Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Cigarbid Interface Design - OUCH!

What are the folks over at cigarbid thinking? Their new web interface is horrible, hard to read, less compact and generally irritating.

Why do marketing departments feel a need to completely re-tool their websites every 2 years, no matter what? Guys, the old cigarbid was working just fine. It was easy to use. It was easy to understand. You could see everything on one continuous page. You had figured it out! It worked! Now you've thrown it all away!

Oh well. I'm sure I'll be back to bid as soon as my supply runs down.

Meanwhile I'm staying away. May be a good time for the rest of you early adopters to go out there and win some cheap bids, while the fogies like me sit in the dark, steaming.

Creative destruction. Web 3.9. Go figure. All the cosmetic change just wears me out. Jeez just give me a cigar.

Nestor Miranda 1989 Oscuro

The Nestor Miranda 1989 Oscuro robusto is a good, medium bodied cigar similar in flavor to the Nestor Miranda Special Selection blend that came out about 2 years ago--but a much better cigar, in my opinion. The 1989 maduro has more depth, subtlety and character while erasing most of the bitter tendencies that were an unfortunate hallmark of the Special Selections.

In various websites and distributor catalogs the 1989 oscuro is also referred to as a "maduro" - so I believe they are one and the same.

If the progression from the "Special Selection" to the "1989" represents an ongoing trend, I can't wait for the next blend to arrive from Nestor Miranda. The brand seems to be getting better every year.

This cigar is appropriately priced - about $70 per box of 20 - and is quite a bargain if you can win singles like I did on cigarbid for a mere $2.00.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Another Plain Old Fuente: Churchill Natural

Courtesy of the folks at Cigars Direct, I got to sample another vitola from the "standard" Arturo Fuente line, or as I've come to know them, the "Plain Ol' Fuentes" because of their lack of distinguishing characteristics.

This time I smoked the 7.25 x 48 Arturo Fuente Churchill natural, A nicely constructed, fine looking, good burning stick that starts out exceedingly mellow, builds up to about medium strength, tastes like slightly honeyed cardboard for the first few inches, and finally gets pleasantly rowdy at the end.

Inches 5 and 6 of this cigar are excellent. If you can hire a stand-in to smoke the first 4 inches while you're puffing away on something else, then put yourself back in to close the game on the Fuente, that would be ideal.

But in the real world you're stuck with another less-than-spectacular Churchill for the duration. I don't know how the Fuentes can manage to utilize a Cameroon wrapper to such muted effect. I can see how some people would like this, just not me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

El Mejor Espresso toro

The El Mejor Espresso toro is just as good as the Churchill. Great bang for the buck, easy draw, satisfying strength, flavor reminiscent of Oliva Series G maduro, Graycliff Espresso, and 5 Vegas Cask Strength II.

Yes, I said Oliva. Yes, Graycliff. Just as good as those venerable brands? Of course not. But drink a couple beers, squint, and hum a few bars of "Hail to the Chief" and you might convince yourself you're the King of Siam through the hazy smoke and nicotine delirium.

El Mejor kicks butt. Period. It is one of those mythological 2 dollar cigars that taste good at first light, get stronger in the middle, and keep it up to the nub if you can stomach that much strength. The holy grail of on-your-ass cheapies. The value-buyer's Shangri-la. The unicorn of the tightwad. The Emerald City at the end of the yellow brick road, after you've tried a dozen crappy slumdogs that were overhyped by the wordsmiths at Cigars International. No, Dorothy, it's not a dream.

If you want a strong, cheap cigar that tastes good for at least 3 inches before turning rancid, buy these before the prices go up or flying monkeys swoop in and grab them all.