Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Herf 41 – Cowboy Favorite

January 2nd, 2011 – Snoqualmie, WA
by club co-founder John

In attendance were Robert, Joe, Bruce, and John.  Patrick submitted his score from AZ.

We met up Jan 2nd for our third annual herf combo at Jak’s Steakhouse in Issaquah for dinner, followed by cigars at the luxurious smoking room, Lit Cigar Lounge, inside Snoqualmie Casino.  This time we chose for our monthly herf tasting the CAO La Traviata Favorito.

To start the night off right, we had drinks and all enjoyed Jak’s tasty 21 oz “Cowboy Ribeye”, then drove up to Lit Lounge, where we were greeted by the knowledgeable and gracious cigar steward, Narong, known to us from our visits to The Vertigo Club in Seattle.

her-41_005_600Narong supplied us with our chosen smoke from the ample walk-in humidor at Lit. The football game was winding down as we lit up and we soon had plenty of room to settle down at our table, waited on by server Jenny to supply our libations for the night. Lit has a well-stocked bar, a number comfortable leather loungers and tables, and a casual but upscale atmosphere.  This CAO La Traviata, with natural wrapper, was a 5 ½ x 52 petit belicoso.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Colorado
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: DR, Nicaraguan

We settled in to enjoy and rate the CAO following Cigar Aficionado's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression).

her-41_009_800This was a well-built, attractive, and precisely rolled torpedo with an oily sheen and no visible imperfections. It was firm with no soft spots. It had great draw, almost too easy, and produced a very good volume of smoke.

Two out of the five cigars had minimal burn issues, going out and requiring a re-light once. The smoke was cool but too dry tasting for some of us.

her-41_013_600Mild leather and some silage tastes were noted, with the consensus being that the flavors were not that striking and were somewhat monotone. The overall impression was that this was a good smoke but not great or inspiring. The flavors were just not that interesting and the texture of the smoke too dry.

After throwing out the highest and lowest scores, then averaging the remaining scores, The Cohiba Club’s official rating for the CAO La Traviata Favorito is 85.

The scoring breakdown is a follows:
I. Appearance & Construction: 14 pts (93% of the points possible)
II. Flavor: 20 pts (80% of the points possible)
III. Smoking Characteristics: 22 pts (88% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 32 pts (85% of the points possible)

This was another great herf, our 3rd at Lit Lounge - with a good, but not great, cigar.

See you at the next herf, February 6th.

Photo credit to club co-founder Robert.

© 2011 The Cohiba Club – All rights reserved

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Herf Cigar of the Year for 2010

As we explained last year, here at The Cohiba Club, we do our COTY at little differently.  We make our selection from the cigars jointly enjoyed at our herfs, held during the past calendar year.
So again we’ve gone back and looked at the results from Herfs 31 through 40.

We weren't able to hold one April or July because of too many members being out-of-town for Spring Break and the July Fourth holiday weekend.

The cigars considered for 2010 were as follows (with our ratings for each):

HC Habano Colorado Belicoso (80) – herf 31

Illusione Epernay La Ferme (90) – herf 32

Ambos Mundos No.2 robusto (89) – herf 33

Padilla Series ’68 Lancero (87) – herf 34

Joya de Nicaragua AntaƱo 1970 Gran Perfecto (86) – herf 35

Nub Maduro 460 (89) – herf 36

A.Fuente Rosado SG Magnum R54 (87) – herf 37

Tatuaje Havana VI Hermosos (87) – herf 38

Camacho Corojo Maduro Cetros (85) – herf 39

Tatuaje El Triunfador SODO Corona Especial (92) – herf 40

The scores pretty much tell the story for this past year.  The 92, 90, and and a pair of 89’s stand out above the rest.

There’s no denying that Pete Johnson’s Tatuaje El Triunfador (SODO edition) reigned supreme for us in 2010.
This choice comes with the caveat that we recognize it’s limited availability will make it unattainable for so many lovers of the leaf out there.  This was a one-time run of only 200 boxes – limited to say the least.  In the end, you can’t argue with success and this cigar was just too good for us not to award it our pick for the year.

Congrats to Pete Johnson and John Ohm for producing and inspiring our Herf Cigar of the Year!

Second place goes to the Illusione Epernay La Ferme which we enjoyed very much at herf 32 at The Vertigo Club.

Third place goes to the Ambos Mundos No.2, also by Pete Johnson, that we enjoyed at herf 33.

Honorable Mention goes to:

Nub Maduro 460

Tatuaje Havana VI Hermosos

All great cigars, deserving of our praise and your examination. What great cigars 2010 brought!

Here’s to future herfs!

© 2011 The Cohiba Club – All rights reserved