Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Herf 30 – Braving the Cold

December 6th, 2009 – Shoreline, WA

In attendance were Fernand, Robert, John L., Joe, Bruce, Patrick (via Skype), Peter, and John H. 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 in Shoreline dined on smoked pork roast, wasabi coleslaw, garlic-cheese grits, green beans & shallots seared in soy sauce, tequila sweet potatoes, and a mixed green salad. Once dinner ended it was time to brave the cold huddled under the patio heater and do our best in the sub-freezing outdoors.

Our selection for this herf was the Padilla Signature 1932 Torpedo. Though no longer made by Don Pepin Garcia, since 2008, we were lucky to obtain these first generation smokes. The Robusto version of the Padilla ‘32 was our Cigar of the Week back on November 9th. The previous Cigar Aficionado rating for the Pepin-made Torpedo was 92 (May, 2007).

Following CA's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression) we began the tasting while enjoying a few microbrews, Aberlour Scotch whiskey, Crown Royal, and eventually (as we got colder) some piping-hot cider, spiked with a little Captain Morgan’s Tattoo.

The texture and appearance was pretty rough on many of our cigars, with bumpy veins clearly visible. In fact, the Appearance and Construction category earned the lowest percentage of points possible, 87%. The roll quality seemed well-crafted due to it’s beautiful torpedo shape and a fine draw.

Most burned really well producing very pleasant smoke and some of the longest ashes we’ve seen this year, as is evident in these photos. In contrast to texture and appearance, the scoring for smoking characteristics came in highest, earning 92% of the points possible.

The flavors were instantly enjoyable; no bitterness or harshness whatsoever (or at any point, for that matter). The initial tastes led off with gentle cedar, but we were prepared for the intensity to ramp up quickly. That increase never materialized. Instead, what we got was a very nice, mild-to-medium cigar with mellow flavors; not particularly discernable, but definitely enjoyable nonetheless.

After throwing out the highest and lowest, then averaging the remaining scores, The Cohiba Club's official rating for the Padilla Signature 1932 Torpedo is 89. An excellent cigar.

Here's the points breakdown:
I. Appearance & Construction: 13 pts (87% of the points possible)
II. Flavor: 22 pts (88% of the points possible)
III. Smoking Characteristics: 23 pts (92% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 31 pts (89% of the points possible)

In the end, the flavor profile just wasn’t very complex. We all agreed that it was a smooth and easy smokin’ cigar, but some of us were left wanting a tad more. Still, 89 is not too shabby. We do recommend you pick up a couple the next time you want a break from full-bodied sticks.

It should be noted that one cigar did emit a glob of bitter tar at about the halfway point, but this appeared to be an isolated incident. Unfortunately, it meant the end of the ride for that particular taster.

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

See you at the next herf, January 3rd.
Photo credit to club co-founder Robert.

© 2009 The Cohiba Club – All rights reserved.

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