Friday, May 21, 2010
Arganese - Connecticut Presidente - Robusto
introduction to the brand. I haven't heard much about the brand or this particular series, but I won this cigar as part of a prize from my friends over at NiceTightAsh.
I can't find a lot of information on this cigar but it is bound and filled with a mixture of Dominican tobaccos. The wrapper on the other hand, is an Ecuadorian grown Connecticut shade. I have no doubts this will be a milder cigar than I prefer, but I could use a change of pace and this thing has been resting in my humidor for quite some time.
Prelight - The Connecticut wrapper is as dry as can be; no oil in sight. Not that one should expect copious amounts of oil on such a leaf. The wrapper leaf has a few little knicks on it, but I think that is more my fault than Arganese's. The cigar offers little aroma, but the draw has a welcomed resistance to it. Even with a moment of cold draws, I cannot detect any flavor. I hope mild doesn't equate to flavorless.
Sparking it - The cigar lights with ease and I am surprised with how nicely it is burning; an inch and half in and I have yet to ash. I started this smoke with the understanding that it was going to be a mild one; with that in mind, I'm enjoying the soft smoke on this warm spring evening.
There isn't a lot going on in the flavor category. I mean, obviously I'm tasting cigar smoke, but maybe I'm not looking for the right flavors. I used to smoking fuller cigars and have often shied away from mild cigars. On second thought, the smoke has a nice creamy feel to it. I taste a little bit of vanilla and some type of nut.
To my surprise, this is a well made cigar; the burn is better than most cigars I've smoked and the ash is solid as can be.
Smoking it - Smoking this cigar, while not captivating and awe-inducing, it is enjoyable. I think the Arganese Connecticut has seared a place in my heart for milder cigars. With subtle flavoring and an impeccable burn, there is a time and a place for milder smokes. This would be a great cigar to keep in the humidor for those friends who don't smoke much and would turn green smoking a ligero filled cigar.
Overall - B-
With so many great options in the cigar world these days, it is easy for a smoker to find themselves smoking many different cigars without really trying something different. By this I mean, there are so many great cigars, that you could smoke a new cigar every day for months while staying in your comfort zone of flavor and strength. I encourage blind trades with buddies and friends you meet in the online community.
When I received this cigar from Ben over at NiceTightAsh.com - I thought "Oh crap, this is going to sit in my humidor untouched." And it did....maybe I'm in a good mood this evening....or maybe I'm just happy to smoke because I haven't in two days, but this cigar has changed my perspective on the spectrum of cigars.
Go outside your comfort zone and try different cigars. Try a cigar because the label looks cool, or try a cigar because it has a Brazilian wrapper, or try a cigar because its $5 and you happen to have a $5 bill in your wallet. Whatever your reason may be, just do it. We've reached a time in history where we can legally purchase cigars can rival Cuban classics, so don't smoke your old favorites in fear of wasting a few bucks on a new cigar you may not like....you could be passing up a new favorite smoke without knowing it.
Two days ago I stopped in a cigar shop that is off the beaten path a bit and while I've been in there before, I've never really spent much time there. The selection is crap compared to the nicer shops in the area, but the seating area is comfy and there always seems to be a nice collection of guys hanging out.
As I sat listening to this group talk about how the Rocky Patel Edge is the best cigar ever, (I almost felt sorry for them) I was moved to ask if they had ever smoked a Tatuaje, Liga Privada or VSG. I might as well have been speaking a different language. They had no clue what I was talking about and it didn't matter. Conversation moved back to the main topic and flowed into talks about life, children, work...you name it.
I guess what I'm trying to say is cigars are fun to try, review, talk about, share; but the real reason we love smoking is the conversation and comradery that comes with a shared interest. Cigars offer us a welcome break from our fast paced lives. They are like mini-time machines is the sense that they take us to a time and place where first names matter and friends and/or strangers can share good conversation. All men in that smoking circle have an equal right to speak their mind, and everyone is happy to sit back and relax.
Cigars are a wonderful thing. Not just for what they are, but for what they represent.
I once saw Auther/writer for Wall Street Journal, David Brooks, speak at an event. Mr. Brooks covers both political parties and knows Presidents and Senators on a personal level. One thing he said in concluding his speech had to do with what is wrong with today's cut-throat political landscape. He said (and I'm paraphrasing...) "The problem is that each party doesn't view the other party as human beings anymore. Years ago, Politicians from both parties would end their day of legislation by sitting down with one another, sharing some bourbon and smoking a cigar."
Cigars are a wonderful thing.