Well, I’m very sorry for my long absence and lack of reviews or thoughts on the cigar world.
Unfortunately I have been suffering from illness for a while, so have not been in the frame of mind to sit down and thoroughly enjoy a cigar. However, the last week has been a pleasant return to the cigar fray.
I made a trip up to London this past weekend to meet up with a good friend for his stag-do (catching the rugby at Twickenham then a night out). On the Friday, when I was on my own, I made a very enjoyable trip to JJ Fox, as I usually do when I’m in the capital. When I arrived, we were locked out of the humidor, owing to a slight oversight which saw the key being locked into it… Still, they had some Partagas Shorts which had been saved… As I love this particular cigar, I bought one, lit up, and waited for the entertainment of the locksmith with great anticipation (enjoying the company of some other friendly customers whilst we waited). Then I bumped into an acquaintance I had smoked with at JJ Fox back in May, a very interesting guy, and a fellow ex-Royal Navy man. An excellent afternoon of conversation and escapism ensued, which was just what I needed – the first time I’ve had a clear mind for a long time… The power of fine cigars and fine company. For the record, I followed up with a Punch Petit Punch – which was unbelievably sweet following the powerful, but perfectly enjoyable, two-year old Party Short.
Saturday morning saw me make an early visit to Sautter Cigars, opposite the Connaught hotel. It was the first time I had actually made use of their facilities for a cigar, and enjoyed talking to the various people working in the store. I decided to plump for a Hoyo de Monterray Epicure Especial No2 – a cigar with which I had not previously had good experiences (despite its almost unerring popularity). This was much better, no bitterness or tar, smooth and rounded flavours – overall pretty good, if not exceptional. However, the burn was dreadful, as with every other Epi2 I have tried – I sometimes wonder what on earth they do to them!? I also picked up a couple of La Aurora Bristol Especiales, with plenty of age, for a fiver each. They’ve got quite a few non-Cubans on offer at the moment as they are looking to go down the Cuban-only route, well worth a little look, you may pick up a bargain too.
On Monday afternoon, as I was a little bit bored, I bribed someone to join me at the pub with the offer of a free cigar… Well, I say free, but it was an exchange for a pint (still a good deal I think). We both lit up a Zino Classic Premium Selection No1 Tubo – a good looking Lonsdale. We both enjoyed it, and, whilst not a spectacular or especially interesting cigar, I’m certainly glad I have one more in the humidor to kick back with at a later stage.
Finally, to bring my week of vice to a close: on Thursday, in the very early hours of the morning, I celebrated the first session of this season’s Ashes series with a nice little cigar. Breaking my no smoking in the house rule, I lit up an El Rey del Mundo Choix de L’epoque (UK RE), which smoked nicely and is a nice improvement over the last one I had (which was pretty fresh off the boat).
I hope these ramblings have at least livened up the view when you open up the blog. I have a huge desire to get reviewing again – indeed I have a huge desire to get back to normal again – but a lot of that may depend upon whether I can grow a pair of balls at some stage in my life and learn to express emotion when it actually means something to me…
PS. I have been informed that it is currently Mental Health Week (although it does appear to be erroneous information), so would just like to ask everyone to take a moment to consider anyone suffering from a mental illness, whether temporary or permenant. I was always sceptical of concepts such as depression until I found out first hand just how dibilitating they can be, so please, light up a cigar and ponder for a moment. Thank you.