escort ordu kıbrıs escort escort izmit escort bodrum escort rize escort konya escort kırklareli escort van halkalı escort escort erzurum escort sivas escort samsun escort tokat A tale of a grumpy start, old cigar and interesting chap. - UK Cigar Forums


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  • A tale of a grumpy start, old cigar and interesting chap.

    As some of you will know from my previous ramblings I have had at least two smoking days recently. Not being made of money I had intended to behave myself and stay away from the den of cigar delights that is Teddington for a few weeks. Going against this plan a good friend of mine, an Italian chap living in London and working in the banking world called me on Friday and asked me to join him for a smoke in Teddington on Saturday. Knowing that the two of us fail to get together for long stretches due to work and life commitments I thought sod it, I will go and meet him but smoke things on the cheaper side.

    Early Saturday morning I dragged myself form a nice warm bed, something I did not want to do and headed out. I made a detour to the market in a nearby town to pick up all my American magazines I like (they are insanely cheap and sometimes have Cigar Aficionado) and from there I headed to Teddington. The traffic was not as bad as the previous weekend when Jimmeh and I had gone until I got near Chessington World of Adventure. Road works made this part of the trip a royal pain in the arse and I lost an hour of smoking time but it was still only about 10am, I was not that fussed. About ten minutes before I reached my destination my phone made the new text message tone. I was so near that I did not bother looking at the phone and thought I would read/reply when I parked up.

    Upon reaching Teddington and parking (which was a problem for once, bloody women drivers taking two spaces to park one Chelsea tractor) I looked at my phone only to find out that my Italian friend had cancelled due to work issues......I was grumpy. Now there is nothing unusual in me being grumpy but this was a new special level, overtired and in a place I had not intended to be except for a friend who was now AWOL, ?Ggggrrrr?. I wandered into the shop and was given my usual, if rather surprised welcome. After a bit of a chin wag I decided to smoke something I had wanted to re-visit for a while now but avoided due to price, I thought a treat would lighten my mood.

    Cigar 1:

    During one of the gatherings in London a while back I met up with a bunch of forum guys prior to an event, this may have been the Behike launch but it may not, I cannot remember exactly which meeting this was. We gathered at JJ Fox?s in London for a smoke. Monkey66 from these forums tried the big Cuaba Salamones from its initial year of production (2003), he liked it so much that he immediately went downstairs and purchased an entire box! Following the birth of his child he kindly offered me one but I did not take it, something I have regretted ever since. Well Ajay had a box of these from the same year in the humidor and I was watching them slowly vanish over the weeks. Well on this Saturday I thought sod it and grabbed one. I lit it and cut it and started to puff away waiting for my mood to melt in the smoke. Ajay was a little surprised to see me smoking such a large cigar so quickly, I usually wait for him to recommend something he has just acquired or opened up and unavailable elsewhere but I was not going to muck about today. I took residence in the appropriate place and smoked away. Ajay came up to me during the hour and a half or more it took to smoke the cigar on three occasions with a slight grin on his face. He said that this cigar smelt amazing, must taste great and that he must re-visit this cigar himself. He wanted to know how it was smoking for me and on each of the times he asked I gave the same response of good but not staggering. In truth I was rather disappointed. It was certainly a good cigar but there was no real yummy factor to it. The little spice that there was had a mellow edge to it and that was fine but there was no real treat for the palette, there we no specific range of flavours to keep me interested. The first third was just okay, the middle third was good and the final third was stronger and very good, but overall it lacked the special something I had expected. Many of the cigars I have smoked of late, especially the ?vintage? examples, have had amazing flavours from the start and made me go silent, lost in thought. This cigar lacked that. The last third was very good, more flavour and body but nothing earth shattering. For a relatively expensive smoke I was underwhelmed.

    At the end of the cigar Ajay looked at me expecting me to have loved it, he asked me what I would score it out of ten. He looked as though he was gagging to smoke one himself. I was surprised he asked me this as he has never done that before but I thought for a moment or two and replied with a seven and a half. He looked rather deflated at that response and I continued that maybe I had built this cigar up too much in my head and it was my fault for setting my expectation overly high.

