Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Pause That Refreshes

Turning Dollars Into Ash & Smoke

OK, I'm back.

I'm really enjoying my nightly excursions to kick back with a cigar and a good book. Project LOLA can be quite frustrating at times, and it's nice to have a stress-release mechanism that doesn't involve half a gallon of Blue Bell ice cream or a large pizza.

I've debated doing cigar reviews, kinda like Alan over at Blogonomicon does with pipe tobaccos. Truth be told, I'm still a tyro at the cigar game, and I don't know if I'll ever get to the point where I feel comfortable describing cigars using adjectives such as "leathery", "nutty" or "a hint of cocoa".

Still, I'm getting to know what's good, what's better, and what absolutely sucks donkey balls. I've got three to describe along those lines.

First, let's get the suckage out of the way.

I'd tried a brand called Helix recently. I just can't afford to spend $8 or $9 bucks a stick, so I was on the lookout for a more reasonably priced cigar. The Helix brand is reasonably priced at under $5, and the Connecticut-wrapper toro I tried was an OK, if uninspiring choice.

Last weekend I picked up another offering from Helix, this time a maduro of the 8" x 54 'Super 8' variety. It seemed like it was going to be a good cigar, nice & firmly wrapped, but appearances were deceiving.

The first inch or so was nice, but past that point, the wrapper gave up the ghost, and unrolled itself as I was smoking the cigar. I was left holding a rapidly-expanding wad of filler, and got no more than another inch or so before I gave up the struggle. If offered a free Helix, I might try again, but this one goes into the 'Never Again' category.

Next up was this evening's choice, a Connecticut-wrapper torpedo from Nick's Sticks. This is a boutique re-release offering from Perdomo, from the bygone days when Perdomo Cigars was known as Nick's Cigar Company.

It was impeccably constructed, and smoked very evenly. My only beef was that it was a bit ashy. Instead of holding a firm ash, it ballooned out as it burned, looking a bit like a trumpet bell. A bit messy, especially smoking outside in the wind, but still a good smoke considering the $5 price tag.

Pick of the litter was the Camacho Legend-Ario. I'd heard about these from a buddy at work, and finally tracked one down at Stogies on Westheimer. Wrapped in a oily brown Honduran wrapper that had the texture of rayskin, the 6" toro ('Bertha') was exceptionally well-made, and burned with a firm white ash that just refused to budge. It smoked for well over 80 minutes, and was tasty down to the last 3/4", when I had to let it go before I got my fingers toasted. Not the cheapest, at $8 a stick, it was well worth the price of admission.

By the by, I also found a stash of the Costa Rican D8 Emperador cigars at Stogie's. I got one at the Cigar Crawl, and it's a monster of a stick. I'm going to let these park in the humidor for a while, or at least until temptation overcomes me.

OK, off to bed...