AusDyer

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Posts posted by AusDyer

  1. I made a comment regarding this elsewhere but felt this needed it's own thread. It's a very interesting subject to me and I'm interested to hear others's experience and thoughts on it.

    Not too long ago, I learned that a few companies outside of Cuba, like Davidoff, have more grading categories for their leaves as well as their other stricter quality control measures which produce much greater consistency of good construction and drawing of their cigars. Because they have more grades of leaf from the tobacco plants to fine tune blends, by comparison to these methods Cuban factories are therefore randomly mixing up different blend components from higher or lower on the plant but just grouping them together as one blend component due to the tradition. 

    Another example of greater QC is how Perdomo refuse to use any leaves from the very base of the stem that have wilted into the soil (causing extra bitterness) which most cigar manufacturers don't do. While I don't like Dominican Davidoffs or Perdomos much for their bland flavour, this clearly helps in QC quite a lot, as their consistency (both in blend and construction) are far higher than with any Havanas. Just imagine if the Cuban factories graded their leaves more finely and updated some of their processes like this, how consistently great Cuban cigars could be.


    For reference, here's a time-coded link to a video at Davidoff where they're talking a little about their blending and categorization methods:

    "The traditional, normal way of classification of the leaves of the plant had only 3 grades - volado, seco and ligero. What that means is that "seco" is maybe 60% of the plant. Imagine. That means maybe at least 8 leaves are considered to be the same. You know if you take leaves 5 and 6 or you take leaves 11 and 12, they're different, so when you make the blend according to that, it's going to be different."

    https://youtu.be/bjOiWzekvOk?t=246

    • Like 2
  2. Excuse the double post but I find this really interesting and worth being discussed far more often. This is more to do with the flavour and strength consistency than burn issues of course, but still, I felt you guys would be just as interested. Here's a time-coded link to a video at Davidoff where they're talking a little about their blending and categorization methods:

    "The traditional, normal way of classification of the leaves of the plant had only 3 grades - volado, seco and ligero. What that means is that "seco" is maybe 60% of the plant. Imagine. That means maybe at least 8 leaves are considered to be the same. You know if you take leaves 5 and 6 or you take leaves 11 and 12, they're different, so when you make the blend according to that, it's going to be different."

    https://youtu.be/bjOiWzekvOk?t=246

     

  3. On 2/15/2021 at 7:10 AM, El Presidente said:

    So when you get a great cigar out of the same box....and an ordinary cigar out of the same box a month later. 

    Is that "blend", storage, luck, you, QC?

    I've found that to simply be blend/leaf and construction consistency problems on the whole, unless you're doing something drastic with how you're storing them or you're tired, hungover or been eating hot spices. Being from the same box doesn't always mean much (it still can mean a much higher chance of close consistency though, but certainly not always). The cigars have come from all over the factory over the course of each day, rolled by a whole array of different rollers and from many different bales of loosely graded and manhandled tobacco leaves. I even wonder if the odd roller might occasionally pocket a nice leaf here and there for themselves, leaving the odd cigar missing a blend component.

    Actually, in terms of blending, I only recently learned that a few companies like Davidoff have more grading categories for their leaves as well as their other stricter QC measures. So, as they have more leaf grades to fine tune blends, by comparison Cuban factories are randomly mixing up different blend components from higher or lower on the plant but just grouping them together as one blend component due to the tradition. Perdomo refuse to use any leaves from the very base of the stem that have wilted into the soil (causing extra bitterness) which most cigar manufacturers don't do. While I don't like Dominican Davidoffs or Perdomos much for their bland flavour, this clearly helps in QC quite a lot as their consistency (both in blend and construction) are far higher than with any Havanas. If the Cuban factories graded their leaves more finely and updated some of their processes like this, just imagine how regularly great they could be.

    In terms of flavour, there is an element of how alive your taste buds are too of course. Sometimes I really want to smoke a good cigar, but I just know my taste buds are off that day for whatever reason. But mostly it's  just inconsistency in over-produced handmade products made from leaves isn't it. Padrón are always lauded (possibly alongside Davidoff) for being the best in consistency in their cigars but even with Padróns I've found quite big differences in flavour and complexity between boxes, under-filling issues and once an enormous stem down the middle of the bunch that spoiled the burn and taste.

  4. On 1/19/2021 at 2:44 AM, El Presidente said:

    I need to smoke a lot more of 2019/20 from different boxes before being able to give a worthwhile opinion.  Hopefully we will get the chance over the coming months. 

    They don't alter  their blends lightly. It would surprise me. 

    Yeah, I agree with Rob that they don't tend to change blends, at least of classic vitolas, very much. However, different crops of tobacco can vary quite a bit from year to year. I've found Havanas in general have quite recently become much more homogeneous in their flavours in fact, with a sweeter, caramel type flavour in most of them. I've even noticed a slight hint of a Nicaraguan-esque flavour in many Havanas over the last couple of years - that Padrón natural kind of tinge. Anyone else found this or am I imagining things?

