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  1. Early hours are definitely a pet peeve of mine, as others have mentioned I tend to find myself most interested in a lounge later in the evening. Unfortunately this seems more or less universal, so I’ve gotten used to it. As a younger cigar smoker and someone who doesn’t wear business attire on a day to day basis I also get irritated when I enter a new B&M and am treated dismissively. Once a few years ago I was looking for a Davidoff later in the evening and the only cigar shop that’s i found which was still open and stocked them was in Beverly Hills (a 30 min drive for me with no traffic). I showed up with 30-40 min of their business hours to spare to find a locked door. There was still an employee behind the bar (standing still, not cleaning) and an older gentleman in a suite smoking a cigar. The employee looked over at me when I tried the door, so I stood there for a moment, and he just stared at me. Didn’t even bother to come over and tell me that they were closed or hosting a private event or anything, just stared at me. Now I can understand closing a bit early or if he had told me the lounge was closed for the evening but that absolute dismissal really irked me, and I’m confident that had I been older or dressed differently I would have been treated differently. The reality is though that i was going to step in the humidor grab a $25 cigar and leave in 5-10 minutes and couldn’t even get the time of day.
  2. Another point of note is that all Padrons use aged tobacco, the 1926 and family reserve lines the longest, so though NC’s are generally aiming to be smokeable right away ageing tobacco may still have a role in the experience of cigars you know and love. That said, to me, nothing in the Cuban portfolio really does what a Nicaraguan Maduro does, and for that reason I still smoke some Padrons and Olivia’s though I have largely switched to a Cuban humidor. Though I enjoy Cohiba’s Maduro 5 line they aren’t the same animal. In contrast I believe that Cuba generally does everything the DR does, but better. My personal guide seems to be 90 days rest after shipping and 1 year of box age seem to really increase the percentage of cigars in a box I find “really good” and almost eliminate those I find unsmokeable. I certainly think there is benefit from waiting past then, and shared your impatience initially but my experience has shown I have more often than not felt many of the cigars smoked prior to this point were wasted. Perhaps keep buying NC’s for the short term and keep sampling your Cuban stash from time to time and see if they become more to your liking if money is not a concern. As others have said if they aren’t your thing that’s perfectly legitimate, but as someone who shared your initial impression I implore you to try to have some patience and see if you have some wow experiences. I know I have now.
  3. Congrats brother enjoy the spoils! Similarly, thanks for putting up the prizes and hosting these review competitions Prez, it encourages me to push myself in terms of what I notice and enjoy in a cigar!
  4. So far I’ve smoked 6 I believe out of this box and 5 have been right on the money in terms of strength and balance. This was the first that I would say really needed more time to mellow. So maybe another 6 months would help, I think they’re close thought. The other trade off of note is that the fruity flavors in the young ones seem to dissipate a bit with the strength and give way to more of a leather, nut , and cream profile. So if those are flavors you enjoy, it might be worth sampling one after they acclimate to see where you stand and go from there.
  5. Sorry it was so disappointing, some of the dc’d LGC’s are definitely on my wishlist as well, so I’m sorry to hear that this one was underwhelming.
  6. Thanks! Yes, I have been more than impressed with every cigar out of it!
  7. This examples construction is good particularly for LGC, smooth velvety wrapper, though not super oily. Veins are not too pronounced of and just a few discolorations. Draw is a bit loose for a cigar so thin but that’s just where I like it, and it's still not a wind tunnel. After cutting and testing I get leather and sweet hazelnut from the cold draw 1/3 The initial base flavor seems to be mainly leather. The cigar is fairly sweet from both a hazelnut cream flavor and a bit of fruityness, maybe tart grape and a bit of peach with the grape being dominant. Some woodiness is present on the retrohale (perhaps oak) which I'm not getting on the palate. In the background just a touch of peperriness and smooth cream. The smoke remains smooth on the palate in spite of the pepper. The burn is slightly angled but this self corrected by the end of the first third. This particular cigar, while not necessarily strong for the MDO generally is rather strong for this box, most of which have been on the mild side of medium. At this point I'd call this one solidly medium. 2/3 Woodiness becomes more prominent with regular puffing. The fruity flavors take a back seat at first, but then fade in and out, with the peach now stronger than grape. Pepper grows a touch both on the palate and in flavor, but overall the cigar is still rather smooth, particularly for its strength. Around the halfway point the pepper and heat begin to dominate the retrohale, making it unpleasant (for me) despite the smoke remaining smooth on the palate. Leather comes back in towards the end of the second third. Brown sugar and maple syrup Sweetness comes with it, though the hazelnut cream has largely faded. Strength is now medium full. . 3/3 I ash around the beginning of the final third with further strengthens the pepper. It and wood dominate the final third with a bit of the hzelnut from the cold draw, though the creaminess of this flavor is gone. Sweetness isn’t gone but fades further into the background. Right around the nub, it does return a bit. The final third was probably the least enjoyable to me, though the return of the sweetness was nice, so I smoked it down until it became uncomfortable to hold. This third was perhaps just shy of full strength. I'll give this cigar a 92, as it wasn't quite mind blowing, and I've enjoyed other examples from this box more, but it was still really good, and I would be hard pressed to fault it much. Primary criticisms are the initial angled burn, and the pepperiness dominating other flavors for part of the final third, and being just a touch harsh on the palate. Though this effect wasn't bad, in other examples from this box, I have found flavors to be better balanced and mixed, and to retain prominence even as the cigar ramped up in strength. Similarly, other examples have remained smoother on the palate even as they gained spice and strength.
