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  1. Just sampled my first Punch Duke and I actually liked it very much. I will say it didn't burn well but good enough. Seemed like wrapper issues. Cigar is just a touch under medium start to finish. What struck me was the ripe fruit flavor. Yes, ripe fruit in a Punch. Very smooth, no rough edges. 92 points. If the cigar was a little richer and burned well I could have gone 94-95 on it. Not sure how these will do in time. Definitely very little if any ligero in it. Unfortunately, not many will have a chance to try these and the price is pretty prohibitive.
  2. Well, the Oficios never sold well and never seemed to be well received. Maybe that was related. I'd definitely take the Mercaderes or a Hermosos No. 2 or 3. Again, a re-release of the Murallas would have been great. Rodolfo is a great vitola and perfect for a LCDH release. Or O'Reillys in 10s. Virtually anything except a Petit Piramides in a marca that has a Campanas in regular production. I've been a regular smoker of SC since its inception and I've never found age to be necessary for enjoyment of the brand. I've smoked ones with 2-4 years and I can't usually even tell a difference. I can't speak to 5+ years, but certainly SC is very enjoyable young and always has been, at least for me. Yes, they are. Recent tasting of some late 18s were maybe the best I've ever had in years. 93-94 points all day.
  3. Forgot about those. At the CUC price of 122.25 they're right behind RAS for best deal in the universe. Worldwide price, not so much.
  4. Why indeed. I railed about it in the Prado thread a few weeks back. This is definitely the dumbest LCDH/HS release so far. Closest to a model already in the lineup and brings nothing new to the table. I just don't get who's going to buy this cigar on a regular basis when you have La Punta which can be just as good and is just a half inch longer and 2/3 the price. What a wasted opportunity. I would have loved to see either Murallas in 10s or Torreon in 10s.
  5. They do seem to be a bit scarce but they're out there if you look. I would not pay more than $130 and many vendors have been trying to get double that. Personally I'd take one La Fuerza over two Prado at the moment. The few Prado I had were good, but not better than La Fuerza.
  6. I recall paying about $80 for the 07 release. Back when special production was priced similarly to regular production. Recall picking up RACF for $190, Boli Especiales No. 2 for $360, PSD3 for $220. Those were the days.
  7. At the CUC price, yes, RAS is probably the number one greatest value in all of the cigar world. Unfortunately, that price is only on the island. No idea why they price it that low there. Easily could be $60-70 CUC and it wouldn't make a bit of difference. Always thought it was bizarre. Biggest discrepancy between CUC and worldwide price is the RAS with Fundys a distant second. Compare that with Connie 1. 157.50 CUC and Rob had them up last week for ~$165 or so.
  8. I assume we're talking about the LCDH version and not pre-90s versions... I never had the 04 5th Ave release but I recall the 07 release was not to my liking. I believe the 04s were much better received. I guess try a Boli Tubos No. 1?
  9. Unless you're referring to the Coronas Claro Claro, the Coronas Claro is still in production and was in fact just re-launched with the new bands alongside the 50 and 54 last year. The PLMC is all those things, but as is the case with all PLs, at least 2-3 years is strongly recommended on them. I do believe they reach a nice peak before PLPC which usually takes 5-7 years whereas PLMC is 3-5.
  10. Connie 1, PLMC, RG Perlas all are value heavyweights. Hard to imagine spending double or triple the price for other regular production after smoking any of those.
  11. With all due respect, if you're smoking a MdO4 or PLMC faster than an hour, you're smoking it too fast. I'm not one to dictate smoking practices to others and I always say to each his own, but both of those cigars (and any sub-38 RG cigar) are easily overheated with rapid smoking. You might find more to the flavors if smoked slower. I would say just my opinion, but I know many others share this approach.
  12. I really like the blend of the PR. It deserves a larger format. It's an excellent example of the marca's classic DNA. I really am not a fan of the half corona vitolas. I wish they'd extrapolate it into the Ex 3. It would compete very well with the other Corona Gordas and I'd actually buy it.
  13. These are well over an hour smokes for me. Not sure these qualify as "short" cigars.
  14. Agreed, but finding a good run of these is like finding an oasis in a desert. I have not been impressed with BCJ consistency over the last 5 years at all. And I'm someone who thinks when at its best, BCJ is the best Bolivar and the best Minutos format cigar. Not really. I've had a few boxes that were just a bit off, and some boxes with one or two weirdly unsmokeable sticks like fireproof roof shingles were used as binders. Also, I do get the occasional box with very tight draws for 15+ sticks, but the Perfecdraw takes care of that issue. And I've smoked through probably 40 boxes since 99. No, there aren't. I have no hesitation in saying Cuba makes the best small format cigars in the world. NCs are not even close. People might argue about other models but what Cuba does with their small offerings and has done for many decades is truly remarkable. There's no bad choice, however I'd have to say I think BCJ is the weakest of the bunch just due to consistency and likelihood of getting a great example. But I can't think of any other I'd avoid. I can smoke all the Minutos interchangeably, the RyJ PR and HUHC are always excellent, all the Perlas are excellent, De Depute is great. Reyes is great. My least favorite when "on" is probably the Shorts only because of personal preference. I find it a little too smooth and rounded for what I'm looking for in a smaller format which for me is lots of flavor.

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