  5. Rob always gives Kenny a hard time about lighting his cigar properly even when he lights it perfectly. When he says that in this video, Ken's burn is nice and even. You really have to do something quite stupid on lighting to cause a cigar to taste bad, and a good cigar is generally a good cigar whatever you do. I used to buy into the whole meticulous treatment of cigars so you don't spoil them thing, but after many years I've found probably 95% of the time what's to blame for bad flavour and bad burning of cigars is the actual blend, tobacco quality and internal construction and moisture content of the cigar.

    I find the whole thing about lighting a cigar for 2 hours with 10 special cedar spills and not touching the flame to the foot (some even say don't cut the cap before you've spent all day lighting it) to be absolute nonsense. I've torched cigars every which way. I've also stored cigars too dry and too humid (over-humidified probably being a much more common source of issues particularly in very young cigars). When the cigar is good it'll burn and taste good. When they're constructed and blended properly they seem to just burn nice and evenly however quickly you may torch it. Bad tasting blends cannot be blamed on how you light the cigar and let's face facts, there are far more bad and even pathetic blends and construction coming out of Havana (and other places too) than great ones.

    • Like 2
  6. 1 minute ago, benfica_77 said:

    Is there a big difference between Lusi's and 898s? 

    Yep. 898s are generally a bit stronger and fuller flavoured. They have more coffee bean/espresso, earth and pepper. Lusitanias are actually quite soft and mellow cigars - cream, wood, hay, sweetness (maybe a touch of caramel). Both are excellent cigars when on form and will age very well, but a good 898 has more legs before they start to soften out too much.

    • Like 2
    • Thanks 1
  7. 9 hours ago, Cabinet89 said:


    Now that’s a keen eye. Yes they are Liro Rojo 2019. I will be sure to give you my thoughts after smoking one. I apologize in advance as I probably won’t be able to give you a sophisticated breakdown of all the tasting nuances throughout the progression as I am not that developed. However I will let you know my assessment.

    Cheers. Yeah, I thought they must be as the 2019s are the only ones with that "bullet cap" shape. Looking forward to trying the ones I've ordered myself, but it might be January before I receive them now due to covid/postal service issues. I've heard very good things anyway, despite a few complaints about burn issues.

  8. On 9/23/2020 at 11:55 PM, Ken Gargett said:

    thanks guys. always fun to do. 

    And bloody fun to read, mate. I've been enjoying you guys' video reviews since only a year or two after you started making them. Only just now have I stumbled upon your Kenfessions. I often find myself fully agreeing with you, and when it comes to these stubby little chodes that cigar companies are pumping out now I certainly do. This bit at the beginning of the review cracked me right up:

    "
    Honestly, my first impression was that I was at the dentist. It feels like your gob has been wedged open and something bad is about to happen."

    Brilliant. Your cigar reviews once lead me to buy a full box blind online from Geneva based purely on the box code. They were Punch Royal Selection from MGT ABR 07. They were incredible cigars and just as you'd described. I already felt your tasting notes were solid but ever since then I've trusted your FOHtv cigar reviews over any other youtube reviews...even despite the incessant bickering.

    I've also wondered if you've ever tried a Padrón 2000 maduro or even a Family Reserve 44 or 50 (natural wrapper)? I'd be fascinated to hear your thoughts on those Nicaraguan cigars. I've been exploring new worlds a lot more lately. Though I've not found anything that really floored me, the 2000 maduros are really unique and superb for the price. They'll really clear your sinuses too. The FR 44 and 50 naturals are expensive but a really good example of just how delicious Nicaraguan blends can be - certainly the best Family Reserves of all the ones I've tried. On the whole though, I've still not found anything as great as really good examples of the best Havanas.

  9. Sadly, greedy profiteering always damages the quality of products. It always happens once some management school team sees that a great product is selling really well, so they decide why settle for making huge profits when we could make enormous profits by cutting corners and selling some junk with a shiny label instead? Especially with luxury goods like fine cigars, you can sell a lot of relatively complete rubbish with a "limited" label and 3 bands for many times it's worth, and by the time people have realised they're not very good, they've all sold anyway and you move onto the next special release that everyone will buy no-matter how average or poor it is. If you actually make an exquisite cigar, sell it for a year or two, then swap the blend to something cheaper and not very good et voila... many people will keep buying it anyway and your profits will skyrocket.

  10. My most recent one was a box of 10 Monte 2s. I decided on a whim to grab a box of 10 (if I found one that looked like it might be good). The very first box I opened in my local B&M was oozing oil, dark choc wrappers and loose bunching at the feet. After feeling a few, they all seemed to have perfectly even give throughout (no tight feeling spots). I bought them immediately and smoked one the following day to try out. It was the best Montecristo #2 I've ever smoked in my life.

