Fugu

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  1. 'No flavour' will almost certainly be neither the fault of the cigar nor will it be deriving from a non-observed period of grace for acclimatization. Have you perhaps been sick, any allergies, taking medication? I've run accross a lot of bland cigars but a tasteless BBF??
  2. Ah, ok. No, no, what you smell resembling ripe or ripening fruit, and are taking for ethylene, is quite likely fruit esters. That's indeed among those products that are being formed through fermentation of tobacco, as well as in ripening fruit.
  3. Had been created by Alonso Menéndez in 1935 when he newly owned the Particulares factory. Monte had then been such a huge success that they were able to buy out the at that time suffering H. Upmann factory (from J. Frankau). Monte production was then immediately moved there. MRN is giving an account, and I remember Jemma Freeman had some article about it in CA a while back (will check if I have a copy), since Hunter Morris & Co was one of the first importers of Montecristo. There had been an interesting letter posted with the launch of the 80th anniversary. Will see if I can track it down. Edit: Cigar Journal was it... Here is the article, including the interesting original letter with the exclusive distribution contract between Particulares SA (Menéndez) and John Hunter, Morris & Elkan Ltd. https://www.cigarjournal.com/two-new-havana-cigar-releases-into-the-uk-market/
  4. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Ken! The history bit you didn't get right though (not debating the cigar here...). The brand had not been developed at H. Upmann (as is admittedly quite often misreported). While there are different legends about the origin of the naming - just to be a wee bit further nitpicking - the novel's English title's spelling is Monte Cristo (original Monte-Cristo). Otherwise a very nice report (how much did they pay you?.... haha )
  5. Frankly, impossible to judge from just one cigar smoked. Usually one would say, the very idea behind this release is that it's meant to be aged already. So, no need to age any further. And in particular, a cigar that hasn't much to offer at seven or 10 yrs of age won't suddenly do so if aged any longer. However, if you buy into wines or cigars "closing up" at certain points during their maturing life (MRN calling it "vacuum" phases, a catchy but somehow weird expression for an old observation), and given the observed initial high tannin level in that particular cigar, I am actually not so sure as to whether that first third could - potentially - have profited from a continued further aging. So, I honestly can't give you an answer to that question. But anyway, and leaving aging aspects aside, the price point of this cigar is exceeding its current (smoking) value if you ask me (provided they were all like the one I smoked, or even as others have been describing their experience). Of course, and to be fair, you have to pay for the cost of ten years of storage, that's to a part reflected in its price - you can make the calculation yourself. But investing the same amount of money or even much less today, I bet you'll be better off by selecting some excellent current boxes of H. Upmann (Connie 1, Mag46, No.2, ConA, PC) and setting them aside for just a few years or even for extended aging, done by yourself. That will yield you a higher, while not instant, gratification as when making a bet on further aging an Añejados.
  6. Same here - never draw on a cigar while lighting. Torch, softflame or a piece of burning charcoal - irrelevant
  7. So it seems, this here has been quite the opposite of what you report - slow, really slow start with a crescendo final. Perhaps - and this is not too unlikely given the wide range of different vintages (I have heard of even up till 2011 box codes?) - there will be vast differences found in this release, depending on years and factory codes. But still, I guess it's not really worth chasing them.
  8. So I smoked my first H. Upmann Robo Añejados out of two singles bought a few weeks back. Interesting smoke.... Let me just start with an observation on age, for this is sometimes questioned: These were from a box dated 2007 (didn't make a mental note of the full box code), picked by myself from the box. These sticks are - suspiciously - looking remarkably pristine and truly beautiful. Nice, shiny, almost vein-less wrappers. The bands also appear like new, completely un-oxidized, and there is almost no indentation to be seen on the wrapper from the band, like you usually get in aged dressbox-cigars. However, the tobacco doesn't smell fresh or young whatsoever. So, I'd say, and despite their immaculate looks, these sticks certainly have some decent age on them. I'd rather think the cigars of this production have been well kept and banded only subsequent to their decade-long storage life. Draw of the exemplar chosen was ok, a bit too open for my preference, with a cold aroma that was certainly that of well-aged tobacco. Nice! Still, the first inch, well actually almost the full first third was quite tannic and didn't have to give a lot away. Pretty muted aroma, while