Cigar Review

Macanudo Ascots

One of the many factors to consider when preparing to smoke a cigar is time. How much time do you have? Will it start to get too chilly in a half hour? The worst thing when choosing your smoke is to go with a nice churchill or robusto and either cutting your time with it short, or even worse, rushing the smoke.

One of the most important elements to a great smoke is taking the time to fully enjoy it

It’s true. Few things upset me more than watching a friend or even a stranger rush their cigar. So what do you do when you have a bit of a time crunch but you were able to find an open half hour in your schedule? Naturally one would think of a cigarillo. You may go for one of Nat’s Legendary Cigarillos/Cigarettes or if you’re less of an aficionado, a black and mild (please no!!) or some factory throwout. Instead, go to your tobacconist or local connivence store that sells cigars and find a case of Macanudo Ascots TinMacanudo Ascots. These (approx.) 5 in cigarillos are packaged in a tin-like case as sets of 10 and go for anywhere between $16 and $21.

This cigar is one of my favorites. I recently went to Florida in January with some pals and let me say, I fell in love with these ascots at times.

“Hey Tom we’re heading to the pool in thirty minutes.”

“Wanna grab a smoke on the porch out back in the meantime?”

“Thats pushing it man, I don’t think we’ll have time.”

“Don’t worry. Lets just have a few Macs now and break out the Montes poolside.”

This was the template for a lot of our conversations on that trip. Dinner ready in 45? Lets grab a smoke I’ll have a bowl you can have an ascot. Being a thirty minute smoke tops without being rushed gives this cigar extraordinary capabilities. Oh, and did I mention it’s a fantastic smoke?

Lets get to the specifics; these cigars last for about 20-30 minutes and burn pretty evenly. At times you’ll catch your cigar starting to canoe a bit but that can be easily fixed in a few puffs. The cigar has no issue staying lit, and can be sat down for 5 minutes without going out. These Macanudo’s have a medium draw with light to medium smoke in terms of strength. The draw and smoke give this cigar the feel of a 52 ring robusto or an hour fifteen minute churchill. While some cigarillos and thinner cigars can be troublesome to cut, these ascots will give your blade no trouble. This cigar combines Dominican filler with a unique Mexican binder grown in the San Andres Valley, with the classic Connecticut Shade wrapper.

Overall, Macanudo Ascots are a great choice and one of my personal favorites no matter what the conditions are. Thanks for reading, and I leave you with a picture of a good friend taking a puff of his Mac Ascot on the beaches of Siesta Key, Florida.Macanudo Silhouette

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Cigar Review

Paul Garmirian Cigars

“SMOOTH, SUBTLE, SPICY AND DELICIOUS.”

This cigar is a very special smoke for me. Not just because of the quality, but the memories that go along with it. Lets talk about the history of Paul Garmirian Cigars first. No surprise that the company was founded by Paul Garmirian himself and is now run by Paul and his son. Garmirian’s early love for cigars took him around the globe researching cigars and tobaccos. Paul later published his findings in his book, The Gourmet Guide to Cigars, a book I haven’t personally read, but have heard great things about. Paul Garmirian finally started his cigar business in 1991, and currently runs the PG shop in Washington D.C. with his son, Kevork Garmirian.

Now to the cigar. Although PG makes a variety of cigars, my favorite of their’s and my favorite cigars ever are the PG Gourmet Series Robustos. Now, I have always preferred robusto cigars, but PG takes them to a whole new level. The PG Gourmet Series Robusto is a 5×50 cigar with Dominican filler and bind along with (my favorite wrapper) a Connecticut Shade wrapper. The cigar takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to burn and gets better the longer its smoked, like most other good cigars. It burns evenly, and has an easy draw without being a light smoke.

But its not just the actually cigars that makes this Robusto Gourmet Series my favorite, its the memories that go along with them. My father first had this cigar about 15 years ago when he started working for his current firm in New York City. He hadn’t had that same smoke again until this summer when he bought us both one to celebrate my commitment to the University of Texas. Nevertheless it was a special moment for me knowing that he was willing to share something special to him with me. Since then its become somewhat of a tradition to have a PG together on special occasions. i.e. Father’s Day, Birthdays, etc..

Overall, this is a very special cigar personally, and I’m sure that anybody who has one will thoroughly enjoy it and savor the time.

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Memories

Beginnings

“A cigar is as good as memories that you have when you smoked it.”

It was our sophomore year of high school, and it was one of my friend’s birthdays. There were eight or so of my buddies spending the night at his house, we’ll call him Lex. As a surprise a few of us were able to get our hands on an authentic Bolivar Cuban cigar. For those of you who don’t know, the Bolivar is one of the strongest and best cigars out there. Oh, and did I mention none of us had smoked before?

Anyways, after we finished celebrating Lex’s birthday we surreptitiously snuck back to the woods behind Lex’s house and showed him the Bolivar. One of our friends pulled out a cutter and lighter and after a few tries and botching the cut we got her lit up and ready to go.

There we stood in the middle of the woods in a circle passing around one of the world’s greatest cigars. It took about two hours to finish the Bolivar and everybody had a different reaction. For me, well I think you could tell by the fact that I’m writing this that I took to tobacco smoking fairly well. But that wasn’t the case for all of us. One of my pals had a rough time. He was light headed and dizzy the rest of the night, which looking back is ironic because now he is one of my best smoking partners. For a few it was a “I didn’t mind it, but its not really for me” thought. Hey, their loss.

That night did two things for me. It opened up a whole new hobby, a time passer, a relaxer and more. But more importantly it showed me that theres something about a cigar that just brings brothers together in a perfect mix of peace, love, and relaxation.

It wasn’t until my senior year that I wholeheartedly started to divulge in this fine art of cigar smoking. The thing that makes a cigar so attractive is truly the times and memories you make when you’re smoking it. Since then I’ve done research, learned from my pops, and tried different smokes. Nevertheless, the smokes, the bonds, and the conversations have not and will never get old.

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