Driving in my Car, Smoking my Cigar

February 22, 2012 · Posted in Cigar 101, Deep Thoughts · 2 Comments 

Allison Krauss’s haunting voice is singing Trampled Rose, the windows are down and the speed of my car is increasing. It may be sunset but this is Southern California where the yins and the yangs are extreme opposites. Sure, the taxes are murder but the weather is amazing.

If I lived in Minnesota or some other place that is in the running for a scenic “White Christmas” photograph I couldn’t do what I do most days after work: smoke in my car. It may be a little impractical and I definitely am not getting the best out of the cigar but that misses the point. Smoking a cigar on my drive home from work is pleasurable; a ritual that brings a little bit of joy to my heart.

This certainly isn’t for everyone. If you have a nice car that you do not want to despoil or you have to chauffeur people who cringe at the mere thought of the smell of finely aged tobacco then you probably shouldn’t be smoking in your car. People with short commutes, an inability to multitask and those who “feel a need for speed” may also want to think twice about lighting a cigar before they start their car. Oh, and those poor bastards who start their mornings by scraping ice off their windshields may also be excused from smoking a cigar in their car.

I’m not going to BS you and say that I’m smoking great cigars while driving, far from it. There’s no reason to do that because your mind should be at least nominally on the road and not on your cigar. Why smoke an Opus or an Avion 11 when you can’t dedicate more of yourself to it? It just doesn’t make sense emotionally or financially.

By no means am I suggesting seeking out crappy cigars to satiate your vehicular smoking habit because there are some very respectable cigars that are very cheap. Recently I’ve been smoking a lot of Diesel Unholy Cocktails, Nestor Miranda 1989s and Joya de Nicaragua Antano Machitos on rides home from work (and while walking the dogs, but that’s another story). These are solid cigars that are a joy to smoke sitting at home while listening to music or reading a book. They are also strong enough to withstand the elements.

Even though this is Southern California and the weather is great it can still get a little cold. Some nights it feels like the temperature drops all the way down to the high 50s when I have my windows rolled down! Weak, pathetic cigars won’t offer much under ideal circumstances but when you add in the wind, the (relatively) cold temperatures and the fact that you are driving a vehicle they just aren’t worth the trouble. By all means, if you accidentally came by some really awful cigars that you dread smoking then you can smoke them while driving or, better yet, “gift” them to somebody you don’t like.

Another tip I have for this would be to smoke a cigar that you are familiar with. Familiarity is great in this circumstance because you won’t have to devote much brainpower to deciphering the flavors of the cigar; you already know the recipe. It’s also a good idea to smoke cigars with good smoking characteristics: i.e. a good draw and burn. It takes a modicum of skill to correct a recalcitrant burn line while cruising down the 5. (Alright, it takes more than a little skill to do that and doing just that almost ended up with me rear ending somebody. Incidentally, the smell of burnt rubber doesn’t go well with cigars.)

Driving in my car while smoking a cigar is a ritual I have come to really enjoy. It may not be for you but, then again, you may find out that you really like it.

Nestor Miranda Day 2011 Video

April 29, 2011 · Posted in Cigar Industry · Comment 

You probably have plans for Cinco de Mayo but what about Seis de Mayo? If you’re a cigar smoker then you are in luck because Seis de Mayo is actually Nestor Miranda Day! This is how it works: go into a participating tobacconist and buy a cigar, any cigar, and they will give you a Nestor Miranda Art Deco cigar for free while supplies last. That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. For more information watch this video.

Nestor Miranda Day 2011

April 20, 2011 · Posted in Cigar Industry · Comment 

I like Nestor Miranda cigars: I gave the Nestor Miranda 1989 89 points, the Nestor Miranda Special Selection also received 89 points and the Nestor Miranda Collection Dominicano received 91 points from me. Those are some pretty good scores and that is why I think you should be excited about the upcoming Nestor Miranda Day on May 6th. Here’s the press release:

Miami, FL, 14 April 11 … Miami Cigar & Company is back at it again, always willing to show their gratitude to the cigar smoking community, they have decided to bring back the heralded National Nestor Miranda Cigar Day. On Friday, May 6th, all authorized Nestor Miranda Collection retailers will participate and enjoy all of the perks that only a day named after “The Most Interesting Man In The Cigar Industry” could include.

Similarly to the original holiday, Miami Cigar will be awarding consumers that enter any of the authorized retailers with a Nestor Miranda Collection cigar at no charge. All the smoker has to do is buy a cigar – any cigar, made by any cigar maker. Again, that’s any cigar; made by any cigar maker. The twist to this year’s festivities is that the consumer will have the opportunity to smoke the newest addition to the Nestor Miranda Collection, the Art Deco (5.5 x 54).

