I have been unable to really review anything recently. I guess I’m just not as motivated as some people. Part of it is that critiquing a cigar is a somewhat different process than kicking back and smoking one. Part of it is that, due to my budget, I often buy singles before I commit and don’t always feel that I can do a cigar justice with one sample. But I love trying new cigars. Something else I’ve noticed, which may be true for others or not, is that I start losing my ability to discern the subtleties of a cigar after I’ve had more than one or eating flavorful food. I’m starting to think that my reviews will be a great deal more valid if I am more selective and controlled about when I smoke a cigar for assessment purposes.
Anyway, I just wanted to make note of a truly lovely smoke that I tried recently. I have a few things stored away, but have been relatively limited in my experience of the Caldwell line. It’s a pricey and collectible collection. However, the Caldwell Sevillana is part of their Junior Varsity line, which in layman’s terms means that it is far more affordable. I smoked the smallest Super Sport size. I find their line to have a certain elegant eccentricity in terms of design, which I like, but their website has almost next to no information about these budget releases. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Connecticut, that is all I can say. It’s a nice-looking wrapper however, golden and smooth, even if not as immaculate as some. It doesn’t have the slight furry feel that I seem to notice some Ecuadorian Connecticuts have, not that that’s a bad thing. It has a cute little pigtail, too.
The nose is of a sweet, light baking spice, with a grassy hay cold draw. The smoke really gave me a delicate mix of the same baking spice, a zesty orange peel, with hints of light cedar and cream. Really a wonderful experience I can’t quite express. Sometimes I feel I’ve succumbed to the American palate of Nicaraguan tongue-killers when I can’t enjoy lighter cigars.
Another relatively pleasant experience was a Mario Palomino. This is a reboot of an old Jamaican offering. I never tried the original. It had a sweet caramel nose, a honey/treacle cold draw with a sweet Virginia pipe tobacco aroma. The prelight was much more exciting than the actual smoke, which was a nice, mild cigar with a toasted nuts overtone.
On the topic of the American palette, I also smoked a couple of Liga Privada No. 9s. I’m not going to review it, because it would be totally redundant. I will include a photograph, because I like pictures and the Drew Estate offerings have such wonderful smoke production.That does bring me to a point. They look so cool, but I’ve never been as impressed as the reports of the No. 9 led me to expect. They’re so hard to get, not exactly cheap, and when I first smoked one it was really quite anticlimactic. I enjoy the smaller size depicted here more than the much larger I first smoked, but is it my ultimate cigar? Not by a long shot. I prefer their own Dirty Rat, the rarer Fuente’s etc.
I love the internet and the access to cigars and cigar culture it provides, but the hype often exceeds all reason. I can’t say that I want to go back to the days when I would wander into a cigar store and see the same old offerings, a couple new ones and be completely dependent on a possibly uninformed retailer, but seriously, I’ve watched these No. 9s sell for way over retail on auction sites. Just… keep your own counsel, is what I say.
Anyway, that’s enough musings from me. Hope you’re enjoying whatever it is you’re smoking and I appreciate your support if you’ve bothered to read this far.