Thank you very much for your participation in our recent contest! Over 280 aficionados entered for a chance to win a great cigar book called "The Cigar - Moments of Pleasure". The randomly selected winners are:
Hoyo Do Monterrey has long since found a special place in my humidor, and I have especially enjoyed their Epicure #2 release. I think that I have sampled pretty much each year since 2005, and have even reviewed them here. Of all the releases, I think that I have gotten the most consistent enjoyment from the 2008. Where the 2014’s were a bit “green” and the 2005’s tended to have “hardened”, while both maintained the taste profile that HDM is famous for, this year seems to have been the best. Not too hard, not too green and just spongy enough not to worry so much about burn issues, the HDM Epicure #2 2008 seems to enter the Goldilocks zone---just right.
I recently had the joy of receiving a beautiful coffee book for free entitled The Cigar – Moments of Pleasure, by Morten Ehrhorn & Justin Hummerston (official book page). It’s a hardbound book, 312 pages, pretty heavy—and absolutely brimming with information about cigars and gorgeous color photographs.
I’ve read a number of coffee table books about cigars over the years. Some of them are amazing; many more are ambitious, but fall short of achieving their aims.
This one is by far one of the best I have read! The Cigar – Moments of Pleasure covers everything you could hope to learn about cigars—their history, how and where they are made, all about cigar leaves, and even how cigars stimulate our brains. There is research in this book I simply haven’t seen anywhere else. And the photographs and the layouts are absolutely stunning!
Like a good cigar itself, this is a book you want to spend time with, leisurely turning through the pages, enjoying the experience moment by moment. In fact, there is no better way to do it than while smoking your favorite stogie.
It is a pricey book, but very reasonable in light of what you are getting—hundreds of pages of color photographs and a goldmine of information; right now on Amazon it is going for $59. It’s well worth the cost; it’s a great book for newbies who are just starting to learn about cigars as well as veteran smokers who want to add to their already-comprehensive knowledge. Anyone can learn something from this book, or just lose themselves in the photos.
And now … onto the giveaway!
I’m excited to announce that, courtesy of Ehrhorn Hummerston, we have three of these books to give away! To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment! The winners will be randomly selected on April 7th (next Thursday). Thanks for participating, and I hope you love this book as much as I do!
La Pilar was a new line unveiled at the 2015 IPCPR by Padilla Cigars. For this blend, Ernesto Padilla returned to Honduras to produce the cigars at Tabacalera Aguilar, which was the same factory that produced the Padilla Series 68. There are three different sizes available: the Toro, measuring 6 x 52, the Robusto, measuring 5 x 54, and the Churchill, measuring 7.5 x 57.
Defiance Whiskey is a new bourbon whiskey made in St. Louis and aged in Missouri white oak barrels. According to Daniel Fort, owner of the father-and-son brand, their goal was to create a new type of bourbon whiskey that would appeal not only to the traditional whiskey-drinking demographic, but to a younger and more diverse crowd including women and Millenials. As Fort explains, “We don’t want to be just another Southern-branded, the-Civil-War-could-have-gone-either-way kind of whiskey.”
If the name sounds familiar, it could be because you are already familiar with Defiant American Single Malt Whisky. The two shouldn’t be confused: Defiant comes from North Carolina, not Missouri, and there is no connection between the two brands.
Defiance comes in a beautiful bottle with a design that combines new and old elements and shouts “classic, yet modern.” I love the DW logo in stylized script and the modern, edgy typeface for “Defiance Whiskey.” The ribbon design around it gives the entire graphic a very sleek look. The liquid is a deep gold which is almost, but not quite, amber.
Opening the bottle, I detect rye, corn, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and caramel, with the rye as the prominent note. Tasting, I get plenty of rye and cinnamon with an astringent punch. The sweet notes of caramel and fruit only emerge on the aftertaste and smooth, dry finish. I love the progression of the flavors from spicy to sweet, but I could live without the astringent bite. A bottle will cost you around $27, which isn’t bad.
All in all, this is a great debut for a new whiskey brand, and as the beautiful design work on the bottle promises, it definitely is different from a lot of whiskeys I have tried. If they can get rid of that astringent note, their next bourbon will be even more delightful.
I would like to start this article by correcting a great injustice. I made a grave mistake with my list of 'Cigar Rollers' in my previous article by omitting one of the most important people in that position. His name is Jose (Cueto) Castelar and he is the house roller at the Parque Morro-Cabaña Cigar Shop in Havana. That would be across the bay next to the Castillo el Morro, another Havana fortress. I have yet to meet this man where he works, I've been introduced to him at an event some time ago. He's in the Guinness Book of Records for having rolled the world’s longest cigar measuring 81.80 meters or 268 feet 4 inches long. Not having met him personally on a one on one… he just simply (and embarrassingly) was forgotten. I apologize to him and my readers.
The next roller I wish to talk about is the latest addition to the higher echelons of this trade. His name is Alejandro Gonzalez Arias and he is officially the youngest of all the rollers that hold this position having started rolling at the Hotel Comodoro in Miramar, Havana when he was only 28 years old. He's now 30 and has garnered quite the following with aficionados singing his praises from every corner of the world.
Origin : Cuba Format : Petit Corona Size : 42 x 129 mm (~5 in) Box date : 1986 Hand-Made Price : 150 EUR / cigar
Before delving into the meat of this review, I must take the time to give an appreciative nod and a tip of the cap to Frederic of LCDH Knokke for dipping into his private stash to give me the opportunity to cross one of the few things remaining on my bucket list of things to accomplish before I leave this world--- enjoying a technically and aesthetically perfect Cuban cigar. Originally released in 1969, this Davidoff remained un-banded until around 1980 and the line was completely discontinued in 1991, remaining amongst the best of the best during its entire release. One look and one glorious puff and you are hooked. Without qualification, this smoke was absolutely flawless in every respect. They just do not get any better than this.