on the palate not much more going on than astringent, coarse tannins and some roasted woodiness. Underwhelmed! But the cigar then started to develop quite nicely, and was slowly gaining momentum. In particular so after the ash fell the first time at about mid-smoke. Truly late starter! Unfortunately, there was a permanent and quite annoying hollow burn at one spot running in advance close under the surface of the stick accompanying nearly the whole smoke (most likely due to a pronounced crease in the binder). I was trying to maintain an open-mind towards the cigar, as open as I possibly could. But there was really nothing telling me that this couldn't be a genuine H. Upmann. With the taste-profile being very well reminiscent of aged Upmann tobacco.... and - Mag46 was the closest that I could think of out of the Upmann-range. In fact, it appeared pretty similar to how the few Mag 46 from a 2006 box I am still keeping are smoking today. In its slow start perhaps also reminding of an Upmann No.2. The last third finally unfolded actually really nice, becoming truly enjoyable then, and all of a sudden there was 'Upmann' in spades: Beany flavours, shortbread, raisins, toasted tobacco, and even on and off a nice faint citrusy note (or was it even orange zest?) in that creamy, palate-coating smoke. Really coming along nicely, continually gaining in intensity in that last third. Body was starting well under medium (were it not for the astrigency masking a fair bit of the cigar's taste) to slightly under full in the final draws. The cigar went somewhat hot towards the very end but became never harsh or acrid. Long-lasting, pleasant aftertaste on the palate to boot. 75 min smoking time. My personal verdict, from this particular stick: While the construction was slightly subpar, the blend could very well be, and I think was indeed intended to be Upmann. There is nothing that would let me suspect this stick to originally having seen the light of day under a different brand. If pursuing the route of conspiracy, then that final third was closer to a Short Churchill than to a D4. Aged cigar? - Certainly yes! Is it good value? - Certainly no! Actually, the first third left a lot to be desired and one could have rather skipped it completely. Waste of time. But from the second half (mid 2/3) onward, the cigar was evolving nicely. The final then was truly very good, even reminiscent of the ConA I dare to say. So, if taking it positively, the cigar was displaying a very pronounced evolution in particular given the Robusto format. Expressed negatively - you get a Short Robusto for a Robo Extra price. So, not exceptional, even not great by any means, but not bad either. But what else to expect really? Let's just take it for what it is, it's simply standard production in an out-of-the-range format, set aside for longer aging, with likely the same variability as in regular production. Had the cigar been there right off the start I would have said - very good cigar. At least this here seems to be closer to the Monte or Party Añejados than to the Hoyo. But - the same or better you can have from aged Mag46 (gets you two bands also... ). Not worth its upcharge if you ask me. For the same price you [better] get a ConA. But if you are new to the game and immediately want aged tobacco - then this HURA might be worth giving a try. I for one will smoke my second single somewhere down the road and that will likely be it for me. Taking off the Añejados band will help in keeping me unbiased ... haha went inside and smoked for a while indoors to see where the heck the aroma keeps hiding....
  9. I don't quite get the rationale behind the obscure question, Pappy . There is no direct pathway (of course), and by no means through a form of simple "decomposition" (and - what is a "variant" of ethylene anyway?!). It is like asking whether ethanol could be generated from water. As you will know, ethylene can be synthesized by plants (I think this is the major natural source) and is an important phytohormone inducing the ripening process. There may be, not sure, microbial (Archaea) pathways eventually leading to ethene under consumption of ammonia (or at least nitrogenous substrates), though not directly, and mostly the aliphatic end product under anaerobic conditions will be methane, not ethylene (ethene). Could you give us a hint as to why you ask? One thing is sure, you don't have to fear humidor explosion by ethene being generated in your "fermenting" cigar boxes ....
  10. It depends on what you want to achieve. Example: While a maderisation under high oxygen levels will be desired in a madeira or certain stiles of sherry, it would be a severe wine fault in other wines. I for one do prefer my cigars not to to exposed to heat...
  11. Cuba Plane crash

    Thoughts and prayers.
  12. I think you did.... Got two of them rolling around, bought the other day just for the excercise, might give'm a try this weekend.
  13. Funny times we are livin' in... interwebs bringing out folks who have never been to a real B&M...
  14. Original habitat for beetles, where else if not there to expect them....

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