The Smoking Lounge (mainly cigars, but all tobacco welcome!)

Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by ChaChaRealSmooth, Nov 8, 2020.

  1. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

    Staff Member Friend Gearmaster
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,948
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Avalon
    Cigar smoking is a pastime of mine that I discovered on a whim. Trying it for myself, I liked the flavors that a good cigar can give you. This thread is for us smokers on SBAF to hang out, talk about and post about what we smoked (hopefully with pics)!

    Now, I'm by no means a connoisseur of any sort (if I was a connoisseur in anything, it would probably be scotch whiskey, although I still consider my knowledge in that field to not be even close to that level). Take any mentions here from me of "wow I really liked this cigar" as solely my personal opinion. I don't have the most refined palette and just do this for enjoyment, just like whiskey.

    So without further ado, I'll start this off with my favorite cigar at this time:
    20201008_191816.jpg
    This is a Padron 1926 80th Anniversary Maduro. Very much recognizably a Padron in flavors. Great construction, very traditionally Nicaraguan; some salt notes, a decent helping of spices, some mocha and chocolate notes. Somewhat on the strong side in terms of nicotine, and a full-bodied smoke. Ironically, this is one of the first cigars I smoked in my life, and the first one I picked when I decided to "seriously" try smoking cigars and thus probably played a role in determining my tastes.

    I envision this thread as being more blog-style from me personally, but I highly encourage other SBAFers who enjoy lighting up a good smoke to come in and discuss tobacco! Maybe the thread should be renamed "ChaCha's Informal Smoking Blog"
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 10
    • List
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
  2. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,450
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Canada
    I like cigars (a lot) but they cost so much in Canada its insane. Easy to spend $30+ on a single cigar (on house brands, cheap stuff.) Maybe Ill pick it up again when I'm older or something, but smoke free for the time being. Enjoy, the Padrons are nice :)
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2020
  3. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,006
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Grant Woods backyard
    I average about 1 cigar per week. I also traded an old Rotel preamp to a buddy who custom makes pipes. But I’m not sure I’m all that onboard with pipe smoking. I might just need to find a pipe tobacco I like. I’m not going to sit in a freezing machine shed for 45 minutes to smoke a cigar in the dead of Winter. Maybe 10 minutes with a pipe is a better plan or just wait or Spring.

    Alec Bradley makes good cigars that aren’t ultra esoteric. Their Prensado and Tempus variants are pretty good. They are on the darker side of medium, and you can get deals frequently from Thompson’s or Cigars International for $4.50 to 6 per stick.

    For a lighter Connecticut variant, the Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne is one of my favorites. It’s harder to find a deal on these, you’ll be in the $6-9 range. I’ve had a couple develop runs and burn funky.

    I recently bought my first box after trying a Serie R Black - Madura from La Gloria Cubana. These are on the darker side but are smooth and have a really consistent burn. A great smoke for <$6.

    Romeo Y Julietta - as a brand I’ve had a few on the lighter side that I liked. I’ve got some 1875 Reserves right now and they are a little darker. I’m kind of indifferent about these.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  4. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2015
    Likes Received:
    6,638
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    I smoke cigars occasionally, like a few a year. Just bought cigars with my friend over the weekend due to the very nice weather.
    I forgot what I bought though, so can't say that. Was nice though, the guy that runs the cigar store is very informative, and have always gotten good recommendations from him. It's always a fun experience to go to the cigar store, we stopped to chat with a guy smoking a pipe about pipe smoking for like 10 mins. Then later I enjoyed a nice cigar and some bourbon on a nice 70 degree day.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
  5. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

    Staff Member Friend Gearmaster
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,948
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Avalon
    One of my favorite cigar brands right now is Caldwell (been introduced to them by @penguins). I really like Caldwells; tend to be quite complex and well-constructed, but not super expensive. Not very "traditional" cigars at all; kind of out there.

    20201007_184745.jpg

    A cigar I enjoy greatly; Savages. Somewhat more mild or medium-bodied, but somehow still retains a lot of complexity and depth of flavor. Unfortunately, this cigar is produced only in very small batches. Very much a "pick this up if you see them" cigar.

