Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:59 PM
Mfr: Altadis, USA
Ring Gage: 54
Short Churchill aka Robusto
Country of origin: Honduras
Wrapper type: Ecuador/CT
Cost: $5.50 a stick
Value: A steal
Overall Rating: 93
I was stuck in D.C. traffic. It was rush hour on a rainy Friday afternoon, March 2, 2012. Did you know the DC area is now officially the most congested in the US? Anyone who has driven up here knows a little rain in D.C. causes more accidents than a blizzard does in New York. I had been doing some web research on building a coolidor and decided to pull the trigger. Called J.R. cigar on my cell and got an enthusiastic but not particularly well informed rep on the other end. She was cheerful and earnest though, so I ordered 5 crystal humidifier jars; a digital hygrometer, some recharge solution, a new double torch lighter and a premium cigar sampler containing 15 sticks. JR didn't stock empties, so I called Cigars International and ordered 10 wooden cigar boxes for $20 and joined their cigar club while I was at it.
Technology is amazing. I managed to spent about $197 using my iPhone and blue tooth while waiting for traffic to clear up. Helped pass the time though. Dropped another c-note on a special cooler I ordered that evening. Hope it is worth it. When my wife finds out, I'm going I'm likely going sans sex for a week or two.
Technology is also a double edged sword. My wife is almost computer illiterate. But if I go the liquor store, when I get back home, she is waiting at the door, waiving a print-out from the bank at me. She then tells me how many six packs of stout I bought; the brand of single malt scotches I splurged on; how much I spent on each item, what the tax was and where I could have bought them cheaper. I'm cut off again.
So, back to the review. On Monday, March 6, less than 72 hours after I called, I was extremely surprised to see that my order from J.R. was sitting on my front porch. I checked the contents against the shipping order; threw of a couple jars of humidifying crystals in an old cooler, activated the humidifier; packed the cigars in an empty box and dropped the lid on it all before my wife got home.
Later that night, I examined the cigar sampler and pulled out a TTT Trinidad Habana Reserve Short Churchill, mostly because it smelled good and looked like a shorter smoke. As it turns out, I was wrong about the time it took to finish this little beast. Later on this item. My understanding is that this cigar was supposed to have a pig tail but if so, it was amputated. Maybe TTT classified this as a second because of it's absence?
I put the cigar under my nose and sniffed. To an onlooker, I probably resembled Charlie Chaplain doing his his Adolf Hitler caricature. The cigar smelled a little like peppered wood chips. I pinched the foot and rolled the cigar between my fingers. There was so little give that I was concerned that the stick would crack. I examined the wrapper closely but saw know tell-tale spiderweb fissures . I snipped off the shoulder and drew. The tight packing didn't interfere with the draw. It was very good - just enough resistance. I was rewarded with more pepper flavors mixed with perhaps a little citrus. Cut was clean.
I toasted the foot using my new double torch and lit up. The butane torch makes a world of difference when lighting up versus using a disposable lighter. I was ready to smoke in less than 5 seconds. Blew out the first puff and then drew in the second. Didn't get billows of smoke but enough. Black and white pepper taste continued to dominate in the first third, the intensity increasing slightly to the second third.The ash matched the dominate taste - mixed salt and pepper.
As I continued my smoke, I was reminded of old barns and hay, and spring time woods. Christmas spices were also present. The strength and balance was perfect.The overall taste was peppery, pungent, threatening - but remained polite enough for civil company. Smoking this cigar was kind of like having a punch-drunk boxer as a guest at a party. It's exciting, it's entertaining but you're always on your guard. Surprisingly, the last third didn't get any stronger than the last part of the second third. Parse that, I say.
As mentioned earlier, I under-estimated the time it would take to smoke this critter. Although the stick was half the size of a standard Churchill, I feasted on it to the nub and finally, reluctantly, set it aside, wanting more. In my limited experience, many cigars aren't smokable once you get into the last half of the last third. This TTT teased me until the end, never getting unpleasant. Because of this, I got a full hour or more of enjoyment, about the same as most full-size Churchills that are sooner discarded.
The Trinidad Reserve is very good, maybe excellent but not perfect. The burn was OK but slightly uneven from the start. It never did straighten out. I've had cheaper cigars that progressed more evenly. The smoke required a couple of touch-ups on the last third. Maybe this stick needed seasoning. I don't know. I don't have the expertise to judge. On the other hand, I never had any concern about my stogie going dead.
I got a very distinct but pleasant nicotine buzz that lasted an hour after I finished my smoke. Still floating in it when I drifted off to sleep. Some may not like this effect. Not sure that I did but I went with it.
I also have a complaint about the JR sampler package. While the cigars included were good to excellent, there was no literature in the zipped locked shipping bag describing the contents. I would have appreciated at the least a list of the included cigars with brand name, size, length and gauge. Additional information on wrapper, filler and origins would be welcomed. You would think that the company would include at least enough information so that you could order more cigars if you found one you liked. As it was, I had to call JR customer service and the customer service rep had to call the warehouse, before I could accurately identify the fine cigar I had smoked the night before. I will say they did so with a cheerful attitude.
This concludes my first Cigar Review. Perhaps later, I will do a write-up on my coolidor project and send pics.
Posted 06 March 2012 - 03:57 PM
Not a COO for most of my stock...but nice.
Umm, what is a COO?
Posted 06 March 2012 - 04:31 PM
Not a COO for most of my stock...but nice.
Umm, what is a COO?
Certificate of origin
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