JohnS

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About JohnS

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    El Partidario
  • Birthday 06/08/1972

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    Sydney, Australia

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  1. Romeo y Julieta Exhibicion No.4 ABO Ago 2018 At just on two years of age, this Romeo y Julieta Exhibicion No.4 represents the first cigar smoked from this box, coming soon after I finished my outstanding POU Jun 2013 box. I feel that this cigar, when rolled well, is an under-rated Hermosos No.4, an unsung stand-out within the Romeo y Julieta marca. The draw was a little tight and so this took a little longer to smoke, but flavours were consistent with the RyJ marca; anise, rosewater, sour cherry, oat biscuit and toasted tobacco. The main difference with other quality Romeo y Julieta cigars I've had in the past few years such as the RyJ Churchills and Capuletos 2016 Limited Edition is that the Exhibicion No.4 doesn't tend to have strong notes of cocoa like those other aforementioned cigars. Overall, this was quite good for the first cigar of its kind from the box. I envisage that I will have another one quite soon!
  2. Diplomáticos Bushido 2014 - Edición Regional Asia Pacifico TOS Oct 2015 The tapered head on this special Asia Pacifico Regional Edition tells you that this is a quality cigar. They were a big hit when they first came out in 2015, they were practically sold out by the beginning of 2016, so how are they in 2020? Like my last Diplomaticos Bushido I enjoyed last year, this was mild and easy to smoke and retrohale. The flavours were reminiscent of light coffee and cream, aged cedar, sourdough, capsicum and paprika spice, with these last two latter flavours the main dominant ones consistent throughout the cigar. Thus, in summary, they were flavoursome, mild and aged when first released and after five years they are a little milder and refined, yet still 'pack-a-punch' in terms of flavour. If you have these and haven't smoked them in awhile, make sure to re-visit these soon!
  3. Por Larrañaga Montecarlos TOS Mar 2017 This TOS Mar 2017 represents my darker-wrappered Por Larranaga Montecarlos, which I smoked half the box within six months of acquiring it. The last cigar I've had from this box was in August 2018, so around two years...my how time flies! I've since been smoking my LGR Oct 2017 and LGR Ago 2018 PLMCs, as these had lighter wrappers and were more abundant in caramel from a younger age (and thus more to my liking). It's not that this TOS Mar 2017 box has been that bad; rather, they've been more dominant in coffee and toast notes in their first 12 to 18 months of rest so I decided to give them more time to develop more of that significant caramel note that Por Larranaga is renowned for. From the very first puff, I got a wondrous hit of sweet caramel and honey. This stayed until the middle third when the coffee and nut took over. In the last third the cigar again reverted to being toasty and slightly sour, like lemon tea. At this point I decided to leave the cigar there (around halfway through the final third) but I was satisfied with how this box has since developed in the last 24 months. I hope to re-visit this box in the another 12 months to see how they are coming along. In the meantime, I have my other lighter-wrappered Por Larranaga Montecarlos to enjoy!
  4. Romeo y Julieta Exhibicion No.4 POU Jun 2013 In 2015, POU Jun 13 Romeo y Julieta Exhibicion No.4's were equivalent to Trinidad Esmeraldas (or Partagas Maduro Linea stock) at the present time, if you saw them on a 24:24 listing longer than half-a-minute you were very lucky indeed. I picked up half-a-box towards the end of their peak selling cycle and I remember how fortunate I was to get them, they weren't around soon after. Fast forward a number of years and at just over seven years of age this is my last one from the box, but what a journey it's been over the years because these have been great cigars. I've had the last three of these RyJ Exhibicion No.4's over a period of two-and-a-half years with the last one around fifteen months ago. In that time I've noted how the quality cocoa in this box became something more akin to milk chocolate and today it had developed even further into a sweet nutmeg. In addition, the RyJ rosewater and turkish delight intertwined with some coconut and cream to again offer a quality smoking experience in terms of flavour and to properly salute and farewell an exceptional box code for the RyJ Exhibicion No.4 overall. When Romeo y Julieta cigars are ordinary they can be mere wood and nondescript toasted tobacco but when they are outstanding to exceptional, make no mistake, they are like this Romeo y Julieta Exhibicion No.4 today.
  5. Punch Short de Punch TPO Sep 2019 This Punch Short de Punch has proven to be a reliable and flavoursome cigar thus far in 2020. This one was 'serviceable', it was not as exemplary as others I've had, yet I couldn't fault it because construction was fine, the burn was great and the flavours true to the Punch marca. I got that core Punch 'Cuban twang' and sour cream throughout but the leather and cedar was very light on this. I guess if the cigar was more balanced in terms of flavours I would have rated it more but it was still fine to enjoy nonetheless.
