Robaina's plantation

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Trinidad Short Robusto T Edicion Limitada 2010 (cigar review) Return Visit

                  Here I am trying this Trinidad once again. It's been almost 2 years since the last time I smoked one of these cigars and it hasn't changed that much. This particular one was gifted to me and so I wanted to see if it was any different than the box I have (or what's left of it). I have to say, I really didn't like this cigar when I tried it previously, it's not the style (flavour wise) of cigar I like. I know a lot of guys who love this cigar and that's ok but unless it changes somewhat in the next few years I'm going to maintain my opinion on what I think of it.
                  These are darker cigars and this one was no different, the ones I've seen have all been the same. This one was hard to the touch and a little veiny. The pre-light draw gave me big cedar. Once lit, as before, very strong from the start with a lot of earth flavours. It was a bit rough at the beginning but smoothed out after the first 1/4" and remained strong. Burning hot through the middle and had to do a relight....I hadn't reached the first inch yet. I picked up a hint of floral notes at about the 3/4" mark and a few more times throughout the rest of the smoke. I have to say, from what I remember, it was a bit smoother than the one I smoked 2 years ago (and before that) but it still has a long way to go. I couldn't leave the cigar for a moment or it would go out. It seemed to be a little loosely rolled (even though the cigar was hard) and was consistently burning hotter through middle which made it go out, often. I found myself constantly touching it up with my torch. The flavours, once settled after the first 1/2", didn't really change much and all the relights didn't seem to change the flavour.
                   Even though they're a little better, I still have to say I don't like these cigars. I'm sure there are a few of you that will argue with me but there's nothing to argue about. We all have our tastes and this cigar is not for me. In my opinion, it still needs time but I don't think that's going to help the burn issues. I myself don't like to fight with a cigar and those of you who know me know that I've thrown many a cigar away almost as soon as I've started it because of issues. I don't like to waste my time with a bad cigar, life is too short. I did want to get through as much of this cigar as I could stand but in the end I let it go when there was about a third of it left. I really did want to like this cigar. I'll hold on to the couple I have left and probably wait a couple of more years before trying another. They still have a lot of life left in them.

Tuesday 18 March 2014

El Rey del Mundo Infantes Edición Regional Cuba 2013 (cigar review) Box Date June 2013

                   I was lucky enough to be in Cuba not long after the release of these cigars. That would have been in November of 2013. Everyone was talking about these cigars at the time, everyone that was participating at the 'Partagas Encuentro' that is. I picked up a box of ten but didn't try one until I got back home in Canada. However, right after I smoked that first one, I called my friend in Havana and ordered a few more boxes knowing they would probably be gone after the Habanos festival the following February. This is one of those cigars that lives up to it's hype. It's the third one I've smoked so far and they all say the same thing...Wow. I found all three to have the same flavour profile, very consistent.
                   This stick weighs in at 50 x 124 (4.9"), a Robusto. Only 5000 numbered dress boxes of 10 were produced selling for 59cuc for each box in Cuba (approx. $65). At that price, for a cigar of this quality, in my opinion is a steal. The colour of the wrappers on this box I started was on the darker side. This particular cigar was as hard as a rock. It was slightly veiny, nice and oily, with a bumpy uneven cap. Once cut and lit however, the draw was perfect. From the start, a medium bodied smoke. Once my taste buds settled into the cigar, I was picking up big chocolate flavours and shortly after that, undertones of coffee. And so it went like this for about the first inch with the burn starting out a bit uneven and eventually straightening itself out.
                   Once past that first inch the flavours changed completely. The cigar became earthy with hints of wood and would remain that way in varying degrees throughout the rest of the cigar. It continued to be a solid medium smoke until turning on the last inch where it then became more harsh than anything else. The burn past the first inch was uneven but straightened itself out after another half inch. I was smoking this cigar in someone's house so as the ash hadn't dropped yet while I neared the halfway mark I decided to flick it. I regretted doing that, the ash was solid, I'm sure it could have gone a while longer. Hindsight, the cigar was burning hotter through the middle, perhaps the ash was stifling the cigar. I had to do a major relight at this point. It didn't affect the flavour of the cigar, not even after having to relight a couple of more times after that. I could have smoked faster I suppose but I didn't want to overheat the cigar.
                   By the time I got to around the last inch the cigar began to turn on me and the flavours were overpowered by the harshness. I tried but had to put it down at this point. Maybe a few months or a year will get rid of that harshness, after all, the cigar isn't a year old yet. In my opinion, it's smoking well right now but could use a little time to mature. Other than the burn issues, this was a very enjoyable smoke that's worth more than what I paid for it. I would be almost certain these will be hard to come by soon if not already so. If you come across a box at a reasonable price, don't think about it, buy it.

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Hotel Occidental Miramar (Miramar, Havana) Lobby and Art Exhibit

               This hotel, sitting more than a hundred yards away from the street, originally opened as the Hotel Novotel Miramar in January 2000. Why it changed it's name soon after opening I don't know, I couldn't find that information. If I had to guess from the lobby, it looked like a pretty decent place to stay at with all the amenities. However, I have read some pretty bed reviews once I did some investigating. The usual stuff, things broken or unkept, disinterested staff, bad food....but I also read some good reviews as well. From my experience with things in Cuba, my guess is that unless they fixed their issues here (since those reviews), it would be a hit and miss on the experience one would have here. As I said, from looking at the lobby, it looks like a pretty good hotel. They rate this Hotel, with it's 427 rooms located a 10 minute taxi ride from Old Havana, a Four Star. It's located in the Miramar district with not too much surrounding it as far as activities go. However, if you know your way around, it's not far from some fabulous restaurants and a new Jazz Club just opened within walking distance of the hotel. If you're a Cigar Aficionado, you have 2 cigar shops within walking distance (Hotel Comodoro & Hotel Melia Habana) and a short taxi ride to 2 more, one on either side of the hotel (Club Havana LCDH & 5ta y 16 LCDH). If any of my readers have stayed here, I would love your feedback. Thank You
                 The second part of this post is the Art Exhibit in the Lobby and Restaurants of the Hotel. As I've said several times in the past, 'Art is everywhere in Cuba' and this hotel is no different. No names of the Artists were posted except for one very obvious one that posted a website right on his pictures. I only posted a dozen of the almost three dozen that were on display.

Hotel Occidental Miramar
5ta Ave  e/72 y 76
Reparto Miramar
Municipio Playa
tel. (537) 2043584

Dionel Delgado