El Presidente

Chuck Vaughan-LLoyd Memorial Skinnies Tasting,

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Romeo & Julietta - Julietta

Got a hold of this new vitola last night. It's from the Habanos festival

Tiny cigar, Panatella style, but it seems a bit thicker. Construction is top notch, smooth, firm, no inconsistencies. Wrapper is Colorado, a little on the Claro side.

Aroma at cold - there was so much smoke in the room that I couldn't smell a thing.

The smoke is damn strong - one of the strongest Habanos I've smoked in recent times. The first puffs immediately blast pepper into the nose. The flavour/aroma is floral and sweet, but the body is FULL.

The cigar does not develop much however, probably due to its tiny length. But the flavour is consistent. I detect a hint of strawberries along with flowers and sweetness.

While this may seem like an ideal flavour profile for a chick, due to the strength of the cigar, I seriously doubt any novice female smoker will enjoy this stick. This is a man's cigar for an experienced smoker, and has great aging potential.

87/100

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Some fantastic reviews from so many! :lol:

There are always great reviews here at FOH but I must say, this thread has some real good ones, some of the best. Chuck would be proud. :2thumbs:

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I was shocked to learn of Chuck's sudden passing and wanted to pay my respects. I know Chuck was a big fan of the SdC's, but I decided to burn something a little bit off the beaten path. I selected a Punch Ninfa (EAR ABR 02) that I pulled from a pass Tim (tigger) hosted some years back.

This is a neat looking cigar! Although this stick had been out of its box for years, it still sported a pronounced box press and coupled with the skinny ring gauge, it reminded me of a chopstick...

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I know, it looks like a lancero. That really is a 33 ring. I just have skinny fingers...

Look at the precision on this cap!

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The draw was excellent and pre-light the taste was of sweet, clean tobacco. Upon lighting I was met with immediate notes of sweet, milk coffee.

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The flavors reminded me of an aged LGC Tainos, or perhaps a Monte Joyita on steroids. I had planned on smoking peacefully on the roof of my building.

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Unfortunately, the wind was howling up there so I decided to smoke this delicate cigar inside the stairwell.

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The milk coffee notes remained throughout the entire cigar. The second third provided more sweet notes like molasses.

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What I found fascinating was that when I occasionally stepped out onto the roof (when the wind calmed down a bit), I'd pick up on flavors that I couldn't detect indoors. Anyone else experience this before? There were intense aromas of orange peel in the final third that I only got when I took the cigar outside. I also got a heavy blast of espresso on one draw that I couldn't replicate. This cigar was incredibly flavorful, but not at all powerful. I nose smoked this the whole way.

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Towards the end I was even picking up the aroma of cooked mushrooms!

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What a terrific cigar! I nubbed in 80 minutes, and I was smoking fairly quickly. It was just too tasty to have the discipline to slow down. I was wishing this fine cigar wouldn't end, and it's quite unfortunate that production was discontinued years ago. This was a truly memorable smoke and the fact that they aren't around anymore made it all the more fitting for the occasion. Rest in peace, Chuck.

93/100

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Last Friday afternoon, I smoked a Partagas SdC 2. I have only been here a short while, but in that time I had read many of Chuck's comments regarding his love for this line of sadly discontinued cigars. I thought the SdC 2 was an appropriate choice. I think this cigar demonstrates the classic Partagas flavor.

It started off with toasted tobacco, pepper spice, and cedar before developing a dry leathery taste about a third of the way in.

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This is a powerful, strong, and well-constructed cigar. It showed no signs of booking and burned almost perfectly.

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From the middle of the cigar on, these flavors intensified. The leather flavor changed to a wet leather flavor, and I sometimes noticed a hint of black licorice or anise. A wonderful cigar.

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I am sad that Chuck will no longer be posting with us. His thoughts on thin cigars mirror my own, and he expressed them so well and with passion. RIP.

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Por Larranaga Montecarlos, box code EMA NOV 08

The skinniest cigar I have was only 5 days off the truck from Czar, so I knew I was taking a chance. I knew I shouldn't have smoked it so soon, but here was this celebration of skinny cigars in honor of Tampa, as I knew him, or Chuck, as his close friends here at FOH knew him. So I decided to go ahead and burn one in his honor. There was just one cigar on the top row that had some water spots on the wrapper, so that was the one I chose.

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As soon as I cut the cigar, I was worried that the draw was too tight. Thinking I may have cut too shallow, I cut another mm or so off the head, but the draw was the same. I went ahead and lit up, and while the draw was a struggle throughout the cigar, it wasn't so bad that it wasn't smokable, and the flavors made it worthwhile to keep smoking, if only just.

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I was drinking Sam Adams lager with it. The flavors were the same throughout, with a bit of leather and a lot of a nice sweet flavor that isn't like anything I can put my finger on. This is the main reason why I don't post reviews; I find myself saying things like "a flavor that I can't describe". Anyway, forgive me. Suffice to say that when I did go to the trouble of getting a mouth full of smoke, I loved the flavor. I'm very much looking forward to smoking the rest of this box. I tend to think that the tight draw wasn't so much a construction flaw as an environmental stress from the hard week on the road.

