Ever wonder if a Cohiba tastes better in Cuba??? Would the moist tropical air affect the taste and give you more than if you were smoking the same cigar, let’s say, in Montana?? Probably !!! But if thats the case then it would probably taste the same in Miami since its only a handful of miles away.  I love Miami with it’s beaches, sun and stone crab.. I could go on for a while about stone crab but this is a cigar blog!

While smoking cigars with a few buddies a few days back, the topic of how cigars taste in Cuba came up and all who had been there seem to agree that cigars have an incredible taste in the country of their origin.  I guess to some degree I have to go along with that because I remember smoking cigars from the Siglo series, the Maduro series and Non-Cohiba Cuban cigars.  To be honest, they were all great but I was drinking a lot of rum from breakfast onward so everything was great.

I DO remember that cigars tended to burn a bit slower in Cuba, not much, but definitely noticeable.  The air is heavy and moist, warm and to die for.  Holidays tend to do that to you, your senses are heightened and everything is beautiful.  Maybe not having a care in the world and no cel phone has a lot to do with it! My cel stayed in the hotel room safe and got turned back on when we landed in Canada.

Lately I’ve been hearing a bit about Monsdales… Can anyone shed a bit of light on those cigars??

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I know nothing about motorcycles except that whenever I’ve ever sat behind the handlebars, I’ve always tried to drive the thing as fast as physics would allow.  This fact is why my parents never allowed me to own a bike and now that I’m old, I can see their point.  I would never have made it this far, thats for sure.

I have a friend, Bobby, who is a motorcycle enthusiast, who has taken his bike all over North America in his quest to photograph scenes from Florida to Alaska.  I think that he has some fine shots of Mount Rushmore, Banff, golf courses in San Diego to military ships in Halifax.  Bobby is a gentle giant who’d never hurt a soul but as kids, we used to get mouthy around local hoodlums and Bobby would always come to our rescue.. But he was never happy with us and would show his displeasure after we would escape these situations.

I’ve stayed in touch with him all my life and decided to drop into the small garage behind his house yesterday.. He did a bit of a motorcycle tune-up while I sat and smoked a Cohiba Genios in the corner of his shop.  The weather was gray and not extremely warm so the shelter and good conversation was what I needed.  It had been a while since I lit a Genios and as usual, I was sad that I had abandoned this beautiful cigar for as long as I had.  This happens to me from time to time, and I always make the promise that I’ll pay more attention to the maduro line from Cohiba.

The 5 1/2 inch long, 52 ring gauge cigar is packed full of dark chocolate and strong coffee which is perfect for a cool day in a garage.  There’s something comforting about a good friend telling stories about his travels while smoking a cigar of that stature.  I feel that I can be myself and pick up where I left off whenever I run into my old high school buddy.. I mean, I could try to big time him with exploits of supposed greatness but he’d quickly put me in my place so, what’s the point!

The cigar lasted about 1 1/2 hours until I finally had to set it down and when I did, I noticed that we had covered all that we needed to talk about so I hit the road.. I think I’ll go see him more often and smoke more cigars with the Cohiba Maduro wrapper.

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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,

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This morning after breakfast I decided to go through one of the humidors that I rarely visit and to my surprise, I found an old Cohiba Secretos under a few Cohiba Robustos that I had been saving.  I’m not sure where this little guy came from but something in my distant memory tells me that this cigar was purchased in 2007 when this series first came out.  This is not a large cigar at 4 3/8 inches long with a 40 ring gauge so I decided that a trip to the back deck with a cup of coffee and the newspaper would be a great idea.

My neighbor was doing some lawn work and grumbling about his lawn mower, all the rain this spring, some neighborhood kids spray painting his front fence, the crow’s nest in the chestnut tree beside his house, his income tax problems, a flat tire his wife got yesterday afternoon and his concerns about the Stanley Cup playoffs while I clipped off the cap of the little maduro and felt nothing but contentment as I reached for my torch.