  6. Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No.2 ABO Jun 2018 The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No.2 is a robustos-sized cigar that usually leaves me with two impressions after smoking it; one, it's bland, woody and ordinary or two, it's sweet, creamy and delicious! This HdM Epicure No.2 paradoxically left me with both impressions! It all started with the draw. Normally I am quite tolerant when it comes to resistance in a cigar, but in general, I like it a little tight on the condition that I can get decent smoke output per puff. At the beginning of this Epi 2 I got a slightly tight draw but very little smoke output. This made the cigar taste woody, slightly bitter and emphasised what little cloved spice there was. I was almost tempted to bring out my PerfecDraw tool, which I rarely do, but thankfully I started to get some more smoke per draw and the cigar hence transformed itself. Towards the middle of the first third I got some delicious vanilla bean, cream and light cocoa flavours which I really adored. This continued in various consistencies and quantities until the last third when the cigar started to get a little bland and woody again, even spicy. I nubbed the cigar halfway in the middle third and reflected on the smoke. I can't recall too many instances when a cigar I've had would smoke like this whilst varying from ordinary to sublime. Yes, it was one hell of a ride!
  7. Oh definitely, this is true. This poll run last year in regards to which marque is most disliked is most telling, Romeo y Julieta and Montecristo where 1 and 2, Bolivar 3rd and Punch 4th. However, Bolivar was disliked by members due to (the Bolivar 'Earthy') flavour profile, the other three was due to inconsistency.
  8. Yes, same here. A real shock for me too. Some memorable test innings include the famous 210 in Madras (now Chennai) 1986, 184 in the Bicentennary Test at the SCG in 1988, 216 vs the West Indies at the Adelaide Oval in 1989 and twin tons in the same test vs Pakistan at the same venue a year later. Incredible One-Day player too, especially with those 'tap-and-go' shots on the leg-side and his running between wickets. He forged the path for players like Michael Bevsn and Michael Hussey in the Australian One-Day team thereafter.
  9. Thursday, September 24, 2020 Thank you, Deano, for the many moments and memories By Daniel Brettig In both his cricket and his life, Dean Jones' departures left a sense of shock and loss for their arrival before so many could say goodbye. At the end of his international career as a wonderfully livewire batsman and limited-overs pioneer, this was because Jones found himself out of Test calculations and on the edge of the one-day team in South Africa in 1994, compelling him to call a summary retirement press conference on what had to that point been the nominal farewell tour of Allan Border. Twenty-six years later, Jones left this world almost in mid-stride, suffering a cardiac arrest while working as an analyst on the latest edition of the IPL for Star in Mumbai. In both cases his departure left a deep, tangible sense of conversations and moments lost, of thank yous unable to be given. Similarly, his induction to the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame had been done via video link when Jones was occupied by a T20 coaching assignment, and now his death left so many around the world feeling bereft, or perhaps even less articulate than that. What we are left with is a rich trove of moments and memories, many more than those typically provided by cricketers of longer subsequent careers, and to ponder the jumble of contradictions, frustrations and triumphs of the man known universally as Deano. Two qualities in particular stand out. The first was his sheer energy, a characteristic that helped push him to some of the most extraordinary cricketing heights. If Jones was flagging towards the end of his unforgettable 210 against India in Chennai in 1986, his captain Border knew how to bring on a second wind, suggesting that it was time to get a Queenslander, Greg Ritchie, in to do what a Victorian could not. His civic pride suitably threatened, Jones went on, past 200 and into legend. Jones' many other brilliant performances, and a few not quite so brilliant, were infused with a similar mix of bravado and courage. Whether it was smiting the West Indies all around Adelaide Oval for his second double century in Tests in early 1989, cuffing a young Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis for twin hundreds at the same venue a year later, or obliterating Sir Richard Hadlee in an Auckland ODI later the same season, Jones could be utterly irresistible. On the 1989 Ashes tour, Mark Taylor led the aggregates and Steve Waugh the headlines, but none batted better or more predatorially than Jones. In one-day matches, Jones' knack for finding gaps and running with what seemed Olympian speed between the wickets made him the most feared batsman in the world in the realm of limited overs. A technicolour innings of 145 against England at the Gabba in 1990-91, wearing the gold cap then the white floppy hat and cheered on by a packed house, alerted a generation of aspiring schoolchildren that batting need not be all about getting through to stumps: the T20 age was probably born in the imaginative