    Immediately, I went back and asked to look through their other boxes. None of them came close to the look, feel and potent box aroma. They kindly noted down the box code I gave them and found 2 more boxes of 10 from the same code in stock at another of their stores and had them sent over to my local. I checked them out and sure enough both of these other boxes were almost identical. I smoked 2 from one of the other boxes and another 3 from the original box I bought. Every last one has been amazing. They are crying out for a few years' aging though, because they're incredible already at a very young age and have plenty of richness and power in the back end to indicate that a few more years will improve them even more. So, I've had to bite my lip and squirrel them away.

    As is usually the case, these Monte 2s are loosely rolled, which is evident at the foot and from feeling the give along the length of each cigar. The draw is very easy, but still has a subtle pull to it. The box aroma is potent and gorgeous and the wrappers dark and very oily. They are very rich medium-full, milk chocolate, oaky, lashings of cream, coffee, black pepper and a hint of honey. I've also had Monte 2s which were sickly pale with a bright yellow tint, covered in little white water spots and had a completely different flavour - very light, cedarwood, white chocolate, cream and a little baking spice. Then, of course, there's the majority of them which I find tend to be thoroughly bland or even acrid (especially when tight). The wild variation in Havanas is bizarre when you consider how incredibly consistent many other cigar manufacturers can be.

    • Like 1
  11. 7 minutes ago, Lrabold89 said:

    Loose bunching at foot???? Why would anyone want this emoji22.png


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Because nearly every great Havana cigar I've ever had has been rolled loose. I've been smoking cigars for over 16 years and always wanted to find good firm rolls that draw well, but more often than not, they don't with Cuban cigars. They mostly will draw adequately, sure, but strangle the flavours off somewhat. These P2s I had were incredible and very loose, but with just a nice hint of "elastic" resistance. Of course you can find complete "wind tunnels" that don't burn well, overheat easily or even are just clearly missing some element to the blend or something and don't have great flavour. That's a different matter and applies equally to any roll quality.
     

    15 minutes ago, Riverstyx said:

    CCs are like golf after hitting that perfect shot.  You keep expecting to hit it again, but it doesn't come...until you're right on the cusp of taking a break.  They are as inconsistent as my golf game too - good luck, but it will be difficult to find a P2 that matches it...until you do.

     

    I agree with that but I've gone through this before many times and sometimes managed to get the box code/date of the cigars that were outstanding. After sourcing more boxes of the exact same code and wrapper shade, I found the same great quality. That's why I'm asking for experienced recommendations on box codes.

    • Like 1
  12. Fun tidbit: In the very first novel, Casino Royale, James Bond is first introduced as working under the cover of being a cigar merchant from Jamaica. This is the cover he uses to send and receive cable messages from HQ, and his funds for the utterly ridiculous, nonsense assignment he's on are referred to in terms of Havana cigar production numbers rather than francs.

    Oh, and for me the best James Bond after early Connery (yes, later Connery was a tubby, bumbling, lazy joke) was Timothy Dalton by a country mile. Even though early Connery was my favourite portrayal of the character, my top 2 Bond films are in fact Licence to Kill and Goldeneye. Just far better and more rounded films than the rest, which are largely very lame and many even just plain comedies and self-parodies. I thought Daniel Craig was great in Casino Royale and had a lot of promise, but I found after Royale he rapidly became incredibly dull, robotic, stiff and even plain awkward in the role. I also just still can't see him as James Bond, despite trying. He just seems like some weird ugly Russian henchman masquerading as 007 ? For me, On Her Majesty's Secret Service was an amazing Bond film, but Lazenby was a really bland James Bond with quite a number of cringeworthy deliveries (sorry Aussies). To give Lazenby his credit though, considering he wasn't even an actor at all he did a damn good job of muddling through as an adequate enough 007, which 99.99% of people could never pull off. Like Pierce Brosnan would have been a pretty weak Bond without that absolutely incredible head of hair (I swear to god, that's the only reason he was so loved), George Lazenby would have been an awful Bond if he hadn't been so good at the fighting.

    In terms of the original character in the novels, the closest to that character is somewhere right in between Connery (circa Dr No and From Russia With Love) and Timothy Dalton. That's if you ignore how astonishingly vile and racist he was in the books. That's not even PC millennial rubbish, this is an exact quote describing James Bond's own thoughts on Korean people (from the novel "Goldfinger"): "Those terms included putting Oddjob and any other Korean firmly in his place, which, in Bond's estimation, was rather lower than apes in the mammalian hierarchy." There are many other examples throughout the books, including the chapter title, "Ni**er Heaven" in Live and Let Die, in which Fleming also describes black people as second class human beings and portrays them as weird and often evil weirdos involved in crime and voodoo cults etc.

