I hope everybody had safe and happy holidays. Things are finally slowing down here enough for me to get to work on NTA. Our Christmas was pretty good, Satori racked up on toys as she must have been on Santa’s good list!
I did get another tattoo the first of December. I had thought about the design, I am sure many of you will recognize, for quite a while. I was a bit skeptical on going through with the tattoo until I did some research on it and this is what I found:
“This Cherry Blossom represents the ever-changing seasons that are experienced
throughout one’s lifetime as well as the concept of a short, yet beautiful life.
The tattered leaves this blossom bears signify the storms we have weathered
together as a family and those we have yet to weather. Finally, the intact and
unblemished core of this blossom represents the unfaltering and un-moveale
nucleus of our family unit.”
With that being said and the struggles I’ve been through in my past life and recent past family life, this was a no brainer. I got this tattoo done at the Due South Tattoo Expo by the amazing artist Azha Sanders. I will be getting quite a few more by her in the near future.
I am composing my 2014 Cigars of the Year and it will be out on Tuesday. I was trying to get it out before then, but with a lot going on with the family, I didn’t have much quality time to devote to the list.
Black Label Trading Company Salvation: I have enjoyed quite a few BLTC cigars as they each have their own unique flavor profile and not two are alike. The Salvation has a somewhat spice start to it with an earthy, leathery and cedary core. Most Black Label Trading Compay Cigars are in the $9-13 range. This is the uppermost area of my “sweet spot” price and pushes the limit as wether its a good value or not with me. It was an interesting smoke, but not something I would smoke on a regular basis as the price is a bit on the steep side.
AVO Herritage Robusto: I fell in love with the short robusto of this blend when it first came out. But as time goes onm there are other cigars that catch you eye and your current favorites get bumped by the next best thing. This cigar is good like the short robusto, but there is something that the robusto lacks over its shorter counterpart. Either way, it was good woodsy type of smoke that was a nice start to the day.
Oliva O Toro: I used to smoke a good many of the perfecto size in the O blend and really liked it. I have grown past the perfecto and now grab a toro when I want an O. There is just the right amount of spice for me in this cigar as well as hints of leather & a tad bit of cocoa. This has and always be a solid smoke in my eyes and a staple in the humidor.
1502 Emerald Toro: With a box press and a closed foot, this is a attractive cigar. This cigar has about a year or so of age on it and was a little better now than when I had one fresh. The draw and construction were superb with nice flavors as well. I got nice notes of coffee, black pepper and a flavor similar to a salted caramel. This is a nice boutique cigar with a price tag that won’t break the bank.
AKA Respect: This cigar had a nice draw with tight ashes, but an off burn. I liked the notes of dark coffee, espresso and occasional hints of wood and a light black pepper. But other than that, it really didn’t impress me a whole lot. I have yet to find an AKA that has really wowed me, some are a “decent” smoke, but there are a few I don’t really care for. This being one that’s decent.
Recluse Amadeus Kanu 1: I was really impressed by the robusto size in this blend. It was a nice and flavorful Connecticut smoke that was a good change of pace from my usual fuller bodied cigars. The Kanu is basically a square pressed perfecto. Like most perfectos, the flavors change with the changes in ring gauges, but they were not too drastic of changes. A good showing from Recluse that is an opposite of their other stronger blends. I just prefer the robusto in the blend.
Rocky Patel Rosado Robusto: The rosado wrapper has been in the ranks of a Sumatra wrapper in the sense that they give off a slight sweetness to the smoke. I used to smoke this cigar a pretty good bit until the Fuente Rosado came out and I enjoyed it a lot more over the Rocky Patel. This cigar does not have the sweet creaminess that I get off of the Fuente, its a little more harsher if you will. This cigar has about two or so years of age on it, and usually that amount of rest helps a cigar, but I didn’t see much if any change. For the money its a ok smoke, but for a little bit more, I’d go with the Fuente Rosado.
Zino Art Texas: I like most Zinos, mainly the Barrel, Z-Class and quite a few LEs they have made in the past. This cigar was the winnings of a fantasy football bet, although I appreciated the winning, I didn’t really enjoy the smoke. I figured it was going to be a lot more flavorful and either mild or fuller bodied. I was wrong, it was a solid medium body with odd and muddled flavors that I just really couldn’t get into. For $16+ I can think of handfulls of cigars that are way better.
Quorum Shade Torpedo: Of all the years I have been smoking, this is my first Quorum. I usually smoke medium to fuller smokes and the Quorum is the exact opposite. The smoke was light and mellow with hints of a sweetness and a bit of a light woodsy note. About halfway in, I got a hint or three of a stronger sweetness than before that reminded me of a Christmas cookie with some molasses and ginger. The draw was great, the cigar was squishy and the ashes were pretty good for this sub four dollar cigar. You get what you pay for with this cigar; no thrills or frills.
Padilla Cava 550: My local shop had a few boxes of these in, but all were the 60 and 70 ring gauge which is not my style. They got in a box of the 550 so I had to try them out. It started out really good and soon after, it changed but it didn’t get “worse” it just changed flavors. I got notes of a chocolate, a hint of black pepper and a herbal spice. Later into the cigar, I got a hint of some creaminess that threw me for a loop. Overall, for the money, its a decent smoke that won’t break the bank. Medium body with a bit stronger flavor strength.