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Everything posted by DSegal

  1. I find RyJ to be the most inconsistent marca by far, across all their vitolas. Every now and then, one has a nice tart/sweet cherry palate with perfect construction, but then the next ones fall flat--the flavor not there, or just an ashy empty taste. The last few I have smoked (2019 Belicosos) have been tasty but underfilled. Better than plugged, but it seems hard to find a RyJ that's consistent. **Comparing RyJ Belicosos to BBF, BBF are much more consistent but also consistently a bit boring and underwhelming. Not a bad cigar but not one I reach for. By contrast, consider the consistency of,
  2. Anyone smoked these yet? I have smoked 2 from a friend and they are exquisite. Best cigar I've smoked all year :). But really they are the best I've smoked in a long time. 2018 ER and I think they hit shelves late in 2019, but it's surprising how little info I am able to find on these cigars--reviews or otherwise. Smoked this one n the garage/shop...but I will enjoy a few of them in the hot tub over the coming weeks. I have about 15 more but they did not arrive in the box so I don't have box code details, sorry.
  3. Grilling on the way out of Havana? That is odd. What country is he from?
  4. I use a straight cutter on Piramides but cut them on an angle, preserving the taper somewhat. This leaves one 'side' of the head almost intact but the opposite 'side' cut more. Allows more open draw on a cigar that needs it, but the first angle cut is always just a little nip in case the draw is already good.
  5. I know this topic has gone dormant for a couple months, but...since we are all wishing and daydreaming about going to Cuba: the people, the colors, the safety, the music, the food, the rum, the open-ness, the buyer's-market feeling that exists everywhere for travelers, the cheap and beautiful airBNB type accommodations, the glorious grand old hotels, the true neighborhood feeling you get walking side streets that has become mostly a thing of the past in the US at least, the warm nights, and then yes the cigars. For me it is about being in a cigar culture--THE cigar culture. For a cigar lover i
  6. Nice article. As with all of the Covid info, days matter, so it's hard to put anything in print and have it remain true and relevant a week later...what I think is so interesting about Cuba's response, aside from numbers and data, is that they seem to be taking a pretty transparent approach. Highly unlike their government. But they seem to be. I remember a few years ago thinking wow, they have no Zika, even as Zika was becoming common in the Caribbean. Of course later it became clear that Cuba was just not reporting. Here, they seem to be. No country really seems to have it totally under contr
  7. In Vinales, try to eat at Sunset Restaurant (Restaurante Sun Set) Agroecologico. It is a gorgeous rustic farm to table fresh food place with great everything--drinks, meats, salads, sides, service, ambiance, views...a short walk off the beaten path. People in town will know it by name. Make a reservation if you want to eat there during the sunset. But its pretty any time. You will eat lots of delicious food for less than what you pay for a good meal at home, wherever home is. It's not dirt cheap but it's really not much more than eating anywhere else. I don't find Vinales to be a great cigar t
  8. Nice set of notes. Agree with the food comment--am always surprised when I read comments that the food in Cuba is uninteresting or just bad. I don't know what those people are eating, or where.
  9. Agreed that age probably won't help them much. I was hoping for some of that peanut butter Punch flavor...It raises an interesting question. Yes, some cigars are disappointing and then they turn into gems with time, but a cigar that smokes great without having to rest is a winning attribute. I know I can enjoy my 5 year old cigars now, but it's so nice when something smokes well right away. I do find most cigars smoke nicely in Havana--the warmth and humidity tend to bring out the aromas and allow the smoke to linger around you in most cases. As opposed to when I smoke at 25 degrees with a lig
  10. I have a box of those Prado and the first one I smoked is excellent. Can't say the same about the ubiquitous Punch La Isla RE Cuba. I have tried a few from a few boxes and all have been bland and underwhelming. Yes they may need time but they don't suggest a lot of promise.
  11. Just got back Saturday. The currency situation feels like it's changing very quickly. In the airport (Jose Marti, terminal 2, the smaller terminal), the duty free shop accepts Moneda Nacional (pesos, the national money of the Cuban people), but not CUC. In my experience this is very rare. They also accept Euro and USD. So the only currency they didn't take was CUC. Another restaurant had USD and CUC prices displayed on the menu--this was not at a hotel, so also unusual and new. I change money with a friend and we got 1:1 in the exchange. I'm sure I could find a higher rate but I am happy for h
  12. Just smoked my first one yesterday, LGR JUL 19. SCDLH is such a tasty marca and this one does not disappoint. It will be very good. Has a bit of edge that I am sure will mellow out over time--how much time being the question...
  13. The quality is there, the draw and burn are great on those, yes the size is handy and the flavor is good, but flavor is where I felt they were a little boring. Still a 10 year old regular production cigar off the shelves, I think is always a must-buy. Especially for $89.00 (same price as I paid 2 years ago). Mine were BAP NOV 10. But I don't think the size is the reason for the lack of complexity or depth of flavor, it's just that Open series from Monte. They seem to have been made a little like a light beer. A good light beer, but still a light beer. Maybe akin to an Amstel Light.
  14. We can all hear the first-time excitement in your exclamation point. It is such a cool place. I found a box of those 2010 Open Juniors in two shops in 2018 and bought one. It is long gone now but was a high quality little ind if slightly one-dimensional.
  15. I will check out the Partagas store and see what they have...going in about 10 days.
  16. Thanks for the heads up and a good box code too. So...have you smoked a few yet?
  17. You have any other cabs of that stamp or just PLPC?
  18. Bought a 50 cab of PLPC in the only real place to buy Habanos in Viñales, the poorly stocked little shop in the main drag. This was back in February 2018. I had to lobby to get into the humidor but it was worth it. There in a back shelf sat a lone cab. TOS JUL 16. Once home I started smoking them, not realizing they might need a few years. After smoking 6-8 they were all plugged, and having to cut almost an inch off a little cigar to get them to draw, I gave up. Now as they approach 4 years old, they are smoking great like burnt sugar treats. Lesson learned.
  19. I’m with Monterey. 5y16 was a big let-down for me after wanting to get there for a few years. Found a box of SLR Regios there, that was the most interesting one. So nothing too special.
  20. DSegal


