Cigar Name: Romeo y Julieta Cabinet Seleccion Toro (6 x 54)
Cigar Description: Cameroon wrapper around Nicaraguan, Peruvian and Dominican filler
Cigar Strength: Medium
Review of the Cigar itself: Well, it has been a busy few weeks for me. Last week I got to go to Edison, NJ and pay a visit to Smokers’ Haven. As it turned out there was an Altadis event going on. So I decided to splurge and get a few cigars to take back to the city with me. I wasn’t disappointed. This past week has been so packed that I’ve only now gotten a chance to enjoy one. I actually like many of the Altadis brands so I figured this would be a boon for me. Tonight, I decided to pick out one that may have been a little too enjoyable for someone. As I set down my drink for this evening — Forty Creek Barrel Aged Whiskey with a splash of cranberry over the rocks — I went through the bag I had left in my spare humidor (I put my not verified fully cigars in there just in case). Apparently, this was a good idea. Lo’ and behold, my cigar had a hole in it.
I lit it and took a few draws. The taste seemed fine but to be on the safe side all my cigars from that humidor went into the freezer. I’ll have to scour that humidor but it will have to wait until the weekend. I suspect the offender visitor came from the shop or at least from one humidor in the shop. There were a few that I wasn’t too sure about and had avoided them but apparently I should have checked closer. That said, one of the other cigars I got from there glistened in sparkly oils and I had intended on having that next but it will have to wait until next week. As for this one, overall, not bad. It’s not fantastic and a bit over priced, in my opinion, for the flavour.
The construction isn’t too bad albeit a bit veiny. After I had first toasted it and until it passed the hole, the tobacco flaked at the slightest breath. Once past that point, it was fine. The taste is a gentle earthy flavour with a mild leather and slight almond flavour. It remained relatively consistent. I removed the band and was somewhat surprised to see the oils glistening. It made me wonder if perhaps that time in my near perfect humidor temp/humidity (about 71F/70.5%) may have released some oils and stopped the infection or held it bay somewhat. One can hope, eh?
Or perhaps the holes were minor defects or where something poked it. Either way, better safe than sorry. I’ll move the freezer cigars to the fridge on Sunday and then to the humidor on Monday evening or Tuesday morning. This cigar’s taste didn’t increase as I had hoped but rather stayed consistent in it’s earthy flavour. The flakiness also stayed away and thus produced solid grey-black marble ash.
As I savored the last third, I listed to Janis Joplin crooning in the background about life with Bobby and ponder where I was. Next week I hit a milestone: 39. Although the way I look at it, the life I’ve lived in the last 3 years have been more vivid and enjoyable than what had happened for the 36 years prior. Much like cigars, various spirits and wine: I’m definitely getting better as I age. And I suspect that the best is still yet to come. If we learn to love our past experiences — good, bad and just downright U-G-L-Y — life seems far more enjoyable. One thing I have noticed: looking at who some famous cigar smokers are and many lived well into their 70s, 80s and 90s (and beyond!). It is the joy of life and the relaxation that a cigar brings that allows us to live longer, not perfection of life.
While I hum well to the many old hits, they do remind me of a life I didn’t live. The cigar, as I was getting to the end of it, reminded me of the life I am living and enjoying. They may tax it; they may say it’s evil; it doesn’t matter. I toast to life and what is yet to come. That said, I kinda wish it was a better cigar to toast with. I’m hoping that it was a one-offer and more to do with how it was stored than anything else. Lesson learned at least.
Enjoyed with: Forty Creek Barrel Aged Whiskey with splash of cranberry over the rocks and water
Smoke time: approximately 90 minutes
Final Review Rating: 6.5/10