Category: Cigar of the Week

Cigarchat #7, sponsored by Tesa Cigars

Know it’s been a little while since I’ve done a #cigarchat event (you know, new job and all), but they’re back!

The next chat, sponsored by Chicago-based Tesa Cigars, will be on Monday, September 27 from 7-9pm CST, and the cigar we’ll be smoking is the Tesa Cabinet 312.

Once again, there will be a few sticks to go around. Follow me on Twitter at @DanielHonigman and keep an eye out for my announcement there. The first 10 people who DM me after that (A few from Chicago, 4-5 from elsewhere) will get a Cabinet 312 to enjoy during the event. (Of course, you’ll have to smoke it during the #cigarchat, and provide proof in the form of a photo or video that includes the proper hashtag.)

Hope you can make the chat!

Chicago Cigar Tweetup #2

The first ever Chicago Cigar Tweetup was such a success, we’ve decided to hold another!

The Chicago Cigar Tweetup #2 will be over at Tesa Cigar Co. on Thursday, May 27 from 6-10pm.

Our liquor sponsor will be Chicago’s own Salud Tequila Lounge, who will be sampling several of its featured mescals and tequilas.

Tesa Cigars will also be running a Buy 3, Get 1 deal on its own cigars, which are available in all price ranges. Cigars from home are NOT allowed.

If you’re going to come, PLEASE (x50) RSVP so our sponsor knows how much liquor to bring! (NOTE: If you’re not a tequila drinker, Tesa is BYOB, so feel free to bring anything else you’d like to drink.)

This event is open to both men and women; no one will be out of place.

Hope to see you there! The details are:

Where: Tesa Cigar Co.
Address: 464 N. Halsted St., Chicago IL 60622
Phone: 312.929.3075
Time: 6-10pm
Date: May 27, 2010

___________________________

Check out some of my Cigar of the Week posts here.

CigarChat #6, sponsored by CAO

We’ve been enjoying our #cigarchat events so much, we’ve been keeping them going with top-notch cigar brands showcasing their very latest offerings.

Our next event, sponsored by CAO Cigars, will be on May 10, 2010 from 7:30-9:30pm CST, and we’ll be smoking the CAO La Traviata.

Once again, there will be a few sticks — and some swag — to go around. Follow me on Twitter at @DanielHonigman and keep an eye out for my announcement there. The first 10 people who DM me after that (4-5 from Chicago, 4-5 from elsewhere) will get a La Traviata cigar to enjoy during the event. (Of course, you’ll have to smoke it during the #cigarchat, and provide proof in the form of a photo or video that includes the proper hashtag.)

(NOTE: To follow the conversation on Twitter, go here.)

Chicago Cigar Tweetup #1

We’ve been having so much fun with our #cigarchat Twitter events, we’ve decided to expand and hold the first ever Chicago Cigar Tweetup!

We’ll be having it over at Tesa Cigar Co. on Thursday, March 25 from 6-10pm.

Our liquor sponsor will be Wild Scotsman Whisky, who will be sampling the Wild Scotsman Black Label, the 15 Year Vatted Scotch Malt and the Blend No. 888 scotches.

Tesa Cigars will also be running a Buy 3, Get 1 deal on its own cigars. (You can read reviews on their Vintage Especial and the Cabinet 312.)

You can RSVP for the event here, and the hashtag will be #chicagocigar. Hope to see you there!

Cigar of the Week: TESA Cabinet 312 Torpedo

TESA Cabinet 312 Torpedo

Brand: TESA Cigars
Line: Cabinet 312
Vitola: Torpedo; 6 x 54
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Criollo ’98 Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Body: Medium-to-full
Strength: Medium
Price: About $10-$13

As I said in my recent review of the Liga Privada T-52, I’ve recently been hanging out more at TESA Cigars over on Chicago’s Near West Side.

After only a few visits, it’s already one of my new favorite shops.

When I first went to TESA, I knew the place carried its own boutique line of cigars. Little did I know how good they were. All of TESA’s cigars are blended by store owner Chris Kelly, and the sticks are made at TESA’s factory in Nicaragua.

The TESA Cabinet 312, which is named after the original 312 Chicago area code, has an oily, slightly veiny wrapper. It has a pre-light scent that’s cedary and woody, but also a touch spicy and sweet, and with a good draw.

Once lit, a couple of the sticks I tried, including one at the shop, started to canoe up the side for about 1/2 an inch, but the burn corrected itself quickly. The burn line on the 312 was very dark, and for the most part, it was quite even.

