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About Wailbait

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  1. I love review weekends because they often compel me to look in the stash and grab something that I might not normally think about. On this particular weekend it compelled to grab EXACTLY what I was thinking about. There ha been a lot of fervor for the new Quai releases - it really is a primer on how to rebrand - but sadly I haven’t made my way to trying all that many yet. I had a single 54 and I thought it was good. And I had a Capitolio and thought “well maybe it’ll be fine after a 5 year nap.” But I do quite like the Quai Corona. I love the blend and I love the size. Pre light. Great construction. Great weight. Lovely sheen on the wrapper. Quai Coronas tend to be very consistent. All my other boxes that I have had have a great Claro wrapper. For whatever reason, this box is darker. Not maduro, but closer in shade to a RASS wrapper. First half. I’m lucky that this wasn’t my first Quai. I’ve had great luck on the construction of these and have found 14-15 to be a kind of golden period for a lot of cigars. This one just... wasn’t. Started well, but flavors were jumbled. Construction was meh. And it did this thing like sucking on a straw that had a hole in the side. Air. Second half. A certain amount of construction availed itself. It was “ashier” than any other Quai that I have had. None of the gingerbread that I have come to look forward to. Fortunately the burn was better which made the experience better. Summing up. I love these Quai Coronas. This one wasn’t typical of my normal experience with them. I think my box of 14 have been generally super and I have had a couple from this 15 box that were also good. I’d give this stick an 81-82. Looking forward to revisiting next year. Also curious to see how the new Quai Coronas are. They sure look pretty in photos.
  2. I look forward to what others have to say with regards to this question. I certainly can't think of a cigar that has that profile. Just the other day I had a young Epi 2 and I commented that it had certain qualities that were reminiscent of green apples and matcha tea. However I'm fairly certain that isn't the profile that the questioner was inquiring about. In terms of the complexities of great tea, I'd be fairly certain that there would be cigars that would dovetail nicely if one were to make some sort of tisane with them. The thing that I love about teas is the beguiling floral aromatics and harmonious balance with their tannins. It's not a profile I closely associate with cigars but if it were, I would think it would be with some of the lighter profile cigars like the HDM Epi 2 (as mentioned above) or the baking-spicy qualities of an aged QDO corona.
  3. Insofar as it sometimes feels like a relic from a previous life, I will nevertheless wade in. I used to play (quite awhile back) but also taught a History of Jazz class at university so I have come head on with both the "Jazz is wanky noodling" and "I don't like Jazz" POVs. Both are actually GREAT ways to enter the understanding of the trope. Jazz, like any other art forms with history, tends to wear its history on its sleeve. Of course there are a few "emperors new clothes players" but I'd argue that exists in all art forms. As someone, for example that likes Ad Reinhardt, I can't tell you how many times I hear, "Wait - that's just a black canvas?" To those I often say that, embedded within that black canvas, is a lot of story and tradition. Same as with jazz. When heard in a vacuum a lot of it sounds like wanky noodling. But there is a deep tradition that pervades (and influences others). To the "I don't like jazz" statement, I can relate to that. Some musical traditions do and don't resonate with me. It's when the "I don't like jazz" argument intersects with "Jazz is wanky noodling" that I sort of bristle. I could go further, but suffice it to say, "I don't like X" is usually fine. "X is bad" is usually fine. "I don't like X because X is bad" can be a difficult thing to hear.
  4. Great question. To me, they are pretty different. Since I don’t love Uber strong cigars, the Reyes wins on that point alone. But I also love the complexity of the Reyes. I understand why the Siglo I has its legions of fans but the herbaceous complexity of the Reyes is unique. Of course the above is contextualized with a very large “to each their own.”
  5. This is an exciting review for me, not only because I tend to like this cigar but because it’s the first cigar I have smoked that was released in 2018! I have a bit of older stuff that I had been meaning to get to so I haven’t had a single stick rolled later than October 17. I had recently had an Epi 2 from a marvelous 2015 box so I was curious how this newish one stacked up. Prelight: Floral. While beguiling and lovely, I have sometimes noted that a floral cigar at cold, can yield some bitter tannins. Hoping that’s not the case. First half: Cigar is wonderfully constructed, with good weight and this first half shows it! Draw is perfect and I get the classic cedar/ woody notes. Light and delicate. Fortunately not tannic or harsh. Second half: Around the middle of the cigar I got a slight nutty quality. Not usually noteworthy except this isn’t a cigar where that flavor usually peeks in. It was pleasant although it didn’t last. The back half definitely picked up in strength. There were green notes. I believe these notes will resolve well into more complexity given time. Paired with a really lovely daiquiri! Overall I was impressed with this cigar. I’d give it an 88-89 now but I can for sure see 93-94 potential in there. There is plenty of flavor to resolve!
  6. I read some great reviews! Thanks to all!
  7. Wailbait