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finally in my efforts to get smoke out of it, I managed to draw too hard and overheat it, and then I knew it was time to give up and find another cigar.

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Not the best cigar experience, and not a fair one to this cigar. This reinforces the 30-day rule for me, and I won't be touching new purchases anymore until they've rested. But it was for a good cause. RIP Tampa.

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Just finished a Partagas Connie 3. I cigar that I just HAD to smoke for this thread in rememberance of Chuck.

Construction was ecellent, with a smooth, mat wrapper, very oily to the touch

Draw presented some resistence. Perfect for this size of cigar.

Pre-light aroma was a little grassy, with some chocolately hints.

1st third - immediately gave off a blast of pepper to the nose. Flavour was a little chocolately but a little vegetal and thin at the same time. Distint feeling of smoking a chili pepper.

2nd third - pepper present but beginning to subside. Quite sweet, still chocolaty tones. Medium-full body.

3rd third - Pepper is now gone, leaving the vegetal taste, with a lot of spice. Really reminds me of a chili pepper. Not overly comple. Body is now medium.

Burn - 8/10

Overall, I'd give the cigar a 87/100. Great for Sunday afternoon.

Good aging potential.

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Didn't know Chuck, but wanted to smoke one in his honour, as he seemed like a top notch guy from all I've read.

Smoking a PL Montecarlos from 07 for him tonight. About 1/2 way through right now, and it's a wonderful smoke. Seems like a fitting tribute to a great brother of the leaf.

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While not knowing Chuck extremely well I knew enough of him to know that we had a some common interests. Of course that is why we are all here. Regardless of our disagreements and differences our common thread, our tie to one another remains our love for the Cuban leaf.

Some of us are indifferent in our passion; they are equal opportunity smokers, while others are biased, refined in focus, our sights set of specific cigars. Some of us insist, while recognizing that our tastes are not superior to that of our friends, that there is a difference in cigars; they are not created equal. Our beliefs represent empirical data only, neither fact nor fiction. But with no proof to the contrary we continue to promote our position, sometimes to the enlightenment and other times to the monotony of others. In short, while I cannot speak for our fallen comrade, I am certain we had similar beliefs in the sublime nature of the thin ring cigar. Cheers, brother!

Sometime ago I posted a couple of threads highlighting some thin ring cigars. That was all that it took for Chuck. It was not hard to deduce what Chuck considered his favorite cigar.

He wrote this on a recent thread. "This is my personal favorite of all Habanos. The Partagas Serie du Connaisseur No.1"

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While I can't say that my favorite cigar is the Partagas Serie du Connoisseur #1, I can certainly attest to its merits and likability. I love this cigar and it is certainly "one" of my favorites.

On another thread Chuck wrote this. "Thin Ring Gauge Habanos are simply the best! Sir Pig, I have a box with the same box code and they look just as delicious as yours, yet I have not dug into them as of yet. Sleeping nicely while I finish an open box of 03's."

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I debated a bit about what to smoke to commemorate Chuck, and I pondered a bit. While many of you have torched a cigar in his honor and posted a review I am sure there have been many a member who silently reflected upon his character while lighting their own favorite cigar, thick or thin. While I think it was a wonderful plan to toast Chuck with his favorites, I hope that some of my friends who prefer a bit more girth don't feel excluded. I think Chuck would agree when I say smoke what you like and like what you smoke. Individual taste trumps both conformity and nonconformity alike.

I am brought back to the second quote. If Chuck was smoking through a box of '03 while aging the box of SdC #2 he had identical to mine, I am guessing that he may not have had the opportunity to enjoy the very box that was the subject of his post. How many times I have said life is too short to smoke bad cigars, enjoy your best cigars today, tomorrow may never come. Having had a heart attack myself, this is wisdom talking, not speculative rambling. With that in mind I thought it fitting to dedicate this box to Chuck. The destiny of Chuck's box of Serie du Connoisseur #2 is unknown to me, but going forward, as we commemorate some thin ring cigars to our friend, I will smoke from this box as if it was once his.

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My sample was a beautiful sample of a cigar. While I must admit that the aesthetics of a cigar are a secondary concern to me, it is a true delight to hold and smoke a firm, beautifully made and finished thin ring cigar. Mine felt as though it possessed all the tobacco of a churchill. My sample was very firmly packed and rigid. There were no hard spots, the construction was uniform, springy and firm. The draw was equivalently tight.

The initial draws were very mild, mildly sweet, that of lightly oaty cereal with cream. The creaminess of the cigar was its outstanding initial taste. I was not wowed from the start, but a marathon runner must pace himself and the sublime cigar must in the same way evolve gradually following a linear or exponential taste gradient. Would this cigar follow that gradient or was it destined to mild mediocrity? I had hope and confidence.

