The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

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Old 05-04-2008, 04:39 PM   #121
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I wish I would have caught this thread earlier. Very good read through.

My cigar experience so far is fairly amatuer and limited to un-cared for liquor store cigars- stale, dry and too tightly rolled. Onyx is probably the only notable label I have had.

I think Im going to have to try and find a cigar shop or try out one of the sites you guys have posted and reintroduce myself to cigars with a bit better quality product.

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Old 05-15-2008, 06:00 PM   #122
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Might as well throw my hat in on this one. A few weeks ago my boss got a package at the office and opened it up, and it was his new beautiful humidor he bought on eBay. I was looking at it and it was very nice, not perfection but very nice. Then he told me the price....and I walked back into my office and ordered one for myself. Too good to pass up.
I've smoked cigars for years, but not very regularly. The appeal to me, now that I have a nice humi, is that I can have a nice selection of cigars on-hand aging/maturing/storing and keep them for years. I can buy in larger quantities to save money per stick. And of course, develop my love and appreciation for cigars more. Last weekend I bought 10 different sticks from my local shop, and the other day ordered 27 cigars(three diferent varieties, of different amounts 12-10-5) online from cigarsinternational.com. I'll be sure to throw up a review when I smoke one, but like I said I don't smoke that often. Pricetag ~$200+ for the lot.

Here's to good cigars!

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Old 05-16-2008, 10:19 PM   #123
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Picked up a great sampler 2 weeks ago, gifted to me by a cigar smoker with much more experience...was wondering if I could get some comments from you guys. Wondering what to age longer and what to enjoy over the next three months. All sticks have spent the last 2 weeks in my humi.

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Sixty - aged since 2/2007
Jose Seijas Series 2000 robusto - 6/2007
Tatuaje RC184 - 1/2006
La Flor Dominicana Dbl Ligurero Chiselito - 7/2007
Tatuaje Havana VI Angeles - 1/2007
601 Red Label robusto - 5/2007
El Centurion Gladiadores - 12/2007
Oliva Serie V Lancero - 2/2008
Arturo Fuente Anejo No 50
Hoyo de Monterrey Regalos LE - who cares this one is a sweet gift

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Old 05-17-2008, 02:41 AM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzal8 View Post
Picked up a great sampler 2 weeks ago, gifted to me by a cigar smoker with much more experience...was wondering if I could get some comments from you guys. Wondering what to age longer and what to enjoy over the next three months. All sticks have spent the last 2 weeks in my humi.

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Sixty - aged since 2/2007
Jose Seijas Series 2000 robusto - 6/2007
Tatuaje RC184 - 1/2006
La Flor Dominicana Dbl Ligurero Chiselito - 7/2007
Tatuaje Havana VI Angeles - 1/2007
601 Red Label robusto - 5/2007
El Centurion Gladiadores - 12/2007
Oliva Serie V Lancero - 2/2008
Arturo Fuente Anejo No 50
Hoyo de Monterrey Regalos LE - who cares this one is a sweet gift
That's a nice selection. I wouldn't turn any of them away (and I've been known to turn away cigars... [cough] Macanudo [cough]). The ones that pop out at me are the Tatuajes and the Anejo. The La Flor is a nice smoke in regards to shape, strength (loaded with ligero), and spiciness, but could use a little more balance towards smoothness.

Most of the upper-end cigars like the ones listed are blended, rolled, and stored so that they're ready to smoke out of the shop. That isn't to say they won't change with aging. Aging will generally marry the various flavor characteristics together and make the cigar a little smoother and less potent (nicotine). So, if that's what you're shooting for, age them all! Aging also allows the cigars to off-gas a lot of the ammonia compounds left over from the tobacco fermentation. This is particular effective for cheaper handmade cigars, which aren't aged as long at the factory and are less 'ready' to smoke at the time of purchase. You can really taste these compounds in a lot of cheaper, younger cigars. Personally, I wouldn't age (for the sake of aging) any cigar longer than 3 years. By that point, the flavors have 'married' all they're going to. By the same token, if I'm not aging them, I try to smoke them within 6 months. There is a time period in cigar aging at around 6 to 18 months where the flavors go into a sort of lull. These are all generalities, of course, as each cigar company grows, buys, blends, and handles the tobacco differently.

