Sunday, January 8, 2012

Herf 50 – Let’s Celebrate!

December 4th, 2011 – Shoreline, WA

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

We took this opportunity to thank our families for supporting the previous 49 herfs by making this a ‘family’-herf.   Wives, kids (about 33 of us in total) had a great time mingling, snacking, and toasting before the big meal.  Now we’ve had some great feasts at herfs before, but nothing like this!  There were braised shortribs, meatballs, spareribs, chicken, rice, pasta, salad, veggies, olive bread, much more, and a myriad of desserts.  It goes on and on!

Our selection for this herf was the Montecristo Petit Edmundo.  Yes, ‘the’ Petit Edmundo.  It’s true that we departed from our usual herf selection process to choose something extra special for this milestone herf. This short robusto is a straightforward parejo shape with that familiar, understated Montecristo band, but what lies beneath is something very special indeed.  It’s one of those sticks that many seek and few have tried.  It’s worth noting that our anticipation was pretty high going into this herf. What a great size too, not intimidating, just enough for a cold winter night.  A special treat, to say the least.  The current Cigar Aficionado rating for the ‘tubo’ version is 89 (Feb, 2011). Prior to that it has enjoyed ratings from them of: 90, 89, 94, 93, and 91.

Here’s what CA said about it back in 2007 when it scored a 92 and ranked No. 11 in their annual Top 25:

“This is one hell of a rich smoke for such a small package. Only 4 1/3 inches by 52 ring in size, this little blockbuster delivers an opulent palate full of rich cocoa bean, sweet earth and pleasant floral notes that crescendo to a long, nutty finish. Smoking it is almost like drinking a rich, decadent Chinese tea. This cigar was created in the new H. Upmann factory in Nuevo Vedado in 2006 following the success of the Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto. The Petit Edmundo is essentially a shortened version of the highly successful Montecristo Edmundo, which is 52 ring by 5 1/3 inches. The petit is actually stronger and more flavorful than the original. In fact, it’s hard to think of a cigar from Cuba that packs so much flavor in such a little format.“

Following CA's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression) we gathered in Fernand’s outdoor smoking room for this long awaited, special herf.

For some of the guys, this was their first cigar from Cuba. Right away, everyone was impressed with the quality of appearance, including the simple of beauty of it’s shape and band. It scored almost perfectly across the board for texture, appearance, and roll quality. There just really weren’t any take-aways. About the only comment we had for Category I was that one of the guys would have like his to have been a little more tightly packed.

The lowest scoring category was Smoking Characteristics. This could be because of several re-lights that took place across our eight samples. The draw through the cigar was just fine for most of us, but one was a little tight, and one was a little loose. A few of us observed herf 50 096_600uneven burning along with those pesky re-lights. For those whose cigar did go out, the re-lighting was not a deal-breaker, but a minor nuisance, at least. The smoke quality was smooth and creamy. The ash was stable for some, but a little fragile for most of us.

herf 50 002_600The flavor was so pleasant. This is not a strong cigar. The flavors we detected were of mild spices, wood, and nuts. Everyone commented on how easy and smooth the taste was; not bold, but still flavorful in an easy-going sort of way. There were notes of honey or brown sugar, vanilla, and walnut. There was a pretty-well established consensus among our eight tasters that the flavor profile was consistent all the way through; and we mean all the way through, to the end, because some of these sticks got down to very short little nubs. The only comment, not much of a complaint really, was that some of the herf 50 002b_600guys would have liked a tad more intensity of flavors, and more variation along the way, but none of that could exactly be considered detrimental to anyone’s favorable impression of this cigar. We got precisely what we expected and hoped for from one of Cuba’s more noteworthy creations.

herf 50 001_600After throwing out the highest and lowest, then averaging the remaining scores, The Cohiba Club's official rating for the Montecristo Petit Edmundo is 91. An ‘outstanding’ cigar.

Here's the points breakdown:
I. Appearance & Construction: 14 pts (93% of the points possible)
II. Flavor: 23 pts (92% of the points possible)
III. Smoking Characteristics: 21 pts (84% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 33 pts (94% of the points possible)

herf 50 001b_600While the Petit Edmundo is a great compact size, we selfishly would’ve liked this special experience to have gone on just a bit longer.  Perhaps that’s the best endorsement we can give.

A big Thank You goes out to Denis and Frédéric for helping to make this herf a little more special.

See you at the next herf, February 5th.

© 2012 The Cohiba Club – All rights reserved

1 comment:

Humidor Expert said...

TCC, I totally agree! I love the Petit Edmundo. Even though I some time ago didn't like the short and thick cigars, I more and more start loving them. The Montecristo Petit Edmundo is one reason for this. This was a worthy No.50! all the best!