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  1. This is a fine question. One that is worth asking more and more as we each of us have greater access to “information”. When I was younger, I (erroneously) assumed that “it’s all relative”and thus possibly zero-sum. Having grown up a bit, I would say that everyone decides what is good. It is then MY (our) job to find out who are the best deciders.
  2. I have also seen a few GLE boxes. I have seen a lot of RAG Trinidad’s during the same time period as ARS. While I am generally a believer of the “one factory/one code” theory, it seemed like I only saw RAG on Trinidad and not on any other sticks (like Upmann or Cohiba). But if RAG was used on other stuff, it makes sense that it’s some other regional factory and not a duplicate code for Donatien.
  3. Is BSM the new ARS/RAG? I’ve seen some with that code of late. Wondering if anyone can confirm.
  4. It’s been awhile since my choice of weekend cigar has dovetailed with what the review weekend was about but I’m glad that it did. While “technically” this cigar is a belicoso in size and not a piramides (M2, Dip2, P2 etc) I figured it had enough in common with the spirit. This is my last from this particular box and it was a great box indeed. Sad to see if go but I’m also not at all certain it was a box that was destined to go 10 more years. First of all. It’s just so darn pretty . Great wrapper, lovely shade, good weight. I used a v-cut which I have come to enjoy on figurados. Increases surface area. On first light, it’s way way too tight. A little massage and a small perfecdraw extraction solved it. It’s incredibly full bodied yet refined. None of the sweetness I had recalled from previous sticks in the box. However, after about 10 minutes in, some of that residual tar that was likely trapped, released itself and the flavors focused. It’s an impressive start. Halfway through I really came to love this tick. It isn’t as refined as previous ones from the box but it has a lot of flavor and, surprisingly, strength. I made a cocktail about halfway through. A Manhattan. It played so well with it. Wonderful intermingling of flavors. I RARELY nub a cigar (and still didn’t) but I thought about it so that’s a good sign. I’d give this stick a 93. I really love these so much more than the Fuerza.
  5. For me these lie on different ends of the spectrum. I have had some 12 year old Mag 46 and still felt like they needed time. They are a bold cigar. Just about the boldest I have had. I love Monte 3. Love the corona size and lament that they are the only regularly produced Corona that Cuba makes. They are milder and easier to smoke. I’m not saying that one stick is “better” than the other (yes I am - Monte 3) but I will say they are different.
  6. This cigar makes me feel so alive Without hamster-wheel routines I can thrive. I’ll slow down and adore This Laguito D4, 24’s coming up soon, hit F5.
  7. Keep me apprised on this box. I have liked it.
  8. Right now. Jessica Pratt. Great for languid mornings. Her album Quiet Signs is a revelation.
  9. Agreed. Sometimes you can’t age your way into magic. Probably good life advice for me, actually.
  10. This particular cigar is from a 5er that I traded for a cpuple years back (he got 5 2014 EPI 2s). It’s my last one so this review weekend was as good as any to see how it was doing. I have found that 2014 sticks were on the whole, quite good. Now that they are all about 5-6 years old, they are also coming into their own. Pack and weight on this cigar is fantastic. Sadly, it’s packed so full that the draw is a little tighter than I would like. after a little massage when it warms up, the knot is cleared and it’s smoking great. Classic Allones flavor profile. Very very deep. Barnyard funk and deep stone fruit. It’s a great cigar. The second half gets even deeper. Hits up very well with a little bit of bourbon. It’s such a fun cigar and I am sad it is my last one. I think these 14 ULA will continue to evolve. I have a half cab of some RASS from 2016. I’m delighted to be proven wrong but I’m not sure they will ever come around like these 14 have.
  11. I love podcasts. Here are my faves. No Such Thing as a Fish. Trivia. But smart and funny as opposed to know-it-all and smug. Car Talk. Ostensibly about cars but really about humanity.
  12. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Often attributed to Groucho Marx though I don’t believe that’s correct. That said, still my favorite.

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