The draw on the cigar, which was quite firm and with no soft spots, tightened up a bit, and as a result, the 312 produced very stringy smoke. (Note: This didn’t happen with all of the Cabinet 312 cigars I tried.)

The 312’s woodiness continued as I smoked the cigar down, and it picked up a bit more spice and tanginess, with a hint of mocha, along the way.

Verdict: The TESA Cabinet 312 is an enjoyable, not overly complex stick. There were a couple of small issues I didn’t experience with TESA’s other cigar lines, and I experienced them with a few of the 312s. Of the TESA cigars I’ve tried so far, this is my least favorite, not because I dislike the 312, but because I like the others so much more.

TESA makes good cigars, and seems to be well on its way to single-handedly restoring Chicago to its proper place as the cigar capital of the midwest, smoking ban and all.

I’ll get some of the other TESA cigars reviewed soon. Promise.

Cigar of the Week: Drew Estate Liga Privada T-52

Brand: Drew Estate
Line: Liga Privada
Vitola: Toro; 6 x 52
Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: American Habano
Binder: Brazilian
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran, Dominican
Body: Full
Strength: Full
Price: About $10-$13

I’ve recently been hanging out more at TESA Cigars in Chicago, and the folks there carry their own sticks and Drew Estate exclusively. So, after some prodding from #cigarchat participant Ron Hollatz at a recent Drew Estate event at the store, I picked up a couple of the new Drew Estate Liga Privada T-52 sticks to try.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Liga Privada T-52 is its smooth, shiny wrapper. It’s quite dark and has an oily sheen on it. The T-52’s pre-light flavor has hints of hay, pepper and a touch of sweetness reminiscent of cocoa, and it has a good pre-light draw. The T-52 is definitely a well-made stick.

Once lit, the T-52 produced a mostly peppery flavor, with hints of cocoa, a sweet scent and a thick plume of smoke. As the cigar progressed through the middle third, it got leathery, and towards the end, it became a bit spicier. It burned evenly, and had solid, mostly white ash.

Verdict: I wasn’t sure what to expect after I tried the Liga Privada T-9 not too long ago. (A review for that will come soon.) The Drew Estate Liga Privada T-52 is an enjoyable, full-bodied cigar with a lot of flavor that won’t smack you in the face. It’s a bit pricier than other Drew Estate offerings, at $10+, but it’s definitely worth a try; you may even end up making it a regular part of your cigar rotation.

Cigar of the Week: Gurkha Micro Batch Liga VH-7

Gurkha Micro Batch Liga VH-7
Gurkha Micro Batch Liga VH-7

Brand: Gurkha Cigars
Line: Micro Batch
Vitola: Liga VH-7 (Toro; 6 x 50)
Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Jamastran Habano
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran, Dominican
Body: Medium-to-full
Strength: Medium

Cigar stores are a great place to hang out and pick up a stick or two, but when you’re buying in bulk, it’s difficult to resist the allure — and the price — of internet retailers. They’ll get great deals many brick-and-mortar shops just don’t.

When I saw a freebie deal on Cigars International for the Micro Batch sticks, I decided to take a shot with the Gurkha Micro Batch Liga VH-7.

The VH-7 is a box-pressed cigar, and is made with a slightly veiny — but mostly smooth — Jamastran Habano wrapper from 2003. According to the site, only 45,000 of these cigars were made.

I typically switch between cutters and punches, depending on the cigar’s vitola and my mood, but I used a punch for this particular stick and I got a great pre-light draw that was extraordinarily leathery.

Once lit, the cigar was earthy and leathery, and its Habano wrapper was quite tangy and tasty. The sweet, caramel taste of my drink, a Bass Pale Ale, brought out the flavors of the stick.

The cigar was maintained properly in my humidor, but I noticed that about a third of the way in, it started canoeing a bit up one side. This evened out after about an inch, though. Otherwise, the Liga VH-7’s burn was even and the burn line was thin.

As the cigar progressed, it got more even more leathery, a hint of nuts, which I enjoyed at first, but then it only got more leathery from there.

Verdict: I found the Gurkha Micro Batch Liga VH-7 too one-dimensional. There was too much leather, which overpowered everything else: the nuts, the earthiness — everything. It tastes good, and there’s some heft to it, mbut if you’re looking for something more complex, you may want to look elsewhere.

(NOTE: This review was originally posted on CigarJack.)