Posts Tagged ‘Cuban’

Cigar Review: The Cigar God

22 Aug

Cigar Name: Orishas Robusto (5 x 50)

Orishas Robusto

Orishas Robusto

Cigar Description: Costa Rica with Cuban filler (made in Canada)?

Cigar Strength: Full

Review of the Cigar itself: When I was in Halifax and perusing through Smoke On the Water, I decided to try this cigar since I had never seen it anywhere else before and it wasn’t too expensive like many of the name brands were. When I got back I couldn’t find anything online about it — at least not at first. This took quite a lot of digging but I eventually found them (or, at least a page that mentions them).  I have to admit, there is still a lot about the cigar I don’t know (so if anyone knows of it, let me know).

The wrapper is a nice reddish brown (rosado?) and generally well constructed. There were some prominent thin veins that flowed through the wrapper along with occasional bumps from the tobacco inside. After punching the cap, taking the sliver of it off and then lighting it I got to enjoy a deep sweet nutty flavour that I had been smelling from the tobacco itself. It burned a little lopsided but tried to even itself out. The ash was a flaky, lopsided calamity that I kept tapping to keep from falling all over. But even with the tapping, it remained fixed to the end of the cigar with only little bits flaking off. The draw was simple but rich and creamy. As I continued into the first third, I noticed a tickle of pepper fighting to get onto my taste buds.

As I got into the middle third of the cigar the peppery/spiciness began to come through more but it was still the sweeter creamy taste that dominated. It reminded me of Guinness ale in the sense of that it was a meal in itself, that’s how robust the taste was. Although the construction wasn’t meticulous the flavour more than made up for the little bits here and there that weren’t “perfect”. The more I continued into the cigar, the spicier it got. The white pepper taste started to come through more as I removed the simple band off the cigar with a gentle tug.

The last third began with a bang into rich creamy leather and sharp roasted nut flavours. This wasn’t just some run of the mill cigar. It’s almost like finding that little known micro-brewery (e.g., Mill Street out of Toronto) or unique whiskey (Glen Breton Ice) that few know about but that everyone should experience at least once. Although this cigar didn’t have the near perfect outside, the inside was awesome. I’d definitely recommend that you eat first before having this one as it’s definitely a full cigar that packs a silent, finishing wallop. Now, if I could just find them outside of Halifax..

Enjoyed with: water

Smoke time: approximately 80 minutes

Final Review Rating: 9.1/10

Tidbit: The Orishas were Santeria Gods. An Orisha would claim you at birth (kind of akin, I think, to the animal spirits of Aboriginals in North America).


La Rosa Cubana Cigars and the Cuban Poll

02 Apr

One of the things about getting older is that while you may feel a lot younger, your body has this awful tendency to not feel so much so. I spent the better part of yesterday visiting various doctors’ offices, getting poked, prodded and queried. Once they were done with me, they sent me on my merry way into the gloomy grey of misty Big Apple. It wasn’t too cold but it wasn’t warm. It was rather damp and miserable to put it honestly. I had originally thought I’d be able to head home first before going into the city for evening plans but the doctors had kept me so long that it wasn’t really a viable option. So I decided to search for a cigar bar or something to find something to amuse me (since I hadn’t brought any with me). I opened up my Blackberry and fired up Google Maps. A quick search and I found La Rosa Cubana Handmade Cigars.

After making a few too many wrong turns, I finally ended up at the corner of 30th and 6th (Avenue of the Americas). Dodging other pedestrians, flying yellow cabs and construction I trudged, with my sweat shirt hood pulled up over my ears. I checked the numbers and then saw the handmade sign that pointed to the 2nd level of the building where La Rosa Cubana is located. I walked up a single flight of dingy narrow stairs to the glass door at the top. Walking in I listened to the spanish discussion going on in the back, none of which I understand (being French Canadian, I haven’t spent a lot of time yet learning spanish). I could see the two men in the back making the cigars as they smoked their own in the small cramped former office space. The place was sparse for decorations and contained a single showcase of cigars already made.

