Perhaps the significance of 10 years can be, as a safe start, referenced from the bible.

As in:

10 Brothers….. (Genesis)

10 Virgins………(Matthew)

10 Lepers……..(Luke.. Here’s where we cigar smokers step into the picture)   I firmly believe that instead of social outcasts we are proud members of a fraternity of thinkers, observers of the subtle nuance and those willing to to make the time to create memories that will be taken along to that moment when you reflect, for the very last time upon your accomplishments.  Center stage will be the scenes we recollect where hand rolled works of art were set ablaze,  when numerous flavors of organic variance emerged not unlike the scenes of a very thought out and complex drama we’ve seen in a theater. )

        The seventies brought us a new example of 10 with Bo Derek in a poster which is still hung on many a wall, 10 is pure perfection indeed!  10 can mean the loudest, the hottest setting on the dial of your stove or the the coldest setting in your freezer.  How would we classify one’s performance during an Olympic event without 10?   The Mayas considered 10 to be the place where life came to an end and a new life emerged. 10 cent coins, when multiplied by 10 will give you a dollar.  Now THIS is where we get to the good part!

Owning many of those dollars would give you the ability to purchase the cigar you see above in the picture but only by finding a collector who is willing to part with them.  Good luck.  They are now very rare and are improving in flavor as every day goes by.

10 will be this cigar’s age when I finally light it up next year,  I have from now until then to pick a date.

Birthday?

Vancouver winning the Stanley Cup?

Maybe Christmas day?

(0) Comments    Read More   

Much has been written about the Cohiba Behike since last year’s release of the beautiful trio of larger ring gauge cigars containing the medio tiempo leaf.  Initially the Behike was introduced in 2006 and rolled, exclusively by one roller, or in this case the “torcedora”, Norma Fernandez.  The original Behike at a 52 ring gauge and 7 1/2 inches long was in a humidor of 40 cigars and only 100 numbered humidors.  Thats a lot of rolling …. and rolling….. The more I hear and read about this woman, the more impressed I am by her stature in the Cuban cigar industry.  She was given the task of blending and designing the cigar that became the most expensive in the world.  Originally these cigars were around $440 each but I’m guessing that when auctions come up in our future, we’ll be seeing these initial prices skyrocket.

I smoked a few of the Behike 52′s last summer and creamy and sweet were the first two descriptions of the flavors, this cigar had in it’s profile, popped into my mind.  I had a wonderful time smoking this smallest of the three and although my mind was always on the price, I felt that I truly had something special burning in my hand.  I remember looking at the 52′s wrapper and remarking to myself that I had never seen a cigar so perfectly rolled, so smooth and free of any large veins and with a color and sheen that easily showed that Cohiba had raised the bar in cigar production.

The Behike 54, which I smoked a few months later had all of the wonderful visible characteristics of the smaller 52 but with flavors that had more power, more complexity and more evolution as the cigar progressed.  The 52 and the 54 had slight similar flavors but the richness of the 54′s chocolate and creamy coffee notes had me guessing which other Cohiba cigar, or cigars, this middle child could be compared to.  The Maduro series always captivates me whenever I smoke one, the Genios being my favorite and for a while I found myself comparing, very slightly, some of what I was tasting in the Behike 54 to that other series… But only for a moment, these are very different lines in Cuba’s prestigious brand and the similarities are few.

The Behike 56 was again a beautifully constructed cigar and, as before, I felt a bit of sadness as I clipped off the pigtail cap and lit the foot.  I feel great pride and adoration for cigars like the Behike whenever I lift the lid of my humidor and gaze upon them as they rest and age, surrounded by the beautiful aroma of Cuban tobacco and Spanish cedar.  But really, why do we go through all the trouble of obtaining fine cigars, quality humidors, hygrometers that give you accurate moisture readings without actually smoking these handmade Cuban products?

The first few puffs of the Behike 56 were mild but complex, again revealing what I had tasted in the 52 and 54 but it didn’t seem to have the strength as the middle size cigar. Here is where I will probably get in trouble with a lot of you who have smoked the 56.  I will be the first to admit that in order to be an authority on the subject of judging this cigar, perhaps smoking 15 or 20 ….. Or 1,500 to 2,000 of these large ring gauge cigars would be a proper place to start but I’m simply offering what I noticed.  The 56′s flavors evolved very nicely as the cigar burned into the second third but I kept remembering what the 54 had to offer and I wondered if I am alone with my observations in comparing the two.  The one thing I DID notice was that the 56 might have needed more time in the humidor, more so than the smaller two.  Of course, any Cuban cigar only improves with age but I remembered being quite blissful during the smoking period of the 52 and 54.  The 56 had me asking myself more questions about it’s youthfulness and wondering what it’s future would reveal after a year or two of rest.

