Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gispert Toro an amazing smoke for less than three bucks delivered - cigar review

Many of you may already be aware of his Gispert cigars, but until recently, I was not. That's the beauty of cigar smoking: discovering a new cigar and finding the time to savor and judge it.

The half dozen cigar shops that I frequent locally do not carry Gispert. One afternoon, in downtown Detroit, I was trying to decide which of the two best coney islands in the world (Lafayette and American) I noticed a small cigar shop right next door. I went in specifically to treat myself to a Romeo y Julieta something. Much to my dismay, they had none. Odd. Most tobacconists carry Romeo y Julieta since they are a well known name, a damned good cigar and a frequent choice of infrequent cigar smokers.

After informing the seemingly  knowledgeable owner of my dilemma, he recommended a Gispert, saying that it was manufactured in the same factory as Romeo. I purchased one toro stick for about 6 dollars and change (what I was hoping to spend on a Romeo).

Removing it from its wrapper I found a very firm, expertly constructed, hand made cigar. The end was flatter than most cigars making it perfect for plugging. If your a cutter this is a moot point. Upon flaming and turning I found a perfect draw and a rich, creamy, mild to medium-bodied smoke with a hint of nutty pepper (there did I cover everything?). The draw was very smooth with an ample amount of smoke. The ash was impressively consistent, and much firmer than you'd expect from a cigar in this price range.
I returned to buy two more to put in my humidor for an occasion where I could sit, enjoy and reflect on my feelings about this cigar. After the second smoke, I knew I had to get more and went online to research purchasing a box.

A little research showed that these cigars have had a stellar reputation in Cuba since before 1950 and currently use a fine blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos, a natural wrapper and measure a 50 ring by 6 inches. Perfect, if you aske me. Although they are a bit milder than my normal preference, the flavor and volume of smoke make my hand gravitate toward them when I open my humidor.

In this econonmy, I knew that my first purchase would be with the tobacconist with the lowest total price that I could find. The winner: Famous Smoke Shop. They came in at just under $70 for a box of 25, including shipping. That's a mere $2.80 per stick. Almost within my "everyday cigar" range. Maybe I'll just up my cigar price daily limit a little and give up something else.  Like dinner.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oliva Serie G Corona cigar review - being square ain't so bad!

I've been a fan of Oliva cigars for quite some time. In fact, a few years back, after reviewing the Oliva bundled Robustos, Jose Oliva sent me a bundle of the cigars I reviewed, plus a box of their (at the time) new, premium box-pressed cigars. Of course I knew what to expect from the bundled cigar (still a great smoke for the money), but was really pleased with every aspect of the box-pressed sticks.

So, last week while visiting the Cigar Factory Outlet in Troy, Michigan for the very first time (more on this later), I decided to purchase an Oliva G Serie cigar. I chose a Corona, box-pressed, African Camaroon wrapped delight, with Nicaraguan Habano longfillers and binders.

Spicy, peppery. A bit oily. Even after allowing it to extinquish, it recovered nicely upon relighting and quickly returned back to it's near perfect full-bodied, smoke-filled draw. (This smoke is mostly referred to as a medium-bodied, but I found it to be a bit to the right of medium.)

Nice even burn. Reasonably smooth, firm ash. Excellently constructed.

The most remarkable aspect of this smoke for me was the fact that remained consistent down to the way-too-small-to-be-smoking size. If it starts getting too short to hold, but it hasn't gotten bitter, I may go searching through my vintage seventies stuff to find a roach clip to finish off this fine cigar.

They can be found online at about $100 for a box of 25, or you can probably get individual sticks at a local tobacconist in the six to eight dollar range.

As always, comments welcomed.

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