June 22, 2009

Father's Day weekend review!

June 19th - 21st, 2009

I started off the weekend by attending the CAO event at the Maduro Room in Lexington, SC. We arrived around 5:30 and the place was busy already! David Palm of CAO was there to host the event. I also got to see an old friend who has been battling some health issues lately; Twig Gray!

He's back on the mend and eager to get back in the shops! Good to see you back, sir Twig!

Here are some pics of the evening:

Mark Lewis and Twig:

The newly redesigned front area of the shop:

Connie holding court:

Mike and Steve during a high level discussion:

Grady stuffing down a slice of pizza!

The back bar area:

David Palm checking on the humidors:

Connie with Robby Yon:

David Palm of CAO, me, and Grady Marsh; owner of Maduro Room:

"Whatcha think Steve, red or white?"
The Maduro Room has applied for a beer/wine licence. This brings the local cigar shops who will be selling beer and wine to 4! The first one to start this trend off was Lite Um Um Cigars on Hardscrabble Road. When everyone saw Tom Burn's success with the addition of beer and wine others soon followed. The other shops that offer this are The Cigar Box on Rosewood Drive, The Tobacco Merchant on Bower Parkway, and now (or very soon) The Maduro Room in Lexington. This trend may prove to be a smart one as more and more places are outlawing smoking.
Now to the reviews.
It was blistering hot on Saturday afternoon. I had the usual tasks to complete, like cut and edge the yard. After it was over it was time to settle down for some cigar reviews. This weekend I am reviewing:
  • Ashton VSG Corona Gorda
  • La Herencia Cubana Toro
  • Bolivar Belicoso Fino (Cuban)

Saturday, June 20, 2009
Ashton VSG Corona Gorda (5 3/4 x 46)
This was a dark, chocolate brown cigar. It had a very intense cinnamon flavored spice with very nice pepper notes initially. The pepper is best experienced when you blow the smoke through your nose! The finish is not that long but it has an almond-like flavor with some vanilla notes. The cigar produced a lot of smoke. Don't expect many changes while smoking this cigar; it stayed consistent. These are not cheap cigars, at around $11 each, but for a treat you'll love it.
Score: 92
La Herencia Cubana Toro (6 1/2 x 52)

We go from an $11 cigar to a $2 cigar! I win these on cigarbid.com for around $2 each and they're much better than a typical 2 buck cigar. The regular Cigars International price is $60 to $70 per box so even at straight retail they're around $3 each. I recently won a 20 cigar sampler for $34. I've been enjoying these cigars for about a year but this is the first review of them. You may can guess that I like them if I've been buying them for a year and you'd be correct.
Initially it had lots of spice and pepper. It also had nice cinnamon notes. The pepper lingers on the palate and the back of the throat. For an inexpensive cigar it is very flavorful. These make a very good everyday cigar. I love the pepper in these cigars! This cigar will surprise you. Pick up a sampler and try 'em.
Score: 90
Father's Day
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The day started off as usual; church, gym, then home for lunch. Ty and Meghan came by to visit and give me a present; a gift card to Outback Steakhouse! Always a welcomed gift. Chelsea came by after she got off work at The Country Club of South Carolina in Florence. She's doing her internship there this summer. She arrived around 9:15 and also had a present; a beautiful burgundy polo shirt with the CCSC logo on it! It is horizontally ribbed. A beautiful shirt!
Just before Chelsea got there I had a chance to treat myself with one of my sacred Cuban cigars since it was Father's Day. I chose...
Bolivar Belicoso Fino (5 1/2 x 52) [Box code April, '06]

The cigar starts off with a huge amount of spice with heavy almond tones. There is a nice amount of pepper notes especially when you blow the smoke through your nose. The finish is long with vanilla and almond notes. The draw was a bit firm but not too much so. A lot of Cuban cigars have a tight draw and I try to store them at a lower humidity so they will open up. This is a fairly full bodied Cuban cigar. You will find that many non-Cuban cigars are much more full bodied. For example, a La Flor Dominicana double ligero is MUCH more full bodied than a typical Cuban cigar. The thing Cubans have is an abundant amount of spice with nice pepper notes and a finish of vanilla or caramel notes. Cuban cigars also have a unique aroma when burning. It's very distinguishable from other cigars and hard to describe, but you know it when you smell it...and it smells great! This cigar was great. I smoked it down to 1/2 inch with the help of a toothpick. Loved it!
Score: 93

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