When this Maduro series came out, Cohiba introduced a five year old aged wrapper and now this being 2011, I was holding on to a little blast of rich chocolate with a 9 year old wrapper..  A blast of rich dark chocolate was the first thing I noticed after a few puffs but 10 minutes later this reyes mellowed considerably and a richer creamier chocolate appeared.. I wish I had the patience to hold on to cigars for this length of time all the time but I’m just not that kind of person.  Whenever I buy a box of new Cubans, I’m always seeing a great number of cigars to give to friends and smoke one after another until I’m seeing 9 or so left and then the feeling of panic sets in and I go into a hoarding mode..

I’m not sure how I was able to hold on to this cigar for this long but starting tomorrow, or maybe the day after I’m going to turn over a new leaf and buy MORE cigars…. Smoke LESS cigars and build up my reserve………… Yeah sure, and the Edmonton Oilers will win the Cup this year too!!!!

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Traditionally, New Year’s Eve is one night when we pull out all the stops, dress up in our finest garb and ring in the new year with Champagne, music, dancing and for some of us, handing out and smoking some of the best cigars in our humidors.  Cubans and Non-Cubans are usually set on fire and sacrificed to the tobacco gods so that the new year will surely bring prosperity, comfort and good health.  All should unfold nicely as long as you light something that pleases them.

Christmas, of late, has resulted in more than a few new cigars sitting in my humidor so as time goes by I find myself with something that can’t wait to be lit and a night like that is a good enough reason for me so I’m thinking of taking a few options in my travel humidor.  I DO have friends that love cigars but quite often are not carrying any so I’ve become the guy that passes a few out to close friends.  I love sharing the experience with my friends and look forward to contributing to their evening.

I plan on taking Cohiba Lancero, Robusto and maybe a Genios for the maduro guy in the room… Maybe I’ll be the maduro guy… Don’t really feel like making any plans yet and will let everything unfold.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you plan on smoking.

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Posted on 20-12-2010
Filed Under (Cohiba Cigar Review, Cohiba Maduro) by Admin

Last night in an upscale neighborhood located in a Vancouver suburb, I attended a party that defined what the Christmas spirit is all about.  The host and hostess put on an event that had a french chef serving exquisite food which included caviar, local Salmon prepared in various ways, prawns flambeed in what tasted like Sambuca and the most tender roast beef the guests have ever tasted.  If I were to begin to write what was on the desert table this entry would never end.

The crowd at this mansion were largely from the entertainment industry so needless to say the music was exciting and as the evening progressed, so did the volume until you could swear that the walls were shaking from the dancing and full on partying.  Being included in the guest list was a gift I will never forget.

This great house was awe inspiring to say the least with rooms impeccably decorated with fantastic art and hand woven rugs to die for but I have to cut to the chase and begin to tell you about the ” Bat Cave”..  Our host, who is the picture of generosity, opened the door to his special room downstairs that had walls lined with rare and expensive bottles of wines and Tequilas that had all of the guests’ mouths watering but what got my attention was his humidor.  Yup, thats the magic word!  I saw a collection of cigars that included hard to find Non-Cuban gems and boxes of Cubans that got my heart pounding in my chest. He turned on the exhaust fans in the bat cave and a few of us relaxed in comfortable chairs as a strip of cedar was lit and cigars were handed to those who wished to participate.

A dark lacquered box that caught my eye contained some of my favorite Cubans, the Cohiba Maduro 5 Genios and I selected one with with a beautiful wrapper and intoxicating aroma.  It had been a while since I had smoked this cigar and I was reminded, once again, that this is NOT your traditional tasting Cohiba.  Rich rich dark chocolates kept coming to the forefront as it burned from third to third and pairing it with a Californian Zinfandel was the right choice as I soaked up the atmosphere and sank deeper into bliss.

