Origin : NC Format : Robusto Size : 5 x 50 Wrapper : NC Filler : Virginia Cavendish Binder : NC Hand-Made Price : $7.50/cigar via durangocigars.com
We would like to thank Jordan from Durango Cigars for providing a free sampler for this review.
Durango cigars are cigars made with pipe tobacco. This cigar was a “Fox and the Hound” which is, according to the Durango Pipe Tobacco Cigar website, “a light bodied Virginia Cavendish, aged with vanilla beans to offer a creamy, lightly sweet taste and memorable pipe aroma.” The website does not specify origin of tobacco or if other cigar sizes are available. The site implies these are hand rolled with aged tobacco. Opening the bag containing the cigars, I was accosted by the aroma of pipe tobacco, as if I had just opened a jar of pipe tobacco.
Today we've got another article from Nikki Glenn, a cigar aficionadafrom St. Louis and a violinist entertainer for private, corporate and special events worldwide. She loves learning about and smoking cigars as much as possible.
[Scroll down to the bottom of the article for a video review, and to see the cedar spills in action!]
One of the aspects I love best about cigar smoking is that it is an activity that can be supremely sophisticated, or extremely down to earth. Cigars go just as well with blue jeans as they do evening wear, and enhance the look of both. In my mind, the cigar spill is a throwback to another time, when everyone dressed for dinner; using one to light a cigar is, by its very nature, an exercise in elegance and enjoyment.
Cigar Reserve, located in Lake Oswego, Oregon, creates a very unique-looking cedar spill for aficionados. The spills are made from grade A Spanish cedar logs from Portugal, then shipped to North Carolina for cutting to the specified thickness, then cut into the striking saber shape. The spills can also be laser-engraved for customization. According to Cigar Reserve, using their spills is of great benefit to the smoking experience: a soft, clean, butane-free flame, and an increased enhancement of the cigar's flavor.
When I was offered the opportunity to try the cedar spills offered by Cigar Reserve, I had a great deal of misgivings. I'd never actually used one to light a cigar, so I had visions of setting either my hair, my clothes, or my house on fire. (Please understand that I'm so paranoid about fire that when I first got an outdoor fire pit, I only burned teeny, tiny pieces of wood in it because I was afraid of a spark setting the house on fire). So, I decided it would be best to attempt this in the company of others (with a fire extinguisher at the ready in case things went terribly wrong). I also really wanted the opinions of other smokers, to get other perspectives than my own, so I took some to my usual hangout and shared them with a few of the veteran smokers.
Tincup American Whiskey is a product which, if you believe the marketing materials, is made in Colorado by Jess Graber, the same guy who created Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. I don’t want to dwell on the details here too much (I’m more interested in trying the whiskey), but if you dig a little deeper, you will find the marketing is deceptive. Tincup definitely is not distilled in Colorado, and it is actually only bottled by Strananhan’s.
Even though the label doesn’t say “bourbon” anywhere on it, the high corn content makes it one. The reason it’s not on the label is possibly the fact that the rye content is higher than you would typically expect from a bourbon. The rye, corn, and malted barley actually are farmed in Indiana and not Colorado, but water from the Rocky Mountains is apparently blended into the mix, which presumably is the other reason the “Colorado” label is stamped under the name of the whisky.
Tincup American Whiskey comes in an attractive bottle debossed with the Tincup name and logo running vertically up the sides. The blue label wraps around the top of the bottle. Inside, the liquid is a bright amber color, which incidentally stands out nicely against the blue label.
When I uncap the bottle, I smell caramel, apples, spice, and a hint of oak. It kind of puts me in mind of apple cider, between the scent and the color. Tasting it, I’m surprised that the apple doesn’t come through as much as the other flavors of caramel, rye, corn, and spices. The finish is mild, but it lingers, and presents a slightly different flavor profile. Now the apple is coming out, and a hint of some other dried fruit. The cinnamon spice is still prominent, and there’s a sweetness that tastes like vanilla.
I wouldn’t say this is the most unique bourbon whisky I’ve ever tried; the flavor profile is pretty standard. I like the way the notes transform on the finish, though, and the flavors are plenty enjoyable. I’ve seen it sell anywhere in the $27-$37 price range. I’d say that at the lower end of that bracket, it’s a reasonably good deal for a pleasant, enjoyable drink. At around $37, however, I think it is a bit steep for something that isn’t all that standout or groundbreaking—and is sold through deceptive marketing tactics.
Tincup American Whiskey: Summary
Nose: Apple cider: applies, caramel, spices and oak.
Palate: Caramel, sweet corn, rye, cinnamon. Vanilla, apple, dried fruit on finish.
As I stated in my best cigar books post, proceeds from sale of books would be given back to one lucky reader in the form of a gift certificate. Here is another one. It is a gift card for $39 that can be redeemed on Amazon.com (doesn't work on .co.uk or .fr).
Just leave a comment on this post to be entered in the draw. The winner will be announced in one week, next Tuesday.
Cohiba Coronas Especiales are regular production cigars, but difficult to find in aged or vintage condition. I purchased this box about 8 years ago for a little under $400. I have no idea what these would be worth today, but I’d guess significantly more.
If you’ve bought a humidor, why would you need to add a secondary humidification system? It may sound counterintuitive, but if you’re in this situation, you know that humidors don’t always do their jobs perfectly. Sometimes they simply are not very efficient. As a rule, you want your humidity level to be somewhere around 68-72%.
Some humidors will run a little lower than that, and may need a boost. Other times, they may run around the lower end of that range, and you might prefer a bit more humidity (72% instead of 68% for example). Or you might have a humidor with a seal that isn’t perfect, and lets some of the humidity leak out. Perhaps you have an older humidor that you bought or inherited, and it simply doesn’t work as well as it could. You also may have dryness problems if you suddenly add a big batch of dry cigars to your humidor. Those cigars will suck all the humidity right out of the air, which can then ironically cause all your stogies to dry out.
Whatever your situation, you can give your humidifier a boost (or simply a replacement...) by adding a humidification system. There are a number of low-cost products you can buy which will help you to maintain the humidity level that you want. These are all cheap, easy solutions, and they can save you money if you don’t want to replace your humidor. Let’s take a look at some popular products and their pros and cons.
The Aging Room Maduro was one of five new blends from Rafael Nodal’s Boutique Blends in 2013. Nodal specifically created the Aging Room brand in order to produce small batch releases using rare tobaccos. The Aging Room Maduro is quite a popular and critically acclaimed cigar, and could easily become the mainstay blend for the line. It is available in five vitolas, the Presto, Rondo, Mezzo, Major and Alto. For this review, I smoked the Mezzo, which measures 6 x 54.