SMOKIN’ HOT!


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It’s been another whirlwind summer and there’s already a hint of melancholic autumn in the air. Shrug it off with a good cigar, we say. Here’s our resident Cigar Guru Nick Hammond with some ideas

Partagas Presidentes

It’s great to see the coffers of the Boisdale humidor being stocked with more and more New World cigars these days, as well of course as plenty of Cuban delights. I’m told there are several New World new lines – if you get my drift – now available to Members and I couldn’t be more delighted about that; I introduced many of them to our favourite Scottish haven myself!

Alec Bradley Black Market Robusto
5 ¼ ins x 52 Ring Gauge
RRP circa £16
If I’m not very much mistaken, I presented this one to hardy ticketholders of a Boisdale Members tasting a couple of years back, on a bitterly cold Winter’s eve. The Boisdale terrace looking over Cabot Square could have been staffed with dinner-jacketed penguins and they wouldn’t have looked out of place. But we soldiered on, as one must, and we tasted good warming rum and this dark little cigar from my friends at Alec Bradley. Honduran Jamastran and Panamanian fillers are under the hood, a glistening wrapper from Jalapa providing the alluring cloak. It’s slightly sweet, with a hint of cream.

TOTAL PTS: 88

 

Olive Serie V Melanio Figurado
6 ins x 60 Ring Gauge
RRP £25
Any cigar lover worth his or her salt will salivate at the appearance of a beloved doble figurado. It’s a big bold truncheon of a stick, starting with a tiny foot and opening up into all its glory at the fullest of its 60 Ring Gauge. Now under normal circumstances, that’s just too thick for my liking, but I’ll make a willing exception for the Melanio. It’s rich and intense, smooth as a silk stocking.

TOTAL PTS: 90

 

Partagas Presidente
6 ¼ ins x 47 Ring Gauge
RRP circa £20
I’m not sure how this one passed me by, but it did. When I was kindly gifted one the other day by the ever general Sean Croley of Cuban cigar importers Hunters & Frankau, I looked at it blankly. A thin Partagas Doble Figurado? Really? Since when? Since fairly recently in this country, apparently. After a supper of oysters and confit duck (I couldn’t convince Sean to partake in the oysters, unfortunately) we retreated to somewhere appropriate and sparked up this gnarly little cigar. It was a revelation – spicy and peppery and a tad unruly; it was all the better for it. Cracking cigar.

TOTAL PTS: 91

The 100 point scoring system explained:

10 points for appearance
15 points for construction
10 points for combustion
60 points for flavour and finish
5 points for value for money

Davidoff Art Edition 2017
6 ins x 54 Ring Gauge
RRP circa £35
Oh the Davidoff Art. The last couple of these have been nothing other than sublime – visit the Boisdale Life back issues in which I award them my highest score of the year. One in particular was spectacular in the extreme – I smoked it with Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, Davidoff CEO, on a Caribbean beach. So when I heard that we were slated to receive a new Art Edition version, it’s not too much of an exaggeration to say I jumped for joy. But then I was told it was no longer a magical perfecto shape, my delight was slightly dampened. It was to be a boring old parejo – meaning straight-sided cigar. And then I tasted it. It’s not that it’s bad – it’s just not as good as the others. Yes, you can admire the lid, which is a piece of modern art you can remove and place on your wall, should you wish, but in terms of the cigar, it’s a disappointment in comparison to its predecessors. I’m not saying turn your nose up at it, given the opportunity to smoke one – just reach for one of the earlier versions first.

TOTAL PTS: 89

 

Rafael Gonzalez Lonsdale
6 ½ ins x 42 Ring Gauge
RRP circa £30 where found
I make no apologies for including this little beauty, even though the line is long discontinued; shame on you Habanos for this, I say. It’s a glorious cigar, redolent of its time and was the first to be named Lonsdale – now it’s referred to as a size in its own right, much like the Churchill. Lord Lonsdale had them made for him originally and so good and popular were they that they entered the mainstream. I picked up one of the last production of these (they were discontinued in 2006) and had the pleasure of enjoying it after many years of age. These cigars always reminded me a tad of Autumn when they were still being made and they still do, although the flavours have rounded and if anything, the mellowness is even more alluring. Calming and comforting, pack one alongside your scarf for that woodland walk.

TOTAL PTS: 90

 

 


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