Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Herf 29 – John’s Garage

November 1st, 2009 – Woodway, WA

In attendance were Fernand, John, Joe, Bruce, Peter, Mark, and Jim. 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 a feast; John’s Asian Ribs were heavy, hearty, and dripping with a sweet Asian sauce. On the side were salad, potatoes, and some piping hot rolls made by John’s lovely bride. With several guys absent, there was plenty to go ‘round and even more left over. We wasted no time in tearing through this meal and were soon ready to head out to John’s garage in short order.

Our selection for this herf was the Ambos Mundos Habano Robusto, also referred to as the No. 1, or ‘white label’ in contrast to it’s Ecuadorian wrapped brother, clad in a red band (the No.2). This Nicaraguan puro is a slightly rustic looking parejo measuring 5 inches long by a 50 ring guage. It contains no short filler, like that seen in the Series P (both Tatuaje products) but still goes for around $5 due to it’s B & C grade leaves. The Toro version of this Ambos Mundos was Cigar of the Week back on September 14th.

Following Cigar Aficionado's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression) we began the tasting while enjoying fine home brewed IPA and also a little single malt Scotch whiskey.

Probably half of our robustos displayed rough veins, stain spots, or even cracks in a few cases. The cigars did not seem densely packed and this was reflected in easy draws amongst the lot. Most burned pretty evenly and the quantity of smoke produced was impressive, as were the long, stable ashes that we observed.

The flavors were instantly enjoyable; no bitterness, rather sweet. Warm spices were noted; like clove, cinnamon, and eventually something a bit chocolaty. The strength was mild enough to escape comment, perhaps mostly medium. Back in June, Cigarfan (at Keepers of the Flame) nailed it with this summary, “The Habano reminds me of some of Pepin’s milder offerings, but with less complexity.”

After throwing out the highest and lowest, then averaging the remaining scores, The Cohiba Club's official rating for the Ambos Mundos Habano Robusto is 84. A very good cigar.

Here's the points breakdown:
I. Appearance & Construction: 12 pts (80% of the points possible)
II. Flavor: 21 pts (84% of the points possible)
III. Smoking Characteristics: 22 pts (88% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 29 pts (83% of the points possible)

It must be stated that this is a better cigar than an 84 might suggest. The rustic appearance and minor damage brought down our average a bit. The loose draws may have taken away from the ‘premium’ expectation. The flavors were clearly pleasant and the lower price point was certainly welcomed by our group of tasters. The Ambos Mundos is definitely worth trying, if you haven’t already.

Thanks to J & J Cigars for giving us such a good deal on these cigars!

See you at the next herf, December 6th.

© 2009 The Cohiba Club – All rights reserved.

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