It’s spring time in Finland. The days grow longer and snow is starting to melt. One of my favorite times to puff a smoking tortilla on the balcony. This time I tasted Don Pepín García Invictos (Blue Label), a handmade cigar brand owned by El Rey de los Habanos. DPG is manufactured in Miami, Florida and uses Nicaraguan tobaccos. A bold, full-bodied smoke with lots of intense spices. Definitely not for beginners, although it does offer good price-quality. Unfortunately the wrapper made from Corojo Oscuro leaf was a bit cracked which, I’m afraid, might have affected the overall experience. Hopefully I’m able to try another one as soon as possible.
Drink: Chilean pisco
The Griffin’s, time to light up the heraldic beast from Dominican Republic. A very elegant smoke with a long lasting taste. Hints of brown sugar and cacao with a slightly herbal finish. Muy delicioso! Another day, another smoking tortilla.
Drink: 20-year-old Tawny Port
Cohiba is one of the most, if not THE most, well known cigar brand in the world but it is relatively new. The Cuban Cohiba (there is one in Dominican Republic as well which is unrelated to this one but that’s a different story) was established in 1968 and in the beginning it was a private brand supplying exclusively for Monsieur Castro and his big kahuna communist friends. Disclaimer: This was not given me by Fidel Castro himself as a diplomatic gift nor is it a bribe of any kind. I can assure you. You believe me, right? RIGHT?! Anywho, nowadays Cohiba enjoys a cult status and is supposed to be one of the best cigar brands out there. If you’re a gangsta rapper, drug overlord or a pimp you will smoke nothing else.
I paired this Siglo II with a beer believe it or not. Cigar City Brewing from Tampa, FL is rated as the #5 best brewer in the world 2012 by RateBeer.com. In the back label it said that the beer pairs well with premium cigars. It was a superb combo. The Cohiba was delicious and I’m not even a pimp so you better believe me. I ended up sitting on my balcony for hours just looking the world go by. It was a great moment.
Oh Ramón! Sometimes when you encounter a good wine you just have to have a nice smoking tortilla with it. Next in line was Ramón Allones from Cuba. Founded in 1845 it was pioneer in many areas of the production. It is said that they were the first brand to utilize bands on cigars. These days it’s produced in the famous Partagás factory. This was a very aromatic and intense cigar. Nice slow burn with some chocolate and pine tree aromas. It had a nice bitterness factor to it with a smooth finish which worked really well with this champagne. High quality smoke for those afternoon meditation moments.
Drink: Jacquesson Cuvée No 735
In Finland they are trying to ban smoking on balconies in private apartments. If that law passes then cigar smokers are really screwed. That’s the last refuge for a urban aficionado since it’s not allowed to smoke in restaurants and bars anymore. I hope it never comes to that. Today I tasted a cigar from Tatuaje Havana VI Artistas - Torpedo. It comes from Estelí, Nicaragua. Tatuaje is a relatively new brand on the market. Their first cigars were released in 2003 but they have gained popularity especially in the US. The cigars of Tatuaje are made in close consultation with José Garcia a.k.a. Don Pepin who is a well known and respected master roller and blender. This smoking tortilla was a medium strength smoke with lots of black tea and some espresso flavors. A well-rounded cigar for those midday getaways.