A faint sweet smell of cigar mixed with sweat and laughter filled the place. I eyed the glass display and the various sizes. I decided to get a fiver of Robustos ($14USD, all taxes included and just made!) as those would be just big enough to smoke while I walked to my evening dinner plans (which was still two hours later). The filler is Dominican with a Connecticut wrapper. I tucked the cigars into my backpack, taking one out. When I got outside, I found a small alcolve to cut and light it. It cut easily. I examined the cigar before fighting the rain and wind to toast the foot. I could see the shaping from the traditional Cuban rolling method they use to make the cigar and one vein throughout. Otherwise, it was well made. I eventually won out against the elements and got to enjoy a wonderful 90 min sensation of mocha, almonds and “buttery” tastes (I kept craving buttered toast today as I smoked another one without the elements challenging me). By the end of the cigar, a nice creamy leather taste emerged.

The cigar occasionally tugboated its burn but that was more of a weather thing than the cigar. The aroma from the cigar was a pleasant sweet spicy tingle of the nose. The flavour remained consistent and complex enough to make me ponder flavours but not too complex as to take away the enjoyment of this mild-medium cigar. But I have to admit that this is the kind of store I’ve been looking for where they make the cigars themselves and are unique in who they are. The cigar gets a 8.5/10 from me and the shop, while not fancy by any stretch of the imagination, should be a must visit for anyone going to Manhattan. I’ll definitely be adding them to my regular visits.

As I enjoyed a 2nd one today with the warmth of the sun beating down on the balcony, I could hear Buena Vista Social Club floating over the air. It made me smile to think that summer is just around the corner. It turned a long day into a wonderful day, weather be damned. And since I’m talking about that fleeting feeling of Cuba and the cigars that might come from there, March’s poll just closed. And it seems overwhelming that the Embargo should be lifted. 87% of you said, toss it! Perhaps they should consider that as part of an overall economic recovery package.

For April, now that the weather is getting better many of us will be able to enjoy more cigars with friends and families and such. So the question is, besides the people in life, what do you enjoy your cigar the most with?


Cigar Review: Starting 2009 in grand style

02 Jan

Cigar Name: Romeo y Julieta Cazadore (6 3/8  x 44)

Cigar Description: Cuban wrapper and filler

Cigar Strength: Medium-Full

Review of the Cigar itself: A BOTL in Canada treated me to a nice cigar he had aged for about 2 years in his humidor. I was rather shocked when I got it but totally humbled by it. I had decided to save this cigar for that right moment and today seemed like it. The cigar is well constructed and although there are a few veins, they did not detract too much. My previous experience with Cubans (when I was in Mexico last May) wasn’t too great. But this cigar would be the ideal Cuban to smoke if I could get them regularly. The foot burned near perfectly when lit and, although it needed an occassional adjustment, it remain lit throughout. The aroma of the cigar was a pleasant mocha coffee smell with hints of cedar and earthier, leather tones.

As I took my first draw I noticed a sweet nutty and honey taste. The taste remained consistent throughout the cigar with an occassional jab of leather and earthy tones coming through. While it’s not a complex cigar, it is a great cigar. It’s interesting that this cigar is often touted for it’s fullness of flavour and not meant for a newbie’s palate. Perhaps that is why I am able to enjoy it so much at this point (although I still consider myself a newbie). I can see why Winston Churchill smoked this particular brand — it is definitely an afficiandos cigar. It is a huge shame that the US still has this embargo against Cuba since there are some fine cigars that are produced there that could be enjoyed here. If I was back in Canada, I would be enjoying these on a more regular basis I suspect.

It will be interesting to see if President-elect Obama will lift or lessen the embargo. One can be hopeful that he will and that he will minimize the impact that SCHIP will have on cigars. If you want to make both of these important issues for the Obama-Biden transition team for this year or over the next four years, add the question to the Transition team’s website here (you will have to register first before you can post a question). The more times a question is posted or asked, the more likely (I hope) that it will be an important issue. As I got down to the last third of my cigar and savoured the last bit of the sweet flavour, I’m hopeful that the year to come will be just as sweet.


Enjoyed with: Corona Extra and water

Smoke time: approximately 75 minutes

Final Review Rating: 9.5/10

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