Sunday, May 27, 2007

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Classic
Size: 7.0 x 48
Tobacco: DR

Price: $8.50

I enjoyed this cigar at the Tobacco Merchant in Columbia, SC. What a great way to enjoy a stogie! In addition to a large walk-in humidor, this establishment has several large recliners, a big-screen tv, and even wireless internet access for your laptop. It attracts a lot of repeat customers, who come and hang out a few hours every week just for the atmosphere. A few of the guys even bring their wives and dates. It's just about the best cigar haven you could hope for-- except they don't have a liquor license.

The Hemingway itself did not disappoint, either. Like Hemingway's best books (Old Man and the Sea), it seemed in some ways simple, understated, but in the end it packed one heck of a wallop. Started mild but got progressively stronger, with lots of intricate pepper flavors and a long, satisfying finish. Unlike some other full-bodied cigars, like Comacho and JR Ultimate (or 5 Vegas Series 'A', if it is young) , this one was very smooth, never harsh. In terms of its flavor profile, it was similar to some Padrons, but with less "earthy" flavors and more "spicy" flavors. The only negative was its unmemorable aroma.

According to Cigars International, the Hemingway cigars are made of 4-year old tobaccos and are only rolled by experts, who have a limited production quota of no more than 75 cigars a day.

Gurkha Gold Collector's Edition Robusto #4
Size: 6 x 50
Tobacco: DR

Soapbox time: This must be one of the dumbest names for a cigar I've ever run across.

  1. There is no line of cigars known simply as "Gurkha Gold"- so how can you create a collector's edition to this line?
  2. In any case, how can a cigar be a "collector's edition" at all? It's for smoking, not collecting!
  3. How many robusto sizes do they sell that they need to give it the No. 4? Wouldn't "Gurkha Gold Robusto" have been sufficient?

My experience with Gurkhas has been hit-or-miss so far: I liked the Master Select; the Expedition was so-so; I disliked the Class Regent. The Gurkha Gold definitely landed on the plus side for me.

It sported a dark red Connecticut wrapper that had much more in common with a maduro than a corojo. The cigar was medium bodied, not mild as the Gold moniker usually implies. I would describe the taste as similar perhaps to licorice (but bear in mind the only adjectives I can ever think of to describe different types of tobacco are usually "earthy", "grassy", "pepper", and "licorice". Licorice being the least distinct of them all.)

It burned slow (over 90 minutes to smoke a robusto!) and paired excellent with the drink of the night - a 21-year Glennfiddich.

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