Cigar Review: Rocky Patel Nicaraguan Torpedo

Rocky Patel Nicaraguan Torpedo

 

Wow. It’s rare when I find a truly great cigar for under $10 a stick. And it’s like finding a unicorn when I find one under six bucks.

But I found one. The Rocky Patel Nicaraguan Torpedo.

My dealer, Famous Smoke Shop, sells them. They go for – get this $5.20 a stick individually, and you can get a pack of 5 for $21.95 as of this writing. And they’re awesome.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the pack was their construction. It was absolutely beautiful. Perfectly rolled, firm to the feel, and a gorgeous wrapper. I had to check the label to make sure they were the right cigars. They’re listed as a natural wrapper, but they were so dark they looked like maduros.

In this era of mass produced “premium” cigars I often find that the smoking end of torpedoes are wrapped sloppily, and that makes clipping them a challenge so they don’t unroll. Not these. Each one in the five pack was wrapped perfectly with no extra wrapper bunched up and no gaps in the wrapping. Clipping them was a breeze.

Cigar Review: Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Sun Grown Queen B

A_Fuente_chateau_fuente_QueenB_single

I don’t normally start my cigar reviews talking about my wife, but she’s relevant to the story so stay with me.

Truth be told, my cigar habits are pretty boring. Having enjoyed them now for going on 25 years, I know what I like and I tend to stick to it for my “daily driver” cigar, my “yard work” cigar, and when I occasionally go upscale.

Old habits die hard I guess.

That’s where my wife comes in. She buys me cigars for pretty much every occasion throughout the year that requires some sort of greeting card. And I don’t think in all these years of her doing that she’s bought me the same one twice. So that way I get to sample a bunch of different cigars every year.

I asked her once several years ago how she selects them, because the ones she comes home with are always were unique looking in one way or another. When I asked her about her selection “process”, she said she always picks the ones that are the most interesting in the way they look or the way they’re packaged.

I thought that was intriguing, because I had never cared about that until she mentioned it. But since then I’ve started to notice.

Which brings me to my review of the Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Sun Grown Queen B torpedo.

It is flat out a beautiful cigar that is in turn beautifully packaged. From the classic red and gold Arturo Fuente Casa Reserva label to the cedar wrap to the band of red ribbon at the bottom.

It’s definitely a cigar that my wife would pick. And when I got them I was hoping that they would smoke as good as they looked. And I was not disapponted.

Cigar Review: The Romeo Y Julieta Reserve Toro

Romeo Y Julieta Reserve Toro

If you’ve been reading my stuff here you may not know that for some time I’ve been doing cigar reviews.

Why have I not posted any of them here?

Yeah great question. But today that changes.

While I do have my favorites, I also like to experiment on occasion and try a cigar I haven’t smoked before. I plan to bring you reviews of both going forward.

To start I’m going to review a new one for me – the Romeo Y Julieta Reserve Toro.

I’ve been smoking cigars since I was in grad school in 1991, and so I’m very familiar with the Romeo Y Julieta brand. From my experience they’ve been great quality cigars, flavorful smokes, and reasonably priced. They never made it into my regular rotation however, because I never felt that they really stood out from the crowd.

Their Reserve line has changed that.

The company describes the line like this:

Romeo y Julieta Habana Reserve premium cigars are the most full-flavored Romeo y Julieta cigars ever! Handmade in the Flor de Copan factory in Honduras, the Habana Reserve combines Romeo y Julieta’s legendary smoothness with the rich, hearty flavor of only the most choice Nicaraguan & Honduran long-filler tobaccos, seamlessly rolled in dark, oily Nicaraguan wrapper leaves. A marvelously robust cigar brimming with earthy-spicy tobacco flavors on a long finish with a sweet and spicy aroma, too.

After smoking three of them this week, I agree. This is a GREAT cigar. Let me run down my evaluation of the four categories:

Taste
This cigar had a great taste – I give it a 91/100. It’s billed as a full bodied cigar, but I didn’t find it to be all that strong. It had a smooth earthy/woody taste that was light on my palate and didn’t hang around all evening. I do think though that they might get overpowered by my Macallan 12, but it would be an excellent complement to perhaps a port or a lighter scotch. It’s a great all-around smoke.

The 18 Best Bottles Of Scotch In The World?

cash flow real estate investingI was excited when I saw the headline in the Business Insider that they were talking about the 18 best bottles of scotch in the world.