Volumes could be filled with everyone’s opinions of these three cigars, and I’m only one person, but the more I read about last year’s Cohiba release, the more I see that I may not be alone with what I’ve discovered.  The one thing I DO know is that I feel very fortunate in knowing that I’m able to buy, smoke and lose myself in the flavors of the Behike whenever I feel wealthy enough to go to the Vancouver Cigar Company and pick up a few.  I feel sad whenever I read about people getting counterfeits of this cigar but feel fortunate that I have a reputable source for a cigar of this calibre.

If you have any opinions you’d like to share, please leave a comment..

Thank you,

(0) Comments    Read More   

Taking the fly rod, food for the day, warm clothing and your best Cohiba, whether it be a Robusto, Esplendidos or one from the Cohiba Maduro series, down to the river may or may not be the best idea.. OK, not like its a bad idea to have a beautiful cigar when fishing, but there are conditions that are better suited for smoking one of Cuba’s finest creations..  My feelings are that the ride in the car on the way to the river would be better for having the ability to taste every nuance that the cigar’s profile has to offer.

Wind, rain, sleet and hail are just a few of the conditions I’ve run into when fishing in British Columbia on any given day and I think that cigarettes would probably be the lesser waste of money during that kind of day.  I’ve had the good fortune to smoke a few Cohiba Behikes these last few months and, believe me, they ARE as good as people have been saying in their reviews and blogs.  Any cigar that starts out with a 52 ring gauge and has brothers that are 54 and 56 will only let you know that there is a lot of tobacco blended in this size of cigar, so why would you fight to keep a cigar dry in a torrential downpour when fighting a 16 pound salmon on a fly rod?  Save it for a quiet moment by the fire at the end of the day.

A round of golf with a cigar in the cart is probably the most popular place to enjoy a stogie these days but there ARE some courses that do NOT allow smoking…. Just avoid these courses !  Golf elsewhere and enjoy the freedom that you have …. For now……

A garage, den, rumpus room or a computer room can be a place where you have the freedom to do what you want, as long as you aren’t endangering the health of anyone else.. Scared of smelling up one of the rooms in your house??  Know what a paintbrush is?  Real men know how to paint and clean up any kind of issue a cigar has caused before you sell the house !

I simply believe that a controlled environment free of wind and cold should be your main quest before applying a flame to the head of some of the finest cigars in the world,

(0) Comments    Read More   

Hamilton Ontario, last week-end, was the Canadian host city for our annual country music award show and it was a success in that all who attended were able to meet with others in the industry that were either their peers or were someone that they had to hand their product to and get some future support in the country scene.  I didn’t smoke as many cigars as I took because of the winds that were blowing.  I don’t like smoking in a windy environment and believe that wind is one of cigars greatest enemies, let alone a great Cuban cigar that you’ve been saving for a special occasion.

I had some great conversations about cigars with a canadian singer who’s doing very well, George Canyon.  From time to time George will enjoy a cigar when time permits and he gets great joy from it.  Casey Clark, who is a Canadian Celebrity, is a guy who loves Cohiba Esplendidos and smokes many annually. Both great guys and great talents.

Anyone spending time in Ontario should play at a few golf courses close to Toronto.  The first I got to see was Angus Glen in Markham, which has hosted the Canadian Open and deservedly so with spectacular holes designed  to challenge your skills at the game.  Although there was wind on the course that day, we decided to smoke a few of the cigars that I brought along which were a 3 year old Romeo and a 4 year old Cuaba.  The cigars took a terrible beating in the gusting winds but our moods were elevated with the aroma in the air.

The day after we ended up at “The Summit” in Richmond Hill, which is a suburb of Toronto.  This 100 year old course yielded one amazing scene after the next because of the age of the course and because the course was designed by Stanley Thompson, who also designed the Banff Springs course and the great track at the Jasper Park Lodge.  We decided to smoke slightly longer cigars in such an elegant environment and lit up a Ramon Allones Gigantes and a Partagas Lusitanias..