  8. LGC MdO 4 was my most recent addition to the list. Not so much that any one cigar blew me away, but just that I was sitting there smoking one and realized that it may be the only Cuban I have smoked any real number of that I have never had a bad one. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had one that was anything less than very good. I also find I never light one and wish I had gone for something else. Between that, the quick smoke time, and the relatively low price they make a great ‘any time’ cigar.
  9. I wholeheartedly agree with the recommendations for the La Gloria Cubana Medaille D’Or no. 4, both very fruity and a great cigar. JL2 I get more orange creme like one might find in a chocolate than true orange, but still somewhat fruity. Definitely a very good cigar, but not one I have a particular affinity for (unlike the LGC). Only had two RASS and honestly did not get much nuance in flavor from either, probably smoked them too young. In NC’s I really like the Olive Serie V, and find it to have a distinct red wine and leather profile. The Melanio is also quite good though I would not call it fruity and is really a quite different cigar. Most Maduros also tend to have a fruityness to me. The Padron 1926 I tend to get apple or other fruit out of depending on the example. Not much experience with vegetal cigars as the profile generally does not appeal to me, or doesn’t sound appealing so I don’t often go after it. I suppose I do get hay or lemongrass from some cohibas, which I enjoy, but I don’t know if I’d really call those vegetal flavors to me.
  10. Has to be over. I don’t trust you under types.
  11. As others have said, first class for the leg room alone. I’m of the ‘please don’t acknowledge my presence unless you need to use the restroom’ variety of travelers. I’m also in a happy relationship, and live in LA so star power is not a huge draw either way.
  12. I was on the fence about this season until the last episode. The narrative wasn’t great and the execution left even more to be desired, but I felt like they still had room to move with the last episode and they just threw it away. I was annoyed with how short the season was at first, but honestly watching the last episode I thought it was far longer than it needed to be given what they did with it. They tried to hard to pull an unexpected game of thrones style ending but the twists were lazy, not built to (Dany’s Break) and often didn’t make any sense (bran on the throne)... and still fell victim to the cheesiness and sentimentality that the show initially eschewed so well and made it unique. Also where were the legions of unsullied and Dothraki hiding during the battle of winterfell?
  13. Cheapie in a heartbeat so long as it was a decent cheapie. I can’t stand a plugged cigar! I just fight with it forever and even when I do get a decent pull it tastes like trash because the whole thing got too hot from my sucking on it. A plug makes the whole thing thoroughly unenjoyable. I am much more tolerant of moderate burn issues as I’m still enjoying the thing while I mess with it. But if neither are good, I’d rather just not smoke at all, though I’ll admit, it’s hard to just toss an expensive one.
  14. Sounds like a pretty epic road trip! Roscoes is bomb. Weirdly enough though, about the best fried chicken I’ve ever had was the Jidori with fried okra and yam preserves at a hipster burger joint, Plan-Check (the location on Sawtelle) before they changed the menu and got terrible.
  15. Mark’s Feed Store in Louisville, KY I remember being fantastic for both pulled pork and ribs (my two favorites), but I have only eaten there a few times and not in many years. For LA (my vicinity) of course Bludso’s, but I’m particularly partial to Gus’s in Pasadena. Again, pulled pork or baby-back’s. And the Memphis sauce at Gus’s.

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