Like that ring in that book by Tolkien this cigar had been lost for years in my humidor. Resting safely in the bottom of a humidor, long forgotten by time this dazzlingly beautiful cigar has been preparing for this moment when it will get the torch to its feetses (it’s from Lord of the Rings; I think it was Gollum who used that term).
It is a little ragged by the cap, the wrapper is torn a little, but that is probably due to the fact that it’s been hiding for so long. The wrapper itself is an amazing deep dark brown and it is absolutely glistening with oils; it kind of reminds me of one of those penguins in a Dawn commercial getting oil wiped off of it.
As you probably noticed by the title of this review this is one of those Cigar Rights of America cigars from one of their earlier taster packs (maybe the first one, can’t remember). For the last couple of years these guys have been doing some good things to fight back against over-regulation of the cigar industry. If you can you should seriously consider donating some money to them or buying one of their holiday samplers (oops, already sold out).
I cut it, take a prelight draw, which is nice and open, then light it. It’s great from the start with strong willed spice that takes off like a rocket booster and a combination of hickory, hay and meat keeps this cigar in orbit. To me, it seems like this cigar is vacillating between a spicy and an earthy flavor profile. Basically, the smoke comes in spicy and the lingering flavors are those earthy flavors.
There is this almost minty flavor lurking in the background at around the transition into the second third. I’m not quite sure if it’s really there or if it is some phantom flavor. Is there such a thing as phantom flavors?
Ghost flavors probably aren’t real but that minty flavor mellows during the second third into vanilla. It’s not one of the top three flavors but it’s easily recognizable. The spice, which was very strong in the early goings, has relented some of its strength but not its force of flavor. Other flavors worth noting include oak and cream. This cigar is shaping up to be more like a crisp violin solo than a powerful, resonating tuba.
Sometimes I think about which cigars fit with which fictional character. For example, Seth Bullock from Deadwood would smoke a Joya de Nicaragua Fuerte Serie B because it’s a solid smoke with some good heft but without any pomp or grandstanding. Swearengen, on the other hand, would smoke some very expensive cigar even if it tasted like a wet dog just because it cost a lot. This cigar, the Padron 1964, would be smoked by someone like Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence, someone with great taste and an eye for a true gem.
While I have been going off on musical and fictionalized historical characters and their hypothetical cigars of choice this cigar’s flavors have been receding into the background. It’s a shame that they had to go this way when this cigar started out so well. Maybe this is a product of over-aging this cigar; I don’t know for sure but that would be my bet. Still, this cigar was awesome for the first two thirds and for a little ways into the final third. That is more than can be said about most other cigars.
Now, if you have read some of my previous reviews of these Cigar Rights of America cigars you know that I will not be giving this cigar a score. I think that’s fair for two reasons: first, we don’t know if this cigar is ever going to be made again in this vitola and second, the purpose of these cigars isn’t to grade them, they are meant to support the cigar smoking cause. So, even though I truly enjoyed this medium-full bodied cigar with a ton of flavor and a good draw and burn there will be no 92 point score to go along with it.
Just got my new issue of Cigar Aficionado today and on the cover is Jay-Z. As a younger guy I’m somewhat aware of who this guy is. Rapper, music mogul, with Beyonce, and an all-around cool dude. Basically, I just know what his image is – so the part about him probably won’t be all that interesting of a read. Oh well.
The top cigar of this issue is the Padron 1964 Anniversary Series “A” with a score of 95 points. That’s an impressive score indeed and one that I would most likely agree with. My New Year’s Day cigar was a Padron 1964 Anniversary Monarca and I gave it 95 points. Since then I have had a couple of cigars I would rank higher and I will be putting those reviews up in the future.
Then I come to the Editors’ Note. It’s always one of the more enjoyable parts of the magazine for me because it’s not just an advertisement for the rest of the magazine like so many other Editors’ Notes tend to be. It starts out with a nod to the current economic problems and how the fear of today is analogous to the fear from the Depression even if the current circumstances do not arguably warrant as much trepidation. Then they talk about S-CHIP and how the increase in taxes doesn’t seem like it’s going to put a damper on premium cigar sales anytime soon (that’s just what the tax-happy Senators and Congressmen wanted to hear).
And then, oddly, they say that more taxes usually leads to a drop-off in sales for the taxed items. This I completely agree with and, ironically, may explain why premium cigar sales didn’t slack off during the first quarter. When the government tells the people that they are going to raise taxes on a product on a certain date the people will act rationally and start stockpiling those products up to the date when the tax increases. Here’s an example of that and here’s another example.
Go to page four of this report and see the affect that stockpiling could be having on premium cigars. This report is mainly about a tax on cigarettes but I think that we’ll see a lot of the same things happening with cigars during the next couple of months. Maybe the taxes on cigars will have less of an impact due to its premium status but once you couple the new taxes with a soft economy I don’t know how we will see cigar sales increase for the next few months.
Alright, that’s it. I’m going to go and read the magazine and find a better cigar to enjoy (Hoyo de Monterreys are not my favorites by any stretch of the imagination). Have a great day!!!
[NOTE: originally I had this as a sun grown cigar. Actually, thanks to friends at A Cigar Smokers Journal and Stogie Review I have come to understand that it has natural tobacco as the wrapper. Sun grown means that it was grown in the sun as opposed to the shade. While this Padron uses a wrapper grown in the sun the wrapper is, indeed, natural. For further clarification head over to Padron's website HERE to really understand what goes into the making of this wonderful cigar.]
This was the first of two cigars I smoked on New Years Eve night and, without a doubt, it was the best cigar of the night. It might actually be the best cigar I have ever smoked bar none. Here’s my review:
Box pressed with a medium brown, sun grown wrapper. Extremely oily cigar. The appearance of this cigar is actually quite bad. There are stretch marks, divots and blemishes galore! This is supposed to be a great smoke and I hope it is since this is one of my last cigars for 2008. I’m drinking Wild Turkey Single Barrel with Cherry Coke and a water.
Length: 6 1/2″
Ring Gauge: 46
NEW YEARS FLAME! part one
Oh… my… GOD!
I was going to say something derogatory about the look of the cap on this cigar but when it tastes this good who cares about a gnarly cap?
Tons of flavor: spice, earth, cocoa, coffee. The draw is perfect. It’s full bodied. Tons of smoke. Happy New Year to me!
Over a quarter of the way through now and this is easily the best cigar I have ever smoked. It doesn’t burn evenly though, pretty badly actually.
Fortunately, I was able to correct the burn. Half way in now and I have to say that the flavors have become milder. However, when I blow smoke through my nose, retrohaling the cigar smoke – if you will, all those amazing flavors are still present.
Here is my dilemma. The first half of this cigar was awesome, 97 points without a doubt. The second half of the cigar was still great but due to the flavors falling away somewhat I give that half 93 points. And then there is the whole thing about the horrible appearance and the bad burn for this cigar. Truthfully, I still think it’s the best cigar I have ever had.