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Everything posted by OldEasy

  1. My girlfriend tends to like smaller cigars when she has one for herself although honestly she tends to prefer stronger or tougher around the edges cigars than I do. Huhc’s and MDO 4’s stuck out as ones she really enjoyed. Though I don’t know how anyone who likes cigars wouldn’t enjoy MdO’s, honestly HUHC’s aren’t particularly to my taste.
  2. That’s crazy! A year or two ago it was packed constantly at both that and the DTLA location! They really messed up trying to cheap out on their ingredients.
  3. I was a huge fan of Plan Check in Los Angeles. I used to live walking distance from the Sawtelle location. No old time claim to fame, and kind of a hipster spot, but delicious. The chef’s favorite burger in particular. Beer cheese, ketchup leather, hot sauce, bacon, and an egg over easy. Also had an absolutely phenomenal fried chicken with gravy and yam preserves. Unfortunately they changed their menu and ingredients and the magic has died.
  4. Small sample size for me, so maybe just bad luck but I have not enjoyed fundadores that much. I like the format, and really like the Reyes, so I don’t think it’s just that they aren’t to my taste. I’ve had quite a few with poor construction and even those that didn’t just had muddled flavor which became harsh after a point. In contrast I have consistently enjoyed even much younger Reyes much more. Perhaps I’ll just smoke two back to back the next time I think I want a fundy.
  5. 2015 QDO corona. I had smoked one of the new blend and unite enjoyed it, so wanted to see what the old one was all about. Honestly a bit disappointed, first third was pretty flavorless. Second two were good but nothing very exciting, and a soft spot contributed to a wonky burn. Based on this example alone I honestly wouldn’t purchase more of these, but I have a few more, so who knows.
  6. Yeah I can’t imagine they had a lack of success with the rebranded Coronas. I was never quick enough and they aren’t available anywhere. The 50’s seem to be around though, and closer to retail which seems to suggest demand is slightly lower, or I suppose that supply is less or the pricing was worse, or some combination thereof. Pre price hike those Coronas were a steal.
  7. Mine was a CC R&J that an older friend bought for me while on a fishing trip in Ontario when I was perhaps 14 or 15. I think it was a Churchill, but can’t be sure. Was quite expensive (as I thought cigars were supposed to be at the time), and not particularly memorable. I had it with a bottle of spiced rum over a campfire and recall the rum being much more to my liking. I already smoked cigarettes and a few extracurricular, so I don’t think I really understood the point of smoking something without the intent to alter my mind. I had cigars here and there over the years, when offered at special event, but didn’t really ‘get it’ until I started trying to stop drinking and came across Padron ‘64s. Still took me a few years before it became a regular thing, but I recall that being the first cigar that I honestly enjoyed rather than just smoked because it was lit.
  8. LGC MdO 4 Monte 3 QDO Coronas Claro Either CCE or CoRo for cohiba Either Mag54 or No. 2 for Upmann, perhaps 54’s since with unlimited I can just check the mediocre ones Padron 26 Maduro No. 2 Davidoff No. 1, Cuban PLPC Either Talisman or BHK 52 for second super premium, haven’t tried either yet, though I have a Talisman on deck, but those are probably the top 2 on my overpriced to try list. Last choice is perhaps a tie between JLS2 and Olivia Serie V Melanio No. 4
  9. Got lucky! Just had a feeling this time. Solid deception answers though, everything was different and sounded very plausible. Vote is pretty dead split too.
  10. Old school for literature every time. Still need to build some shelves for the new place though so I presently have several book piles. One caveat: I’m in school and I use ebook texts. Much less expensive (textbooks are massively overpriced) and the search functionality is a lifesaver. I do intend to stock a small library related to my field in my office when I finish school, but it won’t be composed of undergraduate texts anyway. Overall old school all the way though.
  11. Congrats brother, that is a pretty epic prize sampler! Thanks to our fearless host as well!
  12. Thanks! I’m glad it’s not just me. Plenty of people seem to have a lot of love for them, so perhaps that’s from the period before I got into cigars seriously, but I don’t get it.
