Saturday, May 8, 2010

Herf 34 – Shelter From The Storm

May 2nd, 2010 – Shoreline, WA

In attendance were Fernand, Robert, Joe, Tom, John D. and Patrick (via Skype). As usual, we gathered to enjoy a recently recommended cigar and give our opinion on it by holding a 'group-tasting' following dinner.

The five of us in Shoreline met at Tom’s house for dinner. Anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of tasting Tom’s famous smoked meats know full-well what an incredible treat this was. Tom’s never let us down, and naturally, he came through once again. His smoked beef and pork loin were moist, tender, full of flavor. What else would we have needed… Oh, there were some great side dishes; asparagus, soup, chips, salsa, bread, dip – but come on - the meat!

Our cigar selection for this herf was the Padilla Series ’68 Lancero. This long, lean lancero is made at Tabacalera Flores in Honduras. The current published rating for the Series ’68 Lancero is 88 (Feb, 2008).

Following Cigar Aficionado's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression) we relocated down the road a mile to the shelter of Fernand’s covered patio for the tasting; thus avoiding the gusty winds that were raging in Tom’s back yard. Various brown spirits and ales were enjoyed during the course of the evening, along with plenty of camaraderie in the company of good friends.

Everyone of us was immediately pleased to be having a lancero at this herf because it’s not a vitola that we see a lot at these monthly get-togethers. Prominent veins were the primary visual distraction from an otherwise very nice looking cigar. As lanceros are reported to be among the more difficult shapes to roll, Mr. Padilla’s tabaqueros get some kudos here for crafting such well-formed cigars. It should be said, however, that one of our samples did have quite a bend to it; merely a visual oddity with no other impact.

Most of these cigars drew wonderfully, only one was a bit firm. The smoke put out by these ‘68’s was surprising for such a narrow ring gauge cigar (7x38). The burn was where we did have some problem, unfortunately. Several of the cigars would go out quickly, without warning – and not due to having been put down for very long either. Most of us had to relight multiple times through the mid-section, going into the final third.

Flavors were pleasant soon after clipping and lighting. What a smooth, easy start to it, quite mild at first. The aroma coming off the lit foot was very enticing; mild herbs & spices. Some of the tastes we experienced throughout the smoke were of tea and almond. As a few of our group has become accustomed to stronger flavor profiles, they were left wanting a little more in the flavor department.

After throwing out the highest and lowest, then averaging the remaining scores, The Cohiba Club's official rating for the Padilla Series ’68 Lancero is 87. 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: 21 pts (84% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 31 pts (89% of the points possible)

An enjoyable cigar, to say the least. Everybody left the evening having enjoyed these lanceros very much. Aside from the couple burn issues (not staying lit) they were very easy smokin’ with something for everyone.

See you at the next herf, June 6th.

© 2010 The Cohiba Club – All rights reserved.

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