Saturday, January 21, 2012

San Lotano Oval by A.J. Fernandez (robusto)

The cold Midwestern weather, and my hectic schedule as of late have kept me from making more regular entries, but today I get to enjoy a cigar by A. J. Fernandez.  I like the Diesel Shorty, so I plan to make my way through the rest of his blends.

The Oval is an oval shaped (go figure) box-press, very reminiscent of the Oliva Master Blend 3 double robusto vitola.  The wrapper has a nice color, however as I looked through the box I noticed several had messy caps and oily spots.  I chose a Xikar v-cut, and torched it up.

1/3: Earth flavors from the start here, along with some woodiness.  I'm not picking up any spices or peppers.

2/3: This stick is medium-bodied and medium strength.  Notes of grass and hay appear in the 2nd third.  There's a little run on one side of the wrapper, and while I normally would touch it up, I want to see if it corrects itself.

3/3: The strength has increased a little bit here in the final third.  I'm also noticing a slight bitterness on the tongue.  The uneven burn did ultimately correct itself during the 2nd third, however the cigar is needing a little fire to continue burning the way I want it to. 

The stick didn't "wow" me, but it was decent.  At first, I detected some similarities between the other A.J. Fernandez smoke I've been enjoying (yep, the Shorty), but as the cigar progressed, it certainly took on an identity of its own.  I'm still interested in sampling some of the other blends. 

Size:  5-1/2 x 54
Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano 2000)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua & Honduras

Monday, January 9, 2012

Alec Bradley Tempus Terra Novo (robusto)

No photo of this one.  I smoked this once before, and wasn't impressed.  I thought I'd give it another shot, since my tastes have continued to evolve since the previous AB Tempus.

The cigar itself looks quite nice.  The wrapper is handsome, and the double-band gives it the premium look.  Now for the taste.  Cut with my Xikar Xi2, toast the foot, and here we go.

1/3: Pepper.  The draw is good, with some nice resistance.  The burn isn't bad, but a little wavy.  An inch+ in, and it's mellowing a little bit. 

2/3: This stick (just like the last one I smoked over a year ago) has gone slightly bitter.  Unfortunately, it doesn't get any better for me. 

3/3: Didn't bother. 

Since the reason for my starting this blog was to keep track of what I try, I'm not going to lose any sleep skipping notes for the final third.  This stick has underwhelmed me for the second time.  Both were purchased at different times, from different places, and were smoked in different conditions.  I think it is safe to say that I'm just not a fan.  While I haven't tried all they make, I've have had some other AB smokes, and so far, the only one I would consider buying in quantities is the Family Blend.  Oh well, to each his own.

Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Honduras Criollo 98
Binder: Honduras, Nicaragua
Filler: Honduras Criollo 98, Indonesian Embetunada

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Interview with Eric Newman, President of J. C. Newman Cigar Co. (12-15-11)

Here are the 3 clips from my interview with Eric Newman, President of J. C. Newman Cigar Company at Cigars & More in Libertyville, Illinois.  It was a pleasure to schmooze and share a smoke with the leader of one of the world's top cigar companies.  

For those who are unfamiliar with the J. C. Newman name, in addition to being a very important partner of the Fuente family, they own the following list of brands:

  • Diamond Crown (plus Diamond Crown Maximus & Diamond Crown Julius Caeser)
  •  Brick House
  • Quorum
  • Cuesta-Rey
  • La Unica
  • Rigoletto
  • Don Jose
  • Trader Jacks
  • El Baton
  • Alcazar
You might also be surprised to learn that J. C. Newman was the first cigar company to use cellophane sleeves for cigars, and they also introduced and popularized the Cameroon tobacco in the U.S. 

In this interview, we cover several topics, including (but not limited to) the company's relationship with the Fuente Family, the brand-new Nicaraguan factory called PENSA (Puros de Estelí Nicaragua S.A.), and what we might expect to see coming out in 2012.  Enjoy!

Part 1 of 3

Eric Newman Interview Parts 2 & 3 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

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