Anyway, congrats on the gift. You must have done something very nice for someone.
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:50 AM   #125
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Thanks for those comments menschmaschine, even though they were not directed to me. Aging cigars for the sake of improving them is something I'm interested in, but don't know a lot about. I know many fine cigars are made from well aged tobacco, I've seen as high 8 year old tobacco listed(but I'm sure some are older), so I figured some cigars must benefit from that kind of age once made and in my humidor under proper conditions. It sounds like my plan is not going to translate into reality. In other words, can I buy cigars that will improve from 10+ years aging in the humi? I have a wine cellar, and aging wine is something I really enjoy. I enjoy cigars, but was hoping I could do the same kind of thing with cigars that I do with wine. Thoughts?

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Old 05-17-2008, 03:53 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landhoney View Post
Thanks for those comments menschmaschine, even though they were not directed to me. Aging cigars for the sake of improving them is something I'm interested in, but don't know a lot about. I know many fine cigars are made from well aged tobacco, I've seen as high 8 year old tobacco listed(but I'm sure some are older), so I figured some cigars must benefit from that kind of age once made and in my humidor under proper conditions. It sounds like my plan is not going to translate into reality. In other words, can I buy cigars that will improve from 10+ years aging in the humi? I have a wine cellar, and aging wine is something I really enjoy. I enjoy cigars, but was hoping I could do the same kind of thing with cigars that I do with wine. Thoughts?
Well, I think there is a fine line between 'improving' cigars with aging and 'changing' cigars with aging. What is improvement to one might be change to another. That being said, I think it's interesting to try various cigars at different aging periods. In 2001-2002, I bought a large quantity of Fuente Opus X xXx that were all from the same release year. I smoked them over the next few years and could really see how they mellowed over time. But for that cigar, sometimes I'm in the mood for one with some age on it and sometimes I'm in the mood for a fresh one. They just taste different, not necessarily one being better than the other. I have one left from that time period and no plans to smoke it anytime soon.

Aging cigars is a lot like aging wine. I'm somewhat knowledgeable in wine, but certainly far from an expert. I believe that different types of wine have different aging recommendations. They have a peak age at which it would be best to drink them. Cigars are similar, except that the 'peak' is not so much when they are best, but when the flavors have all come to a balance. Some people prefer this balance while others prefer them balanced to one flavor characteristic or another.

As for "aged tobaccos", remember that there are 3 components to a cigar... filler, binder, and wrapper. Most manufacturers use one type of tobacco for the wrapper, one type for the binder, and around 2 or 3 types for the filler. Higher-end cigars may have multiple or higher quality tobaccos in the filler. Some even have more than one binder (Opus!). Some of the filler tobaccos are added in very small quantities to give just a hint of a certain flavor or nicotine strength. Theoretically, a cigar manufacturer could add a VERY small quantity of "12-year old tobacco" and put that all over the labeling of the cigar, making the consumer believe that the whole cigar is 12-years old. However, aged tobaccos, in proportion, can enhance the flavor of the cigar. It can balance out spiciness or strength. So, what I'm saying is that there is a difference between the consumer aging the cigar and the manufacturer using aged tobaccos. The manufacturer uses it to balance individual flavors in the blend, the consumer does it to balance them all together.
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:57 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by menschmaschine View Post
That's a nice selection. I wouldn't turn any of them away (and I've been known to turn away cigars... [cough] Macanudo [cough]). The ones that pop out at me are the Tatuajes and the Anejo. The La Flor is a nice smoke in regards to shape, strength (loaded with ligero), and spiciness, but could use a little more balance towards smoothness.

