Sunday, June 01, 2003

Arturo Fuente Curly Head Deluxe
When I reviewed my first Curly Head Deluxe, I had mixed feeelings but decided to try some more. Fortunately, letting them age in the humidor yielded excellent results. The draw improved considerably and the taste evolved from what I originally termed "utter blandness" to a huskier, heavier flavor. There is still some gumminess and loose leaves at the end. But they last a long time and are a terrific bargain for the price.

Stoker's Seconds
MSRP: $2.50

Seconds are cigars rejected from the brand label assembly lines. They may be rejected due to inferior leaves, the quality of the construction, or simply because the tobacco roller is a novice-in-training. Obviously, they vary greatly in quality and are usually inexpensive. Many smokers swear they can't tell the difference between seconds and premium cigars. Many well-known labels -- like Arturo Fuente and Cohiba -- sell seconds under a different label. Other companies package seconds as generic products.

I don't know who makes Stoker's. The robustos I smoked were were pretty good. The flavor was nice, although they burned too quickly.

Al Capone
Shape: Corona

I purchased a box of 25 Al Capones from a tobacco store that was liquidating the former owner's stock to make room for a better selection. These cigars were severely dried out, and I bought them for $1 apiece. I wanted to perform an experiment to find out how to re-hydrate the cigars & find out if the taste be restored.

Some cigars I stored in my humidor, some at room temperature, some in the refrigerator in a wooden box with wet towelettes, and some in the refrigerator with no towelette. The refrigerator method worked to some degree, but a few months in the humidor yielded the best results. The cigar was not a quality brand, to begin with, and none were restored to a perfect state. But I will never listen to anyone again when they say the refrigerator method is an acceptable alternative to a humidor.

Antonio y Cleopatra
MSRP: $5.00

Nothing very memorable about this cigar.

Macanudo Portifino
CA Rating: 82
Filler: Dominican, Mexican
Size: 7 inches
Style: Panetela
MSRP: $5.20

A long thin cigar with a smooth, bland-ish taste and a very poor draw. I would try another Macanudo cigar, if it were a different series. The long, thin shape is what makes the draw so difficult. The taste of the tobacco itself was enjoyable.

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