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  1. As I enjoyed the first snowfall of the year in NW Ohio, I decided this was the perfect time to break into the Christmas Sampler that I ordered from our host. We have our tree up and I was feeling rather festive. So why not jump with two feet in on this sampler and pick up one of the most sought after Cubans in the market. Luckily for me I just had to go to the basement and grab it out of the dry box. It was in the dry box for 2 days which has a 62% Boveda pack in it. The band slid very easily on the cigar and I knew this stick was ready to smoke. I went ahead and grabbed my cutter and did a straight cut. The cold draw had a very mild tobacco flavor to it. I could not pick up any other flavors. Since it was cold outside and I didn't feel like hanging out in the garage, I opted for the hot tub on this one. The hot tub was around 102 degrees and the outside temperature was at 28 degrees. We start in on this cigar fully lit at 20:44 with me in the hot tub and steam rolling out. First initial draws are loaded with hay and lemon grass. I mean this takes me back to being in high school when I was helping some of my buddies bale hay for the first time. Putting those hay bales up in the barn. This is such a great taste with the hint of lemon grass. I do taste some of the mild tobacco out of the first initial draws as well. My thoughts initially is that this is going to be a knockout and it's going to take me a while to smoke this stick. Halfway through the first third the cigar changes to a sweeter taste. I can't really put my finger on it, but I keep drawing on the cigar more to see if I can come up with the flavor. As I lay back in the hot tub I am thinking of Christmas and the enjoyable candy that I really like. Some sugar cookies, peanut butter fudge, ice cream, pumpkin pie, turtles....then it hit me. The sweet taste had some caramel flavors to it. It was such an enjoyable flavor on my palate I kept wanting more and more. Towards the end of the first third the cigar turned again and I was able to get some sugar cane taste. It was one of the best 1st thirds of a cigar I have ever enjoyed. End of fist third 21:20. The second third starts out with a nice graham cracker taste notes during a smooth attempt at a retrohale. I didn't cough on this one so it was a success in my book. Completing a retrohale every couple of draws allows me to really see how the cigar changes over time. After taking a lot more hefty draws I noticed a sweeter taste came back on my palate. This time it was more of a sweeter nectar taste. It was like going to the beehive and getting some fresh honey dropped in my mouth. I feel like I am in a very good state of mind at this point in the cigar. End of second third 22:00. The last third was the least enjoyable of the part of the cigar. There is graham cracker at the start but then turns to straight hay without any lemon grass. This then quickly changes to a cedar and a vanilla type taste. This is a very good part of this last third of the cigar and is the highlight. Where it starts to get rough for me is the young taste kicks in towards the end. I put the cigar down for a little while and pick it back up for a hefty draw. At this point the young taste did mellow out some but it was just too much for me to handle. This still needed some age to it for the last third to really come out. I would lay these down for another year to get the full flavor out of them. Ending time 22:44 - a full 2 hour cigar and the picture is where I left it. This by far is my top cigar of the year that I have smoked hands down even with the young taste at the end. I will be looking for more of these in the future.

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