  13. Apologies for the lack of picture. I smoked this while on a cross-town trek and forgot to snap one while driving. I decided to take one of this gaudy band instead, so if this disqualifies me from the competition, no worries, but I thought the cigar fit perfectly with the theme and took detailed tasting notes, so I wanted to post it anyway. Similarly, unsure of the date, but the box is new to the shelf of a local B&M, so I would expect 2019 or late 2018. An old friend died last week, and though I have been incredibly busy, I wanted to smoke something a little outside the ordinary to meditate on our relationship, and ‘pour one out’ so-to-speak, as I no longer drink alcohol. He always had an abrasive and challenging personality, so a Fuente, which I have always struggled to appreciate or enjoy, seemed appropriate. A little background on my history with Fuente’s: I have smoked a fair variety of regular production, Hemingway, Don Carlos, ect. but have never smoked an Opus. Fuente has been the only major non-cuban brand that I have found worse quality control than Cuba. I have had almost a 50% plug rate and nigh on 100% burn issues and some degree of unraveling. One Don Carlos Reserva is tied for the most unsmokeable cigar I have ever come across. It was plugged, and one side of the cigar was completely fire proof. I could literally hold a torch to a specific point for 20-30 seconds, and not only did it fail to combust, it wouldn’t even disintegrate. Even when Fuentes have been passably smokeable, I have usually found them sharp and unpleasant in flavor and harsh on the palate, often burning and chapping my lips. In many ways they characterize all the aspects of cigars that kept me from delving fully into this hobby a long time ago. That said, I have never tried an Opus. As such, I believed that my blanket criticism of the brand might be unfair. A stellar flagship can really offset poor performance by lower tier offerings. I have yet to smoke an excellent 1000-series Padron, but that doesn’t stop Padron from being my favorite non-cuban brand. So, out of fairness to Fuente, I felt I needed to try an opus before dismissing them entirely. And what could be more appropriate to my larger-than-life friend but the epitome of a brand that has always challenged me. THE CIGAR: Appearance: Very oily wrapper slightly darker than Colorado but with a touch of rosado vibrance that I don’t associate with Colorado Maduro. Veins were raised, prominent, and accompanied by long dark streaks which made for a somewhat unrefined appearance. The foot was slightly smooshed, but not cracked. Overall feel was quite firm. Overall, not a pretty cigar to me, but no characteristics that suggest a bad quality one. Cold Draw: Thankfully no draw issues. Solidly medium, neither tight nor loose. Flavor and odor at cold was mainly musty attic and strong tobacco. Somewhat resembled a richer Hemingway with a touch of the sharpness rolled off but the pungency maintained. 1st Third: The cigar was a bit resistant to lighting, which was unexpected given its relative lack of girth and the brawny quad-flame torch I borrowed from the B&M where I purchased it. When the outer rim appeared to be evenly lit I gave up on getting the center aflame and decided to just start puffing. I was immediately greeted by a TON of black pepper which somewhat dwarfed anything else for a moment. Again, I was reminded of a better Hemingway. More complex and rich, better underlying flavors, but it had that same combination of mustiness and peppery sharpness. Strength is just shy of full, but body and flavor are only around medium leading to a somewhat hollow sensation to the strength. Along with the pepper there was a strong woodsmoke or campfire type flavor which was somewhat harsh and not to my liking. Yet it was well developed and seemed intentional rather than just a sign of youth. The underlying base was strongly overshadowed by the pepper and woodsmoke flavors but consisted of a combination of a heavy woodiness (oak comes to mind) and leather, but not the bright clean leather of a new jacket. No, this had a dirty washed-out pungency, like old saddle leather or your grandfather’s leather couch that hasn’t been cleaned in years and carries some of that nursing-home staleness. Some earthiness was also present. Overall the first third was much what I expected: typical Fuente flavors with a more refined and complex delivery. Definitely one of the better Fuentes I’ve smoked, but still not a cigar that I enjoy very much. As far as construction, the cap unraveled almost immediately after lighting, and needed to be reaffixed with some saliva. Similarly the burn developed a slant of about 45 degrees, but thankfully didn’t get worse as I didn’t have a torch in the car for corrections. Though initially irked, in retrospect I think the burn could likely have been due to the smashed foot, and therefore not a true construction issue. Cap unraveled repeatedly throughout this third, but wrapper itself stayed solid. 