Sunday, January 30, 2005

It's been a year and half since I updated my cigar blog. There's a very good reason for this: In late August 2003, I purchased two Cuban Montecristo #2 cigars from a vendor in Jamaica ($7 ea). I smoked them on the top deck of the Carnival Conquest cruise ship, and I knew instantly that my searching was over. I had found the perfect cigar: perfect taste, perfect size, lasted over an hour and the cigar never faltered or grew hot. It became my standard--and no other has even come close to topping it.

I abandoned the blog, because there was nothing else to say.

Of course, you can't buy those treasured delights in the States, unless you are willing to break the law and (more importantly) shell out $50 for each one. So, over the past 18 months, I've mainly stuck with brands I already knew. There have been a few excursions into the unknown, most noticeably:

1) A Davidoff, purchased in Amsterdam, smoked during a boat ride down the River Seine in Paris.

2) A Cuban Cohiba (from the same Jamaican vendor) that did not live up to its billing. It had been improperly stored and even a few weeks in my humidor couldn't do anything for it.

3) An eight-inch behemoth from Romeo Y Julieta, smoked while watching the 2005 Sugar Bowl with friends.

4) A box of Elvis Presley cigars, hand rolled in Honduras, given to me by a Tennessee fan I met while watching the AL-TENN game at a local hangout.

5) A box of $1 JR Alternatives (Punch Double Corona), that tasted--and perhaps were--exactly like the "real" thing. Easily the best cigar value I've ever found. Usually, the JR Alternatives are just excess inventory from the manufacturer, sans the pretty packaging.

6) 3 more Cuban Montecristo #2's, smuggled back from Mexico by a friend. This time I shared with both Anthony (who is becoming as hooked on this hobby as I am) and Donnie Taylor, who waxed poetic, agreeing it was the best cigar he's ever had and made a standing offer to pay up to $500 dollars if I can get him a box.

But mostly, it was the same old, same old:

  • The occasional Onyx Reserve (now $3.75 at JR Cigars)
  • Arturo Fuentes (Double Chateau, Curly Head Deluxe)
  • Montecristo (Afriques, when I can afford them, which is not often)
  • Macanudos (they all taste the same)
  • Two bad experiences with H. Uppmans and El Rey del Mundos.

But I've come back to the blog now, because more and more frequently I find myself in the cigar stores or online at JR Cigars, wondering Have I tried this brand before? Did I like it?

So, the blog will no longer record my pursuit for the perfect cigar. Instead, I will only add to it when I try new ones and want to record my impressions and opinions.

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