Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Cigar Review: Mil Dias from Crowned Heads

Where to start with this review, so many thoughts spinning in the recesses of the mind. I've been in cigars for around 35 years and started writing about cigars many years ago. I created GCPuffs.com which ran for years and got larger than I intended for it to in many ways. After closing the site I started this one with the intent of it being only a hobby. But these days time is in short supply so writing is a luxury that is not often available.

My time of writing, I feel, is done for several reasons. First and foremost is time constraints, and when it comes to writing about cigars, there are so many people writing reviews now that it hardly seems useful. 

I decided to write this review all because of the pleasure and amazement i received from a particular cigar, the Mil Dias from Crowned Heads. I had a day off recently and was home alone with rare time to do absolutely anything I wanted do. I pulled out a photo album I have neglected, having printed many photographs but have yet to put them in. I am a Blues fanatic so I put on some B.B. King and Muddy Waters and picked up a cigar to enjoy during the task at hand. Right from the start there were things about Mil Dias that grabbed my attention. Let me state here that if you think a cigar is a cigar is a cigar, then you do not fully appreciate the craft. Cigars are an art form, a lifestyle, they are history, they are family traditions. This cigar caught my eye the first time I picked it up. the wrapper is perfectly crafted in a silky creamer and coffee brown wrapper. The color is even with no spots, and construction is flawless. The feel of the cigar tells the tail of how wonderfully it is made as its touch is the same from foot to cap. Once cut, the cold draw made me blink as it gave hints of smooth cream, light wood and raw walnuts. 

Once torched the first draws set a cigar enthusiasts mind turning, flavors of wood and spice came through but not in a blatant punch like is the custom of some cigars, but they came through easily, dancing on the palate, inciting ones memory, lighting up the oral factors of taste. 

I opened the album and started going though photos. this one had several about my daughter who just turned 27. It seems like yesterday that she was 7. Photos of gymnastics, dance class and cheer leading through the years making my mind and heart smile and I am incredibly proud of her.

As I start going through photos, the cigar is progressing in the first third. A wonderful mild but definite spice was showing perfectly, not over bearing just a delightful amount. A flow of simi sweet creaminess began wrapping around a core of slightly smokey wood. But in the first third of this cigar something else was taking place. Flavors I haven't noticed in combinations were emerging, tastes of perfectly aged and crafted tobaccos that brought thoughts of cigars from thirty years ago to the forefront. This is a new cigar but at the same time reaches back to a more refined time. A velvety smoke filled with touches of wood and spice, creaminess and an effortless draw were spinning there way across the senses.

Going through more photos, I ran across some from the last time KISS came to New Orleans for their End Of The Road Tour. My daughter knows I am a big fan and surprised me with tickets. On the day of the show, daddy and daughter loaded up and headed south, she wouldn't even allow me to drive. We laughed and did some sight seeing along the way and stopped at a seafood place before going to the show and as loud as we were laughing and cutting up its a wonder we were not asked to leave.

Looking at more shots the cigar was moving into the second third. The smoky wood was still present but so much more was taking place. the smoke is creamy smooth, A mild sweetness much akin to brittle was showing as fresh turned earth was flowing around the mix. The flavors are more than a mere description can offer as this cigar indicates a class of cigar that is rare these days. It is not just another cigar but reminds me of cigars that define the art.

We arrived at the show and found our seats. As the show began my daughter was blown away at KISS as they powered through the first two songs with a light show that would put any group to shame. Watching her reaction to the theatrics of God Of Thunder as well as others was a sheer thrill. We both sang together as everyone joined in on two of the songs. 

I changed the music to playing to KISS and got tickled at some of the photos showing reactions and clowning we were doing. As Rock And Roll All Night began to play the cigar was entering the final third. The flavors of the second third were constant and flowing like a non stop river of delight. The flavors were a touch more bolder but not overbearing in the least. No bitterness, no bite, no harshness, only delectable and enormous taste in constant and immeasurable abundance. The cigar finished with a final puff of succulent perfection.

Mil Dias is a phenomenal cigar in every aspect. New yet draws you to a time of classics in cigars. I have had a favorite cigar for years, one I have smoked more boxes of than I would ever count, but Mil Dias has replaced it. 

The concert we went to had nothing to do with music, it was time together. No matter how busy you may get, do not ever neglect taking time to make cherished memories with those you love. 

And when it comes to cigars try a handful of Mil Dias and see if it transports you to an experience of cigar excellence.

Now that this review is finished, I would like to say how much I sincerely enjoyed writing for all those years and I thank all of you for reading.

Old Smokey, GCPuffs and Gatornations thanks you.


Now for the last time,

Peace and Smoke,

Gator

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Just My Opinion

 Cut, light, puff and enjoy. Simple words that open up a world of possibilities to the cigar smoker including our freedom to do so. Fine hand rolled cigars is a business for some, a hobby for others, but for all an item of sheer pleasure. We cigar smokers come in various shapes and sizes, languages, occupations and life styles, be they male or female. Nevertheless, no matter who the are or what their status is in life, the one thing each shares is a passion for fine hand rolled cigars.