The ‘National Nestor Miranda Cigar Day,’ is Miami Cigar & Company’s way of thanking the smokers for their enthusiastic support of the company’s brands for the past twenty-two years, and to reassert Miami Cigar’s commitment to bringing you great cigars in the years to come.

To locate your Authorized Retailer, go to www.miamicigarcompany.com and follow the instructions on the site. (New enhanced authorized retailer search engine to launch, April 18th)

“Finally, the best holiday of the year has returned,” said Nestor Miranda, “I am very excited to once again show our customers and consumers our appreciation for their loyalty and support”.

Tampa Humidor will be hosting Nestor Miranda for this year’s festivities. 1418 East Bush Blvd, ste. 105 Tampa, FL 33612

NOTE: The cigars will be available at each Nestor Miranda Collection Authorized Retailers as long as supplies last.

Miami Cigar & Company distributes Tatiana© flavoured cigars, Nestor Miranda Collection cigars©, La Sirena© as well as La Aurora©, Leon Jimenes©, Ducados© which are trademarks of other companies.

Update: To find a local retailer participating in this event go HERE.

PS: I have smoked some Art Decos but have yet to do a review on one. Suffice it to say, they are solid cigars.

Nestor Miranda Special Selection Cigar Review

March 7, 2011 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I usually stay away from panatelas because I have had problems with the draw from them. But I had seen a lot of good things about these cigars and I just couldn’t pass up a deal for these cigars. So I bit and I couldn’t be happier.

It is a beautiful looking cigar. The dark wrapper isn’t marred by many veins and it is a rarity to see discolorations on these cigars’ wrappers. Well filled with tobacco and there it has some oils on it.

Thanks to Miami Cigar for providing this cigar for review.

Cigar Stats
Length: 7 1/2″
Ring Gauge: 40
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Rosado
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras & Dominican Republic
Price: $6.75/Cigar | $150.00/Box of 25

March Madness 2011 Torch!

Spice and grass are the main flavors in the beginning. Also some sweetness when you draw in some smoke. The draw is, unfortunately, a little tight. I’ve smoked ten of these cigars and around seven of them had draw issues. However, if you focus a little bit and take a draw slightly more frequently than normal the draw issues can be overcome.

Less than an inch into the cigar a nice chocolate flavor comes on. The spice is still there but the grassy flavor has fallen off almost completely. And then, in less than a half an inch, the grass comes back. It is a complex cigar that has most of the flavors that I love in a cigar.

Coffee really starts coming on at the beginning of the second third of this cigar. It’s a nice, bitter version of coffee; very black.

Entering the last third of this cigar and the flavors are staying fairly consistent. A little more spice than before, a little less coffee.

Very good cigar with a lot of high points. The draw was a pain though and that takes away from its overall score. I bet that with a bigger ring gauge I would enjoy it a lot more.

89 points

Nestor Miranda 1989 Cigar Review

July 5, 2010 · Posted in Cigar Review · 4 Comments 

I received these nice-looking cigars from Miami Cigar and Company. Thanks guys.

In the past I have been impressed with the Nestor Miranda Special Selection and the Dominicano; they are flavorful cigars. After smoking a few of these cigars I can say that the Nestor Miranda 1989 is a good cigar as well.

For this review I smoked a few of the torpedos with the Rosado wrapper from this line. Each of them was well made and oily. A couple of these cigars had a number of somewhat pronounced veins and there were only a couple of minor imperfections in the wrappers. The cigars were fairly tightly packed.

Cigar Stats
Length: 6 1/8″
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Rosado
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua and Honduras
Price: $80.00/Box of 20 | Less than $5.00/Single

Fighting Flame!

The first third of the cigar is dominated by the commingling of oak and spice. In no way are these flavors overpowering. To be exact about the flavors, while the spice is apparent from inhale to retrohale to aftertaste, the oak is most pronounced as an aftertaste.

What I like the most about the spice in this cigar is that it is a warmer spice. It doesn’t get in your face or overpowers you in the least. So, when the spice starts taking on an even more prominent role in the flavor profile during the second third it is a welcomed development.

In addition to the increased dominance of the spice are some nutty flavors. This is one of the things that I like from all of the Nestor Miranda cigars: understated complexity. While the flavors will never overpower they will keep you interested; and, after all, that’s what is most important about a cigar.

The Rosado version of the 1989 is medium bodied (the Oscuro is supposed to be medium-full bodied). The draw is good but the burn might require a touch up every once in a while – nothing major though.

During the final third the spice recedes and a burnt oak takes over. Not exactly thrilled about it but, when you consider the cigar in its totality, I’m not too bummed about it either. It is a very good cigar and for the price it is very hard to beat.

89 points

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