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Today's Cigar 2019

Tianlin

Well-known member
I was gifted a couple of cigars last night. I don't keep a humidor anymore, so since they're fancy-pants hand rolled cigars with bands and everything, that means I'll be smoking both cigars today. They're both Don Rey brand, and I know next to nothing about them apart from the proud declaration on the band: hecho a mano Puerto Rico. So, hey, a rare hand-rolled, premium cigar made in the USA, that's neat. The bands look like they belong on cheap budget bundle cigars, but it doesn't do them justice - I had one of the natural-wrapped coronas before, and was shocked at how much I enjoyed it.

I'm doing things backwards. I have another natural corona (I'm guessing Connecticut wrapper but I'm no expert) and a big fat maduro cigar - a robusto or toro. I can be bad at estimating. Anyway, it's been a long time since I smoked a maduro, so I'm starting the day with the big maduro cigar, and I'll have the corona later. Or maybe tomorrow, but I don't want to wait too long.

At any rate, despite the ugly-as-sin band, the wrapper is pretty, the draw is perfect, it's burning evenly, it never had a trace of harshness, and the flavor is quite nice. I have no idea what these cost, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy a box/bundle if I were to set up a humidor again, provided they were reasonably priced.
E3F1CACC-59D4-4767-905E-51996CDB45EF.jpeg
For whatever reason, the photo makes it look a lot rougher than it is in reality. That is really the only vein in the wrapper, and it doesn't protrude quite as much as the photo suggests. I was just trying to get the band label in the shot, but the bulk of the wrapper is pretty darn smooth.
 
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Tianlin

Well-known member
I was gifted a couple of cigars last night. I don't keep a humidor anymore, so since they're fancy-pants hand rolled cigars with bands and everything, that means I'll be smoking both cigars today. They're both Don Rey brand, and I know next to nothing about them apart from the proud declaration on the band: hecho a mano Puerto Rico. So, hey, a rare hand-rolled, premium cigar made in the USA, that's neat. The bands look like they belong on cheap budget bundle cigars, but it doesn't do them justice - I had one of the natural-wrapped coronas before, and was shocked at how much I enjoyed it.

I'm doing things backwards. I have another natural corona (I'm guessing Connecticut wrapper but I'm no expert) and a big fat maduro cigar - a robusto or toro. I can be bad at estimating. Anyway, it's been a long time since I smoked a maduro, so I'm starting the day with the big maduro cigar, and I'll have the corona later. Or maybe tomorrow, but I don't want to wait too long.

At any rate, despite the ugly-as-sin band, the wrapper is pretty, the draw is perfect, it's burning evenly, it never had a trace of harshness, and the flavor is quite nice. I have no idea what these cost, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy a box/bundle if I were to set up a humidor again, provided they were reasonably priced.
View attachment 28176
For whatever reason, the photo makes it look a lot rougher than it is in reality. That is really the only vein in the wrapper, and it doesn't protrude quite as much as the photo suggests. I was just trying to get the band label in the shot, but the bulk of the wrapper is pretty darn smooth.
Well I just came in from a drive and I smoked the corona. No pic, but I was wrong about the wrapper. While it's much lighter than the maduro, it's not light enough to be Connecticut. It's also not nearly as mild as your typical Connecticut-wrapped smoke. It was a great medium-full bodied cigar with a great draw and a good taste, but this one didn't burn as evenly as the robusto maduro, and not as evenly as I recall the last corona I smoked. Still, a good time was had by all.
 

Tianlin

Well-known member
Back when I was a cigar smoker first and foremost, the Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte Cordoba (5.25x44) was a staple, a tasty, satisfying, affordable smoke that populated my humidor alongside Punch Elites in about equal numbers. I don’t remember the last time I had one, but this is nice
EBA3DF31-1FED-4B99-86C2-5585F0B46A4A.jpeg
They’re a good bit more expensive now, but relative to the market still priced attractively. Some burn issues, but I didn’t light it evenly, either. Tasting just fine!
 