Most of the upper-end cigars like the ones listed are blended, rolled, and stored so that they're ready to smoke out of the shop. That isn't to say they won't change with aging. Aging will generally marry the various flavor characteristics together and make the cigar a little smoother and less potent (nicotine). So, if that's what you're shooting for, age them all! Aging also allows the cigars to off-gas a lot of the ammonia compounds left over from the tobacco fermentation. This is particular effective for cheaper handmade cigars, which aren't aged as long at the factory and are less 'ready' to smoke at the time of purchase. You can really taste these compounds in a lot of cheaper, younger cigars. Personally, I wouldn't age (for the sake of aging) any cigar longer than 3 years. By that point, the flavors have 'married' all they're going to. By the same token, if I'm not aging them, I try to smoke them within 6 months. There is a time period in cigar aging at around 6 to 18 months where the flavors go into a sort of lull. These are all generalities, of course, as each cigar company grows, buys, blends, and handles the tobacco differently.

Anyway, congrats on the gift. You must have done something very nice for someone.

Very interesting information, thanks for sharing. I guess since I am a cigar one every 1-3 weeks kinda guy right now I won't have to worry too much about trying to age these guys. I will just smoke as I go. Thanks again.
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Old 05-18-2008, 03:11 AM   #128
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Thanks menschmaschine, that answers my questions very well. I guess it will be a learn as I go approach, and be based on the individual cigar(s). Save some of the finer cigars for aging and see how they change/evolve. Similar to my philosophhy on aging beer and wine(though much harder with expensive wines): you never know its reached its peak unless you try it on the way down. In other words, how do you know a beer is at its peak at a year old? You try it after that point and realize it was better a few weeks ago. Anyway, hope you see my point. I'll will buy multiple's of the 'same' cigar and see the progression/changes.

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Old 05-25-2008, 05:59 AM   #129
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Well, heeding to some of the advice I previously read in this thread, I stopped into a tobacco shop near my new apartment on Friday and asked for help and guidance from the dude working the shop. Let him know I was pretty much a cigar amateur, and I wanted something mild with a good draw to kick off my re-enlightenment of cigar culture. One thing I noticed right away is that his shop, and walk in humidor smelled fantastic, a very fresh cedar aroma filled the room, so it wasn't skanky or moldy or anything unpleasant. I felt like I was in the presence of a knowledgeable tobacconist.

Initially he suggested his wide variety of Dominican Macanudo stogies as decent-good everyday smoker for the beginner, but soon after suggested that if I was looking for a nice single cigar for the evening to enlighten my palate without over complicating things it was the Rocky Patel 1999 Vintage Connecticut, so I ended up buying one torpedo.

I lit it up at a bonfire get together where I was alternatively drinking SNPA and Johnnie Walker Red on the rocks. Not being an expert by any means, I could tell that what I was smoking was appealing to my expectation of good tobacco- not an experience I have had with previous random cigar purchases. I got a good 1.5 hrs out of it before it started getting rough and what I can only best explain as a tobacco "resin" type unpleasant flavor.

Notes to self: Try this cigar again except A) not at a bonfire, and B) with some Macallan 12yr.

........Another expensive hobby here I come........

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Old 05-25-2008, 10:14 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_stimey View Post
Initially he suggested his wide variety of Dominican Macanudo stogies as decent-good everyday smoker for the beginner, but soon after suggested that if I was looking for a nice single cigar for the evening to enlighten my palate without over complicating things it was the Rocky Patel 1999 Vintage Connecticut, so I ended up buying one torpedo.
Of the two, you definitely made the right choice I've not had that one, but I've had lots of Rocky's stronger stuff. It's pretty good. I can recommend a few other mild-to-medium cigars that I think have good flavor:
-Ashton (made by Fuente)
-Avo (made by Davidoff)
-anything from Fuente with a 'Natural' or 'Natural Shade Grown' wrapper

For a little more unusual, sweet, tobacco flavor, try something with a Maduro wrapper. They look strong because they're dark colored, but they are usually mild-to-medium in nicotine strength.
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