    And yes, I will probably upload more potato pics as they come.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  6. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,275
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    DUVALLL-904
    I am a Pipe Smoker since I don't have all day to smoke. Also, one cigar has too much nicotine in one sitting.

    I currently have six Pipes, and different blends. My local Tobacco shops sells the Pipe Tobacco by the ounce, but they are mostly blends from Lanes and other bulk manufactures and sell them as their "own blend." Latest I get some Tin stuff from Peterson/Dunhills that are quite solid online.

    If you wanna do Pipe Tobacco, I would go for the cheap route (corn cob pipe, cheap pipe tool, cheaper aromatic blend, and matches) to start off with since you may not like to do all the work that comes with doing a Pipe. I enjoy the experience so I have six Pipes with my most pricey one is $250.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
  7. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,779
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    SouthernCA
    So a while back I built some "sampler packs" for @ChaChaRealSmooth and myself to help both of us try new sticks. Chacha b/c he is slightly newer in his journey and I figured if anything, it's a bit like SBAF where we kind of help each other save time/money/effort by picking out what we consider "best of breed" or we recommend stuff per each others' preferences. For myself as many of my old favorites are now out of production, my tastes and preferences have changed over time, etc. Has been both a good time and probably useful for both of us to compare notes to help sort out any flukes and quirks given that most stuff is handmade and more of an art form or craft than a real science or something you can boil down into a set of steps / procedures.

    Preferences and biases:
    I am by no means an expert or authority on the topic and I don't have cigars that often. Usually 1-2x a week via during stay at home all day COVID. Before COVID it was much closer to 0-2x a month and during busier times, more like 1-2x every several months. I smoke for the taste and typically after a meal (instead of stuffing my face with desserts, etc.) and generally prefer complex, layered, and typically deep flavors in anything I consume, whether it be food, drink, or cigars. I generally do not like flavored cigars as they more or less all taste chemically to me. Lastly, I do not smoke cigarettes, vape, chew or consume other forms of tobacco or nicotine - if I could magically take out all of the nicotine out w/o altering the taste/smoke, I would do it immediately.

    Anyways, here are my recent favorites in the sampler packs, in alphabetical order by brand. I believe most of these were favorites for Chacha too:
    Caldwell - Savages (pictured above by Chacha): One of my favorites as well. I wasn't able to pick out one main note but rather a very complex backdrop with a few main flavors that were slightly more prominent - for me these were nuttiness with mild spice and cream. It was more of a medium to me. My individual one had burn issues, but every other Caldwell I've had has not had burn issues. Yes, buy it if you see it, very few retailers have these and I was told they only make these 1x a year and if you don't get them, you have to wait until next year.
    Caldwell + AJF + Matt Booth - The T: Another favorite. Main note was a darker chocolate and some coffee, some "spices" (not very spicy, think more like flavor or herbs with some spicy, etc... but you can definitely tell AJF contributed to this with the more prominent spice vs most other Caldwell cigars), a little bit of a mild nutty flavor, a tiny bit of cream. Backdrop of general mild sweetness, but not in a cake or syrup kind of way. Medium +. Very well blended with a lot of subtle and complex notes hiding together in the background. Less of the chocolate and "spices" in the 2nd half, nuts became more prominent and got a little bit of a bready flavor.
    Caldwell - Anastasia (re-release): Similar to the Savages, I can't pinpoint one main note as there is a lot going on. Very fragrant chocolate and coffee when first lit but with raisin, a tiny bit of roasted notes, somewhat spicy but less than say a Fuente or Padron.
    HVC - 500 years anniversary limited edition: Technically speaking, very very good. Just not per my preferences. Was a pleasant surprise. Medium +, maybe full. Medium amouns of pepper, a little bit of spice and wood, a little milkiness (but not cream or thick), nuts and fruit, a tiny bit of salt. Not a lot of subtle background flavors though. Very well balanced, middle of the road in most directions. 2nd half fell apart on my individual cigar. Reminds me a lot of very good Cubans that I've had (overseas).
    Illusione Holy Lance (88): Notes were probably nuts, leather, and cocoa. Notes were were kind of blended together. Not as spicy as I was expecting. The one cigar here where I don't really even know why I liked it or have good flavor descriptors for it, I just liked it.
    Illusione Candela (88): Green wrapper. Filler and binder tastes the same or similar as the lancero mentioned above but with a candela wrapper. Demonstrated very well that the wrapper is usually 60-75% of the flavor. Most flavor for me was on the exhale and the aftertaste in the mouth, going in I just get a bunch of smooth smoke. Most flavor was floral (very interesting and the first and only time I've had a floral cigar), a tiny bit of maybe leather or something kind of rich creaminess (but not actual creaminess), get a little bit of tea flavor (green matcha mixed with maybe oolong tea but w/o the flavor in the back of the mouth that oolong usually has).
    Leaf by Oscar - Maduro* - First 3 puffs were magical. Like it absolutely destroys anything I've ever had. Very dense and complex, mild background of pepper and a spice blend similar to pumpkin spice (think PSL at Starbucks) with a very very good chocolate, sweet flavor, and Cuban cafe con leche. A little bit of brownie mixed with graham cracker pie crust flavor too. Medium + or a little more, but not full.
    *The rest of the cigar was good but nothing amazingly noteworthy and would not have made this list were it not for the first 3 puffs - got some chocolate notes, a tiny bit of salt, background of black pepper, flavors remained mostly consistent. Smoke this very slowly as it had much more flavor when it barely burned.
    Perdomo Champagne (10th Anniversary): Similar to @crazychile, I like these. Mild or mild+ smoke, but a lot of nicotine for a cigar so light (more than heavier cigars). A lot of very well executed tobacco flavors, wrapper was a Connecticut wrapper and definitely fermented (says 3x online) but not maduro, etc. mild sweetness on the way in and in the back of the mouth, mild creaminess in the puff/smoke. Got possibly a tiny bit of coffee or something similar. No construction or burn issues with ones I've had. @YMO - This is a good CT wrapper that does not taste like burnt paper.

