On To Nationals: Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em

by Editor 18. September 2012 08:03
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With Nationals just around the corner, and victory in sight, you'll need a good stogie in your bag to help commemorate the big win. Since DOWN ZERO knows little-to-nothing about a good cigar - other than they cost a lot - we turned to IDPA's resident expert, and StogieReview.com's co-founder, Walt White (yes, of WaltInPA.com fame), for a list of go-to victory cigars you need to consider. 

1) Padron Family Reserve - 45 Years

If you have an honest-to-God, serious reason to celebrate (As in, you just beat up on Bob Vogel at Nationals) and you want to top off the experience with a fine cigar, in my mind there is no better choice than the Padron Family Reserve 45 Years. Sure, it aint cheap at about $26.00, but price is no object in this situation, right?


Padron has an excellent reputation for their higher end cigars, such as the Anniversary Line.  With each step up the ladder, starting at the Anniversary 1964, then moving up to the 1926, and so on and so forth, cigars get better and better. The Family Reserve 45 years is the top rung and is there for good reason.


This cigar is full of rich and complex flavors and there is wonderful balance between flavor and power. While these may be a little stout for early on in the day, they are always great in the afternoon and evening. (read the full review)


2) Ashton ESG

Of all the cigars on this list, the Ashton ESG has been the one I’m not sure about. It has been taken off and added back in, countless times. It is tough, at $25.00 it isn’t something many people smoke often. It is also about 2x the price of its cousin, the Ashton VSG, and simply put, not 2x as good.


With all that in mind, if you are going to pop open an high end bottle to celebrate, you might as well throw aside the thoughts of expense. You will experience buyer's remorse after handing over your money but it will drift away as you set flame to foot.


The Ashton ESG is easy on the palate and isn’t terribly powerful either. It can be enjoyed by a wide range of cigar enthusiasts. Even so, unless you’re looking for a status symbol I’d leave this one to more experienced cigar smokers. Not to sound all high and mighty, or pompous, but this cigar has a lot of complexity and a new smoker probably wouldn;t get their money back out of it. (read the full review)


3) Liga Privada T52 by Drew Estate

Whenever a discussion of Drew Estate and Liga Privada begins, there is always one single debate that is sure to pop up. Which is better, the Liga Privada No. 9 or the Liga Privada T52.

While the Liga Privada No. 9 is no slouch, I’m a T52 man, myself. I find this cigar to have big, bold flavors without having too much power. This means that I can enjoy them anytime, day or night, without worrying about my palate being battered and beaten.


There are two reasons why I don’t smoke the T52 as often as I’d like. First, they can be tough to come by as only Liga Privada Dealers carry them. There are plenty of them, so tracking them down isn’t difficult, but you probably aren’t going to find them in small Mom & Pop style shops. The second reason is cost, they tend to start at about $12.00 and go up with larger vitolas. (read the full review)


4) Oliva Serie V Liga Especial

The Oliva Serie V Liga Especial is a cigar that has been around for a few years now. They were all the rage when initially released and have become a staple in cigar shops across the country.


The Serie V runs between $6.50 and $9.00, depending on the size and shape selected, and is full bodied. It has an excellent mix of flavor to strength/power, making for a well balanced cigar, but can be a little much for those new to cigars.


If you are new to cigars but want to try the Oliva Serie V, light it up sometime in the evening after having eaten dinner. I find these cigars to be spicy, woody, and crisp on the palate. (read the full review)


5) EP Carrillo New Wave

When it comes to celebrating with a cigar, it isn’t always about smoking something rare and expensive. The important thing is highlighting your achievement with a quality cigar that will ultimately make the experience all that more pleasant.


The EP Carrillo New Wave is something everyone can afford and comes in between $5.00 and $6.00 per cigar. This cigar features a filler blend that isn’t overpowering and is topped off with a Connecticut Shade wrapper, which gives it a creamy aftertaste.

I find that these cigars are mild enough for beginners and have enough flavor for the seasoned cigar smoker. They go particularly well with a hot cup of coffee and can be enjoyed anytime throughout the day. (read the full review)


Humidor:

Over the past few years I have used a variety of devices to take my cigars on the go with me. Some devices work better than others, but I’ve had the best luck with Xikar Travel Humidors. They come in a variety of sizes, the most common being Five, Ten, and Fifteen Count Models.


The humidor itself is made of tough plastic and can easily handle being bumped and banged around in your range bag. The lid is secured by two latches on either side of the lid. A foam liner on the lid and bottom (additional foam dividers are provided with larger models)  keep cigars in place and prevent damage.


A small humidification device is recessed into the foam lid liner, which allows cigars to be stored for a moderate amount of time, without worry.

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