On my 2011 wish list is another invitation to this exclusive annual event for a few reasons.  There were so many people that I met for the first time that I’d love to get to know better and seeing them in such a beautiful setting made the whole experience very unforgettable, but the down to earth nature of the couple who opened their door to their friends was the most heart warming memory I’ll have this Christmas.

Sure was a good cigar though!

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A few days ago I dropped down to one of my favorite cigar stores in Vancouver, “The Vancouver Cigar Company” and my friend Trevor revealed to me that they had discovered a bunch of boxes of aged Cohiba Maduro 5 Genios from’08 and ’07 that they had forgotten about.  These guys have a nicely stocked humidor and I can see how things can get misplaced.  The cigars have been in ideal conditions for the last few years and I had to pick up a few from each vintage.

As usual, I thought that the best thing to do would be to try out the older of the two so after dinner last night I pulled out an ’07 and lit one up on the deck as I watched my neighbors re-shingle their roof.  I love it when someone else is working hard and doing something to improve their home, especially if I DON’T have to help.  My neighbor is a good friend and couldn’t help but walk over at one point last night to see what I was smoking.. We often smoke cigars together at night but he was in a hurry to get things finished before it got too dark to work.

When he dropped by I was getting into the second third of the Genios and my taste buds were experiencing as many different kinds of chocolate as I could imagine.  There were only about 3 years of age on these cigars but the smoothness was out of this world.  Very balanced, not one flavor ever taking over, and as I got into the final third the cigar was getting beanier by the minute without ever becoming harsh.  I wasn’t in a drinking mood last night and only had a bottle of mineral water with me on the deck which I think was a great idea.  I didn’t want to taste ANYTHING else but the Genios.

I can’t wait for tonight’s ’08 !!!!

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Posted on 29-03-2010
Filed Under (Cohiba Maduro) by Admin

Reading about the fermentation process that takes place in Cuba makes me realize how precise the process must be in order to achieve the wonderful flavors that the Cohiba end up with in their cigars.  The temperature is consistent and monitored so that the leaves do NOT get too hot in their bales as the chemical process takes place changing the tobacco into something special.  Bales are taken apart, sometimes up to 10 times, if they get too warm so they do not get mouldy. That would destroy so many people’s efforts and be too costly.

In the production of the Maduro 5 Series of Cohiba cigars, we are talking about 5 years of fermentation and all of the things that can go wrong in that amount of time is staggering.  What finally results are tobacco leaves that are perfect for the blending and rolling of those beautiful dark chocolate colored cigars.  The sweetness that these cigars have is really quite something and have to be sampled to be believed. The extra time taken to produce the Maduro 5 has been a great success for Cohiba and the extra effort has paid off.

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Posted on 08-02-2010
Filed Under (Cohiba Cigar Review, Cohiba Maduro) by Admin

Day 2 and after a not so relaxing night in an affordable roadside motel 10 hours from home I thought I’d continue on and drive the rest of the way to Lethbridge, Alberta.  Problem is, I shouldn’t have waged war on the red-neck party animals who were up all night a few motel room doors down from me at 3:00 AM.  A part of me knew that maybe all I needed to do was to put in some ear-plugs, roll over and go back to sleep when they started a late night football game in the parking lot below my room.  Another part of me knew that it would have been better to stay in my room and keep to myself rather than go down to the group of yahoos and tell them that they were acting like idiots, keeping all kinds of people from sleeping and that if they didn’t shut up immediately they’d regret ever being born.  You’d think I’d have known better after seeing the majority of them walking around holding on to bottles of every kind of hard liquor imaginable mixed with the sounds of country and western music blaring from one of their pick-up trucks idling in the parking lot.

You’d think I’d have had a bit of common sense…………………. You’d think……………….


