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Is it really that special though?  IIRC the NC Partagas Black Label line boasts a MT heavy blend (somewhat before BHK made it a thing). I bought a box of them when I first started smoking in 2009.  After two near death experiences with them,I gave them away ASAP. They were far too strong and tasted like fresh asphalt.  Maybe the trick is in the ratios used?  

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18 minutes ago, Cairo said:

 

So--I take it you ignored the "do not retrohale" warning that came with the box....

😀

To retrohale, one needs to know how to retrohale. 😁

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15 hours ago, Puros Y Vino said:

Is it really that special though?  IIRC the NC Partagas Black Label line boasts a MT heavy blend (somewhat before BHK made it a thing). I bought a box of them when I first started smoking in 2009.  After two near death experiences with them,I gave them away ASAP. They were far too strong and tasted like fresh asphalt.  Maybe the trick is in the ratios used?  

That’s because they were new world cigars. Nothing to do with MT.

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5 hours ago, Jimmy_jack said:

That’s because they were new world cigars. Nothing to do with MT.

They boast MT sundown wrappers. NC leaf of course but MT wrappers. Not in the filler like BHK

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26 minutes ago, Puros Y Vino said:

They boast MT sundown wrappers. NC leaf of course but MT wrappers. Not in the filler like BHK

Isn't media tempo a kind of ligero? 🤔

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2 hours ago, Bijan said:

Isn't media tempo a kind of ligero? 🤔

I mean, based on where it grows and how they treat it, it could definitely be considered a high grade ligero. And if you are thinking what I'm thinking, I agree, it's not the most obvious choice for wrappers although it's not unheard of (I remember a triple ligero NC that had ligero for wrapper, binder and filler). It definitely makes more sense in the filler.

I also have to admit that I'm a bit skeptical about the medio tiempo claims when they are coming form a big brand, also claiming to make heavy use of it, VS a small boutique brand like Warped that claims to use "some" medio tiempo in a limited release cigar. If there is one thing we know it's that "real" medio tiempo leaf is not very conducive to mass production. 

 

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3 hours ago, Bijan said:

Isn't media tempo a kind of ligero? 🤔

Shade Grown Tobacco still has all the same parts as Sun Grown.

The shade would minimize some of the "advantages" of MT Leaf (bright, uninterrupted sun being the main one) I dont really know why you would use it for wrapper(marketing) but it is technically possible. 

Keeping all the leaves shaded all the time works to minimize a lot of the differences from top to bottom. But you still get larger, thinner, "milder" leaves towards the bottom of the plants and smaller, thicker, more "concentrated" leaves towards the top. Each priming still requires slightly different drying times and temperatures. Different Fermentation Temps and durations. 

The only real procedural difference is the extra care taken to maintain the Wrapper leave's Aesthetics. 

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12 hours ago, Bijan said:

Isn't media tempo a kind of ligero?

MT is ligero. Anything above the centro fino of the plant is ligero (on sun-grown plants). I suppose MT shade would just be classified upper tapado. 

There are several factors that make sun-grown leaf impractical for wrappers. Sun produces larger, milder-tasting, thicker, darker, toothier, less elastic, oilier and more hygroscopic leaf. True, plenty of NC wrappers are sun-grown but to my knowledge the practice started in Ecuador where there is a heavy, thick natural cloud cover that mimics the muslin cloth. I know Nicaragua is producing sun-grown wrapper, and who knows how they get around all those impediments. They may ferment it 14 times and process the bloody hell out of it or soak it in leprechaun urine to get it elastic enough to roll.

Growing MT under shade would certainly defeat the entire purpose if it's about flavor but I don't know if it would be technically possible to use sun grown MT as wrapper. It's going to be very small, very thick and probably wouldn't be combustible enough. Keep in mind Cuba couldn't even export their upper shade leaf until the EL program, and most of those leaves are too small to use anyway and go to the peso cigars and ICT. Any cigar that boasts a MT wrapper would almost certainly have to be shade-grown and therefore would be just a marketing gimmick.

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17 hours ago, Bijan said:

Isn't media tempo a kind of ligero? 🤔

4 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

MT is ligero. Anything above the centro fino of the plant is ligero (on sun-grown plants).

I disagree that Medio Tiempo is Ligero or a type of Ligero.

There is the Centro Fino, Centro Gordo, and Corona harvest phases, which all produce Ligero. If you pick the top two leaves during the Corona phase 3-4 days after the Centro Gordo phase, then the leaves are Ligero. If you leave them on the plant for two weeks and then pick them, then they are Medio Tiempo. It is a different classification of leaf that is achieved by treating the plant in a different way. Ligero and Medio Tiempo are as different from one another as Ligero is from Seco.

