Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Herf 28 – Meat Lover’s Paradise II

October 4th, 2009 – Woodway, WA

In attendance were Fernand, John L., Joe, Tom, Bruce, Patrick, and Peter. As usual, we gathered to enjoy a recently recommended cigar and give our opinion on it by holding a 'group-tasting' following dinner.

The seven of us were treated to Tom’s famous smoked meats, a meat-lover’s extravaganza that we’d been looking forward to for many weeks. Tom smoked beef & pork loin all afternoon and went the extra mile to include side dishes of a chopped salad along with his mother’s secret recipe creamed rice with mushrooms. Outrageous!

At various times throughout the meal all you could hear were either moans of ecstasy or the soft silence of focused chewing. After packin’ away the meat and washing it down with a wonderfully bold syrah supplied by club member Peter, it was time to begin the cigar tasting session and continue the evening’s relaxation and camaraderie.

Our selection for this herf was the Arturo Fuente Don Carlos No. 3, a finely-crafted little corona measuring 5 1/2 inches long by a 44 ring guage. It contains tobaccos aged for up to ten years and goes for around $9. This Don Carlos was Cigar of the Week back on August 24th. The current Cigar Aficionado rating for it is 90 (May, 2009).

Following CA's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression) we began the tasting while enjoying a little Yamazaki whiskey, 12-year, brought by club member Patrick.

Fine Fuente craftsmanship is instantly apparent upon first examination. A few of these coronas did have slight rough spots or traces of excess wrapper gum, but the roll quality was uniform and attractive across the board.

Likewise, the draw was very good across our seven cigars. Only a couple burned a bit uneven, most of them burned beautifully. The quantity of smoke produced was impressive for cigar of this size and to see how the ash held together had everyone commenting.

Now regarding flavor, we’re not exactly known for the most ‘flowery’ of descriptions (like some nationally-recognized publications) but this time we had more difficulty than usual discerning identifiable tasting notes. Initially, there may have been a soft spice, but all we got following that was woody, toasty, pleasant tobacco flavor. We all liked it, just couldn’t relate it to any comparable flavors. Intensity did ramp up a bit toward the ending, but should be categorized firmly in the medium body range.

After throwing out the highest and lowest, then averaging the remaining scores, The Cohiba Club's official rating for the Don Carlos No. 3 is 88. An excellent 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: 23 pts (92% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 31 pts (89% of the points possible)

All in all, a well-liked, well-made cigar that’s easy smokin’ – not to mention a great performer! Pick some up and see for yourself.

See you at the next herf, November 1st.

© 2009 The Cohiba Club – All rights reserved.

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