Tianlin

Well-known member
Just came in from the first of the box of La Aurora Palmas Extra - it was an absolutely fantastic mild-medium panatela, with a smooth and easy draw, impeccable construction, a beautiful wrapper, a rich, classic Dominican taste, and a pleasant aroma. I hope the rest of the box are this good. If they are, this represents one of the best cigar purchases I've ever made. I love narrower cigars, but there seems to be a slightly greater chance of an overly restricted draw than there is with the larger cigars. Not so with this. It was basically a perfect cigar.
 

Edward

Life's too short to argue.
Patron
Just came in from the first of the box of La Aurora Palmas Extra - it was an absolutely fantastic mild-medium panatela, with a smooth and easy draw, impeccable construction, a beautiful wrapper, a rich, classic Dominican taste, and a pleasant aroma. I hope the rest of the box are this good. If they are, this represents one of the best cigar purchases I've ever made. I love narrower cigars, but there seems to be a slightly greater chance of an overly restricted draw than there is with the larger cigars. Not so with this. It was basically a perfect cigar.
You made it sound so good, going to check them out. Thanks 😊
 

Tianlin

Well-known member
You made it sound so good, going to check them out. Thanks 😊
Caveat emptor! I loved the one I had, but so far I've only had one. Still, La Aurora is more than a reputable company, so I expect these will be fairly consistent.

Also, CI says the ring gauge is 35. The type is too small to be totally confident, but I think the label on the wrapper actually says 36. Not that it makes a huge difference!
 
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Tianlin

Well-known member
View attachment 28775
I didn’t get far down the path before realizing I should have worn boots....heading to a much less muddy park shortly. Pleasant Sunday morning smoke, though.
So I was about 20 minutes or so into the smoke when I took that picture, I think, but the smoke lasted about an hour and ten, fifteen minutes. Despite the anorexic ring gauge, this is no miniature. I prefer narrow ring gauge cigars, but because it's rare to find affordable cigars in a panatella shape and when they do exist they are rarely offered as singles, I am much more familiar with petite coronas than panatellas. I usually only get panatellas/lanceros when some b&m offers a high end cigar in the shape, then I might occasionally spend ten bucks or so on one as a treat, knowing I can't afford a box. But with prices the way they are these days, I don't often want to commit to a box of something I haven't had at least one or two of already.

But at 60 bucks for a box of 25, these aren't going to break the bank. And these cigars so far are simply stellar. In my limited experience, these types of cigars start out "whispering," but quickly build in volume. A mild blend like La Aurora won't ever "shout," though. Learning to smoke them correctly (slowly, keeping it cool) has helped me appreciate this size more, because you have to expect it to not produce a huge cloud of smoke early on. Narrow cigars aren't as forgiving of aggressive puffing, they heat up much more easily. Yet with such a small amount of tobacco burning and then getting filtered through such a long column of leaves, the first inch or two of a panatella will simply never be a powerhouse. But the beauty lies in the crescendo. Learning to enjoy the rich flavors while "sipping" a pipe has taught me to eschew the habit of seeking big, powerful clouds of smoke from a pipe, and the principle holds just as true with a cigar, especially a slender one like this. Just take it slow and easy, let the cigar dictate the pace and volume, watch it. Don't try to get more out of it than it will give, and the subtleties and nuances will reveal themselves more easily, and the cigar won't get all hot and swampy. I think the less forgiving nature of these cigars may be a reason for their decline in popularity - more and more people are just occasional, weekend smokers, and it's simply easier to learn to smoke a robusto or toro. Aggressive puffing won't do them any favors either, of course, but it will do much less harm to enjoyment so long as you can keep the burn fairly even. And you'll get huge clouds of smoke. But these? Slow and steady, gentle like a breeze. Just let it build . . . I think I'm in love! This is too much of a time commitment for a daily smoke for me right now, but it may well become a go-to for a special treat that I can actually afford.