aftermath of a Jones innings. His precise knowledge of things like how much quicker he could run two if he turned blind than not, was also well ahead of its time. A pair of flicks to the fine leg boundary of Hansie Cronje at the SCG in his final international summer, the second followed by a pointed punch of the fist as the crowd went wild, underlined how infuriating Jones could be to bowl to, or captain against. Of course, the manic enthusiasm for the game and the national team that Jones wore so proudly also led to plenty of occasions where brio outstripped sense. Who but Jones would find himself run out after being bowled by a Courtney Walsh no-ball in the West Indies in 1991? Who but Jones would find the ball trapped between his glove and pads after advancing to Venkatapathy Raju at the MCG later that year, flicking it away and forever denying he could have been out handled the ball? Who but Jones would ever conceive of, let alone act upon, a plot to ask Curtly Ambrose to remove his wrist band under the pretence of losing sight of the white ball in the 1993 World Series finals? And who but Jones would actually write, innocently and truthfully in a column ghosted by Mark Ray, that the absence of the famously litigious coach Bob Simpson from the dressing room during a Gabba one-day game in early 1994 had helped the team to relax? Simpson threatened to sue his own player. None of these moments helped Jones or his career, but they all added richly to cricket's lore. The second quality, for which Jones was equally famous, is the sense of something incomplete or unjust about his career and its aftermath. There is no more highly ranked Victorian than the state's Premier, and in Dan Andrews' social media tribute there came the words "should have been picked for many more than his 52 Tests". It is a view that has been able to enhance the Melbourne pub trade for most of the past 28 years by generating extra conversation and by extension extra rounds, and it was never discouraged by Jones. In his 1997 book, Matters of Choice, the former selector John Benaud gave a very good, reasoned and frank depiction of all the cross currents running through the selection panel's call to make Jones 12th man for the Gabba Test against the West Indies in 1992. These ranged from Jones' increasing levels of inconsistency, the need for a fresh approach to tackling the Caribbean side, and his poor record against the West Indies outside the aforementioned Adelaide 200, to the fact that the Sheffield Shield draw for that season had given him precious few hits relative to those afforded to Damien Martyn, who was ultimately to debut instead. RIP you magnificent cricketer Finally got the elusive 100 at his home ground, just happened to be against Australia pic.twitter.com/Sjv8CFp0cJ — Rob Moody (@robelinda2) September 24, 2020 Martyn's own tale is one of rejection and recrimination before his own summary decision to retire, and it was a burden that Jones carried through the next two years and, arguably, for the rest of his time around the game. Steve Waugh's diary reflection on Jones' international retirement, in South Africa in 1994, bears repeating: "I know how he desperately wanted to wear the baggy green cap again and when he thought that was an impossibility, he didn't want to keep torturing himself." Waugh was not alone in being far more calculating in later years when it came to the rules of engagement with selectors in particular, and the Jones precedent doubtless helped. The selectors came close to recalling Jones one final time, for the 1996 World Cup, but stopped short at the very last moment. Jones' riposte was to make a hundred for a World XI against the Australians in an MCG match to mark the centenary of the Victorian Cricket Association on their return from the cup. Though a vaudevillian Dean Jones tribute match had been played at the ground the season before, this was as close as he got to a true farewell: for parochial Victorians, Jones versus Australia was almost better than Australia with Jones. It should not be forgotten, either, that both Jones and Border were the primary losers in the graduation of Australian cricketers from solid contracts to eye-popping ones. When they retired, neither commanded ACB deals of more than five figures, yet within a couple of years the likes of Waugh, Shane Warne and Mark Taylor were raking in earnings before endorsements much closer to half a million apiece. If there was ever a perception of selfishness or opportunism about Jones, his unfortunate place in cricket's money trail is worth remembering. As it was, Jones spent the rest of his days jumping between coaching, commentary and other assignments, including a brief and hotly debated stint on the Australia senior PGA golf tour in 2012-13. He was rightly castigated for a couple of heedless commentary moments, one a reference to not caring about the state of Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe while there to cover a series, and the other a reference to Hashim Amla as "the terrorist" picking up a wicket. He was never likely to fit the cloth of a Cricket Australia coaching job, although he did consult briefly in 2012. I normally wouldn't share screenshots of any convos but I think ppl should know the kind of man #DeanJones was off the field. One of the most