Coming home was difficult and I certainly felt total golf withdrawals on my first day back, so I simply went to the humidor, picked out a Cohiba Robusto and sat out back…..

(0) Comments    Read More   

Its that time again in Canada when the Canadian Country Music Association or CCMA has it’s annual Awards weekend where it showcases country music and it’s performers with a series of musical workshops, a gala dinner where awards are given out to industry people and a televised awards show the following evening which spotlights the winners in various categories.  This is one of the most exciting weekends for country fans and industry alike because of the many late night jams played by the best pickers in Canada and of late, bands like “Jetty Road” from Australia, who’ve been performing and lighting up Canadian stages in the last few years.

These evenings are, most often, in local bars and rooms which are focused on live music with stages, lights and great sound in place and ready for an onslaught of maniacal country music folks hellbent on having the most fun they’ve had all year.  This year will be again a meeting of musicians, TV personalities  and producers now realizing that cigars are yet another thing that they have in common, will take place for 4 days in Hamilton Ontario.  This event moves from host cities in the west to the maritimes and this year’s event will will be very close to it’s association’s home town of Toronto.

Many great cigars will be passed back and forth and a whole bunch of drinking will take place.  One can only imagine the stories that will be told over breakfast tables this year.  I know that I’ll be seeing friends who play music and friends that are more involved in the technical end of things as well as producers that I sometimes only run into once a year.

As well as sharing Cuban cigars with old smoking buddies I always try to convert new smokers over to the cigar way of thinking… Yeeeeehaaaaaw!

(0) Comments    Read More   

Tonight is the night to go see Kim Mitchell at the PNE in Vancouver, a great stage, wonderful outdoor sound and they say we’ll be seeing 27 degrees this afternoon… Take your rock and roll t-shirts and shorts because you won’t need a lot of clothes today… We’ve had a great stretch of weather in Vancouver in the last 3 weeks and with all of the complaining about the Pacific North West’s summer this year, I’ve seen nothing but hot days, sunshine and warm nights… A perfect setting for a Rock and Roll concert..

Trouble is, the Pacific National Exhibition is in a Vancouver park, or at least classified as a park, so there is NO smoking on the grounds whatsoever… That’s right folks, non smoking hysteria is in full swing here in Lotus Town and any mention of a cigar in this post would be futile.. No matter, I want to hear, ” I am A Wild Party” and see my friend “Suds” on drums, as he drives the band in a steady and solid direction.. Chris is a Winnipeg drummer that has recently moved to Toronto and will storm the town, hopefully cleaning up with sessions and live work.

This has been a great week of getting new cigars, loading up the humidors and I’ll have more to report in that department in the next few posts.. Holy, Behike Batman!!!!

(0) Comments    Read More   
Posted on 12-07-2011

The Cohiba Behike line that came out last year with it’s Medio Tiempo leaf caused more fuss and excitement with cigar smokers world wide than any other release of any other cigar…  There have been Limited Edition cigars that have done very well as far as sales go and some of them have become incredible collector’s items but the Bekike, especially since Cigar Aficionado gave the Behike 52 the top score last year, has been the most desired cigar yet.

The taste of the Behikes blew me away, and I have to agree, that the 52 had a special charm about it but what came as a bit of a surprise was the incredible packaging that accompanied these cigars from Havana… First of all, the bands around the Behikes have a very complex and hard to duplicate set of holograms that give these cigars a feeling that there is something a bit more high tech going on in the design compared to the gold, white and black that we’ve seen from Cohiba bands in the past…. Sadly there are already those in Cuba that are trying to copy this band and pass off terrible cigars to tourists who believe they are getting an incredible deal on hard to find and slightly pricy cigars but only a small amount of inspection would reveal that these counterfeit bands are falling short with poor hologram attempts.  I could rant on for hours about the counterfeit industry in Cuba but I’ll save that for another day.

The price of these great Cohiba cigars is more than we’ve seen for a regular production cigar so the boxes, instead of 25, are down to 10.  Something tells me that packaging boxes of 25 Behikes may deter some cigar smokers from picking one up because of more than double an already dear cost… The Behike cigar boxes are remarkable in appearance with a shiny, smooth black lacquer that has a mirror like finish, white squares like the more traditional Cohiba band and instead of a flip clasp we now have a magnet set into the wood that gives the lid of these boxes a tight and secure seal.