I told them if they touched or harmed my car( Pointing to my Car) in any way, I’d have the lot of them thrown in jail.  I marched back to my room, slammed the door and thought that I had made my point in a crystal clear manner.  Things quietened down after that and I felt victorious but got a bit nervous when I heard voices whispering and quietly laughing now and then just outside my door.  I somehow got back to sleep….

Next morning the parking lot looked like a ghost town and the only vehicle left was my car but it looked very very different from the last time I saw it.  The tires were removed and the vehicle had been jacked up and put on blocks…. Big blocks…… High blocks……. The car was about 7 feet off the ground sitting on, what appeared to be, 2 foot length pieces of railroad ties all stacked up like Leggo blocks.. It almost looked like a crane would have been needed to lift my car that high….. Plus……. My tires and rims were tied to the handles of the car’s doors and hanging by 4 feet of rope.

These were very smart practical jokers I ran into and I have no idea how the police and tow truck people were able to get my car off of the stilts without hurting it but all was in order after I walked 2 blocks back to the motel after breakfast. The police said that they had actually heard of this very same problem 2 days before at one of the neighboring towns.  Seems like there was a group of engineer students terrorizing the country after a “Big and Rich” concert was cancelled in Calgary and some very strange pranks had been pulled.

I gassed up, had 6 hours to go and lit up a Cohiba Magicos on my way out of town.  Something told me that not just any cigar would do so I lit up something very special.  The 5 year aged maduro wrapper had a calming effect on me as I held this cigar during the first third.  I think it was the rich chocolate flavors this cigar has to offer had me pacified and allowed the next hour and a half to smoothly pass by. These are a real victory of cigar blending and rolling and I felt that this little Magicos saved my morning.

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Posted on 21-01-2010
Filed Under (Cohiba Maduro) by Admin

A few days back I got a call in the morning to go hit a few balls at the driving range.  The weather wasn’t bad but it was too rainy to golf and a buddy was going to invite a friend of his, a golf pro at one of the local courses, to join up with us.  Great!!!  I had heard so much about this guy and finally was going to meet him and maybe get a few pointers on my swing.  I had recently gotten a new Ping G10 Driver and couldn’t wait to hit a few more balls with it plus you can smoke cigars at this particular range which is one of the main reasons why I’ll drive a bit farther to get there. This was shaping up to be a fine morning.

I had lots of gas in the car, clubs in the back and Miles Davis in the CD player.  The traffic wasn’t too bad at that time of day, the morning rush had slowed down and so I decided to stop in to pick up a cappuccino, I had more than enough time to get there.  I got back out on to the highway, cranked up the tunes and then felt a bit of a shudder.  What???? Wadda ya mean shudder??  Cars aren’t supposed to shudder !!  $$$$$$$  The car rolled to a stop.   Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $$$$$$$$$$

I managed to get to the side of the road, turn on the emergency flashers and poke around under the hood to see if anything wrong was kind of obvious.  No, nothing jumped out at me so I then looked under the car and saw nothing there either.  good grief!!!!  About 3 minutes a cop pulls up behind me, turns on the lights and walks up to my window.  Well, he was a friendly enough guy but said that I couldn’t stay there and called a tow truck.  $$$$$$$$$……  The tow truck guy towed my car a few miles down the road to my son in law’s garage and then a whole other story begins. $$$$$$$$

I wasn’t going to get any golf tips today.  I wasn’t going to sit peacefully at the driving range smoking a cigar and drinking the rest of my cappuccino.  Good grief!!!  I had to think of something !!  Well at least there was a CD player in the garage and a comfortable chair.  I pulled out Cohiba Genios Maduro 5.  I love the beautiful maduro wrapper this cigar has, the color, the slightly oily texture and after clipping the cap I found an easy draw.  The cigar started off with that peppery Cohiba taste and settled down and became more spicy.

I found myself becoming more relaxed and getting used to the idea that I’d be getting to know my new driver at a later date at the range.  Oh well……. Hey, do any of you know what a timing belt is??   $$$$$$$$$$$$$

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