2nd Third: Around the second third the pepper subsided rather dramatically and abruptly, and the strength of the cigar dropped with it, to just over medium. The underlying base flavors took prominence and the leather seemed to freshen up with a touch of tang or sourness. Almost as if someone had gone over the old saddle with some Murphy’s oil soap. Similarly the oak flavor of the first third transitioned to a brighter wood, perhaps pine or cedar. There was still a strong musty aspect to the cigar, but it became less smokey (in flavor) and intense. Earthiness similarly faded into the background. While strength went down, body actually picked up a bit with the flavors becoming richer and filling the palate more. I’d say around medium full. Burn remained slanted for most of the third, but straightened up towards the end. I had to reaffix the cap a few more times, but no issues beyond that. Final third: I got distracted trying to jot down some notes while driving, and let the cigar die down. It didn’t go out by any means, but took a few puffs to really get going again. When it did, I was greeted by an entirely new cigar. Somewhere between the flavors of the first two thirds, but at the same time distinct from either of them. The smokiness was back, but now took on the distinct flavor of charred steak. The old attic mustiness remained strong, but blended into the other aspects of the cigar more effectively, transforming it into an indulgent pleasure rather than an annoying distractor. Almost how a hint of a bitter flavor can transform a good meal into a great one. Sourness faded substantially, but there was still a hint of tang. New flavors entered as well, I got a touch of dark red wine, like a cabernet sauvignon, around the charred steak, and I am reminded of a candlelight steakhouse. Body is now distinctly full, and strength picked back up slightly to a medium full. Burn has corrected itself. Over the course of the third the charred flavor began to subside again into the rich mustiness, The wine flavor becomes lighter and more vibrant, perhaps a merlot now, and a bit of chocolate enters the edge of the picture. At times I even think I might get a hint of subdued cherry, more rich than tart though, as if it had been candied some time ago. This is the cigars shining moment, and I absolutely get what people see in it. Even if I hate the packaging and marketing (a cigar does not need 4 names, nor do you need a sub-brand for a single line, Fuente Fuente) and it is not a flavor profile I seek out, I cannot help but recognizing that this third shows greatness. Rating and Final Thoughts: Overall I’ll give the Perfecxion No. 5 89-90 points. Complexity and dramatic evolution were definitely strengths, but the initial harshness and lack of balance detracted, as did substandard construction for a premium NC, particular at this price point. I found it a really good cigar that I could appreciate, but was not necessarily to my liking. Still, it was just at the cusp of being a truly great cigar that I couldn’t help but love despite not being what I traditionally look for. That final third was phenomenal and really spoke to the cigars potential, but the first 2/3 left, to me, something to be desired regardless of subjective taste.
  14. Should have gone with my instincts this time. Over thought it and ended up with the wrong answer.
  15. I will intentionally do so if I’m smoking a cigar ‘seriously’, I.e. looking for flavor notes actively, especially if it’s a cigar that is new to me. If I’m smoking a cigar passively/just to relax I may or may not depending on my mood and the blend. Usually Cubans haven’t given me trouble, but a few deceptively smooth Nicaraguans have done a number on my nose when I tried (Padron comes to mind), so I may avoid if smoking a cigar where I expect it to be unpleasant.
  16. I was just going to say that every time I pick up an MDO 4 I am surprised by what a great and consistent cigar it is (even the ugly ones). I’m working through an MSU July 17 box right now that has been fantastic, and it’s getting to be about time to grab another. It’s funny because I feel like the box had some cigars that seemed younger with fuller strength, and more pepper and fruit notes whereas others were more mature with silky smooth and rich smoke, but I love that cigar both ways.
  17. Dead split after my vote! I put laundry because it’s less total work over the course of the week (2-3 loads of laundry for my girlfriend and I vs. 10-20 meals worth of dishes). Still, if time expenditures were equal I’d rather do dishes. It’s straightforward and mindless vs. trying to figure out what exactly this particular feminine article is, how one goes about affixing it to a hanger and where it should go. Also- my clothes get washed and dried on normal or they go to the dry cleaner. Not so with feminine clothes. Further, it seems that every week there is some new article in there that I’ve never seen in my life.
  18. Would you say the flavor profile was pretty similar to the new Coronas Claro or not so much?
  19. I’m calling a sir Winston v. Lancero final, which admittedly is a safe bet. If not though, it will definitely be sir Winston (beating out Fundis in the semis) vs. whoever wins the matchup between PLPC and Lusis.
  20. I have never tried a sir Winnie, but they are high on my bucket list. Some No. 2’s are at the top of my buy list at the moment though unless I come across a few Winston singles. That said, I don’t have any right now and probably wouldn’t smoke them frequently due to the size. I tend to go for smaller cigars most of the time. I do have some Mag 54’s right now and when they are on they are fantastic despite the silly vitola. Unfortunately, they’ve been a little hit or miss so far, but the box is still young so I can’t say whether that will always be the case. Still, I’d say you couldn’t go wrong with a box of whichever magnum you prefer.
  21. I forget who it was, but whoever called the PLPC as this tournaments dark horse seems to be on the money right now. I would not expect it to be beating out the Hoyo DC.

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