 

Agree on the MT wrapper stuff. No idea about NCs and how they do things, but at least with the way Cuba cultivates and classifies its tobacco it would not be possible to make an MT wrapped cigar. If Ecuador has a method of leaving their top two wrapper leaves on the plant longer and they call it MT, well okay, fine, but it is not comparable to the MT that one finds as filler in Cuba.

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10 hours ago, ATGroom said:

If you leave them on the plant for two weeks and then pick them, then they are Medio Tiempo. It is a different classification of leaf that is achieved by treating the plant in a different way.

Apparently Cuba does classify MT as "Fortaleza 4" which is indeed a separate classification than ligero or "Fortaleza 3," however it appears that the NC world classifies MT as ligero or "thick ligero": 

Grown at the top of a tobacco plant, Medio Tiempo is often called ‘thick ligero’, as in essence, they are ligero leaves but with a much higher concentration of oil.

In Cuba Medio Tiempo is called fortaleza #4 leaf. In Nicaragua, interestingly, the leaf is rather categorized as thick ligero. It is the thickest, strongest and most colourful leaf of all classes.

and classify it as ligero as in charts like this:

Tobacco-Leaf-Primings.png

It appears that this separate classification is a Cuba thing and probably created out of whole cloth around the time of the BHK introduction in 2010. In fact the "Anatomy of a Habano" web page describing MT as Fortaleza 4 didn't exist until a few years ago and the earliest mention of Cuban MT is in 2010 which makes me think Cuba never had a separate classification for MT until BHK and created it mainly for marketing purposes. 

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I'm wondering if there's any record of an NC producer using MT before BHK started using it in 2010. I doubt it given NC's propensity for "borrowing" trends from CCs.

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9 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

I'm wondering if there's any record of an NC producer using MT before BHK started using it in 2010. I doubt it given NC's propensity for "borrowing" trends from CCs.

Not that I remember. From my memory in 2010-11 the main trend in the NC world was Corojo seed tobacco, followed by Connecticut Broadleaf the next 2-3 years. The first NC Medio Tiempo I remember was the La Palina Goldie in 2012 but I wouldn’t say that it became a trend in the NC world until more recently. 

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13 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

I'm wondering if there's any record of an NC producer using MT before BHK started using it in 2010. I doubt it given NC's propensity for "borrowing" trends from CCs.

Great question. Still looking for some examples, here's one from 2011:

https://cigar-coop.com/2011/10/cigar-review-casa-fernandez-miami-3.html

Pretty sure AGANORSA was doing it for a few years, and they used it in the Casa Fernandez but it didn't become en vogue until Warped started doing it in 2013/2014. 

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7 minutes ago, Enduin said:

@Cigar Surgeon do you know if the Casa Fernandez Miami was rolled at El Titan de Bronze? That could draw a connection with the Medio Tiempo used in the La Palina Goldie rolled at the same place in 2012…

No they would have been rolled out of the Casa Fernandez / AGANORSA factory in Nicaragua just based on the $9.00 MSRP. 

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14 minutes ago, Cigar Surgeon said:

No they would have been rolled out of the Casa Fernandez / AGANORSA factory in Nicaragua just based on the $9.00 MSRP. 


I read the review you linked and when I saw this:

"Recently, Tabacalera Tropical relocated the operations for the Casa Fernandez brand to Miami, Florida"
 

I thought that meant that it was rolled in Miami, and since the Titan is pretty much the last real cigar factory left in Miami I was wondering if it was the same. Now I’m thinking that maybe they are talking about the office HQ and not the factory? You are right about the price point, $9 is a bit cheap for being made in Miami, although we are talking about 2011 money, and I’m pretty sure when I visited the Titan de Bronze in 2015 they had some of the regular La Palina cigars for sub $10…

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20 minutes ago, Enduin said:


I read the review you linked and when I saw this:

"Recently, Tabacalera Tropical relocated the operations for the Casa Fernandez brand to Miami, Florida"
 

I thought that meant that it was rolled in Miami, and since the Titan is pretty much the last real cigar factory left in Miami I was wondering if it was the same. Now I’m thinking that maybe they are talking about the office HQ and not the factory? You are right about the price point, $9 is a bit cheap for being made in Miami, although we are talking about 2011 money, and I’m pretty sure when I visited the Titan de Bronze in 2015 they had some of the regular La Palina cigars for sub $10…

Well now I see a CA article saying they moved production to Miami in 2011 so it sounds like I'm going to have to eat some crow on this one. This do still have another factory out of Nicaragua though.

https://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/casa-fernandez-brand-moves-to-miami-16131

Quote

however, features four-year-old Nicaraguan medio tiempo tobacco in the blend

So that certainly indicates they were growing and using medio tiempo as early as 2007 or 2008. 

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