El Presidente

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About El Presidente

  • Rank
    El Presidente
  • Birthday 02/12/1965

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    http://www.friendsofhabanos.com
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  • Location
    The Throne
  • Interests
    Slow horses, irrational women, fly fishing, wine, friends and family.

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  1. El Presidente

    Going through the grades

    I should do a lot of things in life. If we ever get the right ratio, we will give it a crack.
  2. You asked for a few more examples so I have taken the opportunity while here The Connie one mastercase was a good one this month. there were only a couple of fails and I was able to pull good levels of PE/HA/PSP. Average boxes (not pictured) would have been around 30%. You can see from the photo left to right PE HQ PSP. this month the PSP and HQ were very close in terms of quality and they will be offered together as PSP/HQ. The PE will go as hand picked with the left ofver PSP/HQ. if no left overs they will go as clearance. In connie 1's, the smart money is on PE. I hit a sweet spot with the CORO and concentrated on PSP/HQ. HQ left, PSP right. there is enough difference to offer them separately. My favourite box was this one. But upon inspection it didn't meet the cut as too many cigars were rolled too tight. I do a small slice in the cap and draw through the foot to check (not all tightly rolled cigars are plugged...they are just rolled expertly). in this case we had a problem with a few. My best box of rejects for the day. tragic
  3. What's your plugged cigar rate? Plugged being so uncomfortably tight that it requires intervention or cessation. Use the poll for us.
  4. El Presidente

    Going through the grades

    The grading is no panacea but it certainly helps the odds. Buying blind is really no more expensive. If some people prefer that, go and do it as that is the norm both here and elsewhere. I certainly get hit by tight draws but few plugs. One persons tight draw is another person's dream draw. Actually that will be a good poll for the weekend. % of plugged cigars.
  5. El Presidente

    Going through the grades

    Let them dry out to a 58-62 level. You often find that they will come good when held at those RH levels for a period of time.
  6. El Presidente

    Going through the grades

    Depends. Its a rookie error to lump all "dark" wrappers together. Same as lumping all "claro" wrappers together. People do it al the time. A good wrapper should be tensile. That means it should stretch almost effortlessly. it has a good oil content that at its best translates to sheen. crap wrappers are crap wrappers be they dark or light or inbetween. Now take a good dark wrapper and it lifts those cigars that are cocoa or fruit flavor noted. Monte,RASS. Rosado does much the same but with a fruitier note. Claro brings a beautiful nuttiness. I love quality claro with Upmann, Cohiba and some Monte. Different strokes for different folks but few things in life are black and white. Dark Good /Dark bad or Claro Good/ Claro Bad. is just another one of them.
  7. El Presidente

    Going through the grades

    Taste is personal. I would say the exact opposite when it comes to RASS. That is as long as the wrapper is not thick, dark = bitter. You can also get PSP in claro. Rare as hens teeth. i prefer those on Upmann/Cohiba The great news is that you can happily focus on HQ/PE/Seconds.
  8. I understand the attraction. No other industry develops the global depth of relationships. However no other industry is under so much challenge. If they wished to join I would insist on them developing the international business skills that are universal/transferable. Their focus would be global and as much about commerce as about tobacco. I would want them to have the skills to walk into a variety of roles in any industry as a leader. This industry certainly keeps you sharp.
  9. Upmann Montecristo Juan Lopez
  10. Mental health aside....he is well
  11. Wrapper changes flavour dramatically. if you can, swap wrappers. Put a rosado on a claro, a claro on a maduro, a maduro on a colorado. The cigar changes completely. We have done this many times in the past and those involved are always amazed. i made gambas al ajillo (garlic prawns) on Sunday. Let's assume I made two batches, one with garlic and one without. In terms of flavour is the one without 10.20.30,100% different? I would argue 100%.
  12. El Presidente

    Going through the grades

    Everything get's sold mate. HSA takes nothing back. Again, putting it in perspective. They are only a fail as per my grading. Those cigars are a normal part of life for all distributors and vendors around the world. I doubt HSA would see them as a fail at all. Just claro wrappers with a small tear. I would reply to them that I love claro but these were a poor quality claro wrapper being thin, dry and in this case damaged. I should reclassify as: Premium, HQ (High Quality), PE (Premium Economy), CQ. = Clearance Quaffers. I prefer to use the term Seconds (for my fails) as members know what they are getting. they are normally heavily discounted. Again they are only a fail as per my classification. My definition of fail = I wouldn't gladly use my own coin on that normally.
  13. 8 a week these days (average). Favourite cheap and cheerful? I enjoy a Punch coronation Tubos as long as they are not too gnarly. Quintero Favoritos for fishing. Outside of that it is PL Montecarlo/Panetela Extra. NC I don't reach for that often but I am enjoying Hamlet's latest 25th Anniversary series as well as Padron 1964 Principe maduro, Fuente Hemmingway Short Story. IMHO, smaller formats in many NC's are quite excellent. They just don't sell that well (or so I am told).
  14. I went through a mastercase of RASS today and it was a very good one indeed. UTL ABR 18 in the main. UTL has been a solid code for RASS. I broke them up into 4 piles (PSP/HQ/PE/Fails). Normal selection criteria applied (wrapper/aroma/construction). No two mastercases are really the same. They each have their own characteristics. In this one, the PSP and HQ were very close. From the photo below you have the PSP bottom right, HQ bottom left and PE top. The PSP were not PSP because they were darker. If you look closely at the wrapper you will see the silky sheen. The wrappers were glorious but there was also a little added punch to the aroma at cold. Construction was very good across all. The fails looked like this. Super thin pale wrappers. You can see that the wrappers are somewhat translucent and some had a little damage. All April 18. Same mastercase. PSP closeup.
  15. It would have been sometime in 1996 or 1997. we have a mutual friend in Dean Merlo (coffee king here) and I had my first store/divan in Dean's coffee Trattoria. if I remember correctly ken popped in after a long lunch and was quite pickled. Those are two things that I have always respected. Naturally ken was overawed but I insisted he call me Rob and not Mr Ayala. He has been a solid acquaintance ever since. the "Robin" of the dynamic duo.....the sancho to cisco's natural panache. I will miss him when he's gone.

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