts (93% of the points possible)
II. Flavor: 22 pts (88% of the points possible)
III. Smoking Characteristics: 20 pts (80% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 30 pts (86% of the points possible)

Ultimately, a couple guys said they’d buy more, while a few said they wouldn’t. See for yourself, this 601 is worth a try for sure.

See you at the next herf, October 4th.

© 2009 The Cohiba Club - All rights reserved.

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