Robaina's plantation

Monday 23 September 2013

La Escepción Edición Regional Italia 2011 (cigar review) A return visit

                  I tried one of these cigars April-May 2011 even after being told it was too young by my Italian friend who sent it to me. He was correct, it was too young and could still use a little more age. This particular one was sent to me by a friend in Sweden, Box Date Nov.2011. I've always liked this vitola, the Panetela at 38 x 166 (6.5"). 2000 boxes of 25 cigars were made and released for the Italian Distributor in 2011. A porcelain jar (empty) that holds 30 of these cigars is now available though the Italian distributor: 
                 This cigar was hard through the middle with a little resistance around the outside when squeezed. It had a darkish, oily, veinless wrapper with a bumpy cap. Couldn't quite put my finger on any one flavour on the pre-light draw, everything was pretty faint. The first puffs gave me earth and leather, the draw was perfect. This was a medium bodied smoke at this point. The burn was straight then off... A hint of floral fravours creeped in for a puff or two but that was it.
                  By around the first quarter mark the ash had formed a bend and shortly after that it fell on it's own. The flavours had settled in at this point with dark chocolate and roasted coffee bean being the predominant flavours and earth picking up the rear.
                  The flavours didn't change much, pretty consistent up to the half but I felt the draw was being stifled. I flicked the ash and realized it was burning hot through the middle so I touched it up with my torch. The burn had been pretty straight through most of the smoke and was that way now at the half. It started to burn hot through the middle again a little ways down so I fixed it before it went to far.
                   Picked up a little strength at the last third but it didn't last, toned down not long after. The earthiness took over at the last quarter. It went out a couple of times, I had difficulty keeping it lit if I didn't pay attention but it still tasted good. I let it go when I had a hard time holding it and a harder time smoking it.                    I drank a Rum I picked up at the Duty Free Shop in the Santo Domingo Airport in the Dominican Republic. I couldn't find it anywhere outside the airport. 'Puntacana Espledido', I would compare it to the 23 year old Zacapa from Guatemala. It really brought out the flavours in the cigar.
                   This cigar has gone through a lot of changes over the last year or so. It came from a different box than the first one I tried but the similarities were there and it's coming along very nicely. The bitterness I experienced in the first one is gone now, I didn't experience any at all until the last cm and nothing I wouldn't ordinarily expect from any other cigar. It could still use a little rest in my opinion but I don't think it's peak is too far away. It's a wonderful anytime smoke and would highly recommend these to anyone who gets the opportunity to buy some.

Friday 20 September 2013

Palacio Cantero (Museo de La Historia Municipal) Trinidad

               The house known as the 'Palacio Cantero' was originally built in 1828 by 'Don Pedro Jose Iznaga Borrell', the richest man in Trinidad at the time. Today the building is used to house the 'Museo de La Historia Municipal' or the 'Trinidad General Municipal Museum'.
               Doctor 'Justo German Cantero' arrived in Trinidad under a cloud of mystery, his past always assumed to be dubious. Soon he was within the inner circles of the rich and famous of the area known as the 'Valley of the Sugar Mills'. In 1842 Cantero married the widow of the current Borrell living in the house. Rumour has it that she and Cantero poisoned the rich Sugar Mill owner. They married soon after. Cantero was a pianist, composer, poet and author. He was well liked amongst the townspeople. Due to his spending habits however, he lost it all but not before throwing one last bash.
               The house stands as a monument to the extravagances of the time. The area had produced many wealthy people due to the increasing Sugar Market and this is just one of several homes with the same stature. This house has been restored to it's former glory and original frescoes still adorn the walls in the main hall. Furniture, pictures, artifacts....even a carriage is contained within the walls of this house as is a beautiful courtyard. To visit the entire house could take about 30 minutes but the best of all is the tower. Climb the tower to get to the top for magnificent views of the city and countryside. The picture alone is worth the visit. You can't miss the house, look for the highest tower near the Plaza Mayor in the heart of the Colonial Town.

The Tower

The Courtyard

The Kitchen

View from the Tower

Plaza Mayor

Graffiti has no Borders 

Monday 16 September 2013

Por Larrañaga Petit Robusto Edición Regional Italia 2012 (cigar review)

                  I've been going on a tear over the last few months trading for various regionals from around the world. I have the good fortune of knowing many people from all over and have been able to get some pretty special stuff. I picked up a couple of these guys a few months ago and smoked one recently along with the same sized Regional from Spain, the Diplomatico.....wanting to do a comparison.
                  The size of this cigar is 50 x 102 (4.0") with 2000 numbered Slide Lid Boxes of 25 cigars made in 2012 and released in March of 2013. 
                  This cigar was hard to the touch with a squared off cap. The wrapper was smooth, shiny, oily and was an attractive looking stick. The pre-light draw was sweet with hints of cedar. Once lit I picked up flavours of tobacco and straw with faint floral notes....the draw was perfect. At this point it seemed like a medium bodied cigar. The burn seemed like it would be ok. By the time I got to the first 1/2" the cigar was mellowing out and the floral notes had disappeared. Wood was the predominant flavour now with tobacco taking a back seat. This was turning out to be a mild cigar with an absolutely perfect burn nearing the first quarter. 
                   Still picking up a bit floral flavours now and again by the time I reached the first half and the ash fell on it`s own. Flavours not really changing much but I was beginning to taste a little bitterness. By the last quarter the floral notes were still coming and going with the cigar picking up strength and getting bitter. I put it down not long after that.
                    I wish I could say otherwise (my background being Italian) but this wasn't that great a smoke in my opinion. I preferred the Spanish Regional (of the same size) over this one. It very obviously needed a little age but I don't know if that would make it any more appealing to me. It wouldn't be completely fair to judge this cigar at this time. I'll hold on to other one for a while before smoking it. For now, between this cigar or the Diplomatico Petit Robusto ER España 2012 (same cigar)....I would take the Diplomatico.