    Most casa owners may not be sitting on $2K but many know people who run exchange side businesses. So often they’ll make a call and someone can show up who has more money to exchange than you will need. This may require your trust—which I enjoy doing but I realize isn’t for everyone. My experience is high have to give your US $ to the person, who then leaves, and returns with CUC. These have traditionally been the folks who offer better rates. 1:1 or perhaps a little better lately. A year ago it was 95:1 or so. We’ve all heard of 1.15:1 now but I think the extreme. To be clear, you can find fol
  21. Has anyone tried these? And has anyone seen them on a shelf in Cuba recently? If so, maybe you'd share where...I am going in a few weeks and want to locate some. Just tried a QdO Capitolio and it was a treat. I have 3 more that my dad brought back from France last year.
  22. If you have not gone yet and are reading this, a nice spot to enjoy a cigar is the 2nd floor of Hotel Manzana Kempinski. It's a sort of sitting room with very high ceilings, balcony doors that open to a view of the street and Parque Central below, usually empty, serves little coffees or teas or booze, and that's where their cigar shop is located. It has been deserted when I've been there so it is like having a private elegant parlor.
  23. Agreed, at terminal 2 the availability falls under the 'if you're desperate' category. Prices are the same though I think. I had a few CUC left and bought a 3-pack of Monte Petit Edmundo there. Can't remember the date but they were nothing special and didn't taste like much. Still if you like buying cigars in Cuba, it is hard to accept the fact that you are leaving and won't be able to do it again for a while. Therein lies the airport desperation.
  24. DSegal


    I doubt we are at the point where LCDH will take USD unless someone has seen that recently? The CUC may be dying but it's not dead yet. Talked to a friend in Havana today. He said 1.15 CUC to 1 USD maybe if you hustle for a bit or dig deeper, but yes everyone seems to be able to get 1:1 right now. Which should be good enough--I don't need to come out ahead on the exchange but it is nice not to be hit with the USD 10% penalty.

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