compassionate ppl. This he sent to me when Asif was going through a tough time, he believed in Asif & Asif delivered that season. pic.twitter.com/xbhjsNVosc — Rehan Ulhaq (@Rehan_ulhaq) September 24, 2020 A third attribute, undersold by many, must be Jones' generosity. Not always defined in the ways that cricketers or administrators might have wanted it to be, it was largely in the sharing and developing of ideas about the game of cricket and sport more broadly. Apart from One Day Magic in 1991 and My Call in 1994, which both carried strong instructional or counselling elements, Jones' final book was a collection of cricket tips gleaned from his many and varied travels as a commentator and coach. Its launch at the MCG in 2016 saw Jones in his very best form, holding court and discussing concepts he had picked up to share from the likes of VVS Laxman, Waqar Younis and Ricky Ponting, offering up photo opportunities and autographs as though he was still Australia's No. 4 batsman instead of Steven Smith. More recently, and in a more personal tale, Jones thought nothing of responding to a brief request of his memory with a long, jovial phone call and a bevy of advice about how best my partner and I might move out of a Covid-19 Melbourne into country Victoria should we so choose to. There was a warmth in this Jones that contrasted with the coolness others had experienced, just as his batting days could so swiftly veer between the sublime and the ridiculous. Either way, they were always memorable. So goodbye Deano, and thank you. You are gone much too soon. Source: https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/29960732/dean-jones-1961-2020-thank-deano-many-moments-memories
  10. Diplomáticos Bushido 2014 - Edición Regional Asia Pacifico TOS Oct 2015 The tapered head on this special Asia Pacifico Regional Edition tells you that this is a quality cigar. They were a big hit when they first came out in 2015, they were practically sold out by the beginning of 2016, so how are they in 2020? Like my last Diplomaticos Bushido I enjoyed last year, this was mild and easy to smoke and retrohale. The flavours were reminiscent of light coffee and cream, aged cedar, sourdough, capsicum and paprika spice, with these last two latter flavours the main dominant ones consistent throughout the cigar. Thus, in summary, they were flavoursome, mild and aged when first released and after five years they are a little milder and refined, yet still 'pack-a-punch' in terms of flavour. If you have these and haven't smoked them in awhile, make sure to re-visit these soon!
  11. Por Larrañaga Montecarlos TOS Mar 2017 This TOS Mar 2017 represents my darker-wrappered Por Larranaga Montecarlos, which I smoked half the box within six months of acquiring it. The last cigar I've had from this box was in August 2018, so around two years...my how time flies! I've since been smoking my LGR Oct 2017 and LGR Ago 2018 PLMCs, as these had lighter wrappers and were more abundant in caramel from a younger age (and thus more to my liking). It's not that this TOS Mar 2017 box has been that bad; rather, they've been more dominant in coffee and toast notes in their first 12 to 18 months of rest so I decided to give them more time to develop more of that significant caramel note that Por Larranaga is renowned for. From the very first puff, I got a wondrous hit of sweet caramel and honey. This stayed until the middle third when the coffee and nut took over. In the last third the cigar again reverted to being toasty and slightly sour, like lemon tea. At this point I decided to leave the cigar there (around halfway through the final third) but I was satisfied with how this box has since developed in the last 24 months. I hope to re-visit this box in the another 12 months to see how they are coming along. In the meantime, I have my other lighter-wrappered Por Larranaga Montecarlos to enjoy!
  12. Romeo y Julieta Exhibicion No.4 POU Jun 2013 In 2015, POU Jun 13 Romeo y Julieta Exhibicion No.4's were equivalent to Trinidad Esmeraldas (or Partagas Maduro Linea stock) at the present time, if you saw them on a 24:24 listing longer than half-a-minute you were very lucky indeed. I picked up half-a-box towards the end of their peak selling cycle and I remember how fortunate I was to get them, they weren't around soon after. Fast forward a number of years and at just over seven years of age this is my last one from the box, but what a journey it's been over the years because these have been great cigars. I've had the last three of these RyJ Exhibicion No.4's over a period of two-and-a-half years with the last one around fifteen months ago. In that time I've noted how the quality cocoa in this box became something more akin to milk chocolate and today it had developed even further into a sweet nutmeg. In addition, the RyJ rosewater and turkish delight intertwined with some coconut and cream to again offer a quality smoking experience in terms of flavour and to properly salute and farewell an exceptional box code for the RyJ Exhibicion No.4 overall. When Romeo y Julieta cigars are ordinary they can be mere wood and nondescript toasted tobacco but when they are outstanding to exceptional, make no mistake, they are like this Romeo y Julieta Exhibicion No.4 today.

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