Many of you will have read about my antics on Saturday (see ‘A Saturday of Intrigue…’). My primary herfing partner for the day was Dan Ward, a fine BOTL who I have smoked many a fine cigar with whilst overlooking Sutton Harbour down in Plymouth. Dan very kindly offered to produce a write-up of his own for the Cigar Monologues blog, and I’m pleased to say that the following entry is his thoughts of the day and his final cigar, the LGC Gloriosos (2008 UK RE).
I have been past JJ Fox’s many times, but somehow I always seem to end up there on a Sunday, or after they have closed, so I had never made it in to sample some of the wares. Upon entering, I was greeted by the sight of a large, well stocked walk in humidor, filled to the rafters with a huge range of cigar shaped treats. Now what to pick… Do I go for my old favourite (Partagas Serie P No.2), or something a little special to celebrate getting a degree. Upon Simons recommendation (and remembering my wallet wouldn’t allow for a Siglo VI), I homed in on a La Gloria Cubana Gloriosos (2008 UK RE). This was a cigar which Simon reviewed last year (click here for original review). The box from which my cigar came had an extra year of age compared to the example Simon reviewed. Never having smoked one of these before, the excitement began.
We decided to sit in JJ Fox’s fantastic cigar museum, which for me meant that I was able to sit in Sir Winston Churchill’s chair, which is something I have wanted to do for a very long time. This chair was actually pretty uncomfortable, doubtless worn down by the gamut of cigar smokers who have used it since the great man himself. We opened up a bottle of Sancerre, fresh from the fridge at Berry Brothers and Rudd just down the road from JJ Fox’s, the Sancerre later proving to be a very good wine to partner with a cigar (Simon’s suggestion – ed.).
As for the cigar, it started off a little slow, but very smooth with flavours that evoked memories of toasted marshmallows on the beach. Over the course of the next two hours I found that there wasn’t a single sudden change in the flavours or intensity, each change being smooth and gradual, never taking one by surprise and never becoming coarse. Perhaps the best way to describe the dynamic of the flavours is to liken them to the dignified progress that a vintage Rolls Royce makes up the hill at Goodwood. Throughout the cigar, the draw remained near perfect, with a very strong ash that refused to succumb to gravity until I wussed out and ashed it after about an inch.
Towards the tail end of this cigar, the flavours started to ramp up in intensity, although never becoming as bold as my favourite Partagas SPN2. I generally go for cigars with more potent flavours than this, but on occasion I like to smoke something that is a little more delicate and a little more subtle – hence going with what I believed would be a subtler cigar.
I don’t like to rate cigars using numerical values. I believe that being a natural product the variation between cigars can render such rating systems almost useless. For example, all BOTLs will know that sometimes you can have two cigars from the same box and one will be fantastic and the next will be awful! As such, the conclusion of this review will be a bit different to what you are used to seeing at the Cigar Monologues. I always ask myself if I would be willing to purchase another example of this cigar at the same price I had paid. In the case of this cigar, it would be a definite yes. More important to me than assigning a number to cigars is purely enjoyment, and in this case, I enjoyed the experience of smoking it greatly. I was sat in Churchills chair, in one of the oldest and most famous cigar retailers in the world, in the best area of my favourite city, drinking excellent wine and with good company. To make such an event perfect, one only needs to add in a good cigar and enjoyment is guaranteed. The very finest in surroundings, cigars, wine and company make for a fantastic weekend.
Plus, I got to sit in Churchill’s chair!
— DW —