    I had started smoking around 11 (very roughly) and so it was very early afternoon when I finished the Cuaba. The shop was unusually quiet during this part of the day and I had a very pleasant chat with Ajay and his good lady wife about all manner of topics. I had mellowed out a little and enjoyed catching up on some of the cigar world chat, the things that aren?t general knowledge and minutia that only the first hand experience that people like Ajay have and can pass on.

    Cigar 2:

    Ajay was a little disappointed that I was underwhelmed by the Cuaba. I had pulled out my trusty old IBM laptop and was using his wifi to check some sites. I intended to pop out and grab some slightly late lunch as I have a habit of not eating all day when at Ajay?s and last time I felt rather odd as a result. Just as I was about to switch my computer off and go for a food expedition on the high-street Ajay came up to me with something in his hand. He handed me a medium format un-banded cigar. He looked at me sternly and ordered me to smoke it and tell me what I thought. I refused this gift as he has given me one or two cigars each time I have visited of late and I felt rude accepting another. He insisted on me taking the cigar and placed it on my laptop keyboard as a show of his intent. I expressed my gratitude and proceeded to light and cut the cigar. He had refused to inform me what it was so I could have no preconceived expectations but he has done this a couple of times and it always proves fun and interesting.

    From the first puff this cigar was amazing. Medium to full, a broad rich palette, very soft and warm spice. I did the thing I usually do with a great cigar, I stand there letting the smoke drift out of my mouth and up my face, feeling the warmth and flavours and looking intently at the cigar, lost in thought and analysis. It was a truly bum-numbingly good cigar, I tried to think what it could be. It was clearly old and I was getting a hint of the old blend of Ramon Allones to it. After the first third it just improved and changed, I started to think it was a Por Larranaga. I sat there alone for a good stretch as the shop started to become busy and Ajay had to serve. That suited me perfectly as I sat there thoroughly loving my smoke. It was disrupted at one point by an over enthusiastic customer making a bit of a fuss but otherwise I was in cigar bliss. I did not take any photos of the cigar as it never occurred to me to do so and there was nothing particular to see, no band etc. I smoked the cigar slowly and the afternoon wore on. Some of the regulars started to arrive as I finished the cigar and this prevented me having the quiet word about it with Ajay that I wanted. When the opportunity arose I spoke to him about it but in a hurry. I am not sure I managed to purvey to him how much I enjoyed the cigar until after he told me what it was and that really annoyed me. When he told me what it was it made my enthusiasm for it somehow less meaningful. When I was still ignorant to the detail of the cigar my words would have carried more weight, maybe that only makes sense to me but I digress. Ajay had revealed to me that it was a specially selected for Robert Lewis of St James (one half of what is now JJ Fox)Partagas Seleccion Montalto No.6. This cigar was from somewhere between 1960 and 1965. This made it one of the oldest cigars I have smoked. I took some pictures of the box at the end of the evening:

    Nearing the end of the Partagas a few people had arrived. A gentleman with an American accent was amongst them and I was introduced to him by Ajay. I was informed that this chap was the editor of European Cigar Cult Journal. I shared a few words with him but more and more of the regulars kept arriving and the chat was about one thing only, Ajay had sponsored ten of the members to do the Palace to Palace bike ride on the Sunday for charity. This was forty odd miles and the gathered members had a long and very humorous conversation filled with mock comic doom. They admitted to not being athletes or in the first flush of youth but also that some of them can be competitive and this might result in some funny situations. They insisted that smoking cigars and drinking rum was the best training for such an event and the perfect preparation the night before the start which required them to meet up outside the cigar shop at 6am, ON A SUNDAY! This was hugely entertaining and I felt I needed another smoke to go along with the fun.

