Posted on 27-05-2010
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I have to admit that when this series came out I found the cigars to be a bit less than what I was expecting.  Yes we’re looking at tobacco that is aged for 5 years and beautiful maduro wrappers but, at the time, I was in love ( still am ) with the older cigars from Cohiba.  I have a difficult time finding cigars that I like as much as the Esplendidos or the Robustos from Cohiba.  I guess there’s something about the grassy spicy flavor of the robusto or the smooth chocolate and coffee flavors that come out in the Esplendidos.

Last night I tried the Genios from Cohiba and maybe the fact that this was a slightly older cigar or maybe my palate was ready for the experience, I’m not sure which, but I was met with a different taste altogether.  At 5 1/2 ” X 52, this isn’t a wimpy cigar.  Just the opposite, you get a bigger gauge and enough length to keep the smoke mellow and smooth.

This was a bit more of a complex smoke than I remembered, all the flavors building slightly but consistently till I set it down.  After I was done I tried to go over my “cigar notes” and try to see what all I saw the first time but this was a cigar I didn’t write about  in enough detail.  I’m thinking that it simply could have been my mood last night which tells me that every day is different!!

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Posted on 23-05-2010
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The more I smoke cigars in public, the more I run into people who are curious and interested in trying them..  Not sure why, but these days as I sit in smoking sections of bars ( Patios to be exact ) instead of people telling me that they find cigars offensive I keep hearing how much they like the smell.  I guess that’s not hard for cigar smokers to understand but I keep waiting for someone to tell me that I should butt out my cigar because it’s ruining everyone’s fun. I guess I shouldn’t think that that day will NOT come, there are still a lot of pain in the butt types out there that want to rain on our parades, but these days I’ve been seeing the opposite.

As the heading says, “Pass the Cohiba Around”… Well, unless you really want to start sharing body fluids with people, I’d suggest giving your friends and even strangers slightly cheaper offerings in the form of Guantanameras or something of that price ….But….. If you have a really good friend, why not offer him or her a Cohiba on a special occasion..

Take the time to walk them through the process and experience of smoking a Cigar.  Tell them about the fact that we’re looking at a hand made product that a lot of people have worked on and devoted their lives to perfecting.  Also tell them to take their time when they smoke it, keep the ash on as long as possible and never, I repeat NEVER, butt a cigar out.  I think it is a disrespectful act to the people of Cuba, like the saying says, let it die with dignity !!!

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Posted on 22-05-2010
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I mentioned I had an uncle that was a cigar smoker and that I saw him recently but the one thing I didn’t mention was that as I was looking through his humidors, when I saw him last, he proudly reached up and in the topmost shelf he had an old box of Lanceros that he wanted to show me.

I remember he went to Cuba for the first time back in the 80′s and brought a few of us a few cigars to try.  He went with his whole family and assigned everyone in his party their allotment of Cubans when they got back to the Canadian customs.  I’m not sure but I think he had 400 or so cigars and as soon as he got home, he went to work on building his own 6′ tall humidor.  Through the years, whenever we go to see him, he always pulls out something from that trip and we get to smoke a wonderfully aged Cuban but he’s been holding out on these Lanceros.

When I saw them a few weeks back they looked like they were in perfect condition ( his humidor is always at 71) and I believe that as time goes on he’ll probably part with one or two…. At least I hope so…..

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Posted on 21-05-2010
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Last night at around 11:00 I found myself on the Trans-Canada Highway an hour out of Vancouver and the gauge on the dash told me that I needed gas.  I took the next off-ramp and pulled into a Chevron station and decided to fill’er up since fule outside of town is a bit cheaper than in town.  Don’t get me going about the taxes we pay in our fair city, gas, cigars or otherwise.

I have this little trick I use whenever I’mat a gas station with a lit cigar.  Instead of leaving the cigar burn inside the car I usually wedge it snugly into the arm of the windshield wiper… Lots of fresh air and a very minute exposure to gas fumes.  I’m not crazy, I’m NOT putting a cigar out while I fill up.. There’s always ways around a tricky situation. Since it was later on in the night I wasn’t in the mood for coffee and so I decided to pick up a hot chocolate with a small amount of vanilla flavored cream for a pairing with my Siglo IV. After driving out of the gas station I had to laugh at myself with my choice of beverage with my Cohiba but hey, a guy’s gotta be open minded.