    Go-to "regular" stuff - a lot of the above stuff isn't always readily available everywhere whereas most of the below is. Discont stuff I liked is not listed.
    Fuente - Hemingway line - A very well executed stereotypical cigar IMO. Also good for when I don't have that much time due to the small size.
    Oliva G - Usually inexpensive at my local store. Somewhat one dimensional, but good. Somewhat rich, mostly blended wood and nut flavors. Balanced. Medium, maybe a hair under. Goes well a diluted black coffee, usually a richer more complex coffee (but again, diluted).
    Caldwell Long live the King - Woody and somewhat leathery smoke, a little earth and dark chocolate mixed with a little to some spicy. Strong and I'll usually smoke a smaller one. Try the The King is Dead if you want to try the "brother" cigar (both pretty similar) but with a little bit different flavors and a little more towards medium.
    Regius Black Label - Mostly leather and wood, somewhat Cuban-like.
    Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro - I know a lot of hardcore cigar enthusiasts do not like RP, but I think the SGM is a really good cigar. Earthy and nutty with the stereotypical Nicaraguan spice and salt in the tobacco and typical maduro flavor, but all very well executed and blended.
    Cuban Perdomo Cigarillos - If I just want something quick and not $$$. Were surprisingly affordable at a particular duty free store that I passed by often.

    Cubans - small amounts purchased during overseas trips if they weren't too expensive in whatever country. Somewhat overpriced and overrated in the US, but very good none the less. To me it's more "different" than "better". QC spotty at times (1/4 or 1/5 will have major construction issues) for the "cheaper" Cuban stuff which is already more than most other stuff. I have better luck with the higher end stuff but the high end Cuban stuff is usually way overpriced IMO.

    Next post (some time eventually) will be about drinks (mostly non-alcoholic) that I've liked with cigars and more cigars.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 5
    • List
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
  8. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,275
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    DUVALLL-904
    cigarsinternational.com/p/montecristo-espada-cigars/1483223/

    My standard cigar. Great for Pipe Tobacco smokers since it doesn't overwhelm you, and it is smooth where you don't notice the head rush.
     
