Friday, September 29, 2006

Price: All about $1

Shaun has been sharing from his stash of JR Alternatives that he bought at the JR store in New York. He's shared three new blends with me:

1. Alt-Cohiba Robusto -- an easy smoke, but bland
2. Alt-Ashton -- dull and flavorless
3. Alt-Fuente Cuban Corona -- great taste, but the ones I've tried have been plagued with construction problems like an ultra-tight draw, or an inability to keep lit.

Further thoughts on 5 Vegas

Series "A"
After giving them a month or two to age, the 5 Vegas Series "A" has improved dramatically. I've been smoking them back-to-back with some JR Ultimates and I realize now the Series "A", while not as strong, has a creamier taste with a more lasting finish. It's sort of similar to how Bud Light can taste better than Killians Red when you first begin to drink, but Killians is more substantial, stays with you longer, and in the end is more satisfying.

Limitada 05
It's too bad the 2005s are all sold out, because I've had 3 more since my review, and none have disappointed. Layers of shifting flavors and no two cigars have been exactly the same. I want to try the 2006s, but I haven't found a good deal on them. They run about $5 apiece online.

Limitada 06 (updated 11/3/06)
I bit the bullet and paid nearly $20 (after shipping) for a 5-pack of these. As with the 05's, a well-constructed cigar, with medium draw and a slow, cool burn. The cigar retains its taste if you have to set it down for an hour and then relight it.

Unlike the 05's, these cigars start with a medium nutty taste and develop into a more peppery taste at the end. Not real strong, like the Series 'A', but definitely some "kick" at the end. I have to admit to being a tad disappointed, though , that the 06 was not as good as the 05. It still had the medium body, with the smooth soft pepper flavors, but it didn't have that curious citrus flavor that I enjoyed in all the 05's. I'm not complaining, mind you, but it lacked that little something extra. Just not quite as good as last year, IMO.

postscript 11/20/06: I've tried two more of the Limitada 2006s and I think I misclassified the "peppery" taste that I noticed at the end of these cigars. It's more of a "salty seawater" taste -- like the aftertaste that saltwater taffy leaves in your mouth after you swallow the sugar. It takes a little while to get used to, compared to the more immediate flavors in the 2005. The flavor comes out more when the cigar is paired with a single malt scotch (Glennfiddich 12- or 15-year) rather than with wine.

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