     

  13. Hi all,

    I am looking for recommendations for Partagás P2 box codes. I've had a couple of P2s lately that were really good. They had very light wrappers (with a nice rosado tint), quite loose and even rolls with easy draws and a rich box aroma. Flavours were like rich cedarwood, coffee bean, baking spices, white pepper and a hint of a creamy Parmesan cheese type complexity... if that makes sense to anyone and doesn't sound pretentious.

    Can anyone who knows their boxes well recommend any particular date/codes that match this description? Sadly, my cigar merchant just dumps their cigars out into display trays and keeps no record of what's what. Again, what I'm looking for is: 1. Even give/open bunching at foot/loose roll, 2. Light wrappers, 3. Rich yet delicate complexity

    Unfortunately, every other P2 I've tried since just doesn't match up and seem to have a less complex caramel-base flavour, usually darker wrappers and often firmer bunching. I've had the more savoury and complex character before in some D4s too, which also had the lighter wrappers. However, light wrappers alone don't seem to guarantee it. I need help and sound advice from experts here. Someone must know of certain date/codes that match this.

    Many thanks in advance!

  14. Whatever people enjoy of course but personally I can smoke a Bolivar petit corona in 45 mins if I want to and it's cheaper and IMO a much better blend which ages really well. @Ken Gargett your whinging in these videos can sometimes get a bit annoying (sometimes it's hilarious) but I have to agree with you on these tiny choad cigars. I've tried and have smoked many, hoping to find something worthwhile but in the end I just don't see the point. They aren't even a faster or even cheaper smoke in the end, so that idea doesn't really hold up. All that happens is they burn hot a lot sooner than if you just got a good petit corona or something (again, which are cheaper, so even if you did end up having to finish it early because you're in a rush it doesn't matter).

    I did used to enjoy the occasional Hoyo petit robusto, which is half an inch longer than these things believe it or not, but more often than not I've been finding them thoroughly disappointing of late - bitter and some poor construction. All of these large gauge short 3-4 inch cigars I find get very hot quite quickly, so you're in fact paying more money for the same, or less potentially, smoking time as many great PCs and minutos only slightly less quality of flavours and for it to get hot and harsh much sooner.

  15. 9 minutes ago, Riverstyx said:

    Perhaps at this point it’s not a good investment. For the guy who sold them and likely bought them at a far cheaper price...I speculate he had a pretty good IRR

    Yeah, you need to buy a few boxes right away when they are released. This is curently the reason everywhere here in the UK is completely sold out of Montecristo Supremos, despite them only having gone on sale here a week ago. Absolute pain in the...sorry. But yeah, for cigar investments you have to get in there the moment they're released. That being said the Cohiba Gran Reservas cost an absolute fortune from the beginning, anyone remember what a box cost back then? Something like Cohiba GR in particular is probably the safest bet you can make, but it can still be quite risky buying up brand new release cigars in the hope they'll sell for a lot more down the line. Often they don't sell for that much more (in terms of profiting from investments) even many years later, only certain ones seem to. You also have to make sure you look after them correctly for many years, so they're not necessarily an entirely stable investment. A friend of mine once found his entire humidor over-humidified due to a malfunction during hot weather and also infested with beetles and lost thousands of pounds worth of cigars. He went away on business for a month, came back and had very little left worth smoking.

    And thanks Habana Mike! Greetings and will do.

  16. Hi all, I'm new to the forum, but have been enjoying the video reviews for many years. I have never been able to find anyone who can tell me with any certainty whether green spots on some cigar wrappers will fade and become brown with long-term aging of the cigar(s)? I have never noticed any green on well-aged cigars I've had and nor have I had these spots on any cigars which I've aged for more than a year or two, so I've never been able to do the experiment and find out for myself. The tobacco in rolled cigars continues the process of micro-fermentation, which is part of the process of aging and alteration of flavours in good cigars, but does leaf colour pretty much stop changing after the initial barn drying/curing process before rolling?

    Has anybody ever had green patches on any wrappers which they later noticed had become more brown over many years of aging? Or do they simply remain exactly the same colour?

    Cheers in advance, just a little curiosity that I often ponder whenever I come across this on cigars.

  17. Far more money than sense. Even if I were a millionaire I wouldn't pee away 12 grand on a handful of cigars. Even as an investment at this stage it's not very good, you can make FAR more money a lot more quickly too by investing $12,000 in all kinds of other things.

    Even just to try them I don't see any point, for less than 12k you could have a luxurious trip to Cuba, pay for a VIP visit to the factories and have a couple of full boxes of the finest batch of Siglo VI personally rolled for you and also source a well-aged box from a good "vintage". Why would you want to waste 12k on a stupid box of 15 cigars which are ultimately just really good Siglo VIs...and I will state again, they are (especially now) a terrible investment.

    • Haha 1

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