  9. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,275
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    DUVALLL-904
    [​IMG]


    Formally the Dunhill Nightcap, the Scandinavian Tobacco Group purchased the former Dunhill Pipe Tobacco blends and putting them under the Peterson brand, which they also acquired. Same blends and tins, which is nice. Available here.

    A popular blend for Pipe Tobacco smokers, as the name suggest it was a blend that is mostly enjoyed as an after dinner meal/bedtime treat. It's a strong blend with a strong room note, which means do not smoke this inside a house unless it is designed to pull up smoke ASAP. The strong blend if you aren't careful can make you feel too relaxed, and almost sleepy.

    Taste is a great mix of various tobaccos, but I enjoy the Latakia which gives it just a nice touch of smoky flavor. I recommend using a bigger bowl for this blend so there's enough breathing room for the tobacco to burn up nicely.

    It isn't a true aromatic blend, but some call it aromatic. I disagree, the room note is too smoky for plenty of people and there's no fake flavoring that I can tell. Stuff is not cheap at $12ish per tin, but that will last you for a while if you smoke other blends around.

    Also not for beginners for Pipe users in genral....
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 4
    • List
  10. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    475
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The Great NorthWet
    hello,
    don't really know if anyone will care, but...
    as of very recently Nat Sherman's are no longer. or should i say, the conglomerate that owns the brand has discontinued all the products that made them distinctive. the packaging, the size, the look, and of course, the exquisite flavor are gone.
    in a galaxy, long, long ago, i worked in Midtown. on payday my spouse would visit the location on Fifth Avenue and procure my week's worth of smokes, four packs of brown Cigarettellos and four packs of brown Virginia Circles.
    the company was family owned for a long time, but they sold out and this is the result.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  11. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,275
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    DUVALLL-904
    I know, I picked up one of their Pipe Tobacco blends as a last toast. Their Pipe Tobacco blends were good depending on the blend.
     
  12. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,275
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    DUVALLL-904
    [​IMG]

    Mac Baren 7 Seas Black

    Mac Baren does make good stuff, but from what I remember the 7 Seas series were mostly aromatic pipe tobacco that is aimed for the American market. Black Cavendish based blends are my jam due to they are on average a cooler smoke that is mellow. The 7 Seas Black is no exception.

    Mellow smell when opening up the tin, and mellow when smoking it. As always aromatics will make your bowl be hotter than non-aromatics, so I recommend smoking something like this in a bigger bowl and a longer stem to make the smoke travel farther to cool it down. Also, I recommend let it dry out a bit before smoking it because there's a lot of moisture in the tin when opening it. It also doesn't help that I put a small humidifier in all of my tins, but it is better to have moist tobacco than dry tobacco that is dry as fudge to the point that you ruined it.

    Very agreeable room note for everyone if smoking inside, and it can be an all day smoke if that is your thing. I detected some cherry and maybe a minor cream smell when smoking it? It's pretty mellow as expected, and if smoking it in the right pipe then you will not get mouth bite.

    Mac Baren make this stuff in bulk I believe, so I wouldn't be surprised if a Tobacco shop sell them as a "house blend."

    Good blend for beginners.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
  13. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

    Staff Member Friend Gearmaster
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,948
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Avalon
    20201112_190448.jpg

    Sometimes, after a particularly large dinner, I want a large smoke. This Punch Signature fits the bill on that end while still being a great, enjoyable smoke; spicy, but well-incorporated flavors and surprisingly somewhat on the smooth side. The one in the picture is quite large; I believe it's the 6x60.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  14. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,275
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    DUVALLL-904
  15. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,275
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    DUVALLL-904
    [​IMG]

    The Montecristo Espada is one of the few cigars that I buy them in a box and put them in my humidor. As a big fan of pipe tobacco, I don't like sitting alone for two hours smoking a cigar. I prefer to smoke a pipe while reading a book.

    My big issue with cigars is the high nicotine content, most of the time it makes my head go light, and I hate it. Also, the smell lingers so much worse than a pipe in my patio in my apartment. Since my GF is sensitive to the smell, I have to be considerate.

    Since FL is hot/humid most of the time I normally smoke a cigar at a local shop. Get a drink and lit one up. At home bring out the pipe at night time. It's cooler season, so I can deal with smoking one outside.