    Cigar 3:

    I have enjoyed the regional edition released from Ramon Allones cigars a lot recently with a few exceptions (the Beritus is rubbish) and I selected a good sized example to smoke. The 2007 release for Benelux appeared to be exceptionally good value for a gran robusto sized cigar (50x155) but I did not expect anything amazing from it. I smoked it with all the comic conversation going on around me and found myself thoroughly enjoying it. It did not amaze me but did not disappoint either. Good flavour, not too much spice, just a solidly good and pleasing smoke. The RE RA?s have a flavour and character different from the regular production RA?s but one that I like and would choose to smoke regularly.

    The evening wore on and people drifted off to get an ?early? night before the bike ride. I was left chatting with the editor of the magazine and found myself enthralled. This was the first time in a while that I had the chance to talk to somebody with vast knowledge of Cuban and non-Cuban cigars. What I learnt about Tatuaje, Rocky Patel, Greycliffe, Ghurka and others I am trying hard to commit to memory. I learnt about the future plans from some brands and the movement of certain big names in the cigar world. I am not sure what I can repeat so I will keep my mouth shut but suffice to say he was a fountain of knowledge. I do not think it is dangerous of me to mention a conversation we had about a comparative tasting he has just finished. He and his colleagues wanted to find a cigar to pair with Louis XIII Grande Champagne cognac from Remy Martin. They had smoked three Cohiba cigars to find a match, the LE Sublime, the Gran Reserva and the Behike 56. I was very interested to hear his thoughts on the outcome but that is probably better left to reading when it comes out in the publication. I suspect I will take out a subscription soon.

    This had proven to be a hugely rewarding day of cigars after an awkward start. A day I had never intended to have had turned into one of the damn good smoking days. I had smoked an earth shatteringly good real vintage cigar and loved every second. It is time to play the lottery so I can smoke this sort of thing regularly. I left expressing my continued gratitude to Ajay for his generosity and hospitality. I wished all those involved in the bike ride luck and look forward to seeing the pictures Ajay will take when they finish in Winchester.

    Yes, I know this is a long post, nobody makes you read them!!!
    "In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock!"

  • #2
    Great write-up T. You have cigar days some only dream of!
    Originally posted by Simon Bolivar
    Little medical correction there Steve, you will surely die...but not from smoking these

    Originally posted by Ryan
    I think that's for lighting electronic cigarettes


    • #3
      Yeh, but you buy boxes of them! LOL
      "In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock!"


      • #4
        Sounds like an amazing day.

        Brilliantly well written, but infuriatingly jealousy inducing!

        Those Partys are roughly the same age as me. (and have aged better)


        • #5
          Originally posted by monkey66 View Post
          Great write-up T. You have cigar days some only dream of!
          Too flippin' true.

          And I read every word T .... honest!
          If you want to, you can.
          And, if you can, you must!


          • #6
            Hmmm, honest? LOL
            "In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock!"


            • #7
              "Oi"!!. . .
              "Mush"!!. . .

              Thanks to your 'Ramblings', my cigar 'wish-list' is getting longer by the month.
              It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that some of these babies (see above) are rarer than an Essex girls virginity.

              However, if you can find me someone who'll sell (or trade) me a Montecristo No. 4 Reserva I'll let you off . . . you big tease!

              Originally posted by tippexx View Post
              And I read every word T .... honest!
              Me too!
              Originally posted by DRAGMASTER
              Every time I sleep with a girl I smoke a cigar while we do it. It's exciting and makes you feel strong, manly and empowered.


              • #8
                Another Great post T, and I for one do read them...
                Love Life - Love Cigars


                • #9
                  What an amazing post. I always say some of the best days are never planned and just happen (all be it this was kind of planned).....I am insanely jealous reading but also intrigued and enthralled with the it


                  • #10
                    the more post like this the better T, great write up once again


                    • #11
                      Excellent post, funny how a crap days turns out to be a gem.

                      Does this shop in Teddington have somewhere for you to smoke?


                      • #12
                        Yes, indoors! Special exemption.
                        "In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock!"


                        • #13
                          Very good. Next time I am down that way at my sisters I might just pop over there.