I mean, I have my own personal preferences, and I can appreciate a great glass of scotch, but my wallet isn’t in any condition to afford anything on a “best scotch list”, that’s for sure.

But I still like to read about it. And so I did.

And I was shocked by some of the selections that were on the list. Stupefied. Blown away.

Here’s some of what’s on the list:

Laphroaig 18
What, are they smoking crack? I don’t care what year it is. This stuff is undrinkable. It smells like embalming fluid and tastes worse. I can’t even have this stuff in my house it smells so bad.

Johnnie Walker Black Label 12
Um, seriously? Johnnie Walker? One a list of the 18 best scotches in the WORLD? I’ve had their Blue Label, and it tastes like battery acid. I wouldn’t take a bottle of the black label if you gave it to me.

The Glenlivet 21 Year Old Archive
Now this is an interesting one. I like this scotch. It has a good taste, a good feel on the tongue, and a good clean finish. It’s light and it’s drinkable. But – Glenlivet is like the vanilla ice cream of single malt scotch. Even the 21 year. It’s entirely without a personality. Which makes it a very strange choice to have on the list of the 18 best in the world.

The Balvenie Single Barrel 12
This is another surprising one. It’s a great scotch. Great taste and great finish, decent price, and a nice one to have as your daily ration. But to have a 12 year make the list is a bit odd to me. This is really good stuff, but top 18?

Oban Highland Single Malt 14
While I haven’t tried every scotch on their list of 18, I’ve tried a few. And this one is my favorite out of all of them. And it’s my second choice to have at home after my Macallan. It’s a nice middle of the road scotch. Not too light like some of the “trainer” scotches, and not as heavy as some of the fuller bodied brands. It’s a great daily drinker and it’s always popular with guests. It’s a great choice for the top 18.

Here’s part of the article. The link to the full article is below.

California Dreaming . . . . .

I just got back into town after spending four days in my old stomping grounds of northern California. The San Francisco peninsula to be more specific, about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. My wife and I lived there for six years after grad school until we moved to Michigan.

The occasion was my wife’s 30 year High School Reunion.

I think you get the picture.

While she and I did get the chance to sneak up to Napa for a day, for the most part I spent my time with the other husbands that had been cast aside for the weekend. Calling it being cast aside may be a bit harsh, as we did get to play golf at a country club where the membership fee is $425,000.

I hadn’t been back there in a few years, and as we husbands were sitting by the pool at a $2.6 million, 3000 square foot home smoking Cuban cigars and drinking 18 year old scotch I realized that our two states were worlds apart. I think that’s called a blinding flash of the obvious.

How far apart? Well the town we were in made Bloomfield Hills look like Madison Heights – not a single home had sold for less than $1.5 million in over two years. I saw three Ferraris in three blocks driving down the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco. The husband of my wife’s best childhood friend is in the process of buying a Lamborghini because he thinks Ferraris are too common.

THAT far apart.

And yet – do you know what the other husbands all wanted to talk about? Even the guy buying the Lamborghini?

My real estate business and the real estate market here in Michigan. Too funny.

So that’s what we talked about. All the foreclosures, the difficulties that the automotive companies were having, the union contract problems, the tax increases. And all the opportunities that these seemingly unfavorable situations present.

Do you know what struck me first? Their open-mindedness. We had barely gotten into a discussion on how bad things were here before they all recognized what a buying opportunity it is. They immediately focused on the upside potential, and that’s all that mattered to them. I have to tell you that I’ve been talking to my brother here about this now for three years and he STILL refuses to see it. Unfortunately he’s like most of the people here – they focus solely on coming up with lots of reasons NOT to act.

To be blunt, that’s why California is California. There’s an excitement and vibrancy that I feel when I’m there, especially in Northern California and Silicon Valley in particular. An anticipation that great things are about to happen. And that’s what I miss most about the place. People are always looking for opportunities; they’re always looking for the next great thing, and they always keep their eyes open. Nothing is impossible, and they know that the next great thing is right around the corner and they want to be part of it. It’s impossible to convey the feeling with any accuracy at all – you need to be there and feel it to really understand.

For a long time after I moved here I tried to convert people to thinking that way. I failed pretty much every time. So I decided to stop banging my sword on a rock and change my approach instead to seeking out other people that already think the same way and hang out with them.

I found that it’s a lot more fun that way.