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  • Location
    Hong Kong
  • Interests
    Scotch, Cuban Cigars

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  1. Cracked this box around a week ago, and this is the second stick. The first one was really good, showed me what age can do for the Monte 4. This is probably the 3rd box I cracked this quarter and probably the first one with some age on it. I did a review on a previous box recently, link here, so this review would likely be more a comparison rather than a stand-alone review. Just for context, during the afternoon I had a Nudie Lancero (N1, I believe - I always mix up the numbers). Dinner was steak, fries and a hash brown, followed by Haagen Dazs Belgian chocolate ice cream. Some work to do for the Monte to stand up to that chocolate, but *spoiler alert* it did! This was had while watching Spurs v Newcastle. No stake in it for me except for hoping that the Auld Enemy drops some points. Pre-light - I was already filled with anticipation as the first stick out of this box was really good. That was also the reason why I allowed myself to have the ice cream before this. On the nose it was smooth chocolate and the cold draw tasted as such. The cigar was just a touch more moist than preferred, which resulted in ever-so-slightly tougher draw. This got me a little worried as the previous box of Monte 4s had quite a number that were overfilled. Out came the de-humidifier to ensure that the cigar does not pick up more moisture along the way. 1st 3rd - As expected, lots of chocolate in these. The oils on the sticks look like some giraffe pattern (I have no picture). You could probably say cheetah, leopard, any other spotted animal - don't know why giraffe came first to my mind. It definitely shows in the taste though. The touch of age has definitely smoothed everything out, melded the flavours together in the most fantastic way. 2nd 3rd - The creamy chocolate flavour simply takes over the entire stick. A touch of nutmeg, bit of sea salt. All mainly to balance out the chocolate but none of them a major flavour on their own. As with most of the Monte 4s that I've had previously, not a lot of evolution on this one. 3rd 3rd - The strength of the cigar has ticked up that tiny bit. Chocolate gets heavier and denser and is now balanced by earthy notes. Very nice, straightforward and enjoyable. Overall - the age really enhanced and smoothed out the flavours of the cigar as compared to the previous review. Dark chocolate but the cream did not carry the velvety texture that I so enjoy. Burn was a little wonky, possibly because I was smoking a little slow, but always corrected itself. Draw remained fine throughout - I guess the de-humidifier served its purpose. Really good example that for all its inconsistencies, if you pick a good box to age, Monte 4s can also provide a fantastic smoke! 87/100 Bonus rating 0/10 for the new handball rule in the EPL this season. Although it was funny to see a certain Jose storm down the tunnel (and 2 dropped points), this is absolutely destroying the game. The main target now would be to flick the ball into the defending players' arms instead of trying to play football. Today it was Newcastle, yesterday Man U benefited even after the full-time whistle was blown (wtf?), while Everton went top courtesy of another call. When you have the winning manager (Steve Bruce today) calling it a farce, you know something is really broken about the system.
  2. scored a box and hoping it's the one pictured up top! 😀
  3. I have been using something very similar to these for more than a year - works fantastically well. Good function, decent size tank, can work in a light breeze. Nothing more than is actually needed but low scores for the aesthetic!
  4. Cigars seem loose in the box but the bands seem to fit snugly. If the cigars shrank over time the bands should also be loose?
  5. I think the first thing is that you should do whatever you like best! For me, it goes up to 30C+ and 90%+ humidity in the summer. Smoking outdoors in those conditions become very difficult. Tight cigars quickly become plugged. Cigars coming out from 65%+ storage also quickly become impossible to draw through. To combat this, I try to keep my smoking stock at the lower 60rh. Smoke indoors when possible - smoke smaller (shorter and/or thinner) sticks when not possible. I find slightly windy conditions help (pull out a fan if at home). I also find that purging helps.
  6. Agreed that I also expect minimal change in Laga, especially since he's only been the manager for 2 years and that is really a short time in whisky terms. On the other hand, I have heard that the reason for the high number of NAS releases from Ardbeg was because they didn't have a good stock of aged whisky (similar to why the Japanese distilleries stopped production of all their aged statements).
  7. Curious on whether there has been any development on this?
  8. Well, this is the most touching love story I've read this year Welcome back!
  9. Definitely not ugliest, but 1 of 1 handmade by my dear friend Colin @cfc1016. Beautiful curves around this thing!
  10. Nice review, great looking fire and something poetic about allowing the nub to go into the charcoal
  11. 5-6 years ago I was in Tokyo smoking at a cafe, and two gentlemen (Italian and Swiss) sat on the next table for a smoke. We struck up a conversation and I said I was smoking a Cuban. He asked me if I've ever had an "Italian cigar" and I said no. Pulled one out of his bag and gave it to me. It was about the length of a Cohiba Short, roughly similar width at the head but maybe double in size at the foot. It was inserted in a cello and there was no label/brand. He told me it was "very strong". Colour is probably maduro oscuro and the cold smell is really strong. I haven't smoked it till today - no particular reason. It's just something I've kept in my humidor since. Never really had any info on it until now! (will add a picture when I get the chance)
  12. Other than birthdays / other special dates where I reach for a EL, current "reward" sticks in my humidor are coro and siglo 2.
  13. Personal experiences: high humidity causes muted flavors and inconsistent burn. Lower humidity improves both aspects. Too low, however, will cause overheating and harshness. I also think ambient smoking humidity plays a part. It's generally very humid where I live (70-90+ at times) so I have to keep my cigars drier, and they will absorb moisture while I am smoking.
  14. Just arrived. Did not expect to find bovedas in the package, but FOH demonstrating its class again.
  15. I know I will be in the ballot for Ant Financial!

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