    Normally I'm not the biggest fan of Montescristo stuff, I think most of their stuff is average for me. However, what I like about the Espada is the complexity of the flavor (can taste the different notes) while being smooth at the same time. I do not like really strong flavor profiles that overwhelms you to the point that it gives you a nasty headache. As a pipe smoker, the Espada is great for someone like me who don't want to go overboard and demand a more smoother profile. As stated on the box and the web line, this one is blended differently as normal.

    Those who are big into flavor profiles might want to pass on this one. But if you feel like a medium body cigar if you have a lighter dinner or want to smoke something in the afternoon, this one will do the trick.

    I got lucky at my local stop today, they were doing their usual holiday cigar table with deals and this one was $115 for the box. It goes down less by 10% if you pay cash and no tax. Good deal than getting them online (also, impossible to do in other states, gotta like FL at times).
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
  16. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

    Staff Member Friend Gearmaster
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,948
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Avalon
    20201123_192005.jpg

    A rarer find I stumbled upon in my local Total Wine. It's tied with the 1926 80th Maduro for me for my personal favorite cigars. A bit of a denser smoke, more noticeable chocolate and spice notes than the 1926; very well executed. It's a shame these are hard to find and also too expensive to smoke regularly.
     
  17. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,275
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    DUVALLL-904
    [​IMG]

    The Seattle Pipe Club blends aren't always a hit for me. Some of their misses are quite shocking (Plum Pudding, great but not for me), but some of their hits are something like their Mississippi River Rum Barrel Aged. This is more costly than the regular Mississippi River blend due to they put this stuff in Rum barrels. It's multiple tobacco blends in a crumble cake cut, and have a nice but kind of strong Rum flavoring. They even put a block of wood from a Rum barrel so the Tobacco blend keeps its Rum flavor. It's already taking a good blend and add extra complexity to it. Flavor profile even with its different tobaccos is in the medium range. I recommend let it dry a bit after opening the tin before you start smoking it.

    If you hate anything Rum, don't get it. I don't really drink Rum but I like how well they flavored the blend with Rum. Lately I been smoking more pure tobacco blends, but I don't mind a good Rum one.



    [​IMG]

    Oh what is this, another Rum flavored crumble cake cut blend? This time it is from Cornell & Diehl, the great blenders of da South. Blockade Runner is a pure Virginia blend (unlike Mississippi River) that is also mixed with Rum and sold in a giant crumble cake (Mississippi River is comes in smaller crumble cake cuts, while Blockage Runner comes in one big block). Unlike Mississippi River, there's a little more nicotine kick here. If you really want to cut back on nicotine, don't get this one. However, you get a more grassy smoke with some get Rum zest. Very enjoyable, just don't smoke too much of it or else your head hurts. It's very tasty.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  18. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,275
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    DUVALLL-904
    Being in one of the few states that don't charge extra for cigars besides sales tax, you can get deals:

    [​IMG]

    All of this for $17. CAO Sampler was 50% off. Their stuff is not bad at all, not great or crap but a happy inbetween. The two cigars in the bad were $1 a pop. I had the Carrillo Connecticut before and while I don't like Connecticut wrappers (since they taste like burnt paper for me), this one isn't to shabby.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  19. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,100
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Europe
    @YMO i am going to write here in case it's useful for others, in the future.

    My brother (mid 40s just to give you a broad picture of that hooligan) got a pipe for Christmas and I hadn't seen him as happy since he got his ps4 post-launch (facetime ofc).

    He also got kind of a raspberry blend as the only flavour.

    The only thing he drinks is whisky (don't know if that makes a difference) and he roles his own smokes.

    Do you, or anyone else, has an idea of what, internationally available (pref Amazon UK) that I could get shipped to him as a beginner or it's best just to choose randomly?
     
  20. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,275
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    DUVALLL-904
    I wouldn't called your brother a hooligan.... ;)

    For starters, where does your brother live, in the UK?

    A good part of the European countries have pretty high taxes and restrictions on tobacco like plain packaging laws. It depends on his location.
     

Share This Page