Friday, March 12, 2010

Herf 33 – The Other World

March 7th, 2010 – Shoreline, WA

In attendance were Fernand, Robert, John L., Joe, Bruce, Tom, 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 Richmond Beach dined on hickory & mesquite-smoked pork shoulder, three kinds of cole slaw, two types of cornbread muffins (with honey-butter), jalapeño poppers, and a rich chocolate cake for dessert. Wow! Well done to all who contributed.

Our cigar selection for this herf was the Ambos Mundos Sumatra No.2 Robusto. We previously enjoyed the white label (the No.1) at Herf 29. This red label was our Cigar of the Week back on January 18th. The current published rating for the Ambos Mundos red label robusto is 91 (Mar, 2009).

Following CA's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression) we began the tasting while also enjoying some winter ale, Canadian whiskey, and a couple very special treats; Sam Adams Utopias, a generous gift courtesy of club member Tom. John H. was kind enough to bring along his hard-to-find pear brandy for us to taste as well. It's Godet Poire au Cognac from La Rochelle, France. Amazing!

Also, taking part in this review were club members Patrick (in AZ) and John D. Though not able to attend the herf, they did take the time to conduct their tastings individually and submit their scores within a couple days of our gathering.

While the cigar's first impression is somewhat nondescript, a closer look reveals a pretty well-crafted roll. There were a few prominent veins as well as some surface roughness, but nothing major. It's a generally good-looking, sturdy cigar.

Most of these cigars drew wonderfully, though one was too loose and a couple were just a tad tight. The cigars performed quite well with pretty even burns and adequate smoke production. Even the ash was remarkably stable and uniform, which was great to see considering the reported use of B & C grade Tatuaje leaves in these sticks.

There was a spicy beginning that had everyone sit up and take notice, perhaps lasting for the first half inch. Soon we were given plenty of wood & leather to ponder. Our nine tasters described flavors in the middle portion like toasty in a 'bready' or toasted-grain sort of way; pleasant. There was even an acidic sweetness, something like a plum – just a hint anyway. Also, maybe a bit of anise was detected as well. The ending portion transitioned to a stronger, but savory character.

After throwing out the highest and lowest, then averaging the remaining scores, The Cohiba Club's official rating for the Ambos Mundos No.2 robusto 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: 22 pts (88% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 32 pts (91% of the points possible)

Right off the bat it was apparent that our group of tasters preferred this Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapped Ambos Mundos over the Nicaraguan Habano wrapped sibling we sampled back in November.

Most of our tasters left the herf determined to buy more of these red label robustos. In fact, at the time of this writing, at least one of them already has reported doing so.

Thanks to John of J&J Cigars for giving us such a good deal on these sticks.

See you at the next herf, May 2nd.

© 2010 The Cohiba Club – All rights reserved.

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