    How to save a brand

    I love this question. I love it because at the end of the day, we don't really have to have a conversation about the quality of the stuff in the box. Let's presuppose it's basically good. A lot of the rest of it comes either from "top down" (sales descriptions, value added propositions - stuff the manufacturer tells us) or "bottom up" (hype, desire, exclusivity, FOMO etc). From a branding point of view, it's always struck me as interesting that Montecristo has such an iconic particular yellow. It's strong. It's powerful. It's unique. And yet, Diplomatico ALSO uses basically that same shade of yellow. It's always struck me as an "also ran" choice. Flip it around, if an RE comes out, what's the marca you're most excited about? I'd guess it's Diplo (or Quai). Somehow, the design marginalia (Diplo in its also-ran yellow and Quai in its I-Don't-Care-Brown) has fostered huge cultishness in the brand. It certainly has for me. If Habanos were to rejigger the Diplomatico brand in much the way they did the Quai - color shift, perception of high value, flashier band, modern sizes etc - I think they'd have a winner. And I think it would work well in a way that a La Flor de Cano rebrand might not.
  8. I'm sure this topic has likely been discussed but when I looked for it, I couldn't seem to find it. Apologies if this is a beaten horse. Is there data for how much weight (presumably in terms of water) a cigar picks up by virtue of it being in different relative humidities? I'm no chemist but I was assuming that a cigar stored, say, at 70% would weigh more than that same cigar stored at 60% for extended periods of time. But this is an assumption on my part as I have never checked this. Has anyone taken a particular cigar, desiccated it to some arbitrarily low Rh, then put it for extended periods of time (say 2 months) in humidors with increasing Rh? Curious if it's really true that higher humidity means the cigar weighs more. Wondering what the percentage of tobacco is organic matter and how much is just water? I'm sure this question has of course been asked ad nauseam. If so, is there linear adsorption for what moisture rests on the surface? Does higher humidity actually make heavier cigars?
  9. Great topic. I mostly echo previous responses: Fundadores Partagas E2 Monte 4 898 Also: Ive had some TOS Dip 2 from late 15 that are incredible now. (I know that’s 3 years) SCDLH Fuerza. I smoked one from 14 recently that was lovely but slightly “faded.” I figure a 2 year old one should be right in wheelhouse. I would think Fonseca 1 should be fine at 2 years.
  10. I really like this question. As I think about my own collection, it has great resonance. I certainly don’t smoke “everything.” There are a few that I have found to be what I enjoy which I stock and I have a drawer of singles/fivers that I use for the purpose of sampling. Given my own predilections, I smoke: PLPC, Quai Corona, RASS, 898, Monte 4, PSD4, and Partagas E2. The first 3 on that list just aren’t that enjoyable to me without multiple years of aging. I don’t sample them new. They just lay down. I’ve found that older 898s (like from 2008, say) still might need time but somehow the new 898s seem pretty good with very little age. They must have changed the blend. The Monte 4, PSD4 and E2 really are a great ride. I like them young, I like them old. They tell a great story. The above is my personal story. I’ve kissed quite a few frogs along the way though. I always love hearing about how others find their taste profile.
  11. What has been remarkable is that while they might not have that salty/briny/iodine-y quality that some of the Sanchos have, they manage to present the citrus/tangerine complexity you get from older Cohibas next to that earthy/forest floor “umami” that is not totally common. Obviously since you are “smoking” something, every cigar has a “bitter” component. These Edmundo Dantes are among the most complex rides. Wish I had more!
  12. Great topic. Some of the most complex cigars I have had were the Edmundo Dantes ones. There’s some magic in that blend where it really tells a story and goes for a ride.
  13. Yes! That’s it! It’s the best. Also very comfy.
  14. Not a funny or ironic mug but apparently my wife’s grandmother knew these potters in Cape Cod and she had this particular mug in the 60s. The potter’s Grandkids run the business and they still make the same pattern. I love it.
  15. Wailbait

    Box of the day (Wednesday)

    I have been eagerly awaiting a great box of e2. My favorite schmancy cigar.
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