Thursday, April 08, 2010

I just got back from Tampa, where I was track chair for the SAP-Centric Conference this year. I spent Saturday afternoon strolling through Ybor City in search of good cigar shops.

Ybor City Plus cigars
Size: 4.0 x 52 (torpedito)
Price: $5

After a delicious chicken paella at The Columbian Restaurant , I wandered to Ybor City Plus to watch a lady hand-rolling cigars. (Actually, the binder and fillers had already been completed; she was just applying the wrapper with a pigtail cap). I bought a fresh torpedito , which was mild-to-medium in body with a pleasant dense and doughy taste. Despite being a little wet, it smoked well and lasted a good 45 minutes.

Cain by Oliva
Size: 6 x 50 (torpedo)
Tobacco: Nicaraguan puro
Price: $7

Having been sufficiently primed with a heavy meal and a light starter cigar, I then ventured down 7th Avenue to King Corona and decided to try the new Cain “straight ligero” I’ve been hearing about. I wanted strong – and boy oh boy, this cigar delivered in head-spinning, sweat-inducing, heart-palpitating style. It lacked the excellent flavors of the regular Oliva lines: Series G, Series O, and Series V. In taste, it was much like a Camacho Coroylar Puro or 5 Vegas Cask Strength. The aroma was sweet and sharp through the nose. The blend is predicated on delivering raw strength without a lot of spice or earth. It lasted for a good two hours and completely overwhelmed the hoppy Ybor Gold lager I paired with it.

El Sol Parejos 6X Sumatra
Size: 6 x 50
Tobacco: Nicaraguan puro
Price: $4.50

I enjoyed this cigar on Thursday evening, after dinner, sitting on the bay watching ships come to port. Mild, slightly sweet on the tongue. Easy draw. Lasted about about 90 minutes.

King Corona Ybor Handmades
Size: 7 x 48
Tobacco: Nicaragua and Ecuador
Price: $3.50

I bought a couple of these during my trip but waited to smoke them with Shaun at the drive-in with our wives. The movie (Why Did I Get Married Too?) wasn't very good, but the cigars, though mild, were flavorful and slow-burning. In fact, mine lasted the full two hours. When I finally tossed it to take a concession break between the double feature, there was still an inch left! Very well constructed.

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