I had about an hour to drive and that was the time left on the shelf life of the cigar so the timing couldn’t be more perfect.  To be honest I was getting more and more impressed with how the chocolate and coffee notes in the cigar went with the hot chocolate and it got better and better as the cigar burned into the final third.  When I finally drove into the driveway at home I had only about 3/4 of an inch of a cigar left and the drink was gone.. All worked out well and I can’t wait to try the pairing again on my next late night drive in the dark.

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Posted on 18-05-2010
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Well, I guess I’ve heard it all.  I’ve just returned home, this morning, from the corner store where I usually pick up cream for my morning coffee and I met a woman who said one of the most unbelievable statements I’ve ever heard.

It all started off with me commenting to the sales clerk about a certain crack smoker who was pan-handling out front and the clerk told me that, as far as pan-handlers go, the guy out front was one of the better ones that spend time there.  It all went wrong when I commented, “Oh well, I guess we’ll let him live another day!”  That’s when a well dressed woman standing behind me piped up and asked me if I feel we should kill homeless people………. Here we go……..

I live in a neighborhood where we have a lot of homeless pushing shopping carts around.  They check out our garbage cans and re-cycle bins as they look for bottles and cans to sell to the bottle depot we have on our street.  I don’t really mind that but it’s when they start sneaking around our yards, looking for stuff to steal.  We have to be quite vigilant and a lot of us in the neighborhood watch out for each other whenever that kind of behavior takes place.

So anyway this woman gets in my face and says that she has a history in law and social services and I felt that this was ramping up to be a heated discussion.  I told her of the situation we neighbors face and it didn’t take long for me to disarm her.  I asked her about herself and how long she has lived in Vancouver and then the answers I started getting were becoming very questionable, to me anyway.  Although she had credentials for miles she told me that she was unemployed and hadn’t worked for 2 years.  I told her that I thought that since she was smart enough to get a law degree she was more than smart enough to get a job… That was when she said it……… I couldn’t believe what I heard her say……

“Some people are too smart to get a job!”

I walked away…………..

I went home, poured myself a cup of coffee, went to the humidor and chose a Cohiba Siglo II and went out on to the deck.  The more I thought about this conversation the more I wanted to go back, track her down, buy her a one way Greyhound ticket to Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, but the cigar played it’s magic on me and I felt that I had to let it go……….. Ya gotta move on.

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Posted on 16-05-2010
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I was looking around the ‘net the other day after I got a few ridiculous emails about odd laws that exist.  The one that got my interest had to do with pets and all the things they are and aren’t allowed to do in the U.S.A. you take a look at some of the legislation regarding pets and it doesn’t take a lot of common sense to figure out why things are allowed and why some infractions deserve some kind of penalty.

But…………..  How about a few of these??

A law in Chicago prohibits anyone from feeding whiskey to dogs.

During the month of April in Massachusetts, all dogs must have their hind legs tied.

In Hartford, Connecticut, it is illegal to educate a dog.

In Sterling, Colorado, it is unlawful to allow a pet cat to run loose without a taillight.

French Lick Springs, Indiana, once passed a law requiring all black cats to wear bells on Friday the 13th.

But my all time favorite…………….

In Zion, Illinois, it is illegal for anyone to give lighted cigars to dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals kept as pets.

How did that possibly come to light??????  I thought maybe a cigar smoking monkey…… Probably !

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Posted on 01-05-2010
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I feel very lucky to live in a country where Cuban cigars are available to us.  They are sold in convenience stores, golf courses, smoke shops and very well stocked cigar specialty stores in every city in our country.   Now and then I have friends who come back from trips to Mexico or even Cuba and they’ll drop off a few cigars at our house and more often than not they end up being counterfeits.  I’ve smoked more Cohiba counterfeits than I wish to talk about but I always tell these people that I’m very thankful for their donation to my habit.

As years go by I get better and better at spotting a fake by either looking at the band, the box they come in or the construction of these pathetic examples.  Each time you light up a fake you’ll kind of get the same mild tobacco taste that never changes as the cigar burns down.  It is very boring and if you’re lucky the cigar will actually stay lit as you smoke it, probably not though.  You’ll be reaching for your butane lighter every few minutes to touch up an uneven burn and it doesn’t compare, at all, to the real thing.

Cohiba cigars are a miracle of construction, taste and tobacco evolution as the cigar moves from third to third.  You’ll be dazzled with a symphony of flavors from pepper, grass, vanilla, coffee and chocolate each and every time.  We have beautiful cities with fabulous views.  We have some of the friendliest people you’ll meet anywhere and, yes, we have Cohiba cigars for you to sample!

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