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About MrBirdman

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  • Location
    Delco, PA
  • Interests
    Healthy: reading, painting (badly), writing /
    Unhealthy: politics /
    Both: Cigars & brandy

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  1. I love this and think at this point Rob is intentionally adding the "s"; either that or his autocorrect has "learned" to spell it that way and keeps changing it.
  2. It's a major reason I recently ordered a couple more boxes - I don't think I've smoked a single one with even a year on it, and while they're "intense" they certainly aren't harsh or bitter. Best part is that they should continue getting better with more age. As @garbandz said they're medium-full. Most examples I've smoked are smooth on the retrohale even at such a young age. The predominant flavor is undoubtedly peanut - kinda like the taste you get from a peanut when it hits your tongue but before you start chewing. There are definitely some spices there too, of the nutmeg, cinnamon, mace variety (rather than Partagas-style spice). Some honey. I expect that with age the spice will develop and integrate more closely with the peanut. Whether I can stock enough to have any aged ones left is another matter!
  3. My Regular Production Cigar of the Year Siglo III If I had to choose my favorite stick which still retails for under $20, this is the easy winner. If abiding my regular caveat that these need some age, Siglo III's regularly delivers experiences as memorable as more expensive smokes. I have smoked a lot of 2017 examples lately - they're not only the essence of flavor and class, they're going to continue improving for years. Given the overall improvement in quality across lines in 2019/20, I'm excited to see if/how much better these can get. I observed in a past review that there had not (to that point) been a single box of Siglo III's put up on Bond Roberts. And rightly so - of my aged/to be aged cigars, these are the ones I could never imagine myself selling. My Specialty Production Cigar of the Year Punch 8-9-8 The Dalia is probably my favorite vitola, and while I'm not much for the RE's and LE's, the Punch 898 truly delivers. My examples are only just hitting a year old, and yet they've never gotten hot even smoking down to the nub. That's a remarkable accomplishment in itself, and especially for the format. And - by the standards of 2020 prices - it's as close to a value as one can find in higher end smokes (RE's, Cohiba, LE's, etc.). My Best New Release Punch Short de Punch Esmeralda would be my #1B since they're essentially tied - but if forced to choose one I'd choose the Short de Punch b/c it's a better value. My Most Improved Coloniales There is still a little inconsistency remaining in Coloniales production, but the overall quality has increased by leaps and bounds over the past 18 months. It's gotten overshadowed by all of the great new Trinidad releases, but the Coloniales is just as much a beneficiary of the "Trinidad Renaissance." It's ascended to the best petite corona (perhaps excepting well-aged PLPC's), and can still be had at reasonable prices - by today's standards, at least. My Mr. Dependable Award Montecristo Especiales No. 2 This is a vitola that requires attention but, week in week out when I'm looking for an intense distillation of everything Montecristo, this consistently delivers.
  4. I’m with @philipl and @ReturnFreeRisk, my boxes are nearly two years old and while I get flashes of brilliance in many of the first thirds, they’re always quite tough and tumble by the end. If those flashes are a sign of things to come, I’ll be glad I’m sitting on a couple boxes.
  5. Not much time for smoking with the holiday hubbub, and so I reached for an Upmann Half Corona. I’ve found these need some age to shine, and this box has been excellent so far. Today’s was even better. Draw on these tends to be relatively loose for the RG, and this was at the far end of what I would consider acceptable. Luckily it didn’t impact the enjoyment at all. I won’t even bother breaking this into halves, because it was a one note wonder. Opening is an immediate hit of maple syrup, with a touch of a sweet spice I can’t quite put my finger on, maybe nutmeg. This quickly progresses to what I love about these: pure, syrup-drenched pancakes slathered with fresh butter. And there it stays, as I take about 35 minutes to very slowly enjoy this and keep its flavors pure. Towards the very end there’s some coffee, verging on coffee grinds, but it isn’t bitter in a bad way. And these absolutely have to be retrohaled to get their flavor - without it they are relatively bland. As you can see, I truly nubbed this one and didn’t want it to end. Once the heat from the smoke started burning my tongue I put it down, wishing I had a pipe for the remnants. So there you go - nothing too complicated. But this time of year that pancake & syrup flavor kills it, and this smoke scored about as much as this format can. Overall: 93 (and for the format: 98)
  6. A, though this choice is essentially the CC equivalent of "first-world problems."
  7. I hope all of this intel is bull, because based on what we've seen (and some of the upcoming names like Titanes) the march towards ever larger ring gauges shows no signs of letting up. As I've shared with others here on Zoom, I'm left to conclude that this market preference is driven (at least partly) by the collective yearning for bigger and bigger phallic symbols by males who, as a group, have lost/are losing their historical positions of authority vis-a-vis women. These absurdly big and fat cigars - now more phallus-esque than ever - are an unconscious act aimed at symbolically recapturing a sense of power. If all that's indeed true, I say that's just fine. But please don't phallus-block me and my preferred smaller RG's! 😜
  8. I suspect that that’s it, and also the trip through the filler itself could cause particles to flocculate more and get bigger. I would be interested in whether there was a noticeable difference in color with either RH in storage or the smoking environment. I have noticed some of the gigantors with huge smoke production make a whiter looking smoke, though that may just be due to the increased density.
  9. @Greenhorn2 given what you're looking for and looking to commit to, I would add to others' suggestion that you snag some packs and 1/4 boxes as they pop up. Commit to a couple different sticks that intrigue you, then give them at least 90 days down before smoking. You should get an idea of what you like fairly quickly - once that's established you can either go deeper on some of the ones you got or ask for recs here based on your taste. You'll get plenty of input. I would aim to spread your choices across different strengths and profiles, within reason. Give any vitola at least 2-3 tries before passing judgement, be it good or bad. As for what ages well, a better question may be what doesn't age well. Age is a matter of taste like with marcas. Few cigars will change for the worse over 5 years, IMHO, though some may not improve much; others will improve much more. Some really need that much time to get where I like them (e.g. RA Superiores). But by far the most important factor will remain your personal taste and preferences. I am not a huge Partagas fan, and while an aged D4 is better than a fresh one, I would still take a year old Espy 2 over a 5 year D4. But that's just me of course, and many here will no doubt strenuously disagree! Above all, relax and enjoy! B. Birdman
  10. Great find @rcarlson! That helps explain how the difference in color actually operates - now the question remains what causes the difference in particle sizes. As I mentioned above the smoke is white from purging too, so unlike with cigarettes it can’t be because it’s entering the body (which was my initial concern). The most obvious possible explanations would be either that the increased combustion temp of puffing, or the increased airflow, increases the particle size of the resulting smoke.
  11. It’s ridiculous that at this point I’m happy with any new release that isn’t 50+ RG.
  12. My reaction exactly - I think it’s authentic but it sounds like HSA Kool-Aid more than an honest prediction.

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