What is a cigar after all but leaves that have been cured and rolled into a cylinder shape and consumed? However, they are so much more. Expert blenders, rollers, artists, etc. that work in unison to create a master piece of art work that delivers to the cigar lover a never ending combination of wrappers, binders and fillers to give blends that deliver the pleasure that each seeks. To sit and clip a cigar, letting the torch touch the foot of a prime blend causing the smoky essence trapped within to flow from its captivity, drawn through the cigar then engulfing the palate. The flavors of the cigar with its smoky transformation bringing to the receiver true relaxation and the joy the seek. A fascinating thing about cigar smokers, we can be strangers but when cigars are lit or talk of them commence, it is an instantaneous icebreaker making friendly conversations, laughter and even causing friendships to be created.
Its true cigar smokers, writers, companies and retailers are somewhat of a community, somewhat of a family. It’s odd how the outside world misunderstands our passion or enjoyment. Today we have politicians and certain groups who in there misguided thought patterns and not so hidden agendas, try to take away the things we enjoy. What they seem not able to understand is that unlike cigarettes, cigars are not a habit but our pleasure, not our addiction but our satisfaction. The problem is, and do not be fooled by their comments, they do understand they just do not care. They care not about what you want as long as their agenda gets fulfilled. What they actually seek is to regulate and take away the thing we enjoy. Different attempts are always made but our freedom to enjoy fine cigars still exists.
It’s wonderful to have an object that people from so many different walks can sit and enjoy together. It does not matter if you a seasoned smoker or someone new to the world of cigars, we are all equal when it comes to the pleasure. What a variety we have that we can choose from, all manner of blends and shapes, from those who like the very mild to those who tackle the heavy hitters of strength. It really does not matter how strong a cigar you smoke, mild or strong, all are equal. There are many of us who write about the thing that we so enjoy, we talk of a plethora of different flavors, tones and notes. Words written of the good and bad points of different cigar, some we like and some not. Should someone read cigar reviews? Yes of course, a cigar smoker should read anything they can. Should someone let a review make his or her decision on to buy or not to buy a cigar? Absolutely not. We all like different things, try it and make up your own mind.
The next time you walk into a B&M, one where you can smoke at, select a great stick, sit back and be glad that you are still free to do so.

 

Peace and Smoke,
Gator

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Cigar Review: Bellas Artes Maduro

Recently I turned 60 years old and decided to go back to where I grew up and look around, been a while sense I had been There. 

I stopped at my sisters house for a few minutes to catch up then headed out to walk the farm. I brought with me a great cigar from A.J. Fernandez, the Bellas Artes Maduro. Fantastic looking cigar with a rich Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper with a nice dark chocolate colored appearance. Nice and smooth with excellent construction. Once cut I set the torch to work and it began perfectly. The art work on the band itself is superb. 

The experience began with a mild spice mix that lasted briefly, about a quarter inch in, then gave way to a tasty mix of fresh turned earth, dark coffee and a mild hint of bitter sweet chocolate. Soon into the smoke, the first third was under way with the dark coffee becoming more of a south Louisiana coffee and chicory flavor with the chocolate darker and reminds me of when I was little and my grandmother giving me a chocolate bar and sharing her big coffee cup. These flavors twirled and moved together in a dance of perfection being wrapped together with hints of smoky wood. 

I was truly enjoying the start of this cigar as I decided to walk down to the creek first at the back of our property. The fence we use to work so hard to keep in shape was rusted and broken in some areas as I stepped over it and onto the sand bar. I sat on a fallen tree for a few minutes looking at the place I spent many summers growing up. When work was done I would head here to swim and have fun. I found what was left of an old swing we use to use and even where we pilled rocks for camp fires. As I walked back to the field, I headed to an old barn and corn crib where we feed cows and stored hay. 

As I walked, the cigar was moving into the second third. The coffee and chicory was clearly bolder. The mild spice that came at the beginning was starting to return but with a hint more of a red pepper zing to it that matched perfectly with the coffee. The chocolate became more of a higher cocoa content reminder and still these flavors continued to enthrall the taste buds with a delightful morphing of predominant placement, and the smoky wood tops them off. 

I walked into the old barn and it was clear it needed work. Two very old square bales of hay remained or what was left of them as well as an old plow. I thought about the cows we feed here and the time spent, loving every minute of it. It was a great way to grow up. Looking in the old corn crib, it smelled of rats, old husks and dirt. I spent many days right here shucking corn, feeding nubbins to the cows, and shelling corn. My father and I would talk, tell jokes and tell me about growing up right. I left there and walked across the fields where we grew hay and corn. Seems like so very long ago, wish many times just to go back for a while in time. 

I said goodbye to my sister and as the cigar was moving into the final third I pulled up and parked at the old house. I did not get out and go in, I just sat for a few minutes looking around. Moving into the final third, the flavors had become bolder with the coffee and chicory still up front but the chocolate had transitioned more of a home made brittle taste with the spice blend and smoky wood switching back and forth in place. Each draw was an experience unto itself as the flavors flowed in waves. Very smooth to smoke. the cigar finished beautifully with the last draw having a touch more spice but the coffee and chicory still up front. I headed back home, thoughts running through my mind, memories of years gone by, and and missing some loved ones. But as someone once said, life goes on. If you have not tried the Bellas Artes Maduro, do not pass it up, its one great smoke.


Peace and Smoke,

Gator