Much of the cigar was smoked while engaged in intense conversation with a local friend of mine. We often meet at the local roadhouse, my favorite biker hangout, and share our common interest in motorcycles and cigars. Dave, while not as passionate as I am about cigars enjoys them none the less, especially if I bring an extra Cuban... or two! We got into some details about valve lash adjustment as I scrawled notes about my cigar on my tasting sheet. Luckily for me the cigar was a good accompaniment for conversation though the first third, not distracting me from the technical details of my conversation. As the conversation moved to more frivolous topics, I began to out of necessity, focus more attention on the cigar.

The second third began the evolution. The sweet oaty flavor began to be replaced in a gradual fashion to tobacco and almond. I wrote notes about the flavors and evolution, my notes including relative strength. I found myself crossing out the notes one after another as the strengths changing form 1.0 to 2.5... then to 3.0. The cigar never got overpowering but by the last third I was enjoying robust tobacco, aromatics and sweet flowers.

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Overall the cigar was wonderful although I do prefer a more robust beginning. My preference cannot counter the artful crafting of an evolutionary cigar, however. I believe that all cigars should be made this way. As I corrected tasting note after tasting note it became apparent that this was a truly superior cigar. I was enjoying superiority by design. I was being taught yet again what cigar craftsmanship tastes like. It is the reason that some of us prefer this style of cigar, why some call these favorites.

I was not overwhelmed with the cigar. The cigar was satisfying. While the term satisfying conjures images of mediocrity I can assure you that is not my intent. This was not an immediately intense cigar. This was a fine crafted cigar. And while not all wonderful tastes come with the intensity of Indian spices, refined ones develop and consume your interests. This cigar represented more than a device to deliver tobacco taste. It represented a gallery of artful images created by the hands of experienced artists and craftsmen.

Thanks for reading. God's speed Chuck. -Piggy

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Lit up a Trinidad Fundadores to honour the life of Tampa – like many on the forum I never met the man but from my short time here I grew to respect and value his opinions and he will be sorely missed. RIP.

Aroma at cold was lashings of rich, really good quality tobacco, raisins and autumn leaves. Draw felt tightish with more of that raisin / dried fruit character – very promising. Feels great - beautifully balanced in the hand, construction is perfect and consistent.

Lighting up immediately delivered tonnes of sweet, smooth, creamy, complex smoke. Like the good boy that I am I was determined to take this one as slow as possible – In the end I just couldn’t keep my hands off it and devoured it in around 90mins – it could have easily lasted for 2 hours in more patient hands. Coupled it with a few glasses of Clement Rhum Agricole with lime and tonic before degenerating into Havana Club and coke…(as in diet coke)...

Despite my greed the thing never became dirty or earthy and maintained an amazing, complex, creamy character throughout. No specific flavours were dominant except for some cedar / woody character and towards the end some distinct hay / barnyard flavours. The complexity of the smoke was baffling me – it hinted at lots of things but there was something I just could not put my finger on – eventually it clicked: church incense or like the sweet rich smoke you get from burning eucalyptus leaves – a first for me in a cigar and bloody delicious. The smoke stayed just below medium and pretty much stayed that way until the final third when some strength began to show – but never going beyond medium. Classy to the end.

No box code – first of a 5 box which has been hanging around the humidor for about a year, probably 2007 / 2008 vintage – wont be hanging around for much longer now.

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I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Chuck, but that won't stop me from wishing I did, or from sincerely expressing my condolences. I don't have a lot of skinnies in my humidor, but after rummaging around I found a Partagas SdC #3 that I thought would fit the bill nicely.

The cigar had a soft spot about an inch and a half down from the foot that was about an inch long. It was a little tight on either side of it and I suspected I was going to have draw issues one way or another.

Clipped with my palio and a test draw revealed it was quite tight. Not quite plugged, but tight enough to make it a chore so I ran a piece of guitar string up the length to open it up a little (saved from last time I restrung my wife's guitar). That opened it up enough that I was able to at least keep it smoking.

Taste started out muted and subtle with a restrained grassy tobacco and not much else. Over the life of the stick it quickly became quite interesting and complex though, quickly moving past the lackluster start. The muted beginning segued quickly into an herbal sweetness, which then began rolling over into a sweet black tea sort of profile. It played tag between these floral herbal notes and the black tea, chasing each other back and forth until near the end when it developed just a little bit of cinnamon spice and the sweetness disappeared almost like flicking a switch. This was about the time I think I finally managed to burn through the plug (about an inch and a half or so left on the cigar).

All in all, it was a hell of a good stick, considering I was prepared to toss it at the beginning because of the soft spot and the draw issues. The burn was a bit dodgy, I had to draw pretty hard to keep it going with the tight draw and it wanted to tunnel, although I kept touching it up so it didn't get a chance. The flavor profile was quite good.

-- Gary F.

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Sorry I haven't been on the boards in awhile but I'm more deepenly saddened to hear about Chuck's passing just now. I never had the chance to meet Chuck in person (even while living in the Tampa area) but from his board messages and emails he was always a great person to talk to about cigars or any realated discussion topics.

Thank you Chuck for being who you are and bringing joy to those who you shared your experiences with too!

Respectully,

Jason

PS - I'm having a Cohiba Siglo IV in honor for you!

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