The bottom of the Behike boxes are covered in a black velvet which has a smooth soft feel.  Stamped on the bottom are still the Habanos s.a., Hecho En Cuba and Totalmente a mano marks bit NOT a factory and Date stamp.  Counterfeit boxes of fake Behikes are now being seen in Cuba without the velvet bottom, plain cedar instead, so that one is a no brainer !! Beware ……The box comes in a beautiful black velvet form fitted bag to keep the lacquer smooth and unscratched, this one is a nice touch.

The introduction of the Cohiba Behike is probably the most exciting offer from Cohiba and the only thing unknown at this point is how they’ll taste after 5 years in a humidor…. We’ll have to wait for that !!

(0) Comments    Read More   

Cigar Aficionado’s latest piece on counterfeit Behikes was informative and heartbreaking at the same time.. Its great to know that we can access sites like theirs and learn so much about cigars, wine, scotch and well.. almost anything in life that is decadent and worthwhile.. I read their on-line magazine daily and believe that anyone who has ever put a match to the end of a cigar, whether it is Cuban or Non-Cuban, should take the time to learn from a site like theirs..

I’ve had the pleasure of smoking the amazing Cohiba Behikes and can agree with many of you out there that Cohiba has raised the bar and given us a new line of 3 sizes of cigars that will tantalize many a palate for years to come… The introduction of the Medio Tiempo leaf has added a subtle new dimension to these pricy little babies.. But….. Its always heartbreaking to know that the dark side of the underground cigar industry in Cuba is now counterfeiting Behikes as well and…. are we surprised??

I’m sad that many gullible cigar smokers going to Cuba for the first time will run into serpents of every description telling tales and taking hard earned money for the same old banana leaf and floor sweepings that we know all too well.. If you’ve been smoking cigars for as many years as I have, I’m sure you’ve tasted these mild nondescript counterfeits with the black, gold and yellow band… The individuals selling them on the streets of Havana need to feed their families and I don’t hold this against them but the next time I get the great fortune to walk those beautiful streets, I’ll visit the government stores and shell out my cash for the real thing…. Compared to the prices in Canada you can’t go wrong!!

(0) Comments    Read More   

I sat on the edge of my seat all throughout last night’s game as I watched our Vancouver Canucks beat out San Jose to go for a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup in the air.  I think they can do it… The only question is; will it be Tampa Bay or Boston they have to beat to accomplish this feat…. I don’t know ….

Last night was a great opportunity to light up a good cigar while the game was on.. I ended up lighting an H. Upmann No 2 and what a fine idea that was..  This was a cigar from 2008 and with the time it had in the humidor to ferment and age nicely, it was a cigar to remember..  Smooth notes of woods, wonderful toasted tobacco and strong coffee made up the profile that amazed me as the game went from period to period..  A lot of ash ended up on my clothes as I couldn’t tear my attention from the game.. Thats easy to deal with…. No problem…

This being a Cohiba slanted blog doesn’t really mean that I have to devote all of my attention to Cuba’s finest brand all of the time… Cuba’s most elegant export includes the finest cigars in the world and it includes a vast array of cigar brands that differ in strength, blend and aroma but the one thing they all have in common is the stellar level of fine taste.

The H. Upmann brand includes various sizes of vitolas that will leave you amazed and wanting boxes and boxes of more.. I usually visit “The Vancouver Cigar Company’ when I pick up more cigars for my humidors.  This group of people are probably the most informed cigar people in our city.  The fact that they get their cigars directly from “Havana House” means that you’ll be getting the best that Cuba has to offer.

Getting back to hockey…. I believe that this is our year to be the champions.. I feel very confident that we’ll do it and I’m very happy that the San Jose Sharks can now finally relax and work on their golf swings..

(0) Comments    Read More   

Here are a few things that I’ve been thinking about lately about the Cohiba Behike.

1….. They are expensive

2….. They come in 3 sizes

3….. They are beautifully rolled

4…..  They will be very difficult to counterfeit

5…..  They have a very unique taste

6…..  As to how they will age over time is still unknown

7…..  They have a very elaborate band

8…..  The hype surrounding their release was enormous

9…..  Their filler contains the rare Medio Tiempo leaf

10…..  Their taste was unbelievably smooth and rich

11…..  Cigar Aficionado liked them

12….. I definitely agreed with Cigar Aficionado’s choice of best tasting size

13…..  Many cigar smokers will never smoke one

14….. The original Behikes were rolled by a single roller at El Laguito, Norma Fernandez

(0) Comments    Read More